Expandable hardware RAID based Thunderbolt 3 hard drive

Need help with DAS planning

I’m planning on building a new DAS for migrating current hardware RAID 10 with WD 4TB × 4 in QNAP TR-004.
Wanted specifications below.

Hardware RAID with write speed gain (Enclosure or RAID card)
RAID 6 and 10
Expandability up to 8 drives
Capability of adding new drives to the RAID 6
Capability of migration from RAID 10 to 6
As little bottle neck for read/write speed as possible
USB-C or thunderbolt connector
Works with macOS
(Seagate SMR Barracuda 8TB in mind. Very cost effective.)

Since I couldn’t find many 8 bay HDD enclosure in the first place, I’m also considering DIY-like solution. (RAID card in PCIe expansion enclosure connected to MacBook via Thunderbolt???) Though I’m using 4 drives now, first I will change all the 4TB drives into 8TB. And once I run short of the 8TB × 4 in QNAP RAID10, I will migrate to RAID 6 with additional drive(s). This future RAID 6 array is what I’m asking you to help me with.

Highpoint RocketStor 6628A is pretty close to perfect, but it’s ridiculously expensive and people are reporting connection issue. (FYI, I’m gonna use the DAS with Intel MacBook and ARM iMac in the future.)

 

Highpoint RocketStor 6628A is quite advanced solution. These models feature Integrated SAS/SATA Hardware RAID Technology allowing even multiple RAIDs on a single enclosure. Not only you can add extra drives but also daisy chain several other boxes like this and get more storage space. The built-in NVRAM constantly tracks in-progress writes to preserve the integrity of data in the event of a drive failure or system crash, and streamline recovery procedures while minimizing downtime. Here is a datasheet.

There are alternatives available including a new player in the market – Qnap. But Qnap only make 4-bay model and it is not expandable.

The most popular brand Video editors choose is Pegasus32. They also feature hardware RAID and allow daisy-chaining. But since Apple themselves suggest these, the price might be quite high. More info.

There is Thunderbolt2 solution from Buffalo (they have no TB3) if you need something cheaper. You could use TB3 adapter to connect. You can also expand and have hardware RAID.

 

 

If you need something cheaper then Areca would be a great option. You will get the best value for your money. More info

 

And the last option would be from Netstor with model like NA762TB3 or similar.  You will get things like:

RAID-on-Chip Processor
1GB on-board SDRAM with ECC protection
Supports RAID Level 0, 1, 10(1E), 3, 5, 6, 30, 50, 60, Single Disk or JBOD
Multiple RAID Selection
Online Array Roaming
Online RAID Level/Stripe Size Migration
Online Capacity Expansion and RAID Level Migration Simultaneously
Greater than 2TB Capacity per Disk Drive Support

Supports up to 8 SAS/SATA 12Gb/6Gb 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDDs/SSDs (Hard Disks/SSD Sold Separately)
Stylish Aluminum Housing with Solid Metal Structure
Thunderbolt3 Port for Daisy-chain up to 6 Devices
Individual Key lock of each HDD tray for physical security

More info here

They even make a rack version allowing you to slide your MAC mini inside and use it as a brain

 

 

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