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USB 3.0 RAID device as primary data storage


kylejwx2
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I am interested in getting a USB 3.0 RAID device and using it as the primary storage of all my critical data, which is currently under 500GB.    Obviously, RAID is not backup and so I still plan to have several other copies of the data.

 

I have a few goals for doing this.

 

  1. Redundancy- While I am pretty good about backing up, I really value the redundancy of RAID1.  It can save a lot of time.
  2. Independence- I want my data to be independent from my main computer. By independent, I mean I want to be able to unplug the data from one system and plug it into another and be up and running. 
  3. Portability- While not necessary, USB 3.0 also has the potential of physically portable, meaning I could easily take it to another person's house.
  4. Direct attached- I need this so that CrashPlan, Skydrive, and others can see the device as a physical drive.

 

 

I think that some of you are using RAID Cards and NAS devices (with iSCSI) to achieve similar results.  I would consider a RAID card, but it is still less portable that USB and more work to switch from one system to another, including the fact that the drives are taking up space in my case.  I have a Drobo FS, but I don't think it can do iSCSI and the only other way I know of doing direct attached is mounting VHDs and currently the Drobo and Windows 8 are not playing nice with mounting VHDs.  I am guessing that someone will mention Windows Home Server, but that violates the independence part because it is not independent of the OS and I will inevitably end up using it as a test box and my data won't be safe anymore.

 

 

The device I am currently considering is the CineRAID CR-H212. What do you guys think of this device? Any other options I should consider?

 

See below for manufacturer and Newegg links.

 

http://www.cineraid.com/products/home_h212.htm

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816856075&Tpk=CR-H212

 

 

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My first thoughts are about performance. Using laptop drives is going to hinder performance a bit. The other performance issue, potentially, is whether the data has to be sent over the USB3 cable twice in order to give the mirroring you mentioned (I'm assuming you plan to set up the enclosure as RAID-1). I don't know if the enclosure itself will buffer the data and send it to both drives. If so, the data should only need to be sent once. If not, well, sending data twice will certainly affect performance. I hope that isn't the case.

 

That said, I love USB3 for external storage in general. I find it easier to use the eSATA.

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I am glad to hear that USB3 has worked well for you with external storage.

 

In regards to the speed issue, redundancy is my main goal here so as long as I can get reasonable performance it should be fine. I am thinking that read and write speeds of 100mbps or better should get the job done. I am also considering using WD NAS Red drives and I expect their performance to be good even if they are the 2.5" version.

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2.5" drives are for portability and convenience.  The CineRAID CR-H212 enclosure I am looking at is USB powered so, it takes 2.5" for that reason. It is one less power cable to deal with.  And also, I have a lot less data than many other people so I don't need bigger drives.

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  • 2 weeks later...

2.5" drives are for portability and convenience.  The CineRAID CR-H212 enclosure I am looking at is USB powered so, it takes 2.5" for that reason. It is one less power cable to deal with.  And also, I have a lot less data than many other people so I don't need bigger drives.

 

I have a relative who is using 2x1TB 2.5" HDDs for OffSite storage. I set it up for her when I realized she had zero OffSite backup. Size and convenience are exactly why I chose this solution. She simply uses Remote Desktop to eject the current OffSite drive, swaps it from the Thermaltake Toaster Dock for the 2nd HDD, puts the HDD into an anti-static bag, and carries it around in her purse. It's been working fantastically.

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No RAID with that setup, but I am using JMicron Spanned Disk for my own OffSite Backup (you've most likely already seen/read it). Basically, I have a Lian-Li EX503 USB3 enclosure that I cycle off site drives through. I use the JMicron software to span all the drives into 1 large volume.

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