Trying to find a USB based RAID system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello. I am hoping that I am not just chasing my tail here, and there is something that is like what I need. I am using a Baetis media server.
http://www.baetisaudio.com/Baetis_HT.php
Right now I am just using individual Hard drives for storage. But I was really hoping there was a RAID solution that I am just not seeing. I don't want a NAS device. I was looking for a USB3-attached RAID array solution. Is there such a beast? Any help would be very much appreciated.

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post #2 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 10:46 AM
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Something like this?

http://www.pc-pitstop.com/das/ds-sat05ue.asp

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post #3 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Something like this?

http://www.pc-pitstop.com/das/ds-sat05ue.asp
That looks like it might be the ticket. So all I do is pick the Drive class I want and I am good? For ex, 4TB Western Digital Black SATA III Drive?
And that will fill all the bays with those drives? Sorry if that is a basic question, but this stuff is on the fly learning for me.

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post #4 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by MIkeDuke View Post

That looks like it might be the ticket. So all I do is pick the Drive class I want and I am good? For ex, 4TB Western Digital Black SATA III Drive?
And that will fill all the bays with those drives? Sorry if that is a basic question, but this stuff is on the fly learning for me.

Yeah, you can get the drives from them, or you can buy the separately (usually cheaper) and install them yourself. Installation is pretty easy and straight forward, but I will caution you to stick with the same models they list there or at least verify that the drives you buy will work for sure. You can slap about any drives you want in there, but you'll regret, not getting drives designed for RAID. (I say that now as I'm waiting for an 8 drive RAID-5 array to rebuild because I didn't do my homework and bought drives that kinda work)

Also it is very important to note that RAID is not considered a backup of your data. It provides protection in the event of a drive failure, but there are many, many, many other ways to lose your data tht RAID won't help with, so I'll urge you not to rely on the "safety" of RAID too much.

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post #5 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Yeah, you can get the drives from them, or you can buy the separately (usually cheaper) and install them yourself. Installation is pretty easy and straight forward, but I will caution you to stick with the same models they list there or at least verify that the drives you buy will work for sure. You can slap about any drives you want in there, but you'll regret, not getting drives designed for RAID. (I say that now as I'm waiting for an 8 drive RAID-5 array to rebuild because I didn't do my homework and bought drives that kinda work)

Also it is very important to note that RAID is not considered a backup of your data. It provides protection in the event of a drive failure, but there are many, many, many other ways to lose your data tht RAID won't help with, so I'll urge you not to rely on the "safety" of RAID too much.
Thanks again. That would be the last item I would get. I would continue to do what I am doing which is a straight copy from one main drive, to a backup drive that is an exact copy but is not used. Let me put this question out there as well. Is there something that is USB based, that you can plug into a USB port, and then get more USB connections? Sort of like a USB "extender". for lack of a better word. It would be like a box that you plug into one USB input and it gives you say, 3 more USB connections you can use? I think I just answered my own question. This is what I was thinking of
http://www.staples.com/Orico-M2CAS4P-U3P-BK-USB-30-4-Port-USB-Hub/product_293740
That would allow me to use one USB port but really attach 4 USB devices to it. I may look into something like that as well.

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post #6 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MIkeDuke View Post

Thanks again. That would be the last item I would get. I would continue to do what I am doing which is a straight copy from one main drive, to a backup drive that is an exact copy but is not used. Let me put this question out there as well. Is there something that is USB based, that you can plug into a USB port, and then get more USB connections? Sort of like a USB "extender". for lack of a better word. It would be like a box that you plug into one USB input and it gives you say, 3 more USB connections you can use? I think I just answered my own question. This is what I was thinking of
http://www.staples.com/Orico-M2CAS4P-U3P-BK-USB-30-4-Port-USB-Hub/product_293740
That would allow me to use one USB port but really attach 4 USB devices to it. I may look into something like that as well.

Yeah, what you're looking for is a USB3 Hub. Keep in mind you'll be sharing bandwidth when you use a hub. Anything that requires a lot of bandwidth (basically hard drives) I would plug directly in to the motherboard ports, and then use a hub for other items like keyboards, mice, IR receivers, webcams, and things like that.

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post #7 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, what you're looking for is a USB3 Hub. Keep in mind you'll be sharing bandwidth when you use a hub. Anything that requires a lot of bandwidth (basically hard drives) I would plug directly in to the motherboard ports, and then use a hub for other items like keyboards, mice, IR receivers, webcams, and things like that.
OK. I understand. At least I don't have to worry about this for a bit. I was just trying to plan for the future. I still like the RAID idea more though TBH.

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post #8 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 11:55 AM
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RAID is great, but unless you're putting together an "enterprise" level system, I generally caution people not to put anything on them that they don't mind losing.

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post #9 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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RAID is great, but unless you're putting together an "enterprise" level system, I generally caution people not to put anything on them that they don't mind losing.
Well, that's the point tongue.gif. This is for ripped movies and I really don't want to loose any of them. It takes a lot of effort to do this stuff. Like I said, we shall see. I do appreciate your help. Maybe I can get by with individual disk drives and just keep on doing the manual backups.

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post #10 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 12:25 PM
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I probably overstated that. I shouldn't have said "anything you mind losing" I should have said, "anything you mind terribly losing"

I mind anytime I lose any data even if it is something I can reacquire, or recreate.

Ripped movies, are things I can recreate even if it will take a fair amount of work. It's a risk/reward thing that that point? If my chances of a failure in a 5 drive RAID-5 array over 3 years is 5%, I'd probably risk it with ripped movies.

If it was with the only digital copy I had of grandma's old 8mm film transfers, then I'm more inclined to make sure I have more backups and redundancy. Not trying to scare you away from RAID, just doing my due diligence to make sure you know the whole story. smile.gif

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post #11 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

I probably overstated that. I shouldn't have said "anything you mind losing" I should have said, "anything you mind terribly losing"

I mind anytime I lose any data even if it is something I can reacquire, or recreate.

Ripped movies, are things I can recreate even if it will take a fair amount of work. It's a risk/reward thing that that point? If my chances of a failure in a 5 drive RAID-5 array over 3 years is 5%, I'd probably risk it with ripped movies.

If it was with the only digital copy I had of grandma's old 8mm film transfers, then I'm more inclined to make sure I have more backups and redundancy. Not trying to scare you away from RAID, just doing my due diligence to make sure you know the whole story. smile.gif
That's fine. I enjoy learning this kind of stuff. My understanding of RAID was that I could get a RAID 5 system. For ease of discussion, let's say I got a 5 bay system, with 5 2TB drives. That would be a total of 10TB. But, when I do it RAID 5 style, I would have 5TB of unique data and 5TB of backup. Then, let's say that one drive went bad. With a RAID 5 setup, that you could do a hot swap on, I could pull out the bad drive, put in a good new drive, and not loose any data(The drive would re-build itself). That's why RAID appealed to me. It seemed like a good way to get a good amount of storage and still be protected. Plus, it would allow me to have a good deal of storage without using all of my USB ports on my server. Unless I am completely wrong.

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post #12 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 01:20 PM
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You're close...

RAID 5 Will give you (n - 1) storage, that is to say, The total amount of storage you would get from all the drives combined, minus 1 drive. So in your example, you'd use 5x 2TB drives, which would result in 8TB of storage, and would be tolerant of 1 drive failure.

RAID 5 doesn't actually duplicate any of the data (That would be RAID 1 aka "mirroring") instead it uses a system of parity that distributes information across all of the disks that will allow for the recreation of data in the event of any single disk failure.

One of the reasons that RAID 5 is getting a little bit scary is because of the increasing size of drives, without a corresponding increase in reliability. If you have a single drive fail, all of the data (even the empty portions of the remaining drives) must be read in order to recreate all of the data for the missing drive, once a replacement has been added and the rebuild begins. That's all well and good, but when you have to read (in your case) 8TB of data, the likelihood of encountering an unrecoverable read error gets pretty significant. If the controller encounters such an error during a rebuild you're pretty much hosed. (this is part of the quandary I'm stuck with now)

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post #13 of 15 Old 12-18-2013, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Right. I forgot about the parity part. Then what's the best solution for what I want to to do? Just keep doing what I am doing? My method is this. My server has a total of 6 USB ports. It has 4 in the back and two in the front. One in the front is used for a dongle so I can have a wireless keyboard and mouse. That leaves 5 USB ports for other drives. One is being used by a small drive for my music drive.

Now, I have 4 4TB drives connected in the back of machine and I still have the one free in front. What I am doing is using two of the drives as main media drives, and two for backup. So when I rip a movie, I copy it to my main drive and to the backup drive. I have my media software (Jriver) only looking into my two main drives. So once all of those drives are full, I can pull the backup drives out and put in two more drives. This again would be one for main media and one for backup. When that is done, I will do it one more time. I would get two HD's and plug one in the back of my machine and one in the front. Once they are both full I will just pull out the backup and that would be it. I would have 20TB of media ready to go. But, that would be it. I would have no more USB inputs for any more HD's.


That's why I was hoping I could use a RAID system. I though then I could get more space used per USB ports plus at the same time, simplify my backup plan. But if it does not work that way, then maybe I will just keep doing what I am doing and hope the space lasts me a long time. Otherwise I would look into that HUB. When I pick a movie, only that drive with that movie would be active so maybe the performance level would not drop that much. We shall see. I still have more space to go so I will see how much my remaining media takes up.
Thanks again for your help smile.gif. It is very much appreciated. Do you have any ideas that might work for what I want to do? Can I do what I want to do. I thought I have seen people with really big HD like 20T worth of data so I know it's possible. Would Raid one be what I really want? If so, do you think bigger HD's are safer. If I got a Raid one system with 2 5TB
drives, would that still leave me with 9TB(4.5 for new media and 4.5 for backup)? Does RAID one use a parity bit? Or would I have 10TB. 5TB for new data and 5TB for the backup.

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post #14 of 15 Old 12-19-2013, 10:48 AM
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What about something like this?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111149R

I have been using it for almost 3 years now. Works well. Hardware RAID5 over USB 3.0 or eSATA. One caveat, is that once you set it up over one type of connections, switching to the other connection breaks up RAID. So, plan ahead. Not sure if newer versions have overcome that limitation.

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post #15 of 15 Old 12-19-2013, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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What about something like this?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111149R

I have been using it for almost 3 years now. Works well. Hardware RAID5 over USB 3.0 or eSATA. One caveat, is that once you set it up over one type of connections, switching to the other connection breaks up RAID. So, plan ahead. Not sure if newer versions have overcome that limitation.
That looks interesting as well. It looks like I may have some choices after all. Thanks for the link.

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