October 13th, 2007

Mac RAID Software

I've been working with some external Firewire drives setup as RAID1 (mirror) devices and I'm not too crazy about Mac's RAID software, but it does work. I had to rebuild a volume and it took a loooong time. And I have to do another one that is twice the size today... ugh.


I checked out the Mac store for their RAID product, and the product they are pushing is really bizarre in my opinion. It is all power, too much power in fact. There are only a few applications which would benefit from the type of RAID0 setups they are proffering, and the price for something so basic is ridiculous.

linux raid

I'm used to linux RAID software which works great in my experience, and even supports RAID5, which is a good compromise between speed and redundancy. However, Mac OS X doesn't support it in software mode. I believe it can be achieved through hardware, which I'm researching. I imagine an ARECA or 3Ware card could make it happen in a heartbeat. I would like to use linux with AFP for the server instead of Mac OS X, but their clients are all Macs, so it would be better to use an HFS+ storage file system, which Mac supports but not as well as Mac OS X of course.

Firewire Drives

Firewire drives are commonly available in 400 or 800 mode, and although they are common, they are expensive. I bought two at Staples for around $230 each, which was too expensive, but I needed them in a jiffy so it had to be done. I would have preferred to buy the plain internal drives and built a more sophisticated unit, but I didn't have time.
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