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Old December 17th, 2008, 11:15 AM   #1
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New RAID ESATA 4BAY solution for HD!

Hi people! i am going to buy my first external raid solution, great prices nowdays. I came to 4 possibilities.... They are 4-bay enclusure and they all do RAID 0 and use ESATA interface. I´m going to conect to my Adobe PC winXP to edit HD and HDV with blackmagic intensity pro. Also i will buy 4 HD 500gb 32mb buffer sataII to install on a raid 0 config.

These are the options. Any ideas? someone have one of this? Most of then doesn´t even have a review.

IstarUSA v7AGE420-ES
Amazon.com: IstarUSA v7AGE420-ES 4-Bay Trayless SATA II Drive Enclosure. eSATA Host interface Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 ,50 design for data backup, video stream, Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, AVID mojo, AJA ioHD, ProRes 422, RED Camera, fil


InfoSafe 4 Drive eSATA External SATA Multi RAID HD Enclosure
PC Connection - InfoSafe 4 Drive eSATA External SATA Multi RAID HD Enclosure

3ware Sidecar SATA RAID Storage Solution
3ware Sidecar SATA RAID Storage Solution - 4 Bays, RAID 01510 and JBOD, Up to 3TB Support, 4-Port SATA Low-Profile PCIe 1.0 x4, Management Suite, PC & Mac Compatible 3WARESIDECARKIT at TigerDirect.com

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR4M-B 4 Bay SATA to eSATA Enclosure
Sans Digital TowerRAID TR4M-B 4 Bay SATA to eSATA Enclosure at TigerDirect.com

I´m going to buy this until sunday night... any imputs that helps me decide are welcome
thanx

Last edited by Luis Ignacio; December 17th, 2008 at 11:59 AM.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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The hardware in these cases often are often have compatibility issues especially with Vista 64 bit, be careful. I'm referring to the silicon chip in the cases, etc.

These types of enclosures are not necessarily the simple solution they appear to be. They often don't get along with your PC controller. Be very careful.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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Hi jeff, thans for the tip. I´m going to use win xp sp2 32bit. You said about my PC controller... i tought that these enclosure i put the web links above uses their own controller... and not my PC controller to do the RAID. That´s not true?
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Old December 17th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #4
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make sure you get drives designed for RAID

I wish I would have gone this route when building my new system. Instead it has been one long painful learning curve.
Make sure you get drives that are designed for RAID. I have had trouble with my 4 Seagate 7200.11 640GB RAID 5 system. One drive "disappears" from time to time. Also, I would avoid buying OEM drives that are poorly wrapped in bubble wrap and tossed in
a box of peanuts like NewEgg does.
Probably best to avoid the new crop of "Green" drives (Like the 7200.11). Not so sure how well they can do the RAID dance.
You should probably burn in your drives individually, making sure they all work well.
I'm rebuilding my system with new WD RS3 500GB drives. Hope the performance improves.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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I was really liking that 3ware Sidecar until I saw that you need to plug the PCI Express x4 card into your motherboard. PCI Express is still pretty painful with some motherboards downgrading slots if you are using another slot etc.

I have a 3ware 9650SE-8 PCI Express card in my system. I am very impressed with it. It has kept my system running even with my bad drive. But getting PCI Express cards fitting in motherboards with graphics cards etc requires some trial and error.

I'm actually thinking about getting the Sidecar, though. I'll see if there is any way it will fit in my case....
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Old December 17th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #6
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Luis, I just remember researching similar solutions and the boxes had silicon image thingies and they were not guaranteed to work work with my controller. I don't know anything about the specific boxes you are looking at.

I called the manufacturer of two different boxes and they didn't know if they would work either.

Someone around here did just buy a box like the ones you're looking at and seem to be doing fine, but I don't remember who it was.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Coffin View Post
Make sure you get drives that are designed for RAID.
That's a new one on me. I worked for RAID manufacturers for over a decade and there never was a drive specifically designed for RAID, and one of those companies built its own drives.

It is key that all the drives are the same. If they're not all the same model numbers, don't do it. They don't have to be the same rev and firmware level, but it's a plus.

So-called "green" drives should probably be avoided as their power saving properties might work at crossed purposes to the "maximum data availability" of a fault tolerant RAID subsystem. Their missions are actually diametrically opposed to each other. Not surprising that they don't play well together.

I really suspect that you've had RAID controller problems, although remote diagnosis of your particular system issues is pretty difficult.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #8
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I am definitely a RAID rookie. My 3ware controller card seems to be fine. I have a four-disk RAID 5 boot unit, and two two-disk RAID 0 scratch units. The RAID 0 units operate fine. One of the units is made up of "green" drives.

My comment about the "designed" for RAID is based on some Internet research and looking at the manufacturers web sites. For their lower-end desktop drives they don't mention RAID, while in their higher-end server drives they do recommend for RAID. Also, a couple threads mentioned that when people got through to tech support they were told that such and such a drive wasn't meant for RAID. So take all that with a grain of salt, of course.

<begin rant>I received my new Western Digital RS3 drives from CDW today. Of the four, only one was still packed correctly in the carrier with both foam box-ends. One was half-way packed, and the other two had come loose from the foam box ends so the drives were 1/2 free to knock about the box. I'm half-tempted to send them back without trying them. Why is it so hard to spend a couple seconds extra and a few pennies more to pack something correctly? They spend hours and materials making the things, only to have some idiot toss it in a box and break it senselessly.</end rant>

[sorry, not meaning to hijack the thread]
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Old December 18th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hank Coffin View Post
My comment about the "designed" for RAID is based on some Internet research and looking at the manufacturers web sites. For their lower-end desktop drives they don't mention RAID, while in their higher-end server drives they do recommend for RAID.
Don't believe all the marketing hype. Drives are little black rocks that hold data and have been completely commoditized. Manufacturers want to add perceived value wherever they can.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #10
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Just to add my cent's worth, I suggest when looking at drives that you go for the ones that offer a five year warranty, as these are likely to be more reliable & go the distance. I have had very few problems with drives over the years but have used this philosophy, and stuck mostly with Western Digital and Samsung of late which seem to be reliable even though I think they only offer a 3 yr. warranty.

RonC.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #11
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Hey guys thanx for all the inputs. Very helpfull. I will go with the 3ware sidecar. The drives i will buy with the box and everything onlocation. When i get the system working let you know what happend.
thanx
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Old December 21st, 2008, 11:58 PM   #12
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I've finished rebuilding my system with Western Digital 500GB RS3 enterprise/RAID drives in 4-drive RAID 5 boot. It is now much much faster than the previous 640GB Seagate 7200.11 configuration. Reads are about 5 times faster, and writes are 2-3x faster according to Iometer. And I'm not getting that time out error any more. For fun, I configured the 3 remaining "good" Seagate 7200.11 drives in RAID 5. Same poor performance. So I switched them over to RAID 0 and now get ~250MB/sec read, ~150MB/sec write, which is adequate but still not great. I tested these 7200.11 drives individually and they all seemed fine with ~100MB/s read/write speeds.

Anyway, I've seen those Sidecars at Fry's for $700 without drives. That is too expensive. That $200 deal seems great. Let us know how it turns out.
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