The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

SSD RAID, anybody running one?

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
My RAID 5 box is running fine currently, but the spinning drives in it are getting a bit long in the tooth so I am going to upgrade them later this year regsrdless. I am contemplating migrating from spinners to SSDs now that their price is coming down, but know there is a R<>W wear issue in SSD's not to mention the 3-4X cost per TB. But the wear is comparable to a spinning drive ToL, and then there is the roughly 3-4x performance gain of SSD, so why I'm considering a move to it this time around. Appreciate any input!
 

k-hawinkler

Well-known member
Thanks Jack.

I am using four 2TB SSDs in an *8TB RAID, created with Disk Utility.
In the past I used them as a SoftRAID RAID 5 giving me 6TB and atrocious write performance.
In hindsight that was a bad decision and not worth it.
Luckily SoftRAID 6 doesn't work on a Mac M1 yet.
So I had to do something else.

Of course I also back up the 8TB RAID to disks.
For that I use the new Seagate 18TB IronWolfe hard drives.

Good luck to your effort. (y)
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
@k-hawinkler -- are you saying your current soft 8TB RAID (I'm assuming an R-0?) is not worth it either, or just the 6TB soft R-5 was not due to poor write?

I currently have very good R<>W performance for current working images; I've built a 2TB NVMe drive that connects on TB3 and is very fast both read and write. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to back-up the image folder on that drive over to the spinning R-5 array, which is further backed up by CCC to a large redundant drive. So my current system is fine, just thinking about the possibility of some efficiency from having having a faster R-5 array give better access speed to the entire image library.
 
Last edited:

k-hawinkler

Well-known member
@k-hawinkler -- are you saying your current soft 8TB RAID (I'm assuming an R-0?) is not worth it either, or just the 6TB soft R-5 was not due to poor write?

I currently have very good R<>W performance for current working images; I've built a 2TB NVMe drive that connects on TB3 and is very fast both read and write. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to back-up the image folder on that drive over to the spinning R-5 array, which is further backed up by CCC to a large redundant drive. So my current system is fine, just thinking about the possibility of some efficiency from having having a faster R-5 array give better access speed to the entire image library.
Thanks Jack.

RAID 5 write performance was terrible. Read performance fine.
RAID 0 has excellence performance for both read and write. That's the way to go.
Furthermore experience generally seems to show SSDs typically don't fail all of a sudden.
Towards the end of their life first performance seems to go way down.
That's a hint one should take seriously.
 

dchew

Well-known member
Thanks Jack.

I am using four 2TB SSDs in an *8TB RAID, created with Disk Utility.
In the past I used them as a SoftRAID RAID 5 giving me 6TB and atrocious write performance.
In hindsight that was a bad decision and not worth it.
Luckily SoftRAID 6 doesn't work on a Mac M1 yet.
So I had to do something else.

Of course I also back up the 8TB RAID to disks.
For that I use the new Seagate 18TB IronWolfe hard drives.

Good luck to your effort. (y)
Hi K-H,
Trying to figure out if I need to upgrade to SoftRaid 6 when I migrate to Big Sur. I've been using SSD's and OWC's SoftRaid Lite with Catalina. I am preparing to upgrade to Big Sur, but wasn't too thrilled about upgrading to the new SoftRaid v6. I have a few OWC enclosures and one Orico enclosure. All of them have 1-4 drives in them, all configured as RAID 0 (not between enclosures, just RAID 0 for the drives within the enclosures):
  • (2) 8TB spinning drives in one Mercury Elite Pro Dual (TB2) enclosure
  • (4) 1TB SSD in one Thunderbay 4 (TB2) enclosure
  • (2) 1TB SSD NVMe drives in one ORICO dual May M.2 enclosure
I have other single drives, but the above are all configured as (3) different RAID 0 drives. These are not RAID enclosures, just JBOD enclosures. Can I use Big Sur to configure these drives as RAID 0, or will I still need SoftRaid? I have no idea what RAID capabilities Big Sur's disk utilities have, if any. I don't need any other RAID configurations other than RAID 0. I don't mind reconfiguring the drives; they are all backed up with second copies.

Dave
 

algrove

Well-known member
I just do not want to use Softraid for myself. Software makes me nervous enough. Even though I have many OWC RAID devices I always pick hard RAID devices. My most recent one is the Mercury Elite Pro Dock with two 16TB drives on RAID 0-my preferred RAID setup.
I have multiple other RAID devices split by RAW USA by location, RAW Europe by location, C1 Sessions by year (all three of these on OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual-(some 16TB or 14TB or 10TB) and C1 Sessions by location. Other old RAID machines backup all these just mentioned (just in case) since I live in FL the lightening capitol of the US. I also keep all of the aforementioned RAID on 4TB Samsung 2.5" SSD drives in a bank vault which I rotate from time to time. And if that is not enough I also have backups of aforementioned on Samsung 2TB SSD which I keep here and update as changes occur.
Yes I am crazy about backups since in Hurricane Andrew in 1982 I lost 25 years of slides (pre digital) since our house had a 12 foot tidal wave go through it. I used to travel to 95 countries (mostly out of Paris and NYC before that) and not having those images still haunts me at times.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
4 TB ThunderBlade here. Ridiculously fast and quiet. Softraid has been rock solid for me for many years and three RAID boxes. It and the internal 2TB SSD are backed up to an 8TB Mercury Elite Pro, a Mac mini server in another room, and on BackBlaze.
 

k-hawinkler

Well-known member
Hi K-H,
Trying to figure out if I need to upgrade to SoftRaid 6 when I migrate to Big Sur. I've been using SSD's and OWC's SoftRaid Lite with Catalina. I am preparing to upgrade to Big Sur, but wasn't too thrilled about upgrading to the new SoftRaid v6. I have a few OWC enclosures and one Orico enclosure. All of them have 1-4 drives in them, all configured as RAID 0 (not between enclosures, just RAID 0 for the drives within the enclosures):
  • (2) 8TB spinning drives in one Mercury Elite Pro Dual (TB2) enclosure
  • (4) 1TB SSD in one Thunderbay 4 (TB2) enclosure
  • (2) 1TB SSD NVMe drives in one ORICO dual May M.2 enclosure
I have other single drives, but the above are all configured as (3) different RAID 0 drives. These are not RAID enclosures, just JBOD enclosures. Can I use Big Sur to configure these drives as RAID 0, or will I still need SoftRaid? I have no idea what RAID capabilities Big Sur's disk utilities have, if any. I don't need any other RAID configurations other than RAID 0. I don't mind reconfiguring the drives; they are all backed up with second copies.

Dave
Thanks Dave. Great question.
I gave up on SoftRAID.
It wasn’t ready when I needed it.
All you need for Raid 0 is the Disk Utility in macOS Big Sur.
That’s what I am using now.

SSDs have become so reliable that it is not worth it to use a Raid 5.
The performance hit for that is simply too large and unacceptable in my mind.
If you insist on using SoftRAID on Big Sur on M1 Macs, it has to be version 6.

Of course, I keep multiple backups on spinning disks.
For that I use 18TB Seagate IronWolfs NAS hard drives.

Good luck to your efforts.
 
Last edited:

algrove

Well-known member
Jack
I see OWC will soon come out with a Mercury Pro Us Dual case. It takes 3.5" assemblies with their u2 holder for lack of a better word. Not cheap and not sure if one can increase capacity by adding more NVMe SSD on each side of the RAID as your needs expand. Of course that would require rewriting over current data I assume, but it can be done with another external drives.

FYI, on black Friday BH offered 2TB Samsung SSD for $250 each. That was around half price then, so I got some. Not true RAID of course, but it can give you 4TB RAIDED (so to speak) for $1k. We will see what the future brings, but all new OWC devices seem to use SOFTRAID.
 

GrahamWelland

Subscriber & Workshop Member
Personally, I would never run RAID 5 unless you have a secondary backup in place. Power is normally the killer of RAID systems in my experience as brown outs can take out multiple disks. I’m a RAID 10 guy with external backup. With SSD for the RAID and traditional drives for the backup. I treat SSD’s as drives destined to fail at random with no warning. Things have gotten better these days but unlike traditional drives there’s typically no warning of impending failure.

Full disclosure - I’m a traditional IT guy who still doesn’t rely on SSD as a reliable storage device. 😉
 

GrahamWelland

Subscriber & Workshop Member
Furthermore experience generally seems to show SSDs typically don't fail all of a sudden.
Towards the end of their life first performance seems to go way down.
That's a hint one should take seriously.
I disagree - SSD failures are pretty much instant and terminal in my experience.
 

algrove

Well-known member
As a testament to Graham's SSD failure comment, years ago (yes I am paranoid) I used to travel with 3 independent OWC SSD (the best ones). I would back up 3 times to these 3 devices every night after capturing during the day giving me the original CF or SD card plus 3 backups. One day and without warning 2 of those devices (under warranty) stopped working without prior warning. I was so paranoid the 3rd was going to go to, from that day forward I started creating a pages document detailing each file number of each location of each camera of each day (I would sometimes travel with 3 systems) and NEVER overwrite the SD or CF cards during the entire trip and for that matter I started accumulating CF and SD cards since I wanted those "original" documents to be permanent and safe even though they were backed up at home 3 times plus backup in the bank vault. After Hurricane Andrew we were running low on cash and I some in the bank vault. So we headed over the the bank near our house and came around the corner and we were surrounded my about 8-10 National Guard troops with M16's pointed at us. They informed us the bank was closed and no access date was set up. I looked at where the glass front to the bank used to be and inside is all I could see was the big approximately 15x15" stainless steel vault standing alone. There were some exterior walls remaining, but it was a skeleton. That is why here in FL I now always put backups of my files in the bank vault on a regular basis.
That said I have over 30 3.5" TB drives from 1TB up to and including 16TB and, knock on wood, have never had a failure to date. I also use UPS devices on all my computer gear mainly to protect from power surges and that sort of thing, but here even during the day our electric company FPL seems to have glitches with momentary (like a few seconds at most) power outages and my UPS keep me going without issue.
 
Last edited:
Top