Thunderbolt DAS

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tmanto02, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. tmanto02 macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I have decided to fork out and get a Thunderbolt DAS for my Plex movie collection.

    I am tossing up between the Drobo 5d & Lacie 5 Big Thunderbolt.

    Any suggestions? And no I can't afford the Pegasus. :)
     
  2. Nemic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #2
    I don't have either of those 2 products, but I do own a Drobo-FS, which is the network attached version.

    I have had this pretty since they were launched and have had no issues at all. I have made several hard drive upgrades (not because of any failures) over the years, as drives have got bigger and my space has got fuller. So in that respect the Drobo has been very flexible for me in terms of future expandability.

    I understand that the newer thunderbolt 5D is much much faster than the FS.

    I use the FS on my home network and all of my PC's and Mas can access the data.

    I am waiting from Apple to release a new Thunderbolt monitor. Once I get that, it is my intention to later buy a Drobo 5D.

    I run my Drobo with Dual Drive Redundancy set. This setting reduces the total amount of storage available but it protects my data even if 2 of the drives fail at the same time.

    My Drobo has 14 TB of discs inside it and this gives me 7.21TB of available storage. I am happy with the extra security that this option gives me.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I have the drobo mini and I'm happy with the performance and stability of it. I know its not the exact model you're looking at but drobo as an option is a good one.
     
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #4
    For 8 bays, areca ARC-8050. Getting a free iPad at newegg brings the price down, if you need an iPad.
     
  5. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #5
    For media streaming, Thunderbolt is overkill. A network drive is sufficient. For multi-drive system you will want RAID-5 or -6 or some other form of data protection and redundancy.

    There is a 5big NAS Pro available without drives that you can upgrade as needed.

    Advantage being that a network device will be available to multiple computers, iPads, players, etc.
     
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #6
    Straight Blu-ray rips are about 4-6 MB/s.
    USB2 is 25-35 MB/s
    USB3 is 100-150MB/s


    even USB2 is enough to handle 3 to 4 Blu-rays.

    thunderbolt is way overkill for media storage.
    not trying to turn you away from thunderbolt, but trying to expand your options, and probably get you something less expensive that will still serve your needs.

    *numbers are approximate and from my experience, different hardware may result in different speeds.
    *usb3 speed is from a sans-digital 5 disk RAID (model TR5UT)
    *blu-ray numbers are from my library of ripped blu-rays using makemkv
    *and yes i mean MB not Mb (since i've been called out on that before)
     
  7. tangfj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #7
    I have a Drobo 5D and reviewed it against several other NAS/DAS drives on Amazon. The review is pretty long so I'll just post a link... http://www.amazon.com/review/R33KUJ2W8856B8/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_alt_1

    A commenter recommended the 5big because it's a lot faster than the 5D. Be aware, though, that the 5big can only do RAID 0 or RAID 1, which effectively means that you'll get ALL of the space as one drive on the drive or half. Also, from the reviews I've read the 5big is only faster than the Drobo 5D if you use RAID 0, which does not give you the redundancy and protection that the Drobo 5D will give you.

    I ended up with the 5D to use with Plex. I have it stocked with 2TB drives now, giving me a total capacity of around 7TB. I have had no issues playing movies in 1080p or any other type of file over my gigabit wired network.
     
  8. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    Yeah I am so close to buying the 5d. I ruled out the Lacie cause it doesn't support raid 5. I am going to get 3x 4tb drives, that way I will have approx 8tb of storage and single disk redundancy. The reason why I'm doing this is one of my FireWire drives failed a couple of weeks ago losing 2tb of movies and tv shows grr :mad:
     
  9. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #9
    The 5big NAS Pro supports RAID-5:

    Standard RAID modes: 0, 1, 5, 5+Spare, 6 and
    SimplyRAID for automatic RAID migration, expansion, and support for mixed capacities

    http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10604
     
  10. tangfj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #10
    From what I understand, though, the 5big thunderbolt drive does not support RAID 5.
     
  11. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Another Drobo 5D user here - if you check my YouTube channel (link in sig) you'll find a video review on the product. Im also using mine connected to a Mac Mini server, running Plex. The Drobo stores not only my movie library for Plex, but also my Final Cut Pro X library, and I regularly edit directly from the Drobo also.
    Its never missed a beat.
     
  12. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #12
    Correct. Only Raid 0, 1 or JBOD. All provided via Apple Disk Utility.
     
  13. priitv8 macrumors 68030

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    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #13
    I just wonder, if Drobo 5N would have had similar speed improvement after 1 week?
    And what migth be the reason for such improvement over time?
    Is it due to SSD caching?
     
  14. tangfj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #14
    It's possible it could have gotten faster with continued use and more time for SSD caching to catch up. It's also possible that it was slower because I was using WD green drives with the 5N and Red drives with the DS1512+. Overall I chose the DS1512+ because it offered more flexibility than the 5N. I now have the DS1512+ setup with link aggregation set up on the drive for redundancy on the gigabit network in my home. If multiple people are connected to the DS1512+, there is less of a drop off on overall speed. I'm happy for now. I also see that Synology came out with the DS1513+, which has a total of 4 lan ports. I think it'd be overkill for a home network... I'm not too sure what other features the DS1513 has over the DS1512.
     
  15. priitv8, Oct 5, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #15
    Ok, I see. For me, the DS1512 is out of price range for home use anyway. DS412+ or 5N would be about the upper limit.
    From what I see, I like Drobo's Mac-ish build quality, 5 bays and the mSATA cache. Plus the Mac-ish simplicity.
    DSM 4.x is undeniably the sexiest NAS-OS around, but way overkill, esp if I run a OS X Server anyway. I would only utilize it's file serving ability.
     
  16. Pheo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #16
    Just picked up a Drobo Mini myself.

    Good piece of kit. A little louder than I expected though. But very easy to use.

    Not sure the Drobo 5N and Synology DS1512 are the right comparison though; the latter being a lot more expensive than the former, and more small business orientated. Although I would agree that drobo could learn a lot from Synologys approach to apps
     
  17. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    Thanks for all your responses guys! I ended up buying the drobo 5n instead as it's just for media streaming. It should be delivered tomorrow. Will post a review once I set it up :D
     
  18. NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #18
    I love my 5D. I considered the 5N, but in the end went with DAS for its far more reliable compatibility with networked Time Machine backups using OS X Server. What a great device. I paid $649 for mine (no tax + free shipping), and though the price was hard to swallow at first, it's worth every penny.
     
  19. priitv8 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #19
    Looking forward to reading your review!
    Unfortunately, the web is full of hate towards Drobo, so it's hard to find those love stories :D
    With Drobo, the single point of failure becomes the chassis itself. Fortunately, the 2012 models seem to have 2-year warranty (at least here in Europe) that you can extend to 3 via DroboCare.
    PS did you also go with the mSATA SSD?
     
  20. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #20
    No mSATA SSD yet. Will see how it goes without it. After all its simply for media streaming. Will let you know how it goes :)
     
  21. NMF, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #21
    Not to rain on your parade, but if you already have a Mac mini home server... why not go with the 5D? The 5N makes the most sense for people without dedicated home servers. Backing up to NAS enclosures via Time Machine isn't officially supported by Apple and always seems to flub up eventually (even the most diehard NAS hounds here on MR usually admit to "resetting" their TM backups and starting over every year or so). I don't know about you, but my backups are the absolute last aspect of my computing life that I'd want take reliability risks with. I see you stated that the primary purpose of this device will be media streaming, but it never hurts to have options. Besides, backing up an entire household's worth of Macs to one enclosure is preeeetty convenient, I must say. ;) I even have a couple Windows machines backing up to it via CrashPlan.

    Unless you were planning on selling off the Mac mini, of course. :cool:
     
  22. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    I agree with you completely, ideally I want the 5d for speed as it's only for the Mac mini and I don't need the "network" part of NAS. However the 5n offers the same functionality for me: I need bulk storage, drive redundancy and easy expandability. All of which the 5n has :)

    Oh and I'm watching my budget. 3x 4tb red drives are expensive you know
     
  23. NMF, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #23
    Oh, I certainly do know! :eek:

    I went with 3x 3TB Reds myself. The 3TB models are definitely the best value, all things considered (currently $134.99 on Newegg, no tax + free shipping). Perhaps you'd be better served by grabbing a trio of those for the time being? You'd save about $200 in the short term, keeping in mind that Western Digital has 5TB Reds coming by the end of the year and Seagate will also have 5TB NAS drives releasing in 2014. Either of those two drives would make excellent additions to your unused Drobo bays, or even great replacements to the 3TB drives down the road! In my view, this is the most cost effective path to massive storage capacity down the line.

    As for the device itself, how much did you pay for the 5N? I paid $649.99 for my 5D during a Newegg flash sale, which seems to happen fairly regularly (or, you could order it right now from B&H for $664, no tax/free shipping). So really, in the worst case scenario you're looking at about a $150 difference in price between the two Drobos... I dunno man, the way I see it the 5D is definitely worth that for the rock-solid Time Machine reliability, faster data transfer speeds (especially to host server), and simple daisy-chain support in the future.

    Anyway, that's probably enough out of me. LOL. :p

    Everyone's uses are different, obviously. I just thought I'd share why I went with the setup I did, and why it might be something you'd want to consider also. dat Time Machine is a powerful motivator.

    Either way, enjoy your new Drobo. They really are awesome little devices. :cool:
     
  24. tmanto02 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #24
    I'm in Australia so we pay through the nose here. I got the 5n for $725aus but from an Australian distributor. If i ordered online the cheapest including international shipping is B&h for $690aus but for warranty purposes it was more wise to buy from an Australian distributor. The cheapest I could get the 5d for including shipping was $890aus including shipping from b&h
     

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