External Hard Drives

8 posts (showing 1-8)
JHII

Market Level 5Community Level 6
716 posts

OK, so I'm rebuilding my system soon and other than Apple taking their sweet time upgrading their iMac line (which really is the fault of Intel, but that's another story) what I'm really stuck on is putting together a nice external hard drive system.

My needs: Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, 1TB or more, quiet operation, rock solid performance and very fast writing speeds.
My wants: one enclosure for multiple drives, automatic backups, hot swappable drives.

I guess my options really are:
1) Some Pegasus, Drobo or the Lacie 8Big Rack. These things cost an arm and a leg and (I think) Drobo is the only one that lets you have different drive types working at once. It's also considered to be the noisiest of the bunch, which is a deal breaker.
2) A smaller type of RAID drive system like the Lacie 2Big series. I could start with a 4GB version and just buy more as needed. This sounds like a big pain in the ass in the long run though. I also have no idea how loud these things are.
3) Buy a 1TB SSD drive to record to and a regular 1TB optical drive for back up. The con here would be having to manually back everything up. Which is what I do now.. it sucks.

I'm really leaning towards plopping down the extra cash for the Lacie Rack, but I don't know if it will handle SSD drives (which is what I'll want for the future on the recording drives). It also could very well be as loud as a damn jet engine.

Anyone have any tips or insight into any of this? I'm actually quite ignorant of the different types of RAID, so I could be barking up the wrong tree entirely.

Oh, and yes, I'll follow the 'rule of three', just my third backup will be either Gobbler or iCloud Drive (when it's released).

posted 2014-07-21T23:31:26-07:00 | edited 2014-07-22T00:05:08-07:00
The Tao of Chris

Market Level 0Community Level 3
249 posts

I recall at one point raid was an issue with pro tools. I'm not sure if it was restricted to windows or not. It was from my pre-Mac days.

posted 2014-07-22T03:01:35-07:00
JHII

Market Level 5Community Level 6
716 posts

Network and RAID became available in PT 10.

Though honestly, I don't know if that has to do with a RAID backup system.. that could have available during 4.0 for all I know..

The resellers are no help ,they just want to peddle what they have the best markup on. Call Sweetwater and they'll just try to sell Glyph.

posted 2014-07-22T05:55:53-07:00
Ultima2876

Market Level 4Community Level 10
2409 posts

One warning against RAID; it's a hack and comes with stability issues. I've never had a good experience with it personally, and I actually think if you're going for a system that powerful/expansive you might as well go the whole hog and future proof with SSD.

To elaborate on my experience with RAID stability issues, using striped RAID configurations (for speed - also known as RAID 0) means that if one disk fails out of the pair, your data is trashed on BOTH drives, and completely unrecoverable. My biggest disappointment here was actually a LaCie 'rugged' series drive from a few years ago - the enclosure went, taking one drive with it, which effectively meant I lost 2gb of stuff. I've never trusted LaCie stuff since (perhaps unfairly; this could have easily been a one-off or some incredibly bad luck). I've had a couple of similar scenarios with Western Digital (ugh...) drives too, as well as internal RAID setups.

If you DO have a penchant for pain and wanna go RAID - go with a RAID 0+1 setup; striped + mirrored. You'll need 4 drives for this (perhaps LaCie has a preconfigured product like this) where it is self-backing up (RAID mirroring) and gets the RAID performance gain (RAID striping) and is the best way to run a RAID as it eliminates the problem described above. But your wallet and wife will scream at you.

Keep us updated on what you go with!

posted 2014-07-24T22:04:19-07:00
JHII

Market Level 5Community Level 6
716 posts

That's not good news, but I wouldn't be using it for speed.

Maybe instead of proving my ignorance of the technologies further it would be better to state what I want  it all to do.

- One or more external hard drives for recording/mixing/mastering/etc. (I'd like to go SSD on these, but we'll see how the wallet looks)

- The same amount of space on one or more drives for backup. Which I would like to be able to do automatically. Close to real time preferable (although I don't know how much of a performance hit that would be). At this point I don't think I care if the backups are ssd.

- It all kinda needs to be Thunderbolt.

- doesn't require me to have a phd in computer architecture to set up and keep running.

Brands are certainly something that are important, but I've had up and down luck with so many different brands, it's more than a bit confusing. I have 2 Lacies, 2 iomegas and one Western Digital that have lasted for years (one is even the rugged series that let you down). Accomdata and ion drives have failed me consistently and I have a WD that's a paperweight.

The even more confusing thing about all of that is, moving outside of my anecdotal experience, I have an IT buddy that refuses to buy anything iomega, a professional engineer that refuses to buy Lacie and another professional engineer that will only buy WD. Adding yours to the list, we've got a a lot of different experiences!

I really wish that every single review of the drobo mini didn't state that it's about as loud as a race car. Seems like, feature wise, that's what I'm needing. 

posted 2014-07-25T06:11:08-07:00
JHII

Market Level 5Community Level 6
716 posts

I wound up going with a G-Technology G-Dock ev enclosure. It holds two 1TB drives and is hot swappable.

The specs say they are USB 3.0 drives, but the enclosure is Thunderbolt. Either that's a super serious typo, or it is simply 2 USB 3.0 drives that plug into an enclosure that allows for thunderbolt connectivity.

Truthfully, it was decently priced, I got two free drives and I'm really only using the whole thing as a couple-of-year stopgap until SSD drives come down in price.

I'm still waiting for the damn thing to be shipped, but when I get them hooked up and burn some time into them, I'll check back in.

For info on these, you can check out: http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-dock-ev-thunderbolt-2-bay-raid

posted 2014-10-28T03:32:05-07:00
Ultima2876

Market Level 4Community Level 10
2409 posts

They look like a good buy. Very rugged looking, which is a serious concern for external drives. Here's some info on transfer speeds: http://www.larryjordan.biz/product-review-g-technology-g-dock-ev/ Judging by that these are operating at USB3 speeds. But that still works fine if you definitely need a thunderbolt interface, and it's plenty fast for backup purposes (and may do you for recording too - I use USB3 external drives for everything and haven't had any problems. YMMV as you may have more tracks in play at any given time - I generally have less than 30, about a 3:1 ratio of VI tracks to audio. All VI samples loaded from the same USB3 external drive).

posted 2014-11-13T00:37:14-08:00 | edited 2014-11-13T00:37:37-08:00
JHII

Market Level 5Community Level 6
716 posts

I don't think USB 3 speed will be a problem at all since my last system was Firewire 400.

So far, so good with these. The build quality is high and it's all very easy to install and swap discs. The value was pretty good since there was a 'sale' where they sent a total of 4 drives for the normal price of the unit.

posted 2014-11-17T19:58:38-08:00