6 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2009 5:20 PM by appear
appear Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello guys,


I am thinking about buying a Xserve RAID to go with our Xserve G5, 2ghz.
I have found a pretty good offer for a Xserve Raid with 4 x 250 GB drives + a fiber card for 900$ total.

We will use this for basic backup of project files, design and video files, mail ect on a gigabit network.

Some people have told me Xserve RAIDs are outdated but I really like Apple's products and for the same money I haven't been able to find a better solution, but maybe I am not looking the right places... Therefor I have three questions I really hope you can answer so I can make decision:

1. What do you think about the price and the setup in general (outdated, overkill ...) ? For a small graphic buro of 5 people, I suppose it will manage just fine but should we concider something else ?

2. I know I cannot mix 250GB drives with other sizes but could I add 750 or 1TB drives to the right controller and keep the 250GB drives in the left controller ? Or are we stuck with 250 GB drives only ?

3. How noisy is the Xraid ? We have a XrackPro2 4u which makes the xserve g5s noise level tollerable, but will the RAID be even louder or generate more heat in the rack ? The issue is the rack is inside our offices so I don't want it to get even louder.


Thank you in advance!!

xserve g5 2ghz, mbp 17" unibody 2,9ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • 1. Re: 3 xraid beginner questions.
    Camelot Level 8 Level 8 (45,790 points)
    What do you think about the price and the setup in general (outdated, overkill ...)?


    That's a hard question. Part of the answer will depend on how old the equipment is. If it's the second generation XServe RAID (the first ones that shipped with 250GB drives), then it's already 4+ years old. If it's a later generation (where drives were available up to 750GB), then it may only be 18 months old. That will significantly impact its value in my mind.

    That said, I have many of these things in my network and they've been rock solid. Your biggest issue may be getting replacement parts, especially drives.

    Overall the price isn't bad - that system retailed for about $8K when new, but do check the age.

    I know I cannot mix 250GB drives with other sizes but could I add 750 or 1TB drives to the right controller and keep the 250GB drives in the left controller ? Or are we stuck with 250 GB drives only


    You cannot mix drive sizes within the same array, but you can mix drive sizes, even on the same controller, if they're in different RAID sets.
    For example, if you have four 250GB drives in one array, you can add three 750GB drives in the other three slots on the same controller and create another array, and still have seven free slots on the other controller.

    How noisy is the Xraid ? We have a XrackPro2 4u which makes the xserve g5s noise level tollerable, but will the RAID be even louder or generate more heat in the rack ?


    I wouldn't say it was any noisier than the XServe, but you have to bear in mind you now how two devices that are churning away. The XRackPro does a good job, though, so you should be OK, but there is a personal element to it.
  • 2. Re: 3 xraid beginner questions.
    appear Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you so much! - answered all my questions!

    I have to find out more about the age and for what purpose it has been used. The seller is a small business and he claims it has been used for a small amount of time, but is there some way to diagnose the Xraid before purchase ?

    Regarding mixing disks - will both the 1st gen. and 2nd gen. Xraid be able to run different raids with different disk sizes ? Because I have been advised by two other experts that I will only be able to run one type/size of ADM's in the xraid nomatter if I have the disks in different raid arrays.

    Compatibility - will the Xraid be able to handle 1 TB ADM's ? or is there a MAX at 750GB ? I did not have the perception that these drives were 'rare' to find, the 1TB is available from the Apple store.
  • 3. Re: 3 xraid beginner questions.
    TechWally Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    I was in a the same position as you a couple of years ago, we had an xserve G5 in a rack in the studio with us, I thought that an xserve raid would be the ideal solution to our needs so I ordered one and put it in the rack, the noise was not a problem, the problem we had was that the xserve would overheat in he warmer months. We have now built a small server room in the corner of the studio with an aircon system in it. The RAID is not as good at getting rid of its heat as a G5 xserve.
  • 4. Re: 3 xraid beginner questions.
    Tod Kuykendall Level 4 Level 4 (2,270 points)
    +Compatibility - will the Xraid be able to handle 1 TB ADM's ? or is there a MAX at 750GB ? I did not have the perception that these drives were 'rare' to find, the 1TB is available from the Apple store.+

    First 750GB drives are absolutely the max and you will need firmware v1.5.1 to use those.
    Second be very careful here - the Xserve RAID takes ATA drives (sometimes called PATA) which have been largely discontinued by drive manufacturers. I was recently trying to find 16 750s to refurb/replace my old 500s and they were very expensive when I could even find them. The Xserve RAID is also very picky about which drives it accepts so just because you find a stash of PATA drives somewhere doesn't mean that they will work. If you are planning on buying RAID bodies without drives I would make absolutely sure you can get the drives before you commit to the purchase. As far as I know Apple does not currently sell any drives for the Xserve RAID although they are still available as service replacement parts.

    It's good that you're doing your homework but proceed carefully.

    My $.02,
    =Tod
  • 5. Re: 3 xraid beginner questions.
    Donald Kok Level 2 Level 2 (490 points)
    In addition to Todd: The sledges for the ATA's are expensive and hard to find.
  • 6. Re: 3 xraid beginner questions.
    appear Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi'

    I managed to find someone who sells these drives and has many in stock!

    The prices are very high, but maybe this could interrest any of you guys who already have xraids and need to upgrade!

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1-X-APPLE-XSERVE-RAID-XRAID-DRIVE-CARRIER-ADMW0QQitemZ160323083442QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item160323083442 &trksid=p3286.m63.l1177


    I also read a few threads about people successfully putting these SEAGATE drives in empty PATA drive carriers (and hitachi):

    http://cpc.farnell.com/seagate/st3750640a/drive-3-5-ata100-750gb-16mb-seagate/dp /CS16023


    If that is the case and these drives works 4 drive carriers w. 4 Seagate 750 Gb drives would sum up to
    380$ for the disks + 680$ for the carriers.. 1060$ in total!


    The only reason I am considering this is because I can get the xraid so cheap (~900$ incl. fiber card - 2 year old, used by one person only), but really I am having second thoughts and looking at OWC raids that are much more future proof!