What's the best 4 disk external drive array? Backup ideas?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sammyman, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Pegasus R4? LaCie? I'd like it if there was one that supported both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 / 3.1. I don't want to be locked into Apple if possible. Suggestions?

    I've never been a huge RAID fan because something always goes wrong. But I do have a large Synology drive I could back up the 4 disk array to.

    I'm thinking of having a...

    Mac Pro or iMac with 1tb SSD boot

    Pegasus R4 for media

    1tb drive for boot drive (clone)
    Synology for Pegasus backup (not sure what software would be ideal)
    Online backup as well.

    Balancing all the data and good backups has been a real struggle for me. We currently have about 8 TB of total data we're juggling on 4 disks on a 2010 Mac Pro.
  2. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Firstly, Thunderbolt is not an Apple technology - there is no "lock in".

    I have had good luck with both Promise and Areca RAID boxes.

  3. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Thanks! Years ago, I'd have raid arrays fail because their raid software wasn't great. Early synology boxes come to mind.

    Are these high end boxes more reliable? I'll be backing up, but I'm worried about the day the box loses power and everything gets lost. Just the hassle of it all.
  4. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    I'd go for a OWC Thunderbay 4 or Thunderbay 4 mini. You can buy them without the available raid software and they are just 4 SATA drive bays in either 3.5" or 2.5" form factor attached via thunderbolt.
  5. Alrescha, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    They have been reliable for me. I tested them in various ways before I put real data on them and there were no problems. I do not have any experience with power loss as they are on a UPS. The only abnormal treatment they have received is when some stupid human accidentally pulls out the Thunderbolt cable.

    One nice feature of these boxes is that they power off* when the system goes to sleep and back on when you wake it up. This is invisible to the OS - everything picks up where it left off.

    * and I do mean off, not sleeping. When the Mac wakes up the Areca boots from scratch, the Mac driver holds up business while the POST runs and the drives spin up :)


    Addendum: In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that after a few years I did have a fan get noisy in the Areca. I ordered a new one, just in case. It is sitting on top of the enclosure waiting for me to swap out the noisy one (which I will do when it fails, or when I get really, really bored).
  6. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    As many agree, backup does not need speed, just ample space, hot swap for remote storage is a plus
    For USB3.0 JBoD: http://www.datoptic.com/ec/quad-4-sataiii-to-usb3-0-support-uasp-for-mac-windwows-linux.html
    or Stand-alone RAID eSATA/USB3.0 http://www.datoptic.com/ec/quad-4-sataiii-to-usb3-0-support-uasp-for-mac-windwows-linux.html, with four 6TB you would have a 18TB usable RAID5 - that can plug in any Mac and work,

    Ofc course you can get a TB to eSATA/USB3.0 https://www.amazon.com/Sonnet-USB-eSATA-Thunderbolt-Adapter/dp/B00TYF2AFA/ to use with thunderbolt

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5 September 21, 2016