The Stardom Pro Drive PD2510: A dedicated 2.5-inch dual-drive RAID 1 enclosure for the MacPro
COW Library : Stardom Storage : David Roth Weiss : The Stardom Pro Drive PD2510: A dedicated 2.5-inch dual-drive RAID 1 enclosure for the MacPro
Every now and then, I stumble upon an elegant hardware or software solution that really impresses me, especially if it fulfills a need I didn't even know I had. The Stardom Pro Drive is one of those. The minute I saw it I recognized its potential. And, the more I thought about it, the more possibilities came to mind.
Stardom Pro Drives are clever little RAID enclosures designed to fit exclusively inside Apple MacPro towers, in any of the four internal drives bays.
What's so cool is that the Pro Drive houses two tiny 2.5-inch laptop hard drives in the space originally designed to house just one 3.5-inch hard drive, making it possible to install both the system drive and its backup in just one slot. It's ingenious.
The Pro Drive model PD2510 that I tested is a dedicated, fault tolerant, mirrored hardware RAID 1 configuration. It provides an instant, maintenance-free, real-time backup of my computer's system drive.
I installed two small 500Gb Seagate Momentus 2.5-inch laptop hard drives in the Pro Drive enclosure (the PD2510 can accommodate drives as large as 1Tb). The tiny Phillips-head screws supplied with the unit can be a bit tricky, but with the proper screwdriver the installation is pretty simple.
After carefully sliding the PD2510 enclosure into an empty drive bay in my MacPro and replacing the computer door, I fired-up the machine and opened the Apple Disk Utility to configure the two new drives.
When Disk Utility opened, I was initially surprised and concerned to see that only one new hard drive appeared in the window. However, after thinking it through for minute or two, I remembered that I was dealing with a hardware RAID. I realized the Pro Drive's chipset would control the configuration and operation of both drives as though they were one, and that is precisely how it works.
The two drives installed in the enclosure show up as a single drive in Disk Utility.
The Pro Drive's onboard chipset builds and formats the two hard drives in RAID 1 configuration that's invisible to the user. It constantly mirrors everything on the primary drive to the secondary backup drive, and does it all automatically.
At this point, all that was left was to clone my present working system drive to the new RAID 1 on the Pro Drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. That took about and hour, and when it was done, I booted to the clone by simply holding down the Option key as I rebooted the computer, then selecting the newly installed drive.
The new RAID 1 configuration worked perfectly after I rebooted the computer, and it still does. It gave me an immediate sense of satisfaction and continues to give me a great sense of relief, knowing that I no longer have to worry about losing anything to a catastrophic system drive failure.
RAID 1 PERFORMANCE:
Though I've always been leery of using or recommending mirrored hard drive configurations in media storage applications, I suspected it was an ideal scheme for protecting a system drive, and as it turns out, I was right.
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