What's a good external, roughly 1TB usable storage device that does its own RAID-1?
July 6, 2008 10:18 AM   Subscribe

What's a good external, roughly 1TB usable storage device that does its own RAID-1?

Given the deep bashing I noted for the MyBook (and specifically the Western Digitals within), I was wondering if anyone had a recommended, similar external drive with RAID-1 capabilities, in the same price range. Is the LaCie 2big worth a damn? Are there others on the market? Or is the MyBook as good as it gets?

I'm looking for:
* Hardware RAID-1
* USB 2.0 connection (Firewire would be okay, eSATA would not)
* 1 Terabyte usable space post-RAID
* Can be formatted for NTFS

Let's eliminate early on the "thinking outside of the box" suggestions that do not fit:
* Two SATA disks and a special card doing RAID-1, inside a big ole case (that's the "solution" I tried and did not like)
* Amazon's storage service
* Pico-ITX and your favorite distro of Linux encased in a project box doing software RAID
* Two disks and software RAID from Windows
* The Drobo

Yes, I am aware that RAID is for availability. Yes, there is a separate backup plan.
posted by adipocere to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
What's wrong with the Drobo? Not that I necessarily think it's some kind of perfect solution, but it'd help to know why you're unhappy with one of the most common answers to this type of question.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:25 AM on July 6, 2008

Response by poster: What's wrong with the Drobo:

1) Starts at a high price with no hard drives in it to begin with. That conflicts with "in the same price range."
2) Thus far, most suggest it is pretty darn slow. And has a lot of annoying interface issues. And is loud. And has lots and lots of firmware updates.
3) The fact that, on its website, it suggest that it "avoids RAID" makes me want to run away screaming. I want hardware RAID-1. I don't want "hey, secret proprietary technology that, sure, doesn't have years and years under its belt, and our website is so dumbed down that there's not much clue what actually is going on, but you can trust us."

Maybe some day these things will change, but that's for another day.
posted by adipocere at 10:49 AM on July 6, 2008

According to this review the 2big is also noisy, but other than that he likes it.
posted by aubilenon at 10:57 AM on July 6, 2008

Another problem with the Drobo: proprietary file format, potentially leading to a host of problems when you need to retrieve your data.
posted by kristi at 11:32 AM on July 6, 2008

And what's wrong with NAS -- again just in the interest of providing a better answer? Notably something like the ReadyNAS Duo?
posted by The Bellman at 12:43 PM on July 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

There's the Guardian Maximus for $150. Haven't used it, so I can't speak to reliability. There are some others at Newegg here.
posted by cnc at 12:57 PM on July 6, 2008

Maxtor One-Touch but you may not get a full 1TB, post-RAID. I have the 1.5TB and, although I do not use it with RAID, I do like the drive but some have reported reliability problems. I got it from Costco for about $450.
posted by bz at 2:06 PM on July 6, 2008

Buffalo Drive Station Duo
posted by tracert at 2:37 PM on July 6, 2008

Get one of these motherfuckers and toss a couple of drives into it:

NewerTech Guardian MAXimus RAID-1 external enclosure kit

On preview, I've been beaten to posting it, I see. :-)
posted by secret about box at 4:09 PM on July 6, 2008

The LaCie externals are RAID-0.

Try googling "raid 1 2 bay usb". There are a lot of products out there.
posted by wongcorgi at 12:11 PM on July 7, 2008

I have one of the SimpleTech Duo Pro drives (I believe they are similar to the Lacie drives).


I picked it up cheap from OfficeDepot about 6 months back and it was working great. It just crapped out though about three days ago. I am planning on calling tech support this afternoon to see what my replacement options are.

FYI, the box was a bit on the louder side. Also, I read a bunch of reviews before my purchase and still bought it. The reviews were somewhat OK but most mentioned the poor construction and many (including myself) received boxes that had loose pieces inside the box. It worked great while it lasted and hopefully replacement will be easy, as I am not willing to give up my data.

The box itself has two drives that can be configured in RAID 0 or RAID 1 (RAID 0 is default I believe). They offer various sizes (up to 1TB in RAID 1) have USB and eSATA inputs (I know you are not interested in eSATA but others may be). I have never tried the Lacie drives, but you may want to consider them if they are more reliable.

posted by sirhensley at 3:54 PM on July 7, 2008

I've been using the Lacie mini for about 2 years and wanted the security of RAID, so bought a 2Big. Since it's a network drive for all of our computers at home, it doesn't need to sit in an office. It's in the basement next to one of the routers in the house, and I never have to look at it or hear it. It just works. Reliably and relatively inexpensively.

It's not *super* loud, but the fan is similar to a regular desktop computer fan. If you put it under your desk, you probably wouldn't notice it. The blue light on the front is very bright. It is x-platform, so it doesn't matter if you want to connect to it via Windows, Linux or a Mac.

In other words, it's pretty much what you could ask for in a NAS without spending an arm and a leg.
posted by docjohn at 4:54 PM on July 7, 2008

Synology Disk Station - No question about it.

For just a bit more than the cost of a RAID only box, you have 10X more functionality and flexibility.

We have deployed these stations everywhere, as standard USB drives, NAS stations, and such. They have a bit of processing in them that allows a WIDE range of functionality... at home you can even have them download your torrents for you while your PC is off. No coding or scripting required for any functionality, if you can program a linksys, you can be off and running with one of these.

It's like running a second PC just for your hard drives, but without the cost.

Of course, you can do full raid with these boxes in a veriety of configurations.

posted by upc_head at 9:49 AM on July 8, 2008

« Older RSS to Audio in Automator   |   Do commercial colon-cleanse products actually... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.