I have an old Hackintosh which I no longer use, except as a server to access 2 RAIDs made of 6 disks.

The machine is too big, uses too much power, makes too much noise, and generates too much heat to justify just being a file server.

So I'm looking for an economical way to 're-house' the disks in some kind of box/enclosure that will be smaller, quieter, and more energy efficient -- and which I will be able to access from my new laptop, preferably with Thunderbolt?

The 2 RAIDs contain 6TB of data; they were set up with Disk Utility:

  • A 'safe' 4TB RAID 1 (mirror) made of 2 x 4TB disks, 3.68TB used
  • A 'fast' 8TB RAID 0 (striped) made of 4 x 2TB disks, 2.41TB used

Is there a good NAS/enclosure/dock that will let me house the disks and not lose the data? I.e., will my machine 'see' the existing RAID structure?

Ideally it would be one box, like the Pegasus R6 -- which unfortunately is NOT available without disks.

And I don't really need the 'fast' storage anymore; I'm OK with putting all on one big RAID10 or RAID1 volume.

  • Which kind of RAID-controller do you use in your old machine?
    – klanomath
    Oct 12 '14 at 22:45

You're using Apple's RAID which means you need a device which just hosts the discs and then your new laptop will see them and use the existing RAID structure. This rules out NAS.

AS these are existing RAID arrays you can't simple merge them together to create a single new RAID. At least, you can't while keeping the data on them.

Essentially, in one device you just need a 6+ array of the disks to be presented as individual drives to the new machine, which will then pull them together into the RAID.

You could also use any number of single, double, quad enclosures too, but, I'm assuming you want a single device.

A device like this: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=4274&Nav=|c:4269|&Sort=3&Recs=10 would do it in one.

Put the drives in, connect to your new laptop and start using RAID.

If you've happy to lose a drive, the Drobo's are pretty neat. Not the fastest, but very usable, and generally easier than normal RAID. It's the easier, most it-just-works storage solution.

If you want to get geeky, then ZFS is the best solution: https://openzfsonosx.org However, it's still essentially beta (despite being very stable), and it's not an officially support Apple filesystem. It'll give you a nice range of options to use your disks with. Again - this requires a rebuild, unless you were really cunning and broke the RAIDs up, kept the data on one half, at least the mirrored one, started a new ZFS and then copied the data over and created two mirrored vdevs in a pool together. You'd need a spare 2Gb drive in the meantime.

  • Those housings look good, but not thunderbolt ... I guess anything thunderbolt will be expensive. But it might be overkill unless it's a 4-disk RAID 0.
    – Dan
    Oct 13 '14 at 16:18
  • Are Disk Utility RAIDs expandable without losing data? Could I put put the 2x4TB RAID1 in a box with 2 more 4TB drives and then 'grow' it to RAID10 or 0+1?
    – Dan
    Oct 13 '14 at 16:20
  • 1
    Yes, you can use diskutil on the command line to grow it, then the filesystem on it. In theory, yes, I believe so.
    – Alex
    Oct 13 '14 at 23:52

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