Totally Confused About RAID

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by prairiefire, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. prairiefire macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007

    I've read through a search of RAID topics and I'm still confused.

    Following the answers to a previous post I made about adding esata to my Mac Pro 2.66 Quad, I added a card and now have to esata ports.

    I've been thinking about buying an Icy Dock enclosure that will hold 2 HD's and supports both USB and esata. The way I see it, I should want to run the faster esata.

    It has all kinds of settings including some for RAID configurations.

    It appears that the RAID will work with USB but as to the esata, which is what I want, there is the following language:

    "Note: The system will recognize both RAID 1 SAFE and BIG configuration using USB connection. The system must support port multiplier to recognize both RAID 1 and BIG for eSATA connection. If not, only RAID 1 will be recognized."

    My question: Does 10.5.8 support "port multiplier", whatever that means?

    Can I do what I want without buying anything else?

    Thanks to those who understand this stuff. I clearly don't.

  2. iDisk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    Here you are sir. ;)


    External Serial advance technology attachment or eSATA INFO:


  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The RAID functions are part of the drivers used with the equipment. If you're using the SIL3132 based cards, you may not be able to make it work with separate disks (1 per port, and set up RAID), as the basic drivers from Silicon Image do NOT have RAID functionality enabled (0/1).

    The drivers to make it work in an '09 MP are from LaCie (LaCie SIL3132 card page), and they may, but there's no confirmation for that method.

    Fortunately, you're looking a a Port Muliplier enclosure (chip that switches multiple drives, up to 5 are possible, to a single eSATA line). That means the unit will have drivers of it's own, and the RAID functionality will be located in that, and not need the card to be capable of it (it only needs to provide an eSATA port, which it does).

    The chip on the card has to be capable of working with Port Mulitplier based devices. Fortunately, the SIL3132 chip is capable of that. :)

    So the really simple answer is, you should be fine. :D
  4. prairiefire thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Another Question


    As always, your answer is very helpful.

    In a prior thread, I followed your advice and am very pleased.

    However, instead of the LaCie, I got the OWC card. OWC sent me to SiliconImage for the drivers.

    Now, I have a follow up question:

    There are two drivers one can install. The first is labeled "Individual Drives" and the second is "Raid".

    Here is how they define the difference:

    "A) Setup The Card for Individual Drives. Also
    for use with Apples Disk Utility Software RAID.
    Double click on the Individual Drive folder on The
    OWC CD and double click the .pkg under that

    B) Use the Hardware RAID Built into the
    SATA Card.
    Used for setting up RAID 0,1,5,10 (Contiguous,
    Concatenated, Striped, Mirrored, Mirrored Striped,
    and Parity). Double click on the RAID Drive folder
    on the OWC CD and double click the .pkg under
    that folder."

    And, therein lies the source of more confusion for me.

    Here's what I want to do:

    I have a Voyager with an esata interface.

    I'm also thinking of getting the Icy Dock MB662US-2S; it holds two drives and offers several set up options -- either combining the two drives into one big drive or a variety of RAIDS.

    The Voyager uses but one disk at a time. So the A set up for individual drives seems appropriate.

    But, what if I want to use the Icy Dock, too? Can I use both with one of the drivers installed?

    And, if so, which one?

    Can I use both an individual drive and some form of RAID under Set Up B?

    Sorry to bother you but I cannot find a phone number to call Silicon Images for support. I read part of the wiki article and I'm not savy enough to have it fill my gaps.

    Thank you.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Here's Silicon Image's driver page for the SIL3132.

    Please note that the non-RAID BETA drivers are the ones that work with Snow Leopard. The RAID version will NOT (Leopard is OK with them). Others had problems, and couldn't get their cards working again until the Beta drivers released (and those that need RAID functionality, are still waiting).

    As it happens, Transporteur has a SIL3132 card, and had to use LaCie's drivers to make it work (10.6.2 in an '09 MP IIRC). Non RAID ONLY (no reference to any RAID functionality at all) I believe, but it got it working.

    It looks like you're in luck here. :D

    You will be able to use the non-RAID drivers and use both enclosures, as the RAID settings are the DIP switch block (3 tiny switches) on the back of the Icy Dock and a driver/configuration utility provided by Icy Dock (here - download link to zipped files). :) They're listed for Leopard, but likely work in SL too. But it's worth searching to make sure (i.e. Icy dock model # + Snow Leopard). ;)

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