SSD Drive options

Fast!! Wow! How's that even possible?

I'll probably take the plunge today. I've pretty much decided RAID 0 with backups. At least now I know the risks! Thank you for all the help!

One final question - I'm considering the Dual enclosure instead of the Thunderbay 4.

Dual -

The Dual is Thunderbolt 1 and the Thunderbay is Thunderbolt 2. Two SSDs in RAID 0 won't be faster than 1000MB/sec right? That's the max out for Thunderbolt 1. The performance should be the same in both enclosures, right?

For me the big benefit of the Dual enclosure is portability.

Alright, one more question:

I'm planning to create bootable backups of my Mac Pro. Do those need to be SSD as well? Or will a regular 500GB drive be fine?

Bootable backups can be on any type of drive.

As far as Thunderbolt 2 vs 1 - I wouldn't be surprised if there could be a noticeable performance difference, but I think you're still far enough ahead of your performance goals that you probably won't be taxing things enough to notice it. If portability is a concern then you're probably not trading much for it.

Cool thanks. I use SuperDuper for my bootable backups.

In addition to bootable backups, should I start using Time Capsule? I've never used it before.

Yes, Time Machine is pretty freaking excellent. It saves many versions because it is space efficient. How often do you use SuperDuper? There is a chance you'll create something on Monday, munge it on Tuesday, delete it on Wednesday, and realize you want Monday's version on Thursday. Can SuperDuper bail you out of that? Suppose you don't realize you need it until a week or two later?

Right now SuperDuper backs up the bootable drives every night at 11pm. I guess you're right... if I change a file and want an earlier version, I'm screwed.

Also a random question - what's your thoughts about leaving the computer on all the time vs. shutting down each night?

composerjohn said:

Also a random question - what's your thoughts about leaving the computer on all the time vs. shutting down each night?

That's a tough one. Basically, it comes down to choosing between saving energy or saving your computer. I leave mine on and ask God for forgiveness.

You will like Time Machine!

So keeping the computer on all the time is better for the computer? I've actually heard that before.

composerjohn said:

So keeping the computer on all the time is better for the computer? I've actually heard that before.

Yes, the theory I have heard, and I am not an electrical engineer (EE) is that the leading edge of a current is the most damaging to a circuit. Circuits do wear out, and switching things on and off accelerates this more than anything. Heat cycles are another cause of wear and damage. I've seen more failures during power-on than in the middle of use. So whatever the theory is, in practice, yes, leaving it on is a form of protection.

Time Machine - It's a good easy to use backup program. Doesn't produce bootable backups, but usually recovery isn't too long (much faster with a non-networked hard drive).

As far as leaving on vs turning on and off. I can't say I've seen anything over the years to say either way. People will postulate that expansion and contraction from heat can cause problems, likewise, you're more susceptible to problems with power fluctuation or hard drive corruption from power outages if the computer is on. Generally all of these things are infrequent enough that you don't ever really know the cause of anything. If one way is better than another, it's certainly hard to determine and may be based on a lot of environmental factors. I would just do whatever makes you the most comfortable. Generally people are impatient and don't like to wait for things to boot up (even when I give them SSD based computers that boot up in about a minute!)

Just assume that something will break and know your expected down time. At work, for servers this means I have dual power supplies and RAID with 4 hour response times for replacement parts. For workstations this means next business day on-site repair and software images so I can rebuild a computer in about an hour or so in the case of corruption or unremovable malware, etc.

I leave my workstation at work on all the time because I never know if I'll need it for remote access. I don't really have a computer at home (my wife and I share a Macbook), so I usually just remote in if I need to do anything in the office.

Last question (maybe): I get a 1TB backup drive. Is it possible to partition the drive and use as a mirrored boot drive (500GB) and extra storage (500GB)? Or is it safer to just use a 500GB for the mirrored boot drive?

It's always risky to answer a question for something I haven't done, but I can't think of any reason to not expect to be able to.

That said, I'm surprised all the time about silly limitations of things!

The cost difference between 500GB and 1TB is $16. That's why I'm considering the bigger drive. Double the space for barely anything.

Maybe I'll try it! Everything will be double backed up. So, knock on wood!

Partitioning a drive for boot and storage will work, but then you can't call it a backup drive if you're using it as regular storage.

Yes. Storage doesn't count as backup. I'll have backups of the storage. grin

But not on the same drive.


Is it possible to partition larger drives? Like a 6TB into 3 or 4 different partitions? Is that advisable? Increase risk?

It should be possible, and I'd say it might even reduce risk. Big partitions have special risks which I won't go into here. Go ahead. Just make sure to back up the storage portion on other media.

Got it. I'm making sure everything is backed up (in some cases, double backed up). This is in addition to Crashplan. So that would be triple backup.

Another question (sorry!):

There's Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD) available. Like this:

Are those more or less desirable over traditional 7200rpm drives? Like this:

I haven't read much about hybrid drives. I tried one and was entirely unimpressed. I like the theory, but I imagine they are hard to get right. I say don't bother.

I even tried using a very small (32GB) SSD boot drive and kept most stuff from my spinning boot drive on a spinning drive. In other words, I kept only a very minimal bunch of files on the SSD, including the swap folder. In practice, it was not fast, nor was it easy to maintain.

Don't apologize for your questions. I'm having fun.

Maybe you should visit my data center for fun. I have some RAID arrays of more than 24 drives each.

Question about backup drives - I'm considering two options:

2 6TB drives in separate enclosures. The data will be identical. Drive 1 will be backed up to Drive 2 with SuperDuper.


2 6TB drives in one enclosure, RAID 1.

Both enclosures have USB 3.0 and FW800.

The separate enclosures is about $60 more. But it gives me the flexibility of having a offline backup (per Tom's suggestion). Plus if I travel somewhere, the enclosure is a little bit smaller and more portable.

But perhaps RAID 1 is easier and more reliable.


I would think, if you have the SSD RAID, and a cloud backup, a single 6TB drive backup should be enough. I mean, what are the odds that the SSD fails and the 6TB drive is broken, too? Just make sure to test the 6TB drive regularly.

Yes, the odds are low. However I'm paranoid about backups. My livelihood depends on these drives. I'd rather have a little too much vs. too little.

The SSD is for virtual instrument music samples. The 6TB drives will be partitioned: 2TB samples backup 2, 2TB Archives 2, 500GB Bootable HD, 500GB Time Machine. 1TB for "Current" storage and anything extra.

I don't follow the question. If you want to have two different backup drives, and if that desire comes from the desire to have separate, redundant backups, then putting them in the same enclosure makes no sense. Neither does binding them in a RAID 1 array.

I thought since both backups will be identical, maybe it makes more sense to use a RAID 1?

Two enclosures - SuperDuper backs up to drive 1 and then drive 2.

One enclosure - SuperDuper backs up to drive 1 (RAID 1). Then both drives should be identical.

I'm probably not understanding things right. It's probably easier and less headache for me to use two enclosures and do it that way.

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