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Author Topic: Thunderbolt  (Read 10867 times)
Philmar
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2013, 09:50:57 AM »
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Do they make thunderbolt drive enclosures/docking bays?
Or is this akin to putting premium tires on a beat up slow Ford Escort.
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BJL
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2013, 10:04:45 AM »
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Do they make thunderbolt drive enclosures/docking bays?
Or is this akin to putting premium tires on a beat up slow Ford Escort.
There are Thunderbolt external drive enclosures, from Pegasus for example, but as you note, the drives are far slower than Thunderbolt can handle, so I wonder if USB3 is more appropriate, now that newer Macs are getting USB3.

I am guessing that we will soon see external Thunderbolt flash-based mass storage units using PCIe solid-state storage as in the new Mac Pro, for use with that Mac Pro for example, and maybe cosmetically matched to it. All in the high price range that I expect for the Mac Pro.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 10:15:37 AM by BJL » Logged
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2013, 10:07:08 AM »
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Do they make thunderbolt drive enclosures/docking bays?
Or is this akin to putting premium tires on a beat up slow Ford Escort.

I am using the Drobo 5D which has pairs of both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections, here's a link:  http://www.drobo.com/products/professionals/drobo-5d/
EDIT: So far (about six months) it has been extremely stable and far quieter than my older Drobo v2 enclosures. I also added a 64GB miniSSD in the units base and yes it really does speedup access by being a cache drive for Lightroom catalogs etc.


Promise also makes a Thunderbolt RAID enclosure: http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?m=192&region=en-global&rsn1=40&rsn3=47

Several others are listed at Amazon under "Thunderbolt Enclosures".

Also check out the Promise Pegasus J4 enclosure: http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2013/20130613_3-Promise-Pegasus-J4.html
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 10:12:22 AM by Ellis Vener » Logged

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Philmar
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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2013, 12:20:38 PM »
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Thanks Ellis and BJL, I am a photo enthusiast/hobbyist. I am looking for backup storage. I don't need expensive RAID set ups. I currently backup to a external hard drive but I need more.
I want to store a copy offsite at work. It would be convenient for me to use a HD docking station and just swap a couple of 3 TB hard drives between home and work. There's plenty of cheap effective USB 3 docking stations out there. As i have a TB port mobo I wondered if they would be faster than a  USB 3 docking station. But I suspect that the drives are the limiting factor which explains the dearth of TB docking stations.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2013, 12:24:26 PM »
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For a docking station for bare HDDs I use this: http://www.newertech.com/products/voyagerq.php
FW 400/800, USB 3.0, and eSATA, but no TB.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2013, 06:26:48 PM »
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I am using the Drobo 5D which has pairs of both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections, here's a link:  http://www.drobo.com/products/professionals/drobo-5d/
EDIT: So far (about six months) it has been extremely stable and far quieter than my older Drobo v2 enclosures. I also added a 64GB miniSSD in the units base and yes it really does speedup access by being a cache drive for Lightroom catalogs etc.

Hi Ellis,

Would you happen to know why Drobo mentions the 5D as being compatible only with 10.7 onwards? Any idea what would make it non compatible with 10.6?

The compatibility with both TB and USB makes it a great candidate to move legacy data from non TB macs to new TB macs...

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2013, 06:31:55 PM »
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Hi Ellis,

Would you happen to know why Drobo mentions the 5D as being compatible only with 10.7 onwards? Any idea what would make it non compatible with 10.6?

The compatibility with both TB and USB makes it a great candidate to move legacy data from non TB macs to new TB macs...

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard

Dear Bernard,

Not a clue. I'll see if I can get an answer from Drobo.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2013, 08:25:52 PM »
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Dear Bernard,

Not a clue. I'll see if I can get an answer from Drobo.

Aprreciate it, thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
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jsiva
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« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2013, 12:32:39 AM »
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Bernard,

I spent quite some time on this topic and this is what I found:

1.  The Drobo 5D is quite slow compared to other options out there.  It also is somewhat of a black box in terms of their fault tolerance standard.  I have had a Drobo 5 FS (GigE) for a few years now and it is painfully slow.  Lucky if I see throughput over 20mbps.

2.  The two large-scale solutions appear to be either the Pegasus R6 or the Areca.  Pegasus comes in a 6 drive configuration and you have the option of ordering 2 or 3TB drives for a total of 12TB or 18TB.  The unit does not come unpopulated.  The Areca can be purchased as an empty unit.

3.  Either of these units will only mount to one machine at a time.  So if you have a Mac Pro and a Macbook, simultaneous access will need you to create some kind of share.

4.  Throughput on either one appears to be in the 600-650mbps range, which is quite impressive.  Certainly faster than a single SSD.  This would be in a RAID 0 or 10 config.  RAID 5 may be a little slower, especially on write speeds.

5.  After the announcement of the new MacPro, I decided to go a different route.  I went with external mini-sas enclosures.  In an 8 drive array, I get about 900Mbps.  I felt mini SAS gave me a few more options and some degree of future-proofing. Performance was also better.  My redundancy is also  not just at the disk level, but right down the the hardware and chassis.

6.  Both WD and Seagate now have NAS specific drives that run much cooler and support various nuances for RAID.  This avoids common problems you'd see when using desktop drives, mostly related to the array dropping disks.  These new drives are not to be confused with enterprise drives.  They cost about 10-15% more than their desktop equivalents, so not too bad.

This, along with the new ATI 7950 card have given my aging mac pro new life.  I already had 24GB so memory was not really an issue.  

If I do end up with the new Mac Pro, I can always pop the two PCIe RAID controllers driving the Mini SAS arrays into an external thunderbolt housing.  Sonnet and Magma already have a few models out.  Having said this, TB will bottleneck the current performance I am getting with having the RAID controllers directly on x8 PCIe slots.  

My main concern with the new MacPro is that I don't believe TB2 will stand for too long.  It really should be called TB1.1.  If that happens, then we are stuck with TB2 on the new MacPro.  A windows machine may be an option, and will be cheaper, but not sure I want to go there just yet.

Good luck...
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 04:36:34 PM by jsiva » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2013, 10:03:59 PM »
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Thanks jsiva,

The mini SAS option seems interesting.

Would you mind sharing more details about the exact pieces it is made of?

Thank you.

Regards,
Bernard
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jsiva
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« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2013, 01:24:51 AM »
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If you want to go for a system similar to the Pegasus R6 or Areca:

1.  You can get an external chassis - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/819990-REG/OWC_Other_World_Computing_OWCMRP1UMSAS_Mercury_Rack_Pro_4.html

This holds 4 drives and costs $310.

2.  You need a RAID controller.  This one from OWC performs well and is quite affordable at $250.  It is an OEM Highpoint and can support up to 8 drives at 6gbps.  There is also a version for a little less money that supports 4 internal and 4 external drives, so if you want to have 8 drives, you can do it with only one of the external chassis above.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MXPRMS6G2E/

3.  You need a couple of SAS cables (8088 for external or 8087 for internal).  Both cost about $50 a piece.

4.  Drives - I think 3TB are the best value right now, and have 3x1GB platters.  This will be better for performance vs. the 4TB drives that have 4x800GB platters.  I would recommend the NAS versions such as the WD RED.  The 3TB drives run about $150 each.

So you can either get a 12 TB array for about a $1000-1300 depending on whether or not you want internal or external.  A 24TB set would be another 6-900, again depending on whether you chose an external chassis or not.

If you sent the full boat with 24TB and two external chassis, you are still looking at about $2200, well below what the Areca or R6 would cost, and would get better performance.  You can also swap/upgrade drives, RAID cards etc. as you wish.  This particular card supports RAID 0/1/5/10/50.  You can get additional features and caching with more advanced controllers.

For me, I now have an open platform for storage that is independent of my choice of computer.  If I choose to go with a PC, I can still use this same kit with no issues.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2013, 12:43:50 PM »
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I have been cosidering the Pegasus for some time. I am glad I did not spring for it since this solution makes far more sense for less $$

Many thanks for posting this.

Chris
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jsiva
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« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2013, 08:58:54 PM »
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No worries Chris.  Bottom line for me was that even if I decided to go for the new Mac Pro, I can get an external chassis for 300-600$ depending on number of slots, and stick the RAID controller in there. I would still be ahead on price, but more importantly have a more open system.  For example, I could get a TB2 enclosure or whatever else comes down the pipe.  An added bonus is that any single component is under $300 bucks and readily available.

Having said this, I am looking at comparable windows machines to the new Mac Pro, and for about 4K I think I could put something together with 64GB of RAM that will do nicely, have all the openness and upgradability I'd be looking for.  For now, I think I am good with the old Mac Pro and the recent upgrades.

Having a robust primary/secondary data system was my number one priority and after a very painful lesson, and I think I am now covered in spaces.

BTW, also take a look at the various HighPoint and ATTO RAID cards available.  Again, for more money you get additional flexibility and options, and of course, as any other component in this system, completely transportable to some other platform if the need arises

Cheers.
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jsiva
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« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2013, 09:18:25 PM »
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here is another site that specializes in this stuff and prices are quite good.  Lots of different options for chassis and controllers.

http://www.pc-pitstop.com

A review by a guy that went the same route as I did. He did use far more expensive controller than I did, but at x8 PCIe, not sure you are going to see much of a difference in performance.  He also went for a single tower housing for 8 drives, vs. the OWC 4 bay rack mount housings I went with.  The OWC is cheaper, and you have the same 8 drive configuration on a single controller, with full hardware redundancy for each set of 4 drives.  In a RAID 10 setup, this is about as robust as it gets.  Of course, you still need backups Smiley


Part 1 - http://www.pauljoy.com/2012/07/mac-pro-thunderbolt-dilemma/
Part 2 - http://www.pauljoy.com/2012/08/mac-pro-raid-setup/
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2013, 02:11:59 PM »
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Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
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