Jump to content
underwatercolours

Hitachi 1TB Hard Drive (and RAID discussion)

Recommended Posts

I'm beginning research to buy a 1 TB disk drive for archiving and was wondering if anyone here has any experience (good, bad or indifferent) with any particualr makes or models working on a G5 Mac.

 

I'm finding several models available including Hitachi 1TB Ultrastar (internal), Western Digital MyBook Pro, 1TB Lacie Big Disk Extreme Plus. Any others that you might know of?

 

Thanks in advance for your response.

 

Bonnie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bonnie,

 

Good question - I know a few people who are also purchasing 1TB drives now. The cost for a bare drive is around $300 (approx) on newegg for the Hitachi drives.

 

Be careful of the external drives that are actually 2 x 500gig drives if that's not what you're looking for.

 

Sorry I don't have any direct experience, although I'm following w/ interest.

 

Cheers

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you really want to put all your fish in one bowl as it were? If it has a major failure you've potentially lost a lot of files.

Edited by jcclink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll bet Bonnie knows that she should NEVER rely on just one disk for reliable data storage. She's probably looking to buy 4 - or at least 2 :-)

 

Cheers

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you really want to put all your fish in one bowl as it were? If it has a major failure you've potentially lost a lot of files.

 

That's really a very good point for those who are not in the practice of archiving in multiple places.

 

Unfortunately I'll need at least a couple of these drives to archive my entire collection plus back up my website archives and their creation files as I should (over 110 sites now). I store my originals on DVD, but also keep a copy with my processed files which are archived in tiff format. I have a bad habit of saving even bad originals since I often use them as examples of what not to do when giving presentations at my workshops, so I need to be able to find them fast. The storage space sure does add up fast. I'm hoping to avoid major catastrophes by studying up this time. Last time I bought a 200 Gb external Maxtor drive and it failed. Fortunately I lost only a couple of files, but needless to say...lesson learned. This time I'll ask the masses first and shop for more than just a cheap price tag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Western digital makes a 2TB drive. (two 1TB drives in a RAID 0 configuration which means fast and high capacity because the data is stripped across both drives)

 

But, the cool thing is you can also configure it to RAID 1 (mirrored) which means the drive appears to your computer as a 1TB drive and any data written to the drive is actually written to each drive in the RAID 1. (built-in backup; the only way to lose data is if _both_ hard drives fail _or_ something totally hoses the drives logical data structure.)

 

Also, _please_ keep at least one copy of your backed up data _offsite_. (backups aren't secure against fire, natural disaster, theft, etc.)

 

Take Care,

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im currently using 1TB drives to create a 2TB filesystem in a lacie housing (Lacie 2BIG). Works fine, and has eSATA too. No more slow USB or Firewire :)

 

Cor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just ordered 3 1TB drives (Enterprise-class Hitachi drives. I wanted Seagate but can't wait until December).

 

I currently have 2TB inside my main machine, with 1.5TB attached as local backup, and it's just about filling up. Everything also backs up over the network to a couple 2TB NAS boxes (1.5TB accessible, each, in RAID 5). I also have a server with 8 x 300GB in RAID 5.

 

After this upgrade, I'll have 3.5TB in my main machine, and a port-multiplied eSATA JBOD enclosure where I can stick SATA disks in like normal disks for both onsite and offsite backups.

 

rtx_trayfree.jpg

tray free!

 

This data stuff is a pain in the ass!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tip Eric - that looks sweet. Their price for the bare enclosure is $929 ouch. Wonder why it's so expensive?

 

Cheers

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I merged a redundant post from Chris into this thread but the title changed. Sorry Bonnie.

 

Chris - before starting a new topic, have a look to see if it's being discussed already. Thx.

 

Cheers

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After this upgrade, I'll have 3.5TB in my main machine, and a port-multiplied eSATA JBOD enclosure where I can stick SATA disks in like normal disks for both onsite and offsite backups.

 

rtx_trayfree.jpg

tray free!

 

This data stuff is a pain in the ass!

 

 

 

 

How loud is the enclosure? My holy grail is a (relatively) quiet tower. I have many SATA drives in the single bay wiebetechs and others, plus some dual housings from a couple of places.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just use my old PC cases with 2 added fans. a cheap digital thermometer and 2 of these port multiplier controllers to handle storage/backup. I have 8 hdd sitting in this BACKUP "array". You do have to mod the power supply to make it think a computer is attached. I have it as a software RAID 1. Thermometer is linked to the middle drive where airflow is lowest. And this is run as a server through my old laptop into a gigabit ethernet network so I can plug in to the drives whenever. It's not the fastest setup but it recycles what I have and minimizes waste.

I also have a new 3TB(6x500GB) RAID 0 run by an ATTO Tech RAID card (4 int/2ext). The externals use an old Firmtek enclosure.

Eric, you can fit another 2 drives in your Mac Pro in the 2nd optical drive slot.

Check this out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That drive adapter for the Mac Pro is very cool. I now have some work to do!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WHOAH. That is awesome.

 

Next week, I'll be replacing my internal drives with 1TB drives (4 of them). Being able to have 6 in there would be crazy, and could lead to some interesting RAIDing. I'd probably run a small striped partition for swap, and the rest of it as RAID 1+0 (per this suggestion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1T drives..funny...

 

Down the road here at the Solar Observation building run by the yanks was/is a box I spotted a few years ago about 75 cm high.

 

It's a was old 1960 model / 600 meg hard dirve..ha ha ...state of the art back then.. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WHOAH. That is awesome.

 

Next week, I'll be replacing my internal drives with 1TB drives (4 of them). Being able to have 6 in there would be crazy, and could lead to some interesting RAIDing. I'd probably run a small striped partition for swap, and the rest of it as RAID 1+0 (per this suggestion).

 

Eric

Is there any reason why you're running software vs hardware RAID? I use a Attotech RAID card so I can clear the data overhead from the CPU, which will be busy enough with uncompressed work. My RAID card is this one. Apple has a new RAID card out that's twice as much. Also I hear there's a RAID card with a upgradeable ECC RAM chip that'll help in RAID 5.

Also are you running Linux? why do you need a swap partition? Or have they figured out how to get Intel macs to write to the swap partition and not fragment the whole boot partition?

Ok I'm totally geeking out here!!! Scary!

 

Wags, I still have my 40GB UWSCSI array from 1995. It still works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm running software RAID because I have plenty of CPU power. No big deal. I'd only need hardware RAID for RAID 5, and I am not using that at the moment, except in my NAS boxes and servers.

 

I don't *need* a swap partition, but it can't hurt to move swap to a fast partition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 6 750GB configured as 2 3-drive RAID 0's, then I configure SuperDuper to do nightly incremental backups. Should the boot array fail, OS X is capable of booting from the backup. To keep OS X from indexing the copy, I simply leave it unmounted. SuperDuper is smart enough to mount the partition and unmount it afterward. I still have to check the backup periodically to make sure it hasn't failed.

 

The advantages of that approach are a slight improvement in speed and a safety net should you lose or corrupt a file. The disadvantage is obviously that you have risk of data loss for any changes between nightly backups. You can always run a backup manually if you have data that you want mirrored immediately.

 

With Time machine it's not clear that my approach is really necessary since I'm primarily protecting myself from myself, but the manual mirroring approach also protects against OS failures and bugs. I find that OS X's implementation of file-based partitions acts weird over a network and I've had to rebuild those a few times. With RAID 1 I would have been screwed. Remember, RAID is not a substitute for a backup. SuperDuper is ;-)

 

It makes no sense to create an array, then partition it into two or more active partitions in hopes of improving performance. Specifically, creating a swap partition as opposed to putting swap on the main partition itself. All you are doing is forcing a mandatory seek distance instead of enabling the OS to optimize. It also doesn't make sense to swap to a redundant array but I don't have that problem. ;-) Good performance means enabling your system to find optimization opportunities. Hard partitions erect barriers and create configurations that are forcably degraded.

 

In a bug-free world, it may be more interesting to to run RAID 1 in combination with a RAID 0 Time Machine drive. Just speculating based on not knowing how Time Machine really works. :-p I know that Time Machine requires a separate partition but I don't know if the system can recover should that partition fail.

 

Finally, after having been a RAID firmware developer in a previous life, I can honestly say that I'd never use a RAID 3/4/5/6 product unless I absolutely needed to and, these days, drives are so big that most of us really don't need to. RAID 0/1 is relatively easy to implement and is fast. Parity-based RAID is sufficiently hard that most vendors are incapable of doing it right. I know because (1) I was responsible for some eye-opening bugs myself, and (2) I did dozens of competitive evaluations and not one products worked when trouble started. I've owned plenty of RAID products other than my own, and the few times I needed them to work they always failed. No need to use parity drives when the system will lose data in any case.

 

Remember, redundant RAID levels are needed when the system absolutely must continue to run in the event of drive failure. Few of us actually need that provided we have an effective recovery mechanism (which Macs particularly do, I love that!) since all we risk is the work we are currently doing. Considering that many of our systems lack sufficient redundant hardware, we are fooling ourselves in believing that RAID actually buys us much. How many RAID users consider just how many different kinds of failures their systems can actually tolerate? If a drive failure costs you a half day or day to recover but otherwise results in no data loss, isn't that good enough?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I use 6 750GB configured as 2 3-drive RAID 0's, then I configure SuperDuper to do nightly incremental backups.

 

I do a varitation of the same theme - basically either Retrospect or SuperDuper or other utlility to back up data that I do not want to lose and then keep one copy of the data somewhere else in case of fire etc.

 

I use the RAIDs for speed :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't do remote backups since I don't run a business off my data, but if I did I'd do exactly as you describe. Hard drives are simply too fast and too cheap not to use in that manner. :-)

 

I absolutely love the combination of SuperDuper and firewire boot. Replacing a boot drive in a Mac is laughably easy. :-)

 

Have any of you given thought to Time Machine yet? It seems like a compelling feature although I don't know how effective it will be for databases and I'm a bit concerned with stability. How will you set up your drives to use it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...