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Recommend a nice external RAID enclosure?

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April 14, 2011 12:28:55 AM

Hi; sorry - I usually hate threads like this (new forum member, asks question that looks like he didn't do any homework), but I'm feeling really, really lost in the RAID world, having never used anything like it before.

I understand RAID is not a backup solution, but the idea of resistance to drive failure is attractive.

I've done some research and it looks like RAID 5, 1, or 10 will be fine for my needs (not mission critical, just storage for movie editing purposes). In any case, it looks like any raid enclosure I buy would support any of those, so I can make that decision later.

I was just wondering if somebody could point me at a reliable 4-6(ish) drive RAID enclosure (and if you don't mind, good, reliable HDDs to go with it - prob 2tbs each). I was browsing through many of the available options on newegg, and am not knowledgeable enough to be able to differentiate the products, and many of them do not have many reviews (on newegg or via google either).

My top pick so far was
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
but it only has one review. It mentions "hardware raid" - should I assume that the products that do not specifically mention hardware raid are doing it in software? And will it really chew up my CPU time?

Also looked at this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
more expensive, doesn't mention "hardware raid". What am I paying for here? The hot-swappable drive feature? I probably don't care about that.

And:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Says you can expand to include more disks without rebuilding the raid volume. Is this a big deal for the other raid solutions?

Finally:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
which is the one it looks like everybody has (the highest rated raid enclosure with >50 reviews or so), but many complain about slow write times, or a drive crashing and killing the whole raid. But I can't tell if it's user error, or just inevitable with more reviews.

I see a bunch of stuff talking about eSata with port multipliers... I'm not at home, so I can't check, but I assume my old motherboard will need a PCIe eSata card... maybe. Is this something I need to worry about, or can I just buy any esata card (or use the one that comes with the raid enclosure) and assume it'll work?

Thanks for any help.

Also, as a side note - when you buy drives for RAIDs, do you usually buy exactly as many drives as you need+1, or do you get a whole bunch of extra drives all at the same time so you don't have to worry about not being able to find the same brand/model of drive when a drive finally fails X years from now? Or do RAIDs not care if you have a whole bunch of different brand/models of drives in there?

April 14, 2011 4:09:28 AM

Hi, FireWire - thanks for the response. Why are those $600 as opposed to the $150-$300 range of those others?

When I search for "hardware raid enclosure" on newegg I get:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

I see a lot of price points, but I can't tell what the differences are. Am I looking at different ease of setup, less driver/more hardware raid controlling, more reliability, prettier case, higher speeds, better ui?

I don't mind paying more if I'm actually getting a better product... but I can't tell what it is exactly I'm getting...
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a c 289 G Storage
April 14, 2011 1:57:45 PM

kjl said:
Hi, FireWire - thanks for the response. Why are those $600 as opposed to the $150-$300 range of those others?

I don't mind paying more if I'm actually getting a better product... but I can't tell what it is exactly I'm getting...

I think that the differenece is that these have hardware RAID on-board, as opposed to simply a case for the drives that requires a RAID controller on the host machine.
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a b G Storage
April 27, 2011 12:50:18 AM

It's a dizzying selection you have there :-)

You should look at reliable, support services and easy of use...

The low cost mainly unit does not offer hot swap tray, limited feature, less drive capable, ect... Pretty much you got what you paid for..

I would look at thermal, email notification, hot swap capability, five drives instead of four drives because you can configure the 5th drive as hot spare, this will make your raid array lots more reliable

I have use the T5_R5-eSUF for about a year now... you can get this at DATOptic's resellers at much lower cost

BTW I would use the eBOX_R5 instead. In June 2011, DATOptic will release a USB3.0 to eSATA adapter, which supports PM ware. With that eBOX-R5 now be use with USB3.0 (5.0Gb/s) bus

I'm rarely use the FireWire and USB2.0 port, there is a money saving there.

Here is the trick... Call the manufacture and talk to the tech support dept... If you can talk to them, it means you can get support much quicker... Otherwise you will wait for days if there is problem

Just a tip :-)
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a b G Storage
April 27, 2011 7:14:42 PM

It's like 2006 MAC Pro. It's about 20 dBA. That is pretty quiet
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