Presale question fo...
 
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Presale question for migration

(@kighter)
New Member Customer

Hi all,

I've read through the forum and see the answers about volume expansion etc., but my RAID needs and experience are not enough to make an educated purchase.

What I'm looking for is advice about how best to accomplish what I need, or some closest equivalent.

Current:
4 drive DR - (3) 3T drives plus (1) 1.5T drive.

Ideally I would like to be able to reuse the (3) 3T drives in a new solution. I would add one more to make a new set of 4.

This drive is for personal use. Misc files and an entire media library. I would copy the data to a temporary location and then migrate and format/inspect the drives to be used.

I do not have serious performance needs for this application and I'd like to maximize the space while preserving SoftRAID's drive monitoring, alerts, and repair.

Does SoftRAID have a span option or something that might approximate that for my use?

I would likely use some flavor of a new 4 bay enclosure. ThunderBay is appealing, but would be buying a bare case and SoftRAID directly, not the bundled solution.

Can SoftRAID be used with OWC QX2? It would need a JBOD option if hardware settings are involved correct?

Thanks in advance,

Michael

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 17/01/2016 12:00 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

SoftRAID does not offer "concatenation" as a feature. We believe concatenation is a feature with the additional risk (of disk failure causing loss of data) of a stripe volume, and none (or few) of the benefits. If you need a large volume, create a 9TB Stripe with the 3 TB disks, or a 12TB volume if you purchase a 4th. RAID 4/5 will get you 9TB volume, with some protection against a disk failure.

A pure Thunderbolt 4 bay enclosure is preferred to an enclosure with "hardware RAID" as an option. SoftRAID gets direct access to the drives without the potential of a circuit board in the way that causes occasional problems. So if you are looking at OWC, then get the Thunderbay 4 bay enclosure, as it is a well designed enclosure.

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Posted : 17/01/2016 8:38 pm
(@angelonyc)
Active Member Customer

I have a OWC Thunderbolt RAID. I bought it with drives installed (bought an extra drive for future replacement).. It came of course with SOFTRAID 5.. The SOFTRAID 5 works so well, it informed me of a potential fatal problem of some MacPros Thunderbolt resetting itself, and 'ejecting the drives'..

I have spent hours on the phone with many APPLE senior techs.. They built a replacement MacPro for me, and when I am finished migrating.. I will ship original back to them to see if they can isolate, to create solution. (this thunderbolt shut off happens in about 2% of new MacPro's..

So I very hardily recommend SOFTRAID 5

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Posted : 17/01/2016 9:55 pm
(@kighter)
New Member Customer

SoftRAID does not offer "concatenation" as a feature. We believe concatenation is a feature with the additional risk (of disk failure causing loss of data) of a stripe volume, and none (or few) of the benefits. If you need a large volume, create a 9TB Stripe with the 3 TB disks, or a 12TB volume if you purchase a 4th. RAID 4/5 will get you 9TB volume, with some protection against a disk failure.

A pure Thunderbolt 4 bay enclosure is preferred to an enclosure with "hardware RAID" as an option. SoftRAID gets direct access to the drives without the potential of a circuit board in the way that causes occasional problems. So if you are looking at OWC, then get the Thunderbay 4 bay enclosure, as it is a well designed enclosure.

Thanks for replies everyone. Solidified my opinion I want to go SoftRAID. (4) 3T drives getting me a 9TB Volume is a good option. Now the question is how.

I don't NEED thunderbolt and would rather spend the money on SoftRAID. The cost is basically the price difference between the FW Qx2 and bare Thunderbolt enclosure. Especially as I won't be buying the case with drives so I won't get the SoftRAID bundle and will be buying SoftRAID directly.

Excluding OWC, if I get a case(s) and want to use SoftRAID what do I need to look for? It offers JBOD? Does anyone have a recommendations for a non-hardware RAID enclosure with USB3 or FW800?

Michael

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Topic starter Posted : 18/01/2016 7:34 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Be patient. Wait until you can budget for a Thunderbay/Thunderolt enclosure.

The main reason is reliabiity. USB is inherently not that for RAID. It is slow, consumes CPU resources and over the years we have seen lots of obscure bugs that affect USB 2 and USB 3. So I don't recommend it. You could have great success, but why not wait a few weeks/months and get a longer term solution?

FireWire is OK for reliability, but much slower than Thunderbolt. The cost of a FireWire 4 bay enclosure is not going to be that different than a Thunderbay, is it?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/01/2016 1:34 pm
(@kighter)
New Member Customer

Be patient. Wait until you can budget for a Thunderbay/Thunderolt enclosure.

The main reason is reliabiity. USB is inherently not that for RAID. It is slow, consumes CPU resources and over the years we have seen lots of obscure bugs that affect USB 2 and USB 3. So I don't recommend it. You could have great success, but why not wait a few weeks/months and get a longer term solution?

FireWire is OK for reliability, but much slower than Thunderbolt. The cost of a FireWire 4 bay enclosure is not going to be that different than a Thunderbay, is it?

Not really that different. The cost of an OWC Qx2 vs Thunderbay is basically the cost of SoftRAID. Qx2 $240 Thunderbay $398 currently.

Thanks for your help. Ordering shortly.

Michael

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Topic starter Posted : 21/01/2016 1:59 pm
(@naerct)
Active Member Customer

Be patient. Wait until you can budget for a Thunderbay/Thunderolt enclosure.

The main reason is reliabiity. USB is inherently not that for RAID. It is slow, consumes CPU resources and over the years we have seen lots of obscure bugs that affect USB 2 and USB 3. So I don't recommend it. You could have great success, but why not wait a few weeks/months and get a longer term solution?

FireWire is OK for reliability, but much slower than Thunderbolt. The cost of a FireWire 4 bay enclosure is not going to be that different than a Thunderbay, is it?

Not really that different. The cost of an OWC Qx2 vs Thunderbay is basically the cost of SoftRAID. Qx2 $240 Thunderbay $398 currently.

Thanks for your help. Ordering shortly.
Michael

Michael,
I have done lots of research on external multibay enclosures. I like the ThunderBay quite a bit and now have 3 clients who have them. One of them is using an iMac and the ThunderBay has one SSD as the boot and One 4TB HD, used for backup of the internal HD. Two others are filled with 4-4TB HDs which are running RAID5 and use the TB enclosure as original data drives, since they have internal SSDs For booting. IMHO, this is the best way to use SoftRAID as it really speeds up the data drives. I am currently using my 2009 MacPro with 4-4TB drives in the SATA bays. However, if you have ThunderBolt, you can get an adapter for eSATA for under $100 from Sonnet that has one eSATA port one one USB3 port. The eSATA connect also supports port multiplication, so it can handle about 20TB in an eSATA enclosure. Those enclosures for JBOD are around $150 like the one I've owned (SansDigital) for 3 or 4 years. I researched the best quality 5 bay unit, and it was $300, and claimed the lowest heat rating of any enclosure. (Their 5 bay Thunderbolt unit was around $600). So, eSATA may be a much better way to go. Also, USB3.1 aka USB-C, is already on the new MacBook, and that is another very fast bus (10g). One thing to note and that is that my SOFTRAID5 is faster at first glance than the 2012 iMac with the ThunderBay 4 RAID5. I was surprised because my RAID5 is on 3g SATA Ports. But it make sense since the TB on his iMac is the original 10g, and each of my 4 ports is 3g, which is slightly more bandwidth. I may not understand this correctly, but my test do bear this out. I agree with the moderator that using USB for a multibay connection may be problematic. I believe the SATA ports inside my enclosure are only 3G, but there a newer similar unit from Orinco? that is about $225 and uses SATA III inside.

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Posted : 24/01/2016 7:59 am
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