The iStoragePro Pocket View RAID Drive
COW Library : RAID Set-Up : Jerry Hofmann : The iStoragePro Pocket View RAID Drive
iStoragePro has been on my radar for the past year. I had an opportunity to run their "Pocket View" setup and was pleasantly surprised to find a rugged and fast Raid configurable portable unit I could take anywhere. Last year, I reviewed their Pocket drive, and was impressed by it, so I sure anticipated that this setup wouldn't disappoint … and it didn't. Looks nice with a MacBook Pro, too!
I've always enjoyed using small arrays, and when I was sent one populated with a pair of SSD's as well as a pair of 7200 RPM drives, I got excited to see just how much faster the solid state drives would be. They were indeed faster. Take a gander at the speeds here with the SSD's installed.
Impressive speeds indeed! This test was done connecting the eSATA connector to my Mac. The iStorgePro Pocket view is small enough to fit in your laptop bag with your laptop, and it's fast enough for most all editing jobs. SSD's are fast, but pricey. So I swapped out the SSD's for a pair of 7200 RPM drives and got the numbers below with AJA's System test software.
Interesting that the speeds are just fine for the drives that are in use, however note the differences in the graphs between the two. Seems the real drives drop speeds momentarily, where the SSD's showed a very constant speed. I've been using the unit populated with 7200 RPM drives playing ProRes 4:2:2 files without a single hitch however, and they surely cost less than the SSDs!
Raid 0 is faster, but it's got its downsides, so you can either format the drive Raid 1 (which mirrors the drives) or make them just JBOD (separate drives).
This unit utilizes a rugged design all the way through, and yet keeps weight down to a minimum (an all aluminum enclosure helps). It not only has a heat sink on it's bottom, to keep it cool, it includes a very quiet fan as well which should insure that the drive's life will be longer than otherwise.
I like the sturdy trays that hold the removable drives. They are solid, and include a latch to make sure that the drive is seated right and is going to stay put in the enclosure. The Pocket View sports a USB 2 Port, 2 FW 800 ports, as well as an eSATA port. As expected, the eSATA port allows for the fastest speeds. The unit can be formatted from its front LCD Screen and it's 2 set buttons. (Pretty slick to be able to do this on a set while data wrangling shoots - you'll impress your friends!)
The trays that hold the removable drives are also metal with what seems to be very sturdy latches, which lock into place with a satisfying snap.
You can buy the iStoragePro Pocket View from many dealers and you can buy it unpopulated if you wish; unlike many manufactures of storage solutions, you can get it either way.
Pricing as of this writing is in line with the quality and class of this product as well. An unpopulated unit sells for $229 on Amazon, and you can buy it populated with drives as well. You might pay a few dollars for the drives from iStoragePro, but (MOST IMPORTANT) they are tested first there. If you buy your own bare drives, you really don't know what you're going to get until you test it yourself, so I do endorse buying the units populated with drives that have been tested by iStoragePro.
All in all I really like this unit, and can heartily recommend it.