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Sans Digital 5-Bay USB 3.0 / eSATA Hardware RAID5 Tower Storage Enclosure w/ 6G PCIe 2.0 HBA Card TR5UT+B (Black)
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Easy to set up, good streaming transfer speed.

Cons: Terrible random access speed. Control software is buggy, and crashes easily. It still worked though.

Other Thoughts: We purchased two of these enclosures and loaded them with with 5 3TB WD Red drives each. We set them up in RAID 5. A tiny RAID controller is built into the unit. You just connect an eSATA cable.

RAID build time was instant. One array didn't build properly, and after a while I figured out that the red light for one drive meant that drive was bad, and one of the 10 drives was DOA. I put in a spare drive, and that array had to rebuild. That took over 24 hours as I recall. Each box was giving us 11TB of space. An amazing amount for the price.

We have been using these two drives under Linux for about a year now. No reliability problems. We get over 200MB/sec when transferring big files. The problem comes in when any kind of random access happens. One example is writing to many small files. These drives slowed down to under 30MB per second. Average latency went to over 2 seconds! Also reading folders with many small files is really slow. Also having more than one user accessing the drive at the same time was not good. These drives have a tiny cheap RAID controller built in. It really isn't up to random access. I wish they would offer an enclosure with a better controller built in. I would pay an extra $100+ for that.

In the end these enclosures were too slow, and turned out to be a bad fit for us. I think they are a good value for a single user that deals only with large files, and 200MB/sec. is fast enough for you.

For comparison, our new server with a good hardware RAID controller is reading/writing to two 8-drive arrays of WD Red 4TB at 500-850 MB/sec. You get what you pay for. We will probably use the Sans Digital arrays for backup.

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OCZ Z-Drive R2 M84 256GB PCI-E PCI-Express interface (x8) MLC Enterprise Solid State Disk OCZSSDPX-ZD2M84256G
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Fast

Cons: We purchased 4 of these 90 days ago. 3 out of 4 have failed! Each at about 2 1/2 months of usage. All were in Dell Win 2003 servers in a well air-conditioned server room. 2 Failed in our main file server, 1 failed in a secondary SQL server. All are going back for a refund! I look bad for recommending them!

Other Thoughts: Don't use these in mission-critical systems. I was really shocked at the failure rate. There is absolutely no way these should be rated at 1,000,000 hour MTBF!

OCZ's tech support was useless, with comments like "Call us back if you figure out a solution", or "maybe you could try a driver for a different card" (would not work).

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Paul W.'s Profile

Display Name: Paul W.

Date Joined: 08/10/04

  • Reviews: 2
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 01/21/11
  • Last Review: 12/21/13
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