Homebuilt directly attached storage?

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Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:07 pm

Hi all,

I've spent a bit of time on Google but can't find much info.

I'm wondering if it's possible to build a cheap PC, and install some software to make it act as a directly attached RAID storage device using the USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt ports? I'm not after a NAS, but something I can directly attached to my laptop for maximum throughput for professional video editing.

It would be a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for a Drobo or something similar.

Any ideas appreciated.
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:25 pm

Buy a cheap RAID-capable HDD enclosure with USB3.0 and without network access (if you don't need one), problem solved. Will definitely be cheaper and more compact than PC-based crap.
Something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-Dual-S ... +enclosure
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:32 pm

JohnC wrote:Buy a cheap RAID-capable HDD enclosure with USB3.0 and without network access (if you don't need one), problem solved. Will definitely be cheaper and more compact than PC-based crap.
Something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-Dual-S ... +enclosure


I need something with 4 bays. The cheapest one I've seen that has good reviews is $600+ here in NZ (the Stardom SR4), whereas I can build a cheap PC for half that.

Surely something home built would be better?
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:38 pm

Not sure if it's available to you, but "Sans digital" company makes all kind of these things, starting with 2 bays and larger (including 4-bay units)... I got one of their 2-bay models a few years ago, configured as a RAID1 external backup source, was like $100 and still works properly and fast enough (I use eSATA connection). Amazon has plenty of their products, though the shipping to your location might be expensive...

How much will this cost you to be shipped to your country:
http://www.amazon.com/Sans-Digital-Towe ... ital+4+bay ?
Last edited by JohnC on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:41 pm

I am not aware of any consumer-level PCs (or add-in cards) that have USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt ports that can operate in slave mode while connected to another PC. Doesn't mean they don't exist, but if they do they are probably a niche product (expensive).

Why do you need 4 bays? Capacity? Bandwidth? Both?
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:46 pm

JohnC wrote:Not sure if it's available to you, but "Sans digital" company makes all kind of these things, starting with 2 bays and larger (including 4-bay units)... I got one of their 2-bay models a few years ago, configured as a RAID1 external backup source, was like $100 and still works properly and fast enough (I use eSATA connection). Amazon has plenty of their products, though the shipping to your location might be expensive...

How much will this cost you to be shipped to your country:
http://www.amazon.com/Sans-Digital-Towe ... ital+4+bay ?


+1 for Sans Digital.. I got the 4 bay Raid enclosure with USB 3.0 and eSata for about $130 from Newegg.. I'd check to see what local deals you can get, or try the compay directly..
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:48 pm

just brew it! wrote:Why do you need 4 bays? Capacity? Bandwidth? Both?


Mainly capacity.

Will check out the Sans Digital range.. Thanks all :)
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:54 pm

suicidemonkey wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Why do you need 4 bays? Capacity? Bandwidth? Both?

Mainly capacity.

How about 4 external USB 3.0 enclosures and a USB 3.0 hub then? That's probably your cheapest solution to get 4 drives worth of external capacity with reasonable bandwidth.
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:45 am

just brew it! wrote:
suicidemonkey wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Why do you need 4 bays? Capacity? Bandwidth? Both?

Mainly capacity.

How about 4 external USB 3.0 enclosures and a USB 3.0 hub then? That's probably your cheapest solution to get 4 drives worth of external capacity with reasonable bandwidth.


Yeah I thought about that but would prefer a mirrored RAID. I know it's not perfect but some redundancy is better than none. The data on the drives is pretty critical.
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:10 am

If the data on the drives is pretty critical, we'd probably advise you to do it properly and invest in a something which isn't hacked together :)
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:56 am

Do a full search on the Mediasonic line the HF2-SU2S2 is a 4 bay eSATA or USB2 attached
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Re: Homebuilt directly attached storage?

Postposted on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:54 pm

Ya, if your doing this professionally, you're better off getting something professional. The route your talking about going sounds like it would be more headache than its worth.

I've used ICYDock products with lots of luck, and my new favorite is IOSafe. The IOSafe guys have optional RAID capable enclosures with USB 3.0. All of their enclosures are fireproof and waterproof and come with a warranty that covers the cost of disaster recovery via a major professional recovery service. It would be well worth the investment if you rely on your data for a living. I've used these for on-site backups when off-site was just not in the cards.

This is one of their flagship products with RAID... its a NAS but I think they have direct connect option on other similar units. They will put 2 x 4TB drives in this sucker and give you the option to upgrade them to "Enterprise" drives. Bare in mind these enclosures are designed to not be opened and have drives replaced. You can do that (I've got it before) but you'll probably loose the fireproof/waterproof ability of the case.
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