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Archive 2013 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure
  
 
Tim Carpenter
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


Hi all-

I've got several back up hard drives for my images. I had one two drive enclosure from Mac Sales (I work with a Macbook Pro) that has gone belly up. As a result, I'm now looking at a 4 or 5 bay drive enclosure that allows me to swap back up drives in and out.

Most of my drives have been firewire 400 or 800. Looking at the drive enclosures now (looking at an Icy Dock and Mediasonic) offer an eSata OR USB 2.0 connection, not firewire. I do use these drives only for back up. Two copies, an A-1 and A-2 Drive. I only keep working files on my laptop (those are backed up to a production back up drive). Will the USB 2.0 be adequate speed? Not sure there is way to connect the single eSata connection to my MBP for all drives to mount (I will be copying from the A-1 to A-2 drive within the same enclosure).

I'd be interested in knowing what others are doing. I don't think that a NAS is a good solution as I assume the transfer speeds would be slower than the USB 2. If not, please let me know.

THanks



Jan 07, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Brit-007
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


This is probably going to start something but I use and recommend the DROBO. They have a basic unit that has 4 bays and runs firewire. Price is $400 or less for the unit and you can throw any size drive at it. Have had mine for several years now running 7x24. I know there are some people against the DROBO for being proprietary and unstable including Scott Kelby but mine has been fine. I have numerous professional photographer friends who also have not had any problems.

When I am running low on disk space I can just pull out any of the 4 drives and put in a larger one still having immediate access to my files.



Jan 07, 2013 at 08:46 PM
jforkner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


I use the original 4-drive Drobo for backup on my iMac. The USB connection works fine for me. I've had it about 4-5 years, first on a PC, now a Mac. I've upgraded the capacity several times and it's always worked as advertised.


Jack



Jan 08, 2013 at 01:51 PM
dave_63
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


I've been using the Mediasonic (HFR2-SU3S2FW) ProRaid 4 Bay HDD Enclosure - USB 3.0 / eSATA / Firewire 400/800 for almost 3 years without a single issue. I have switched the unit off 2 or 3 times, but other than that, it has been running continuously since the day I bought it.


Jan 08, 2013 at 04:30 PM
alexkiowa
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


I suggest Mediasonic and CalDigit. Mediasonic's USB3 had problem before, the firmware update did get it worked afterward.


Jan 10, 2013 at 07:17 AM
 

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Tim Carpenter
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


I don't see Mediasonic with firewire 400/800. Did they phase out firewire? My MBP only has USB or Thunderbolt (no estata or epress card slot). Ideas?


Jan 10, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Jim Sanderson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


+1 for DROBO. I had several and they work just fine for me.


Jan 10, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


USB 2.0 is serviceable as a slow backup provided that you never need it to work quickly.

Firewire 800 is noticeably superior, especially with lots of small files.

Thunderbolt just gets out of the way and lets the transfers happen as fast as the physical drives allow without the interface bogging it down. That means the external drives are able to work as quickly as if they internal.

Be sure to only get a thunderbolt solution if it has dual thunderbolt ports so that you can daisy-chain other drives or a monitor. Too many devices these days have a single port and are therefore very limiting.

My personal recommendation is to avoid usb 2.0 completely and also firewire 800. The first is too slow and the latter has already been phased out of new Apple computers. No point investing in redundant drive cases if you can afford not to.

I'd recommend a drobo but I've yet to figure out how best to use my drobo 5d (which has a thunderbolt interface). drobos offer one or two drive redundancy but that comes at the cost of overall speed as well extra drives.




Jan 22, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


dave_63 wrote:
I've been using the Mediasonic (HFR2-SU3S2FW) ProRaid 4 Bay HDD Enclosure - USB 3.0 / eSATA / Firewire 400/800 for almost 3 years without a single issue. I have switched the unit off 2 or 3 times, but other than that, it has been running continuously since the day I bought it.


What, USB3.0 has been out for three years already?




Jan 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM
mcbroomf
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Multiple Bay Hard Drive Enclosure


I have a 2 drive Icydock on 1 PC and a 4 drive on another. The 4 drive disconnects occasionally, both USB2 and esata connections. It's bothered me enough to revisit my storage and I've just bought two 4 drive Mercury Pro 4 drive boxes from OWC/macsales. I expect to build the 1st this weekend, the 2nd next maybe. They seem well regarded.

Mike



Jan 23, 2013 at 01:44 PM





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