Which of these 2 should I buy for a RAID drive for backups etc?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gwelmarten, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2011
    I'm heading off to university this year and looking for some storage solution.
    I'm leaving my iMac at home, and taking a MacBook Air and a Pro. I am taking a time machine with me to back both laptops up to, and want to have a drive at home to a) back the iMac up to, b) copy the Laptop backups to when I come home and c) use as remote storage for university.

    So, I was thinking, as the data is important on there, to use RAID. I was going to use 2x3TB drives. I also want it to be quick, for time machine back ups, and I am told that RAID with two drives means you get twice the write speed and twice the reliability (in case one disk fails).

    To remote access it, I will plug the drive into my home router (a BT home hub) whilst I am at Uni, and into the iMac when I am at home.

    So, I was between two options. These are:
    To buy a RAID drive, the Western Digital My Book Studio 2

    Or to build my own from a Sharkoon RAID bay and two Western Digital Drives:

    This is basically a RAID enclosure and 2 WD Caviar Green HDD's.

    So, the problem with the first option (the all in one from Western Digital) is that I don't know what drives are in the enclosure. They may be Western Digital's worst drive, the slowest etc.

    And the problem with the second solution is that, as far as I am aware, the Caviar Green drives are slow in RAID because they are energy efficient.

    Does anybody have an opinion on this, or a idea for an alternative?

    Does anybody know what exact drives Western Digital put into their My Book Studio 2?

    Which should I buy?

    Thanks for your help,

  2. FireWire2, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013

    FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    less then 100 buck NAS

    I would look at this NAS

    just for BACK UP.

    It's wont be fast. 20~30MB/sec that is all... with this you can access it w/o your iMAC powered
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you want reliability and speed you need at least three drives for RAID 5. With two drives you can have speed and greatly reduced reliability in RAID 0 or greater reliability and no speed benefits RAID 1 not both.

    For backups you don't need much speed since after the initial backup there is not much to backup on intermediate backups. Unless your actual data drive is faster than a single backup drive there is zero benefit. The only way I can see wanting a fast backup drive is if you are backing up a fast data drive and are constantly changing giant files like a virtual machine image, raw video files or massive e-mail databases.
  4. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Splitting the cost of a NAS?

    For another option, what about waiting until you get to school? Talk to your roommate(s). Talk to the people on your floor and/or in your building. With several people, you might go in on a NAS. For our home network we've had a Netgear ReadyNAS for the past three or four years. It can hold up to six drives, although we've been more than satisfied with four 2TB drives and RAID5. This gives us 6TB of storage with one redundant drive. I'm currently interested in swapping out two of the 2TB drives for 3TB drives. There is another option to have two redundant drives. Access is much faster than anything connected via USB 2 or FW800 and because it's on the LAN it's available to anyone the administrator wants.

    The Netgear comes with decent company support, but there's a wonderfully helpful user/company community too. You could also look at Synology and some of the others that are out there. I haven't shopped for some time.

    The NAS comes with security at the user or workgroup level, backup, and supports SMB as well as AFP. This means you can have a mixed Windows and Mac environment. There are other features that we don't use such as photo sharing and remote access.

    There's a bit of extra work for the network administrator to set up and maintain the NAS, but it's an alternative to a relatively closed system like the one you're considering.

    Good luck on your decision and best wishes at university.
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I wonder if Apple would give you an Education discount on a Pegasus unit...Unlikely, but they have now added it to the list of "Extras" you might want to buy with your Mac...Expensive yes, but fast, flexible and reliable...I edit video in real time with mine, so large files RAW data etc. would be no issue at all for you.

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