Moving away from NAS to G-Drive G-Raid

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Gil
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#1
I'm considering giving up my Q-NAP for a directly attached RAID solution for faster transfer rates. I'm considering an older G-Drive G-Raid either with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 interface. Having looked up the spec of the 2 models would I be correct in saying that there wouldn't be much speed difference between one with Thunderbolt 1, and the other with Thunderbolt 2 due to the bottle neck being the speed of the installed HDD drives. The only difference would be noticeable were I to use SSDs instead (which probably wouldn't be great reliability wise as SSDs aren't suited to frequent data writing etc).

Does anybody have any recommendations on Raid 1 systems that aren't NAS? I'm not fussed about Thunderbolt 3 as it's a lot more expensive and I'm sticking with my MacBook 2015 which has Thunderbolt 2

Cheers!!
 
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#2
I have a G Tech studio (thunderbolt 2) version that I've used for a few years in RAID1 for onsite backup. RAID 1 is mirroring so not a speed increase (you need to use RAID0 for that). When I was looking at options standard hard drives wouldn't give a speed increase on thunderbolt 2 over USB3 as the hard drives are like you say the limiting factor.

For a faster working drive I currently have a G Tech Pro with thunderbolt 2 drive. Its marketed as one drive but I think its actually four hard drives in RAID0 configuration so supposedly up to 480MB/s transfer speeds.

Whilst you may not be looking at thunderbolt 3 now there is the point about future proofing as your MacBook 2015 won't last forever. That said an adapter would be ok if you stayed with apple (unlike if you think about a PC in the future- like I am at present but backup storage is making me think twice about that).
 
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gilbouk
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#3
I have a G Tech studio (thunderbolt 2) version that I've used for a few years in RAID1 for onsite backup. RAID 1 is mirroring so not a speed increase (you need to use RAID0 for that). When I was looking at options standard hard drives wouldn't give a speed increase on thunderbolt 2 over USB3 as the hard drives are like you say the limiting factor.

For a faster working drive I currently have a G Tech Pro with thunderbolt 2 drive. Its marketed as one drive but I think its actually four hard drives in RAID0 configuration so supposedly up to 480MB/s transfer speeds.

Whilst you may not be looking at thunderbolt 3 now there is the point about future proofing as your MacBook 2015 won't last forever. That said an adapter would be ok if you stayed with apple (unlike if you think about a PC in the future- like I am at present but backup storage is making me think twice about that).
Ah, I didn’t realise that the configuration of the unit, RAID 0 vs RAID 1 affected the transfer rate. Does that mean to achieve the faster speeds in Raid 0, the unit is writing a share of the data to each disk at the same time?

Saw this on YouTube from 7 years ago and feel envious of the speeds possible through a direct connection even with the original thunderbolt. Keen to have RAID 1 though so I’m unsure what performance would be using that configuration in comparison.

Couldn’t find the two models you mentioned. One reason for going for the older models is that they are much cheaper purchased second hand and I’ve not got that much data - just about 2TB which is my lifetimes data!!
 
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#4
Ah, I didn’t realise that the configuration of the unit, RAID 0 vs RAID 1 affected the transfer rate. Does that mean to achieve the faster speeds in Raid 0, the unit is writing a share of the data to each disk at the same time?

Saw this on YouTube from 7 years ago and feel envious of the speeds possible through a direct connection even with the original thunderbolt. Keen to have RAID 1 though so I’m unsure what performance would be using that configuration in comparison.

Couldn’t find the two models you mentioned. One reason for going for the older models is that they are much cheaper purchased second hand and I’ve not got that much data - just about 2TB which is my lifetimes data!!
as far as I understand RAID1 would be normal speeds of the hard drive. RAID0 is faster as it splitting the data between the disks. A friend of mine advised me when buying them a few years back, he was surprised that the USB3 version wouldn’t be any faster than the thunderbolt 2 as the disks would be the bottleneck. I only ended up going with thunderbolt to free up some USB ports as the iMac only has 4.

the version in the you tube video looks like it’s a G tech G RAID with thunderbolt unit. That has two disks and can be set as RAID 0 or 1. Im not sure if that’s set as RAID 0 or 1 but it’s roughly transferring at around 235MB/s if my calculations are correct. A wired hard drive should be faster than a wireless NAS.

Neither of the drives I have are available new as they have both been discontinued now (replaced with thunderbolt 3 version)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/G-Technology-0G03502-GRADTH2EB60002BBB-SATA-600-Thunderbolt/dp/B00NLA03ZI

https://jet.com/product/G-Tech-G-DR...-2TB-0G02828/8d03e0c335a74165bc876bb21e8fff95

The g drive pro is 2TB and it’s my main working disk. the g tech studio is used in raid 1 to mirror the data across both 3 TB disks. Its basically an automated backup 3TB disk of the working drive. I’m not bothered about the speed as the backup turns itself in the background.
 
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#5
Whatever solution you choose, do not give up your QNAP but keep it as a backup device. Note that RAID0 is not RAID at all as it has no Redundancy - if one of the two drives fails you lose the contents of both. You'll then be glad you have all your files copied to the NAS. Even with RAID1 you should still have a backup to protect against unintended deletions, etc. As we say here constantly, redundancy is not backup.
 
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#6
If you're *just* looking for faster transfer rates, then why not consider something like this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BKQN...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

That's assuming you have/can upgrade to Thunderbolt 3. If you can't / don't want to then I'm getting freat results from this

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-Ex...3&sr=1-1-91e9aa57-911e-4628-99b3-09163b7d9294

It still baffles me that I can plug it into an external socket and have it run considerably faster than Apple's fancy hybrid drive :)

An external solid state running USB3 or Thunderbolt 3 should far outperform a spinning metal RAID and be far cheaper. I know there are concerns about SSD longevity but with their low current price point and lots of articles explaining that they don't actually fail that quickly I think they should be the first choice for speed. With a decent backup regimen you can run one until it fails and then swap in a new one. Just like you would with an HDD :)
 
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#7
If you're *just* looking for faster transfer rates, then why not consider something like this?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BKQN...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

That's assuming you have/can upgrade to Thunderbolt 3. If you can't / don't want to then I'm getting freat results from this

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-Extreme-Portable-SSD-Read/dp/B078SWJ3CF/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-p13n1_0?crid=3DHX0MFO06FRX&cv_ct_cx=sandisk+extreme+portable+ssd&dchild=1&keywords=sandisk+extreme+portable+ssd&pd_rd_i=B078SWJ3CF&pd_rd_r=12f7afde-ba42-430d-a32d-0cc5a4999fb2&pd_rd_w=sbhWM&pd_rd_wg=rwDkz&pf_rd_p=4cda869f-2b1a-4e5f-a72b-48315da95bba&pf_rd_r=J41AF60M925MGPCDZ4PW&psc=1&qid=1590233107&sprefix=sandisk+extre,aps,203&sr=1-1-91e9aa57-911e-4628-99b3-09163b7d9294

It still baffles me that I can plug it into an external socket and have it run considerably faster than Apple's fancy hybrid drive :)

An external solid state running USB3 or Thunderbolt 3 should far outperform a spinning metal RAID and be far cheaper. I know there are concerns about SSD longevity but with their low current price point and lots of articles explaining that they don't actually fail that quickly I think they should be the first choice for speed. With a decent backup regimen you can run one until it fails and then swap in a new one. Just like you would with an HDD :)
Thanks for the tips Jonathan - yes, I'm thinking that the RAID 1 thing is certainly a safe way to go but for speed I may just have a couple SSDs and make sure I have 2 copies of my data all the time using CCC (carbon copy cloner). The G-Drive Raid 0 option is certainly fast, but for all the extra money and no backup means I may as well just go down the SSD route. I barely use the data I store on external drives, and I just want something to dump my data onto quickly every other week and shove in a drawer to free up my MacBook Pro which has 512GB. I don't keep shots I discard so a lot of the culling happens on my MacBook Pro which I backup after an important shoot. Running CCC every time I add new data to my external storage drive is hardly a chore with the speeds of SSD. The only thing about manually connecting drives and running backups is accidental mix ups and data wipes - but I think creating job profiles is pretty safe in CCC. I've actually checked and I only have 500GB of important data at the moment. The rest is dispensable data which I'm not caring if I lose - ie TV series and movies. I'm just going to keep one copy of that from now on. I may just invest in 2 x 1TB SSDs - perhaps even Samsung ones and fling them in USB 3 enclosures for now. I'm not really sure if there are any Thunderbolt 2 / 3 enclosures worth buying from the reviews I've read on Amazon
 
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#8
Thanks for the tips Jonathan - yes, I'm thinking that the RAID 1 thing is certainly a safe way to go but for speed I may just have a couple SSDs and make sure I have 2 copies of my data all the time using CCC (carbon copy cloner). The G-Drive Raid 0 option is certainly fast, but for all the extra money and no backup means I may as well just go down the SSD route. I barely use the data I store on external drives, and I just want something to dump my data onto quickly every other week and shove in a drawer to free up my MacBook Pro which has 512GB. I don't keep shots I discard so a lot of the culling happens on my MacBook Pro which I backup after an important shoot. Running CCC every time I add new data to my external storage drive is hardly a chore with the speeds of SSD. The only thing about manually connecting drives and running backups is accidental mix ups and data wipes - but I think creating job profiles is pretty safe in CCC. I've actually checked and I only have 500GB of important data at the moment. The rest is dispensable data which I'm not caring if I lose - ie TV series and movies. I'm just going to keep one copy of that from now on. I may just invest in 2 x 1TB SSDs - perhaps even Samsung ones and fling them in USB 3 enclosures for now. I'm not really sure if there are any Thunderbolt 2 / 3 enclosures worth buying from the reviews I've read on Amazon
I’d note that RAID 1 isn’t a proper backup of data either. Is speed very important for what you want to do? If CCC is doing it then could it fun in the background whilst you do other things? If you are running backups via CCC then mix up of drives shouldn’t happen. I have two external drives that are swapped back and forth as off site backups. CCC knows exactly which is which.
 
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#9
I’d note that RAID 1 isn’t a proper backup of data either. Is speed very important for what you want to do? If CCC is doing it then could it fun in the background whilst you do other things? If you are running backups via CCC then mix up of drives shouldn’t happen. I have two external drives that are swapped back and forth as off site backups. CCC knows exactly which is which.
It's speed more for convenience. Often I'm moving about with my laptop, and it's my sole computer, so starting a backup and realising it's going to take an hour when I then decide I want to be somewhere makes it a bit inconvenient. I just like things fast in that sense :). My worry of course with only having one copy of data, is hardware failure and having RAID 1 at least gives that little bit of peace of mind and also with the NAS system, you can schedule it to check the health of your HDD. Falling back to CCC and SSDs - I'd be worried data might get corrupted and it may be sometime before I realise?

An example today - I received an enquiry for a Wedding at a certain venue and I wanted to access my archived photos quickly in order to tailor a response with some example photos. I become frustrated trying to get previews of the photos using Finder to browse my NAS. I just want something that works without getting bogged down.

What do you guys use to monitor transfer speeds? Finder shows time remaining, but not transfer rates, or am I missing something?
 
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#10
What do you guys use to monitor transfer speeds? Finder shows time remaining, but not transfer rates, or am I missing something?
On a Mac use BlackMagic to test your drive speed (it's in the Apple app store and it's free). On a PC you want CrystalDiskMark. Just ran Crystal against my external Extreme drive and it's reading at 465 MB/s and writing about 420. Internal spinning metal is a respectable 185 / 180. Meanwhile the boot drive is running at 3,500 / 2,400 :D

An example today - I received an enquiry for a Wedding at a certain venue and I wanted to access my archived photos quickly in order to tailor a response with some example photos. I become frustrated trying to get previews of the photos using Finder to browse my NAS. I just want something that works without getting bogged down.
*In theory* Bridge would help you here. It can build catalogues of thumbnails on your local drive and let you view them, then when you find what you want it can retrieve the file from the NAS. In practice I've found Bridge very slow and crashy on a Mac especially with a NAS but it may have improved in the last couple of years. You might find that Digikam (https://www.digikam.org/ ) makes looking for "that one you took of the bloke in the hat with the green shirt" more pleasant. I don't use it but it gets good reviews as an image manager and it's free.
 
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gilbouk
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#12
I've just tried Black Magic to get the speeds of my drives. The internal iMac hard drive came out at 90MB/s write and 91.5MB/s read. The G tech Pro thunderbolt was 325MB/s write and 381MB/s read whilst the G tech studio in RAID1 was 128MB/s write and 128MB/s read.
My Samsung Evo 860 in a cheap 3.0 USB enclosure is showing 215 MB/s write speed and 244MB/s read which isn't bad at all. NAS is only 60MB/s so selling off my NAS for a couple of 1TB SSDs. I've had a vet of my Data and I only have just over 500GB of data I need backups of so 2 x 1TB SSDs will be fine with my current 500GB for backing up my MacBook.
 
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#13
My Samsung Evo 850 in a cheap 3.0 USB enclosure is showing 215 MB/s write speed and 244MB/s read which isn't bad at all. NAS is only 60MB/s so selling off my NAS for a couple of 1TB SSDs. I've had a vet of my Data and I only have just over 500GB of data I need backups of so 2 x 1TB SSDs will be fine with my current 500GB for backing up my MacBook.
If your MacBook supports it (about this Mac...Support....Specification) then just swapping the enclosure for that EVO should double the speed.

I never found a NAS that ran at an "acceptable" speed with a Mac. They probably exist but cost more than I want to pay.
 
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gilbouk
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#14
If your MacBook supports it (about this Mac...Support....Specification) then just swapping the enclosure for that EVO should double the speed.

I never found a NAS that ran at an "acceptable" speed with a Mac. They probably exist but cost more than I want to pay.
Any recommendations on a descent enclosure for the EVO that’s thunderbolt 2 / thunderbolt 3?
 
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#16
I'm afraid not - not used Thunderbolt in a while.

Looking at Amazon, Ugreen get pretty good reviews - but there don't seem to be a lot of other options.
Thanks @JonathanRyan, as soon as I've sold my NAS I'm going to invest in either one or a pair of 1TB Samsung Evo 860 and two of those enclosures depending on whether I sell my 2TB drives too. Until I get a new MacBook or a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adaptor (quite pricey from Apple @ £49) I'll just have to live the USB 3.0 speeds I think, or will it be USB 3.1 speeds.. hmm
 
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#17
Anybody any idea which SSD would be best, Samsung Evo 860, Crucial BX500 or any other worthy contestants? My current Samsung Evo 860 has been good so far
 
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#18
I like Crucial's MX500 range. Possibly just behind the EVO 860 for performance but a good bit cheaper. Over even Thunderbolt you probably won't see any performance differences anyway.
 
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