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· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched this forum specifically on the SmartStor but got no hits, so apologies if other drive arrays have been discussed but I haven't found any such threads.

I'm presently going through my 2nd episode of an external drive failing. If I can't clone over the data to a new drive using GPARTED, there goes 2TB of content I won't be able to recover, which is very annoying.

In a MacMall email I came across the Promise SmartStor DS4600 hard drive array (from the Promise website: promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?region=en-global&m=172&sub_m=sub_m_4&rsn1=3&rsn3=6&SmarStorDAS), which can hold up to 4 2TB drives running RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10. If running RAID 1/5/10, the data is redundant across the drives such that if 1 (RAID 1 or 5) or 2 drives (RAID 10) fail, they can be hot-swapped and the data remains uncorrupted. I.e., barring the array getting hit with a major power surge or similar dramatic event, I could feel fairly confident I won't have to deal with losing my data again.

Of course the tech specs (promise.com/support/download_file.aspx?rsn=152&m=93&region=en-global) don't say it's compatible with DirecTV equipment, but given that it supports Linux/Unix, and as I understand the DirecTV equipment runs Linux and uses an XFS file system, shouldn't it work up to at least 2TB of storage?
 

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I don't recall that unit being discussed here before. Based on the RAID 1 devices that do work I'd say you have a great chance of it working as long as the RAID controller is in the enclosure and you're only presenting 2TB to the DVR.

I have 2 units using the Sans Digital MobileSTOR MS2UTN+ running RAID 1 and they are working great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes it has RAID onboard. I also forgot to mention the NS2600 (promise.com/media_bank/Download%20Bank/Datasheet/NS2600_20100803.pdf) which appears to be more like the MSUTN2+ given it has 2 bays vs. 4. Thx for the reply.
 

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JohnHab said:
Yes it has RAID onboard. I also forgot to mention the NS2600 (promise.com/media_bank/Download%20Bank/Datasheet/NS2600_20100803.pdf) which appears to be more like the MSUTN2+ given it has 2 bays vs. 4. Thx for the reply.
Well I know the NS2600 won't work, there's no eSATA port.
 

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And the notes for the 4600 say "eSATA and USB are for backup only".

It seems as though these devices are meant to be stand alone only. They are built to be a NAS, not an external enclosure.
 

· Godfather
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RunnerFL said:
And the notes for the 4600 say "eSATA and USB are for backup only".

It seems as though these devices are meant to be stand alone only. They are built to be a NAS, not an external enclosure.
keep in mind there are 2 4600's NS4600 and DS4600. the NS4600 has USB, eSata and Ethernet, the DS4600 has USB, eSata, and 2 flavours of Firewire.

The NS4600 is the one that states that USB and eSata are for backup only...

to the OP. have you gotten one yet? I was planning to get one to try on my HR34...
 

· Mr. FixAnything
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JohnHab said:
I've searched this forum specifically on the SmartStor but got no hits, so apologies if other drive arrays have been discussed but I haven't found any such threads.

I'm presently going through my 2nd episode of an external drive failing. If I can't clone over the data to a new drive using GPARTED, there goes 2TB of content I won't be able to recover, which is very annoying.

In a MacMall email I came across the Promise SmartStor DS4600 hard drive array (from the Promise website: promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?region=en-global&m=172&sub_m=sub_m_4&rsn1=3&rsn3=6&SmarStorDAS), which can hold up to 4 2TB drives running RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10. If running RAID 1/5/10, the data is redundant across the drives such that if 1 (RAID 1 or 5) or 2 drives (RAID 10) fail, they can be hot-swapped and the data remains uncorrupted. I.e., barring the array getting hit with a major power surge or similar dramatic event, I could feel fairly confident I won't have to deal with losing my data again.

Of course the tech specs (promise.com/support/download_file.aspx?rsn=152&m=93&region=en-global) don't say it's compatible with DirecTV equipment, but given that it supports Linux/Unix, and as I understand the DirecTV equipment runs Linux and uses an XFS file system, shouldn't it work up to at least 2TB of storage?
I would buy (since you are the first person who want it use with DTV DVR) it from a store what would take it back if it will not work for your DVR (BTW, what model you have ? Some of then picky for eSATA controllers inside these enclosures). My preferable: Fry's. Or Amazon.

BTW, RAID10 (RAID0+RAID1) would require 4 drives to fulfill its redundancy level and you will have to use 1/2 of total size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
BAHitman, no haven't gotten one. Decided to go the cheapest route and just put a new 2TB drive in the enclosure the failed drive was in (strangely Western Digital sent me a 3TB as a replacement for their failed drive but as we all know the DirecTV boxes only recognize up to 2TB, so instead I'm using that as a backup drive for my computer).

P Smith, I have an 2 HR24-500s and 1 HR24-200. I was looking to hook it up to one of the 500s. I would love to get an HR34, but I haven't seen any owned ones available yet (I'm not a fan of leased boxes).
 

· Broadcast Engineer
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There are 3 main factors for reliability: the HDD itself, the HBA/enclosure, the eSATA cable.

And for me, reliability is by far the top goal. So for me, I only use the drives and enclosures and cables that seem to have the best track records here on this very site (all of which information is readily available). To me, saving a few bucks by using a Fry's bargain bin drive or an untested enclosure is both a recipe for disaster, and hardly a bargain. You could hand me this system for free, and I still would never use it.

I really don't relish the idea of losing a dozen unwatched eps of Fringe that are otherwise very difficult and/or costly to replace in the blink of an eye (along with another 450 hours of HD) because I cheaped out on some untested product. That is pure insanity. To me that is like testing a handsaw while sitting on the tree limb you are about to cut off, or checking your fuel level by striking a match so you can see deep down into the gas tank.

But then, YMMV; to each his own. And the rest of us benefit when you take a chance. Good luck with that.

Pioneers get the arrows; settlers get the land.
 

· Broadcast Engineer
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There are 3 main factors for reliability: the HDD itself, the HBA/enclosure, the eSATA cable.

And for me, reliability is by far the top goal. So for me, I only use the drives and enclosures and cables that seem to have the best track records here on this very site (all of which information is readily available). To me, saving a few bucks by using a Fry's bargain bin drive or an untested enclosure is both a recipe for disaster, and hardly a bargain. You could hand me this system for free, and I still would never use it.

I really don't relish the idea of losing a dozen unwatched eps of Fringe that are otherwise very difficult and/or costly to replace in the blink of an eye (along with another 450 hours of HD) because I cheaped out on some untested product. That is pure insanity. To me that is like testing a handsaw while sitting on the tree limb you are about to cut off, or checking your fuel level by striking a match so you can see deep down into the gas tank.

But then, YMMV; to each his own. And the rest of us benefit when you take a chance. Good luck with that.

Pioneers get the arrows; settlers get the land.

JohnHab said:
...I'm presently going through my 2nd episode of an external drive failing...
No kidding. I wonder just what's up with that. ;)
 

· Godfather
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Here is my configuration...

4x750GB drives (WD 750's) in a RAID5. This results in a 2096GiB array. you MUST do some configuration on the PC to get this to work as there is a bug in the device that only exposed a 47GiB volume on ESATA using the automatic configuration, and none of the DVR's wanted to use the device.

The steps that I used are:

1. Install the drives in the enclosure
2. Install the software that comes with the enclosure to the PC.
3. connect the enclosure via USB cable
4. Launch the software
5. Click the Setup Wizard icon, then click the Advanced Setup icon. (See Page 39 in the manual)
6. Choose the Primary Partition for your RAID volume, then click on Next.
7. Under Setting, Choose Manual, then your desired RAID level. (in my case, I chose RAID5) Click Next to continue
8. for Vlume name and filesystem type, you can choose any values. The DVR will erase these when it prepares the drive for use.
9. ensure you are NOT creating a volume over 2.2TB capacity. Click Next
10. At the summary screen, click OK to create the volume.
11. At the "Are you sure" prompt, click OK.
12. in the "Warning" pop-up. type YES and click OK.

The device will create and format the volume, the DAS will reboot and then it should be ready for the DVR. I checked and verified that I had a 2.0TiB volume with the eSata cable before I plugged it into the DVR.

Things I have done with the DAS box:

HR20-700.
Plugged it into the eSata port on the back of the DVR and then powered it up. I then reset the DVR and it found and formatted the drive. I then wen off testing... Recorded 2 shows then 2 more and watched one of them on that TV and MRV'd to a 2nd DVR. all is well and works as expected. I turned off the switch at the power strip and back on (to simulate power failure) drive comes back up as expected. I repeated this 4 more time to be reasonably sure the enclosure would be seen each time... it was. I then removed one of the drives to simulate a failure. there was a brief interruption in th data flow and the screen paused for a couple of seconds, then everything continued as if there were no problem. I re-inserted the drive and the enclosure begain rebuilding the volume seamlessly. the recording continued normally and there did not appear to be any added slowness.

I bought this thing really for my HR34 so it was next.

Plugged it into the HR34 and RBR'd it. found the enclosure without issue.

began recording 5 movies. it handled recording 5 movies. when that was done, I recorded 5 more and begain watching 1. I have not yet tested serving 3 remote clients while watching a 4th locally while recording 5, but if drive activity is any indication, this will not be a problem... I did simulate a power failure 1 time on the HR34, and the drive came up, but sine I have that on a UPS, I am less worried about it...
 

· Mr. FixAnything
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Thanks BAHitman, for your feedback. You did it very good and close enough to real functioning. One thing is left - sustainability, what could be obtained only during a course of its life. Keep us posted once in while (in year ?).
 

· Godfather
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433 Posts
P Smith said:
Thanks BAHitman, for your feedback. You did it very good and close enough to real functioning. One thing is left - sustainability, what could be obtained only during a course of its life. Keep us posted once in while (in year ?).
will do!
 

· Godfather
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433 Posts
the fan will only turn on as the device warms up. I can't really hear the fan over the drive noise which is muffled by the front door... the box is pretty quiet.

after 1 week of use. I have run into zero issues. a couple of members of my family say that the box is more responsive. but I haven't really noticed that...
 

· Godfather
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Update on how the device is running...

I have it in my entertainment center which is closed so does not get much ventalation. One day the A/C was not turned on and the ambient temperature in the room was 90 and the alarm was sounding on the device and after a couple of minutes it shut off to protect itself. it was really HOT in the entertainment center... the HTPC fan was really loud, but the fan on the DS4600 was running but was not as loud. so I left the door open and had to put a fan in front of it to cool it down before it would stay powered on. even in that situation, the fan was spinning and not really loud like on some of my servers. I left the doors to the entertainment center open and even when the A/C is not on, the device has not gotten too hot a second time.

Other that that little problem which I like that it shut itself off to protect the HDD's the device has preformed flawlessly--even during firmware updates it has come back each time.
 
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