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RAID Box -- what are using?

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
My old Drobo died, so time to get a new RAID box. (Images all fine good, I had it backed up both onsite and offsite.) What are you using? Looking for a 5-bay, RAID5 capable, USB3, C or TB3 connectivity; preferably that can accept both 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Other question is for those that know, is there any significant transfer speed difference between USB3, C and TB3 when using an array of SSD drives? Thanks in advance!
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
I’ve been using promise Pegasus for the most part (TB and TB2), I also have a random third party TB2 array I got from BH that works well but I don’t know the manufacturer.

My understanding with speed is TB3 > USBC > USB3, but I am not an expert.
 

craygc

Member
Without suggesting models, I would never use anything above RAID 1 for home use. Although RAID 5/6 gives better efficiency and drive usage it comes with other risks. The problems can arise after a number of years; the firmware used by each manufacturer to manage the bridge boards that write the data to the drives is proprietary and, as I've witnessed with QNAP, as models become unsupported they often change the implementation of their bridge board, which means that if your RAID box failed at a hardware level you may not be able to move your drives to a new RAID box, even from the same manufacturer, and read them - basically, you cant access the data.
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
Without suggesting models, I would never use anything above RAID 1 for home use. Although RAID 5/6 gives better efficiency and drive usage it comes with other risks. The problems can arise after a number of years; the firmware used by each manufacturer to manage the bridge boards that write the data to the drives is proprietary and, as I've witnessed with QNAP, as models become unsupported they often change the implementation of their bridge board, which means that if your RAID box failed at a hardware level you may not be able to move your drives to a new RAID box, even from the same manufacturer, and read them - basically, you cant access the data.
This is a good point. My RAID 5 array is only a working array for photos that is backed up to a non-RAID larger single drive (well, multiple backups in multiple physical locations).

I got into RAID after a house fire at a time when SSDs weren't ubiquitous and when the capacity of single spinning drives was still relatively low (2-3tb). I've found with todays SSDs (size and speed) and the large capacity of spinning drives, RAID isn't so necessary anymore for my uses, but I don't do video and my data overhead is pretty low ( I'm a low volume shooter, except for family shots, which are all JPEG). I may look into a NAS at some point though which would probably require RAID, and would set it up RAID 1.

My other RAID enclosure is set up in JBOD format and each drive is its own drive....it takes up less space and less cabling than 5 separate drive enclosures, so I definitely see RAID enclosures as still useful though.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Your point about R5 is well taken -- in the case of my DROBO, the unit itself failed, not any individual drives. I only had the one DROBO and it was an old 4-drive one, so the data was not conveniently recoverable. For thread posterity, I went with a relatively inexpensive 5-bay USB C RAID unit off Amazon. I could have done a new main JBOD mirrored to the BU JBOD and probably be fine, but I set this new box up as another R5 for the little bit extra speed as the added cost over a 5-bay JBOD box was rather trivial. I honestly don't care so much about the rebuilding capability, it's more the peace of mind of still having access to 100% of my data if one drive fails. This R5 is mirrored to one on-site and one off-site JBOD for double-redundancy. I am now rebuilding my "new" primary R5 array off my onsite BU, all seems to be crunching along just fine.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Update: el cheapo box kept unmounting itself, frustrating so I returned it. Trying a Q-Nap device next, will report.
 

rdeloe

Active member
I just replaced a really old 2-bay Netgear ReadyNAS with a Synology Diskstation 220+. It's excellent. I'm really impressed with the software side of things too.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I've got the QNAP up and running and so far am very pleased. It has both hardware and software RAID capability and so I took time to benchmark a variety of options through both -- no real difference between the two options performance-wise. End of day I went back to R5 for simplicity and a combo of speed with some safety -- 230 Write, 240 Read which is about as good as I expect from spinning drives. I am using it in software mode and like their tool, it's clean and simple and allows some on-the-fly priority adjusting. It's only been three days, but so far it's playing very nicely with Catalina, so so far, so good.
 

doobs

Member
I just replaced a really old 2-bay Netgear ReadyNAS with a Synology Diskstation 220+. It's excellent. I'm really impressed with the software side of things too.
I've done the same and am very pleased with the Synology.

Good luck on the new storage solution.
 

rdeloe

Active member
I've done the same and am very pleased with the Synology.

Good luck on the new storage solution.
It's been bulletproof so far. The only wrinkle was the RAID technology it uses was new to me, so there was a bit of a learning curve. It's a hybrid form, but it works great. I like that you can control the fan speed, and the interface is clean and easy to use.
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
I just replaced a really old 2-bay Netgear ReadyNAS with a Synology Diskstation 220+. It's excellent. I'm really impressed with the software side of things too.
I've done the same and am very pleased with the Synology.

Good luck on the new storage solution.
You can add my vote to the Synology ballot count. I just replaced my Apple Time Capsule with a Synology DiskStation 220+ and it was a smooth transition. So far, I've been impressed with Synology.

Joe
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
I am just buying the QNAP TVS-472XT-PT, which offers RAID5 (I configured it with 4x12TP Seagate Ironwolf) and it offers GE as well as 2 Thunderbolt3 ports.

If it were not for the TB3 I would have chosen a Synology solution.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
@ Ptomsu, so far, all good with mine, it runs as it should and quietly, I am very pleased so far. Tip: you'll probably want to run their app and turn off "auto sleep" -- it's factory set to 10 minutes ;)
 

Alan

Member
Wow - weird... I got a QNAP TR-004 box to replace an Oyen unit that just died. Transferred the drives over, plugged it in and it mounted on my desktop with the same previous name, all data intact and Time Machine recognized it and started running a backup - all before I noticed it!

I was/am using hardware RAID 5 w/ 4 drives, expecting to rebuild the array and start a new backup from scratch. So... yay?! Or should I rebuild it anyway?
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I noted that when I did mine too, but had one drive in a SMART warning state, so I took the safe route and replaced the questionable drive and did a total fresh rebuild off my redundant BU. If your drives are healthy and all of your files are where they're supposed to be, I would not bother with it.
 

Alan

Member
Yeah, after a few successful recovery tests, I don’t think I’ll bother rebuilding the array. It’s not my only backup!
 
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