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First 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 drives announced by Promise Technology

post #1 of 36
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Promise Technology on Thursday announced two new external storage solutions featuring high-speed Thunderbolt 2 connectivity -- the first drives of their kind to hit the market.

Promise
Promise's new Pegasus2 RAID storage solution with Thunderbolt 2.


The new Pegasus2 and SANLink 2 lineups both offer 20Gbps connectivity thanks to Thunderbolt 2, which is supported by Apple's most recent Macs.

Promise said its Pegasus2 line of RAID storage solutions can accelerate and simplify 4K workflows. And the SANLink 2, featuring a Thunderbolt 2 to 8G Fibre Channel bridge, can ease storage bottlenecks for both desktops and portable systems.

The Pegasus2 comes in sizes ranging between 8 terabytes and 32 terabytes. It will launch in Apple's online store and other resellers in November, while the SANLink 2 is scheduled to arrive in December -- the same month Apple's new Mac Pro desktop will arrive.

Promise
Promise's new SANLink 2 with Thunderbolt 2.


"SANLink2 and Pegasus2 have set new standards for performance and flexibility, creating a whole new realm of possibilities for multimedia pros and power users," said James Lee, CEO of Promise Technology.

Being the first company to bring to market storage solutions with Thunderbolt 2 technology further validates Promise's position as the leader in designing high-performance devices for the media and entertainment market -- which revolutionizes the creative workflows of our customers so they can be ready for creating, editing, and delivering HD and 4K and beyond content."

Thunderbolt 2 runs bi-directionally at 20Gbps, doubling the bandwidth of the original Thunderbolt port and its accessories. The Pegasus2 RAID storage solutions come in 4- 6-, and 8-bay enclosures, and feature two Thunderbolt 2 ports, allowing up to 6 devices to be attached, daisy chaining up to 6 Pegasus enclosure units, Thunderbolt Displays, or mini DisplayPort devices.

In addition to its dual 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports, the SANLink2 has dual Thunderbolt 2 ports and can be used to connect Thunderbolt 2 systems directly to a high-speed Fibre Channel SAN, such as the Promise VTrak x10 or x30 RAID storage systems, or a VTrak A-Class shared SAN storage appliance.
post #2 of 36

For some reason I have never really liked Promise storage.   But I'm happy to know my next Macbook Pro will have Thunderbolt 2 if only for bragging rights. 

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post #3 of 36
Scanned around and am not seeing prices... Anyone know what they are?
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Football View Post

Scanned around and am not seeing prices... Anyone know what they are?

A Promise 12GB RAID (6 bays, 2GB drives - similar to the one in the picture) is $2299.  I imagine the TB2 RAIDs will be priced similarly.

post #5 of 36

And here's a professional-grade storage solution for those complaining about the lack of internal storage on the Mac Pro.  No sane pro keeps important files on a drive with no redundancy or backup for any longer than they need to (if at all).

 
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post #6 of 36
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post
A Promise 12GB RAID (6 bays, 2GB drives - similar to the one in the picture) is $2299.  I imagine the TB2 RAIDs will be priced similarly.

 

Terabyte, right? What’s the cost for the thing empty?

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post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Football View Post

Scanned around and am not seeing prices... Anyone know what they are?

 

Probably as much or more than the Mac Pro itself. Basically, like it's predecessor, Thunderbolt 2 is priced too high and as such, just as worthless to the average user. That's ok though, since USB 3 is more than fast enough to saturate any peripheral storage device.

 

The only sorts of devices I was looking forward to seeing that took advantage of thunderbolt were high speed replicator docks and some of the external video card tech that's been teased for the last 4 years, neither of which have materialized in any meaningful way.

post #8 of 36
Yay, more 4k gear, and I'm not talking about pixels.
post #9 of 36
This looks like another multi-hard-drive enclosure, with each hard drive connected by SATA III. High transfer speeds are only obtained in RAID configurations.

Nothing wrong with the offer per se, just not what I want. I want external PCI-e storage that connects directly to thunderbolt (TB) as the fastest transfer mechanism; and by way of USB3 as a secondary connection when TB is not available.
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Terabyte, right? What’s the cost for the thing empty?

Yea, TB (duh!).  Not sure if they sell an empty unit.

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

No sane pro keeps important files on a drive with no redundancy or backup for any longer than they need to (if at all).

 

Many wrongfully think that RAID is a way for securing data, it is not. Statistically, even a RAID 5 is more susceptible of failing than a single drive volume, and no RAID level (1, 5, 10, 50) will ever protect the data from users errors.   RAIDs are made for 1) having a big volume than it possible with a single drive volume, 2) have a greater disk access performance by accessing multiple drive at the same time.

 

You always need a backup, Raid or not.

post #12 of 36

First, Promise Thunderbolt enclosures are not meant for the casual user.  They never have been.  If you use your Mac for data intensive work where time is money and performance is everything, then this is for you.  I know enough people in my own town slobbering at the mouth for gear like this because it's right for their business.

 

Also, I don't think that Promise sells bare enclosures with these.  You can use other drives with it, but it will come with some that are certified with the product.  Again, something that Pro users appreciate.

 

Now all we need is a Retina Thunderbolt 2 Display with at least 4K, USB 3 and maybe some Firewire for backward compatibility and I'm sure every video pro out there will be making their list for Santa (i.e., procurement).

post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by eGold View Post

This looks like another multi-hard-drive enclosure, with each hard drive connected by SATA III. High transfer speeds are only obtained in RAID configurations.

Nothing wrong with the offer per se, just not what I want. I want external PCI-e storage that connects directly to thunderbolt (TB) as the fastest transfer mechanism; and by way of USB3 as a secondary connection when TB is not available.

 

There is no PCI-e HDD, they commonly use SATA or SAS port only.  As for USB 3, every video professional will told you how USB is a CPU sucking port. 

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post
 

 

Many wrongfully think that RAID is a way for securing data, it is not. Statistically, even a RAID 5 is more susceptible of failing than a single drive volume, and no RAID level (1, 5, 10, 50) will ever protect the data from users errors.   RAIDs are made for 1) having a big volume than it possible with a single drive volume, 2) have a greater disk access performance by accessing multiple drive at the same time.

 

You always need a backup, Raid or not.

 

Agreed on the user error and backup points.  However, statistically speaking, I fail to see how it's more likely that two drives will fail at the same time than one given the same number of disk accesses on all drives (RAID 1).  Especially if you ensure you source drives from different production lines and/or different manufacturers (as you should).

 
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post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

And here's a professional-grade storage solution for those complaining about the lack of internal storage on the Mac Pro.  No sane pro keeps important files on a drive with no redundancy or backup for any longer than they need to (if at all).

 

I am sure those complaining about the lack of internal storage on the new Mac Pro were aware there was going to be expensive external Thunderbolt solutions available. This is why they were complaining about the lack of internal storage.

 

There are many use cases where inexpensive internal drives are a far better solution for day to day work leaving inexpensive external solutions for onsite/offsite backup needs.

 

The new Mac Pros are fantastic machines and I believe they will sell well. That doesn't change the fact that there are a bunch of people out there that want a professional Mac but the new Mac Pro will be a terrible fit for them. It lacks needed features and is expensive. Many pros don't need dual GPUs. Many pros don't need Xeon class CPUs.  However, just about all professionals can use loads of inexpensive storage... and if you suggest an iMac or a MacBook Pro you are a clueless dumbass.

 

However, Apple has a captive audience and they know that. From a business standpoint, the new Mac Pro is great. It allows Apple to trumpet their pointless "assembled in America" crap, the margins are likely higher than the old model and it will be much cheaper to ship.

 

There will be a few users where such a machine will be a perfect fit. More power to them. However, many more will forced down to Apple's disposable class hardware (good for Apple's bottom line) or they will leave the platform altogether (and there is more of that going on than you might think).

 

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post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

 

Agreed on the user error and backup points.  However, statistically speaking, I fail to see how it's more likely that two drives will fail at the same time than one given the same number of disk accesses on all drives (RAID 1).  Especially if you ensure you source drives from different production lines and/or different manufacturers (as you should).

True for a RAID 1, where it neglect both the aspect of having a RAID at the first place (Speed and Capacity).  On a RAID 5 with more than 3 drives, even with one redundancy drive you have more the chance of eventually having 2 failing drive, but chances are they will not fail at the same time leaving time to changes the defectives drive without losing your data.  But real world situation is else, last month alone I've rebuilt-repairs 4 raid array.  In 2 cases it was a RAID 5, who having an up and down HDD when a second drive decides to crash completely, losing the whole RAID, making recovery impossible.  RAID need extra carefulness unfit for common users.

post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post
 

I am sure those complaining about the lack of internal storage on the new Mac Pro were aware there was going to be expensive external Thunderbolt solutions available. This is why they were complaining about the lack of internal storage.

 

There are many use cases where inexpensive internal drives are a far better solution for day to day work leaving inexpensive external solutions for onsite/offsite backup needs.

 

Really?  In such a scenario, a couple hundred bucks for an external TB drive pales in comparison to the cost of a high-end machine and the ongoing cost of a proper offsite backup service.  Especially given that an external drive gives you far more flexibility in how you work.

 

The new Mac Pros are fantastic machines and I believe they will sell well. That doesn't change the fact that there are a bunch of people out there that want a professional Mac but the new Mac Pro will be a terrible fit for them. It lacks needed features and is expensive. Many pros don't need dual GPUs. Many pros don't need Xeon class CPUs.  However, just about all professionals can use loads of inexpensive storage... and if you suggest an iMac or a MacBook Pro you are a clueless dumbass.

 

So basically, a lot of blah blah blah with no examples of such people or the missing features they need, with an insult tacked on the end.  Well said.

 
However, Apple has a captive audience and they know that. From a business standpoint, the new Mac Pro is great. It allows Apple to trumpet their pointless "assembled in America" crap, the margins are likely higher than the old model and it will be much cheaper to ship.

And here comes the cheapskate mentality.  What industry do you work in exactly?  Maybe I should analyze why I shouldn't pay as much as I do for the products produced by that industry because it should be using cheap labour sourced from other areas of world and generally cutting corners on everything that goes into it.  We reap what we sow when we focus on cheap.

 
There will be a few users where such a machine will be a perfect fit. More power to them. However, many more will forced down to Apple's disposable class hardware (good for Apple's bottom line) or they will leave the platform altogether (and there is more of that going on than you might think).

 

Maybe in your world.  In mine, most people are finally starting to come around to the value they get from using a Mac.  They can work faster because the tools are better designed, they're getting more longevity out of their machines, when they do need service, it's not as time consuming, and the cost of maintaining the machine throughout its lifetime is less.  Good to see people looking at end-to-end costs rather than just the sticker price.

 
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post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Probably as much or more than the Mac Pro itself. Basically, like it's predecessor, Thunderbolt 2 is priced too high and as such, just as worthless to the average user. That's ok though, since USB 3 is more than fast enough to saturate any peripheral storage device.

The only sorts of devices I was looking forward to seeing that took advantage of thunderbolt were high speed replicator docks and some of the external video card tech that's been teased for the last 4 years, neither of which have materialized in any meaningful way.

This is getting old now.

Stop thinking like a PC user. The MP, plus these storage options are meant for professionals. Not people like you wanting a high-horsepower workstation-class system at Mac-mini prices.

The Promise system does cost less than the MP but it's not like it matters considering the direction you're going.

These systems are for people where time truly is money. If people with money want to buy it for bragging rights and to surf the internet, so be it, but that is the exception to the rule.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post
 

True for a RAID 1, where it neglect both the aspect of having a RAID at the first place (Speed and Capacity).  On a RAID 5 with more than 3 drives, even with one redundancy drive you have more the chance of eventually having 2 failing drive, but chances are they will not fail at the same time leaving time to changes the defectives drive without losing your data.  But real world situation is else, last month alone I've rebuilt-repairs 4 raid array.  In 2 cases it was a RAID 5, who having an up and down HDD when a second drive decides to crash completely, losing the whole RAID, making recovery impossible.  RAID need extra carefulness unfit for common users.

 

It all depends on what you're using your RAID for (fault tolerance, speed, or capacity).  There's also RAID 10 which gives you the fault tolerance gains of RAID 1 plus the speed gains of RAID 0 (at the cost of more drives).  And yes, I've lost RAID 5 arrays in that same way too -- I feel your pain.

 
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post #20 of 36
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post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

 

It all depends on what you're using your RAID for (fault tolerance, speed, or capacity).  There's also RAID 10 which gives you the fault tolerance gains of RAID 1 plus the speed gains of RAID 0 (at the cost of more drives).  And yes, I've lost RAID 5 arrays in that same way too -- I feel your pain.

 

True, there is so many exotic configuration possible with RAID at great expense.  My own rule of thumb is to avoid RAID setup as much as possible on workstation,  for unattended server or SAN this is another games. 

post #22 of 36

Prosers?  Though writers may find that insulting...

 
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post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

 

It all depends on what you're using your RAID for (fault tolerance, speed, or capacity).  There's also RAID 10 which gives you the fault tolerance gains of RAID 1 plus the speed gains of RAID 0 (at the cost of more drives).  And yes, I've lost RAID 5 arrays in that same way too -- I feel your pain.

How about RAID 6?

From what I understand, two drives can fail.

 

I've been looking high and low for something like this.  Areca ARC-7050 was an eight-bay Thunderbolt unit.

I believe this is the first eight-bay from Promise.

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post
 

How about RAID 6?

From what I understand, two drives can fail.

 

Again, it depends on what you need from your RAID.  For fault tolerance, you need to consider how many more reads and writes a given RAID level adds to achieve redundancy.  Increasing the number will decrease the life span of all the drives involved (even if the RAID level allows for one or more drives to fail).  And also, ensuring that you have drive diversity (different models and production runs) is important to decrease the probability of multiple drives failing at once.

 
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post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

And also, ensuring that you have drive diversity (different models and production runs) is important to decrease the probability of multiple drives failing at once.

 

This is the single most common mistake I've seen on almost every RAID enclosure, they all comes with disk with sequential SN.  I can't count how many RAID 5 with 2 failing disk I've seen so far. 

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post
 

This is the single most common mistake I've seen on almost every RAID enclosure, they all comes with disk with sequential SN.  I can't count how many RAID 5 with 2 failing disk I've seen so far. 

 

Indeed.  This is why people who really understand RAID just want an empty enclosure.

 
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post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 
No sane pro keeps important files on a drive with no redundancy or backup for any longer than they need to (if at all).

Many wrongfully think that RAID is a way for securing data, it is not. Statistically, even a RAID 5 is more susceptible of failing than a single drive volume, and no RAID level (1, 5, 10, 50) will ever protect the data from users errors.   RAIDs are made for 1) having a big volume than it possible with a single drive volume, 2) have a greater disk access performance by accessing multiple drive at the same time.

You always need a backup, Raid or not.

The only risk of data loss in a reasonably engineered Raid 5 array is the failure of a second drive during a rebuild. I suppose someone may have some statistics saying that a poorly timed two drive failure is more likely than a single drive failure, but I really doubt it. It would be a logical impossibility for RAID 10 not to be more reliable than a single drive. They are a way of securing data, your first sentence is simply wrong. They are not a way of completely securing data.

" RAIDs are made for 1) having a big volume than it possible with a single drive volume, 2) have a greater disk access performance by accessing multiple drive at the same time."

RAIDS are made for different things so your general statement is not true. RAID 0 fits your statement. RAID 5 does (well only for reads on point 2) but adds reliability over RAID 0. RAID 10 does both of those and enhances data reliability. RAID 1 does neither of the things in your statement but does increase reliability.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

It all depends on what you're using your RAID for (fault tolerance, speed, or capacity).  There's also RAID 10 which gives you the fault tolerance gains of RAID 1 plus the speed gains of RAID 0 (at the cost of more drives).  And yes, I've lost RAID 5 arrays in that same way too -- I feel your pain.

True, there is so many exotic configuration possible with RAID at great expense.  My own rule of thumb is to avoid RAID setup as much as possible on workstation,  for unattended server or SAN this is another games. 

That is truly absurd. Unless you are confusing desktops and workstations. I could not imagine anyone in post-production, animation, drafting or any other field really leveraging workstations accepting something without RAID 1 (or a similar configuration) for data storage in a work station environment. Anyone getting paid to specify something like that is in way over their head.

BTW RAID 10 is in no way "exotic" it has been in wide production use for at least 10 years now...
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 
And also, ensuring that you have drive diversity (different models and production runs) is important to decrease the probability of multiple drives failing at once.

This is the single most common mistake I've seen on almost every RAID enclosure, they all comes with disk with sequential SN.  I can't count how many RAID 5 with 2 failing disk I've seen so far. 

For home or SMB use, people should source the drives themselves. They should also spend the extra $100 on real enterprise drives.
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post


The only risk of data loss in a reasonably engineered Raid 5 array is the failure of a second drive during a rebuild. I suppose someone may have some statistics saying that a poorly timed two drive failure is more likely than a single drive failure, but I really doubt it. It would be a logical impossibility for RAID 10 not to be more reliable than a single drive. They are a way of securing data, your first sentence is simply wrong. They are not a way of completely securing data.

" RAIDs are made for 1) having a big volume than it possible with a single drive volume, 2) have a greater disk access performance by accessing multiple drive at the same time."

RAIDS are made for different things so your general statement is not true. RAID 0 fits your statement. RAID 5 does (well only for reads on point 2) but adds reliability over RAID 0. RAID 10 does both of those and enhances data reliability. RAID 1 does neither of the things in your statement but does increase reliability.

 

Like Auxio has exposed before me, the most common problems with RAIDs is being sold with a bunch of HD comings from the same production, If one disk fail from old age / mfg defects you've have all the chances in the world for having another drive failing within the same period. 

 

I still reiterate, RAID as being created at the first place to overcome the capacity limit of a mechanical disc by virtualizing the volume and spreading data across multiple disk.  RAID 5, 6, 10, 10+1, 50 etc, has come much later to overcome disk reliability with array over 2 disk.   A RAID 10 is not a way more reliable than a RAID 5, and less than a RAID 6.

post #31 of 36

My preference would be for an 8-bay chassis and i'd run RAID-10. 

 

I like media apps like Logic and Final Cut Pro.  I don't want parity striping and 

long rebuild times. 

 

Next year i'll be looking at offerings from QNAP, Synology, Thecus and more.   I'm hoping Thunderbolt gets cheaper but I still think we're a couple more revisions from it being just a slight premium over today's connectivity. 

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post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

The only risk of data loss in a reasonably engineered Raid 5 array is the failure of a second drive during a rebuild. I suppose someone may have some statistics saying that a poorly timed two drive failure is more likely than a single drive failure, but I really doubt it. It would be a logical impossibility for RAID 10 not to be more reliable than a single drive. They are a way of securing data, your first sentence is simply wrong. They are not a way of completely securing data.


" RAIDs are made for 1) having a big volume than it possible with a single drive volume, 2) have a greater disk access performance by accessing multiple drive at the same time."


RAIDS are made for different things so your general statement is not true. RAID 0 fits your statement. RAID 5 does (well only for reads on point 2) but adds reliability over RAID 0. RAID 10 does both of those and enhances data reliability. RAID 1 does neither of the things in your statement but does increase reliability.

Like Auxio has exposed before me, the most common problems with RAIDs is being sold with a bunch of HD comings from the same production, If one disk fail from old age / mfg defects you've have all the chances in the world for having another drive failing within the same period. 
This is not a raid problem at all. This is a problem with inexperienced people doing raid deployments. Perhaps I have just spent too much time working with people that know what they are doing...
Quote:
I still reiterate, RAID as being created at the first place to overcome the capacity limit of a mechanical disc by virtualizing the volume and spreading data across multiple disk.  
Your belief about raid really is better accomplished with a JBOD concatenation. I will go ahead an believe Patterson, et al's stated objectives with RAID: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~garth/RAIDpaper/Patterson88.pdf
Quote:
RAID 5, 6, 10, 10+1, 50 etc, has come much later to overcome disk reliability with array over 2 disk.   A RAID 10 is not a way more reliable than a RAID 5, and less than a RAID 6.
I think you are just showing a fundamental misunderstanding of RAID 10. It is more reliable than raid 5. There is simply no way it isn't.
Edited by Wovel - 10/25/13 at 10:01am
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

I think you are just showing a fundamental misunderstanding of RAID 10. It is more reliable than raid 5. There is simply no way it isn't.

 

You've misunderstand me, I do agree a RAID 10 is more reliable that a RAID 5, but not more in some cases than a RAID 6, 50 or 60.

 

As for inexperienced people who deployed RAID, I blame RAIDs mfg first who should cares when they sold RAID enclosure filled with disk. 

post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

I think you are just showing a fundamental misunderstanding of RAID 10. It is more reliable than raid 5. There is simply no way it isn't.

 

Agreed.  RAID 10 with proper disk diversity is definitely more reliable than no RAID or RAID 5.  Same number of reads and writes (or less) on all disks as no RAID.  Hence, no decreased average disk lifespan + decreased average time between multiple drive failures (as RAID 5 has).  While still allowing for one or more drives to fail (same as RAID 5).  It's all a matter of reducing the probability of catastrophic failure (whatever that is for a given RAID setup).

 
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post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

I think you are just showing a fundamental misunderstanding of RAID 10. It is more reliable than raid 5. There is simply no way it isn't.

 

Wether choosing RAID 5,6 or 10, one thing to keep in mind is to buy drives from different batches since batches tend to fail together. The biggest danger in RAID 10 if both drives in a subset fail, and that usually happens due to same batch drives. In a RAID 5 (or 6) it's best to have an online failover. I once set up two hardware RAID 5s (with online fail overs) and mirrored them for mega data security :)

 

As for the brand Promise (VTrak), I had nothing but bad experiences. The software is very problematic and I had multiple close calls of losing my entire RAID, their customer service is rubbish, never again! Also, their RAIDS are obnoxiously loud, their fans do have variable speeds, but the slowest speed is insanely loud. I had the RAID in a vented sound proof rack, and I could still hear the darn thing from nearby rooms.

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post #36 of 36

At our facility I used a Retrospect LTO4 system to automatically backup all my RAIDs - whether it was Xserve RAIDs or internal RAIDs in the Mac Pros.    It was very helpful when we had the inevitable drive failure.  BTW, I did see a two drive failure on RAID 5 systems a couple of times.  Naturally, one two drive failure was on the Autodesk Smoke system that was not compatible with the Retrospect backup.  Figures.

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