External RAID enclosure recommendations

Adcadet

Storage Freak
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Jan 14, 2002
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Do you guys have experience with any decent external RAID enclosures? I'm looking for a 4+ drive enclosure that will let me access 4+ TB of data. eSATA is fine, but it would be nice if it included USB3/2 to facilitate easier recovery in case of failure. The cheapo $<200 units at Newegg frequently have horrible reviews, but I'm not sure if that's due to user error or real problems. Wondering if I should look for something specific on ebay. Thanks.
 

CougTek

Serial computer killer
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Do you have a thousand bucks to spend? If not, you're stuck with the cheapo units. There's no middle ground. BTW, you don't need 4+ drives to get 4TB of data. A 2 drives unit with two Hitachi 4TB drive in mirror would do it. And that can be purchased for much less than a decent 4+ drives unit.
 

MaxBurn

Storage Is My Life
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Sans Digital TR5UT-BP 5 drive RAID enclosure
http://www.storageforum.net/forum/showthread.php/8806-Sans-Digital-TR5UT-BP-5-drive-RAID-enclosure

This thing hasn't been too bad. About all my troubles were some weirdness with USB3 on one motherboard (that I found later had troubles with another USB3 device) and it not working well with a ICH9R set to RAID which you aren't supposed to do. Problem is my server is only USB2 and ICH9R set to RAID for the OS mirror and no eSATA. So to do backups of that machine I have to put it over the network to some other computer that has eSATA or USB3.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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It's not my favorite thing in the world either. I've had it for a while and it's barely been used, but that thing is one of the reasons I'm not fond of SiL's SATA chipsets. eSATA has some of the same sorts of arcane nonsense associated with it as external SCSI. Sometimes the enclosure has to be booted before the HBA. Sometimes the enclosure has to be turned on AFTER the HBA is initialized. Sometimes a cable will work with one system but not with another. I haven't found any controller other than the SiL one that will initialize drives in that enclosure at all, and one of the more common problems I had was that it would only initialize one port's worth of drives instead of all eight.

I have less experience with external SAS but everything I have on SAS at least works every time. Which goes along with what Coug said: Either buy something expensive that works or get something cheap and cross your fingers.
 
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