1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Mar 12, 2013 11:15 PM by LyndsayHowarth

    2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????


      Hi All,


      I am just about to order a mini for hosting MacOSXServer and FMS12.


      I understand the argument about the solid state being faster on the read and write. How does that apply for a FM server which does not have massive traffic. I am hesitating on paying extra for the solid state when the biggest potential threat is running out of space for files uploaded or generated on the server.


      Comments welcome.

        • 1. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

          Hi Lindsay,


          I wouldn't hesitate to use a small SSD for the served files. It's what I've done for our FMS 12 box even though our traffic might also be considered "light". You'll get some excellent commentary on benchmarks if you poke around the links on thiis site:




          I always have a different HD for the archived backups. I make those using Rob Russell's shell script with different folders for hourly and daily archives.




          What other files do you see your server generating?


          I hope this helps,



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          • 2. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

            I have several domains on the current server and some of those are uploading files and others are generating files. My 9xserver HD became too small. I am afraid the same will happen with a solid state one.

            - Lyndsay

            • 3. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

              Hi again,


              From what you are now saying I suspect you are hosting some projects that have web publishing components -- whereupon a two maching deployment might (or might not) need to be considered for an optimal configuration. Container storage demands might also gobble up your HD space.


              I supoose also if the main load is via a WAN connection then the HD read & write access speed is less likely to be the main bottleneck.


              I've no experience in juggling these considerations so I hope you'll get better wisdom than I can offer.  Sorry I cannot be more helpful!



              • 4. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????



                You might consider this Overkill, but there are some external storages options that you might considers.


                You could look at is a Promise Pegasus, Though expensive, these are extreme useful. I have a setup for mine this way, in that the OS and Data drives are in the Pegasus. This way, there is no reliance on the Mini, apart from its Processor and RAM.


                What this also gets you, you are no longer constrained by the Min's 2.5' drive capacity, so obtaining 3.5' 7200rpm drives is possible, or having a mix and match, SSD and Raid'ed 1tb drives.


                This way, if there is ever a problem with the Mini, it can simply be swapped out, few plugs, and you you are up and running again, Or, if you have a Macbook, you could plug directly into that while you trouble shoot the Mini.


                If you want to step it up another level, SONNET do some very interesting products for Rack Mounting a Mini, and also adding PCIe (up to x8 I believe), so that you can also look at Fibre Channel and 10g Networking.


                These are all made possible by the Thunderbolt connection. Again, I say overkill, but it you want to look at some resilience and speed to 'restore', then worth a look at least.



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                • 5. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

                  I've come across this technology before... Is it DROBO or something like that...


                  I'm sticking closely with what I know and at a scale that I can manage. My oldest server still pumping is a 14.5 yrs old Powerbook G3. The other servers I have are minis. My concerns are simply that they get backed up adequately and that they don't need too much manual maintenance once configured.


                  I know I should be looking at more complex networking and backup solutions and Raid etc but that would require absorbing new realms of information into my brain and I simply just don't want to know... I have too much on my plate that is more critical and the primary source of my current network problems is the weather and the inability of the Utilities and Phone companies to maintain a decent connection for any period of time.


                  I do however take your point...


                  In the mean time I'll order the mini...


                  - Lyndsay

                  • 6. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????



                    If you are after some guidance/tips for upgrading networking structure, the just ask.


                    Just for a bit of info on the to systems;

                    The Pegasus, this is DAS (Direct Access Storage). This means it is treated like a USB Harddrive that you plug into you machine. It is a lot faster as would run on 10g/sec ThunderBolt Connection. This is also only Single machine accessible, same as a USB Drive.


                    The Drobo, this would be classed as NAS (Network Attached Storage). This means that it sits directly on your network, and can be accessed by multiple machines. On Smaller networks, this would just sit on the network with all of the other devices, PC's, Servers, Routers, Wireles devices etc. As your network increases, you would have a seperate dedicated network, that the Only has the Drobo and the Servers, This would then be defined as a SAN (Storage Area Network). Each server connecting to it would have two network cards, one for external access (workstation to the server applications) and one for Data access, which is on the seperate network for the Drobo.


                    It can get can get a lot more complicated than this, but these are ths highlights that you would need to think about before starting down any route. One key thing to consider, something like a Drobo is 'Eggs in one basket', you would need to take a more indepth look at Backups and resilience then.


                    Based on you saying that you have older machines, the G3, the Pegasus would not be the best choice, The Drobo would serve you a lot better.


                    Anyway, prob a lot more than you needed/wanted to know right now, but information for the future.



                    • 7. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

                      FYI, the Drobo has a new model, the 5D, with Thunderbolt on it which is a lot faster than previous models.  The flexibility of Drobo is being able to put any size drive you want in any bay.  Traditional RAIDs all require the same size drive.  At fire blink, this sounds like a very slick system.  The problem is that the RAID is only as good as the processor on it and Drobo does not have fast processors.  So even with fast drives, the Drobo Thunderbolt is significantly slower than the Pegasus.  A competitor is the LaCie 5big which is faster than the Drobo, but still not quite up to the Pegasus speed.  But the LaCie has a better price than Pegasus models. 


                      Drobo is great for flexibility and being inexpensive.  It is not a performance drive.  FileMaker, like all databases, has a performance closely tied to the speed of accessing the data and faster drives directly impact FileMaker's performance.  I've used several Pegasus R4's and R6's.  Be aware that databases perform best as RAID10 and most come standard with RAID5.  Yes, RAID5 provides more usable space, but I recommend RAID10 for performance with a database. 


                      My personal recommendation for equipment available now in a small FileMaker setting is a Mac Mini OS X Server (i7 processor) with 8 or 16 gigs or RAM, two internal drives (one time machined from the other) and all the data kept on a Pegasus with a Carbon Copy clone done of the OS each evening to a partition on the Pegasus. 

                      • 8. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????



                        In your recommended setup, where do you have the OS and FM Server application installed? It seems like you might have them both on one of the internal drives (with the other internal drive acting as a time machine for the first internal drive)? I assume that the FM data files and backup files are on the Pegasus?


                        This sounds a little different from what Pad suggests. He seems to say to install everything (OS, FM Server app, etc.) on the Pegasus.



                        • 9. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????



                          I run all of mine on the Pegasus as I replaced all of the Drives in the Pegasus with 512gb SSD's. Originall I had then in an Xserve, but when that Failed I needed a different solution that allowed quick and easy setup, should somethign goes wrong again.


                          So, The OS is on One SSD, The Data is one SSD, the FM Backup Location is on Another SSD, and the fourth is at this time spare, though have considered using this as the TimeMachine Backup for the OS drive. All the Drives are in PassThru Mode, and not RAID'ed. I'm using the speed of the Pegasus Thunderbolt, but not the RAID facility.


                          So in my setup, the Mini is purely there for it's Proccessors and RAM. If it fails, simply swap out for another Mini, and it as if Nothing Changed, as would boot from the OS drive in the Pegasus.


                          I'm not suggesting that this is the optimal setup, but is how I have ended getting mine up. I just don't liek the idea of pulling apart a Mini, to find and fix something. The time it would take, to simply open it, I could have plugged in another Mini, and be back up and running.



                          • 10. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

                            I have two Drobo units. Initially they were great, easy to expand, etc. Both are now giving me issues - the 5S with 8 tb of drives divided into two volumes is no longer recognizing any drives. Waiting for Drobo tech support to get back to me on that one.


                            The other one had to be replaced last year. It constantly dropped off the desktop (FW800 connection). As it was just out of warrnty I had to pay extra for extended warranty and then it was replaced.


                            My admiration for Drobo was waned of late. They are proving not to be as reliable as I had expected.


                            Just my $0.02.

                            • 11. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

                              I run the OS and FileMaker app on one of the Mac Mini internal drives and Time Machine backup to the other one.  But none of my database data is on the OS disk, it is all on the Pegasus. 


                              I run the backups on the OS Mac Mini internal so that the backups are on both it and the Time Machine backup 2nd internal Mac Mini drive.  I do this so that if something completely fails on the Pegasus, I have backups I can go to on the internal drives. 


                              Most computer dba's will tell you to run the OS and app on one partition and the data on another.  So that is a general best practice.  You could run the OS as a partition on the Pegasus for faster times and do a Time Machine from it back to one of the internal drives.  That probably would be faster, just isn't how I have set mine up. 


                              And I fully agree with David Zakary's comments because I was really enamored with the Drobo's at first, but due to slow speed and reliability issues (2 units died on me - and I'm talking the whole unit and not just drives), I see those more of a consumer level device.  They aren't bad... but they just aren't up to what I consider business standards.  I know they have been improving, but I feel safer with the Pegasus. 

                              • 12. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

                                OK... that sounds like a plan. I think I am more comfortable with the 2 hard disks for now and plan to get a pegasus...

                                • 13. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

                                  After a lot of attempts Drobo is replacing my 5-bay unit.


                                  They went as far as creating a special firmware to try to beat the thing back into behaving properly but it didn't work.


                                  The unit just stopped recognizing 8 tb worth of drives, spread across two volumes.


                                  While I like the concept of the Drobo, I'm not particulalry happy at the moment with it. It'll likely be next week before the new unit arrives and then I don't know if I've lost any data or not. Thankfully I don't think anything critical was on the drives at the moment beyond one volume being used as a TimeMachine volume.

                                  • 14. Re: 2x1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm OR the 256g solid state ????

                                    I've implemented 3 Drobos and 2 died completely with all data lost on all drives.  I've implemented 5 Pegasuses and all are going strong.  Two have had a single hard drive failure that was successfully swapped out on the fly with no down time.  I keep a spare drive sitting on top of each Pegasus ready to swap out any failed drive.  Shy of going to an expensive SAN, I've not run into anything more reliable. 


                                    Caveat, my Drobos were earlier versions and supposedly Drobo has improved since then. However, not only are the Pegasuses more reliable in my experience, they are faster too. 

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