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ligirl26 03-12-2010 12:57 PM

PC Raid compatability
 
I am looking at switching from PC to iMac and was wondering what the compatability is of my current Raid array.

I am running a 4 drive (700gb each) internal SATA RAID on my PC. It houses mainly multi-media data. Can I simply buy an external RAID case, remove all 4 drives, plug into the case and then plug into the iMAC? Or do I have to buy an entire new 4TB Raid array and xfr all my data from the PC Raid onto this new MAC Raid?

chas_m 03-12-2010 07:47 PM

First off:
A Mac is short for "Macintosh." It's not an acronym, thus it should not be capitalised.

To put it another way:
mac: a waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric
MAC: a data communication protocol sub-layer, also known as the Media Access Control
Mac: a brand name which covers several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc.

Ditto for iPod. :)

The iMac has Firewire 800, so be sure that the RAID case you buy has that compatibility (its waaaaaay faster than USB2, which is your only other option).

Basically I think you will end up wanting to buy a new RAID array, though this is not really my area of expertise. You could certainly re-use the drives you have if you wanted, though -- they'll just need to be erased/reformatted/re-set-up as a RAID array.

Nethfel 03-12-2010 08:17 PM

Yeah, if you're going to want to have a raid on your new Mac, you'll need to setup a new array and transfer your data (assuming you want to keep your data ;) ) - chances are your internal raid is probably running on a raid controller on your motherboard? Well, that right there would present a major problem as RAID arrays are generally not cross-RAID chipset compatible (ie: even if you got a different motherboard, unless it had an identical RAID controller chipset the array would be un-useable) let alone cross platform (Mac raid controller card vs raid controller in a general windows box) compatible.

You're best bet - as Chas_m stated was to get an external array and transfer your data over. There are many good options out there - either NAS or direct connect via firewire/usb (preferrably firewire). Personally, I really enjoy using a DROBO as it makes it very easy to expand an array without having to transfer data and rebuild an array then transfer the data back on.

TechieJustin 03-13-2010 04:53 PM

How about an external NAS that is RAID?

Nethfel 03-13-2010 05:44 PM

A NAS is just that - an external networked storage device - how the storage is handled by the NAS device is insignificant to the client systems that communicate with it (as long as the NAS supports network access compatible with the clients (like SMB or NFS or AFP, etc.)) A raid unit that connects to the computer via USB (similar to a DROBO) will work on either platform and, if the storage is formatted in a way compatible with all OS' that might access it, the raid functionality is irrelevant as it's handled internally by the box and the computer just sees it as a giant storage unit connected via USB or Firewire or eSata, etc.

TechieJustin 03-13-2010 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nethfel (Post 1017336)
A NAS is just that - an external networked storage device - how the storage is handled by the NAS device is insignificant to the client systems that communicate with it (as long as the NAS supports network access compatible with the clients (like SMB or NFS or AFP, etc.)) A raid unit that connects to the computer via USB (similar to a DROBO) will work on either platform and, if the storage is formatted in a way compatible with all OS' that might access it, the raid functionality is irrelevant as it's handled internally by the box and the computer just sees it as a giant storage unit connected via USB or Firewire or eSata, etc.

Yes...
Except a NAS would connect through the network - not USB or firewire.
Hence the N.

Nethfel 03-13-2010 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TechieJustin (Post 1017465)
Yes...
Except a NAS would connect through the network - not USB or firewire.
Hence the N.

You would also notice that I did not specify a device that connects via usb or firewire as a NAS - but rather that a device that handled raid internally that connected via firewire or usb - whether it be a NAS unit or a usb or firewire attached raid unit, if the raid functionality is handled internally, the OS will be oblivious to it.

Also, as you may (or may not) there are devices available that can convert a USB or Firewire storage unit (raid or not) into a NAS - for example: Apple Airport Extreme has usb ports for external drives which will now make them appear as a NAS, Linksys also has a device that does the same feature, and the Droboshare device will take a DROBO and make it accessible as if it were a NAS - basically, what I was trying to say was - whether it's a NAS device or a directly attached device - if that device handles raid internally - that functionality will be usually shielded from the OS and the OS - whether mounting the device remotely across the network via SMB, NFS, etc. or locally by firewire or USB, the storage will not magically change. The same is also true for SAN units (in case you don't know what they are, it's another technology for network storage) where these days, iSCSI is used commonly to connect to the device - the device itself handles the raid functionality and as long as the OS has iSCSI drivers, it can communicate and utilize the network storage and ignore how the drives are configured.

My goal in my post was to make sure it was clear that an external device that handles its' own raid functionality, and has a commonly used connection technology (whether ethernet/wifi, USB or Firewire), that device will be available as storage on either platform if the OS supports the appropriate connection technology.

So please, although I'll admit, I may have worded the post perhaps a bit shorter with a bit less explanation than I should have, the sarcasm in your reply is not necessarily appreciated.

TechieJustin 03-14-2010 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nethfel (Post 1017485)
You would also notice that I did not specify a device that connects via usb or firewire as a NAS - but rather that a device that handled raid internally that connected via firewire or usb - whether it be a NAS unit or a usb or firewire attached raid unit, if the raid functionality is handled internally, the OS will be oblivious to it.

Also, as you may (or may not) there are devices available that can convert a USB or Firewire storage unit (raid or not) into a NAS - for example: Apple Airport Extreme has usb ports for external drives which will now make them appear as a NAS, Linksys also has a device that does the same feature, and the Droboshare device will take a DROBO and make it accessible as if it were a NAS - basically, what I was trying to say was - whether it's a NAS device or a directly attached device - if that device handles raid internally - that functionality will be usually shielded from the OS and the OS - whether mounting the device remotely across the network via SMB, NFS, etc. or locally by firewire or USB, the storage will not magically change. The same is also true for SAN units (in case you don't know what they are, it's another technology for network storage) where these days, iSCSI is used commonly to connect to the device - the device itself handles the raid functionality and as long as the OS has iSCSI drivers, it can communicate and utilize the network storage and ignore how the drives are configured.

My goal in my post was to make sure it was clear that an external device that handles its' own raid functionality, and has a commonly used connection technology (whether ethernet/wifi, USB or Firewire), that device will be available as storage on either platform if the OS supports the appropriate connection technology.

So please, although I'll admit, I may have worded the post perhaps a bit shorter with a bit less explanation than I should have, the sarcasm in your reply is not necessarily appreciated.

Next time be clearer.
Those Firewire, USB2 to ethernet adapters are generally crap and should be avoided.

Nethfel 03-14-2010 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TechieJustin (Post 1017579)
Next time be clearer.
Those Firewire, USB2 to ethernet adapters are generally crap and should be avoided.

Depends on the device, the little ones that are just adapters are usually crap. Some devices, like the Airport Extreme are not as "crappy" as your statement would apply as they do use a usb drive to be able to be accessed in a network environment as a NAS.

Next time, I will be more clear. Next time, how 'bout you be a bit less sarcastic? At that I think this thread has run its course, at least for my own attention span.

TechieJustin 03-14-2010 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nethfel (Post 1017588)
Depends on the device, the little ones that are just adapters are usually crap. Some devices, like the Airport Extreme are not as "crappy" as your statement would apply as they do use a usb drive to be able to be accessed in a network environment as a NAS.

Next time, I will be more clear. Next time, how 'bout you be a bit less sarcastic? At that I think this thread has run its course, at least for my own attention span.

I suggest the Thecus MiniNAS N0204. It uses laptop hard drives which tend to be more reliable.
There's also the N2100SM - also from Thecus. It used normal 3.5" drives.
All speak AFP with no problem.


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