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Thread: RAID solutions?

  1. #1
    carbonmetrictree
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    RAID solutions?

    I've been looking into a RAID solution and there are so many different companies to choose from. I like what Caldigit, OWC and Buffalo have to offer, but I am interested in any real world opinions about a mirrored back up. I do like what the Drobo has to offer, but I'd like to see what else is out there. I'll be purchasing 4 1TB Seagate ES.2 hard drives soon to make sure that no tears will fall if one HD dies!

  2. #2
    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: RAID solutions?

    There's a lengthy thread beginning here: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2560

  3. #3
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: RAID solutions?

    Agreed, read the thread Stephen liked to first.

    Bottom line differences are management of array and I/O speeds. Any true RAID 0 or 5 is going to offer faster I/O than Drobo, but usually requires identical drives including hot spares, and needs to be monitored and managed regularly by you. So instead of buying 4 ES.2 Seagates, buy 6 so you can have hot spares. When those are gone, you'll be buying a new set of 6 drives and re-building your entire array. OTOH with Drobo, you can buy your 4 ES.2's now for 3TB net storage and in a year (or two or three) when Drobo fills up or a drive fails, you can add in a new pair 4TB ES6 Seagates for of 6TB net storage; two years later add in another pair of 4TB ES8's for 12TB net storage...

    To my way of thinking, the BEST solution is a fast array for working files backed up to a redundant array for security, backed up again to an offsite array for redundant security against direct physical loss. My current strategy -- not necessarily right for anybody else -- is my working files are on a striped array (fast), mirrored to Drobo onsite (smart RAID 5 redundant and okay speed), which is then backed up offsite to older, single drives in a cheap, JBOD fashion, in case of a major loss (older single sata drives are cheaper and faster than BlueRay).
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: RAID solutions?

    I would +1 Jack's strategy, unless you have a system such as a MacPro which offers a hardware raid option. In that case, you have four principle options for the "main" array if you are limited to four drive bays.
    1) four way striped (fastest)
    2) 0+1 mirrored two way stripes - somewhat redundant, read speed half of the four way, write speed a bit slower than a two way stripe for large files
    3) four way raid 5 - a little slower than 1 on reads, a little slower than 2 on large writes fault tolerant, keep a spare drive in your cabinet
    4) three way raid five with hot spare - fault tolerant, but convenient

    I personally have picked the four way striped configuration (1), using 300GB 15k rpm SAS drives
    SMOKING QUICK.
    -bob

  5. #5
    carbonmetrictree
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    Re: RAID solutions?

    I think I missed that thread while searching for more information. Jack, I really like your solution, it sounds like a good balance awareness in terms of speed, redundancy and also longevity of the drives since the drives need to be identical most of the time.

    Thanks guys, you've been a big help!

    Andrew

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    Re: RAID solutions?

    My solution has been to get a Firmtek Seritek 5 bay array. It is a really well built piece of gear. Not as cheap as some, but also not as expensive as others. I highly recommend it. You will be limited to Raid 1,0, or JBOD though. I currently have it set up as all JBOD as I consolidate a lot of drives. For myself, I also deal with a lot of scans, so the need to separate those out from RAW work. I also want to have some disks of jobs I only need to access rarely on an extra tray ready to pop in when need be. And the easy ability to get drives offsite.

    At some point I will probably go with several drives 1 and/or 0 and the others jbod. But for now JBOD gives me all the speed and security I need.

    I researched long and hard and the biggest concern about the DROBO I had was if something happened to the enclosure itself you were kind of screwed. Of course you would have that work backed up elsewhere but I like the idea of being able to pop my discs into a machine at anytime without having to rebuild.

    Anyway, lots of options out there and ways of doing it. Best is to just purchase one and go with it. I wish I'd got this array a long time instead of yet another lens. Lenses come and go - your digital files shouldn't!!

  7. #7
    carbonmetrictree
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    Re: RAID solutions?

    Thanks Charles, I'll probably stick to a RAID 0,1. The Firmtek looks like a great unit!

  8. #8
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    Re: RAID solutions?

    Hi Andrew,

    It really is the best bang for the buck out there. Great customer service too. I researched a lot of them as I only wanted to buy something like this once to last me for a number of years.

    Good luck!

    Charles

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