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This low cost 4-drive eSATA RAID enclosure is now the central store for all our music, pictures and video. If you are not familiar with RAID it is a technique for using more than one hard disk to protect against data loss due to hard disk failure and/or improve performance. For those of you who are familiar with RAID this neat box supports RAID 0,1,3,5 and 1+0.
It takes up to 4 3.5in hard drives (they must be the same capacity and preferably the same make and model) and each drive can have a maximum capacity of 2TB.
We have it filled with 4x2TB drives using RAID 5 for its data protection qualities and we get a total capacity of 5.45GB that is safe from any single drive failure.
Its USB2 and Firewire, it has a built in fan with 3 settings that is quiet and when set to "auto" hasn't got past setting 2 even though it is in a Hi-Fi unit.
It comfortably streams movies to our PC for display on our TV. Of course performance will depend on the drives you install into it, we went with 4 "Hitachi Deskstar 2TB Hard Drives SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache" which are fine but there may be better options out there now.
You'll need to factor in the cost of the drives. I recommend you go for the biggest drives you can afford since you cannot adjust the configuration without it cleaning the drives and deleting their contents.
During set up I experienced some problems but was helped by a friendly StarTech technical support guy over web text chat. He was very helpful and understanding. The problem turned out to be a faulty hard disk I bought to put in the enclosure - so good support and no problems to date.
StarTech.com's S354UFER External SATA RAID Enclosure is a high-performance external RAID storage solution, supporting up to four 3.5" SATA hard drives up to a maximum total combined capacity of 8 TB (2 TB per drive).
The 4-bay RAID enclosure can be connected to the host/source computer through USB, eSATA or FireWire and automatically builds your SATA RAID array based on your selection (Spanning, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 1+0, RAID 3, and RAID 5 supported), delivering a simple, yet flexible external storage solution.
Designed for convenience, the enclosure features front panel LED indicators that provide RAID information and simple hard drive status and activity monitoring. The enclosure also features a built-in 3-speed 80mm fan with automatic or manual controls that allow you to customize the speed of the fan as necessary, ensuring suitable operating temperatures for optimized drive performance.
|Product Description:||StarTech.com 3.5in 4 Drive eSATA USB FireWire SATA RAID Enclosure - hard drive array|
|Device Type:||Hard drive array|
|Max Supported Capacity:||16 TB|
|Interface:||FireWire 800, Hi-Speed USB, Serial ATA-300, FireWire 400|
|Installed Devices / Modules Qty:||4 (max)|
|Supported Drives:||Serial ATA-300|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||12.6 cm x 21.5 cm x 17 cm|
|Built-in Devices:||Led panel|
|Storage Controller:||RAID ( Serial ATA-300 ) - RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 10|
|Hard Drive:||0 hot-swap Serial ATA-300|
|OS Required:||Linux, Microsoft Windows 2000, Apple MacOS X 10.4, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Apple MacOS X 10.6, Apple MacOS X 10.5, Microsoft Windows Vista (32/64 bits), Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64 bits), Microsoft Windows XP (32/64 bits), Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (32/64-bits), Apple MacOS X 10.7 Lion, Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Windows 8 (32/64 bits)|
|Power:||AC 120/230 V|
|Manufacturer Warranty:||1 year warranty|