diglloyd Mac Performance Guide

The Speed You Need

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100% Kona, 100% Family Owned

What does an iPhone 6 Plus cost?

See previous discussion of screen size on the iPhone 6 Plus.

I don’t have an eligible phone for a reduced price upgrade, having upgraded to iPhone 5s six months ago or so.

Still, it seemed a worthwhile upgrade for my particular needs, so I ordered a 64GB iPhone 6 Plus, not fully understanding the financial hit, details follow below.

Cost of an iPhone 6 Plus on AT&T Next
Cost of an iPhone 6 Plus on AT&T Next
  • If bought on the AT&T Next plan (the $42.45 per month one), you’ll receive a consumer credit disclosure showing that the phone is really an $895 purchase (plus tax on the full amount). Well, I can do math, but the notice riveted my attention: do I really need an $849 phone? So I canceled it.
  • If bought outright for $695 (my preference), AT&T throws in a fine print dirty trick (big surprise, that’s their modus operandi, they already tricked me on the 5s upgrade twice over): AT&T takes away the $25/month MobileShare discount, thus increasing my mobile phone bill by $300 per year. For just one (1) phone. The fine print alludes vaguely to this, but you have to go looking to figure it out. That makes the same phone a $995+ purchase ($695 + tax + $300) for the first year alone. After the first year you continue to get dinged by $25/month.

Smells like manure to me.

So why don’t I abandon AT&T and switch to the aggressive buy-out plans offered by Sprint? Pure and simple: coverage where I travel. It took me years to figure out where I could get coverage, and that’s essential to my business needs when I’m up there for up to two weeks at a time.

Don H writes:

If you have some sort of family plan then that’s beyond the scope of this discussion, but if it’s just a single phone + contract you might be able to get off the AT&T subsidy/handcuff treadmill and yet still use their network.

As you know, there is no free lunch, so if you buy the device *unlocked* and at list price, you’re generally no better or worse off than if you pay for it through a carrier subsidy. I just did that myself at the Apple Store last Wednesday (I assessed the iPhone 6 after the announcement and realized that, for me, the 5S would be sufficient, so I traded in my pristine 4S at the store before the resale value plummets when all the other upgraders flood the market). So that puts the device purchase on the same level as buying a new computer: no strings attached.

So now the question is what’s the best AT&T plan for those who already have a phone. I don’t know what your phone/data needs are, but there are various pre-paid plans that you could evaluate: http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/prepaidplans.html

Then there is AIO prepaid, which has now been folded into Cricket, which AT&T owns and operates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket_Wireless

Their pre-paid plans: https://www.cricketwireless.com/cell-phone-plans

These plans use the very same AT&T network that you’ve been signed up for on your post-paid AT&T service. Exact same coverage.

———————

I was an AT&T customer since 2001, and generally pleased with their service until I got my first smartphone (the aforementioned iPhone 4S). At that point I had to sign up for a more expensive data plan even though I didn't use it much, and the ‘surcharges and fee’s on the bill amounted to a third of the total cost! (A lot of those so-called taxes and fees are shifted from AT&T’s cost of doing business directly to the customer, just as if In-n-Out (McDonald’s) added a ‘restaurant inspection fee’ to the cost of the burger at the cash register while advertising the lower price on the menu board.) After my grandfathered contract ended they wanted to tack on even more fees for no reason other than they could.

So in January of this year I got my phone unlocked and switched to T-Mobile, which offers, for $30 per month (with no added fees or taxes), 100 minutes talk, unlimited text, and 5GB of LTE data. If I exceed 100 minutes of talk each additional minute is 10 cents per. (Since we have unlimited talk on our landline I use that for most outgoing calls including those that are likely to result in long hold times.) http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans

The big downside, of course, is T-Mobile's limited coverage, which would be a deal-breaker for you. But the point is I researched other options from the usual AT&T post-paid plans and with an unsubsidized, unlocked phone am now in control of my own upgrade cycles, and I can shop around for LTE plans independently. You might want to weigh all the options, including those listed above, while re-assessing just how much voice and data you need.

I’ll say one other thing about AT&T versus T-Mobile. For all their faults, AT&T has a much better web site and means of checking your account info. The T-Mobile web site and account page/app are much more disorganized or lacking in useful information. I learned how to deal with them by way of other tech blogs who love the $30 plan (for 30 days) but not the support so much. I guess that’s why we’re only paying $30 per month.

MPG: my family plan is on staggered dates and rate plans (historical reasons), so it’s a mess. I’m going to wait until November or so and reevaluate, since AT&T cannot deliver until then anyway. An unlocked buy-outright phone is more appealing on an expensing basis, and it looks like this can just be substituted in to the existing plan. I’d then sell my 5s. For that matter, an refurbished phone is fine by me, so maybe come January or so that will also be an option.

See also Apple's second secret eBay store launches with certified refurbished, unlocked GSM iPhone 5 models.

Don H also notes:

One other thing to do with any phone that gets paid off is to have it unlocked by AT&T. In the past that was an exercise in caprice as they might unlock some phones before the term was up and on others they’d drag their feet. But now they have an unlock request page:

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/

Definitely do that with all your eligible devices. You never know when you might want to use it with an alternate carrier or lend to a friend for a week or whatever. There is no reason in this day an age for a phone to be ‘locked’ in the first place (they already have you with a signed contract), so unlocking it is like removing a tracking ankle bracelet when you’ve served out parole.

MPG: note that the requested passcode is not the login account password for AT&T but a separate code associated with the phone or account. Unlocking a handset also increases its resale value.

Big Storage: 4TB, 5TB, 6TB Hard Drives

Prices on large hard drives are getting interesting. Even 6TB drives are now at reasonable levels (given how new they are).

Prices at OWC (which I prefer due to their 90-day DOA replacement policy):

The larger capacities come at a premium for $/GB, but this has always been true. Buying too small for needs just means a proliferation of too many drives, so it’s best to assess current needs and rate of growth when choosing capacity.

Also, MPG likes to match backup drive capacity to a matching-size volume (which implies partitioning large storage devices into volumes no larger than the backup drive capacity).

For a high capacity portable mini bus powered drive, MPG likes the 2TB OWC Mercury Elite Pro Mini.

High capacity hard drive prices
High capacity hard drive prices

Wiping Free Space on Hard Drives and SSDs

Looking for a quick way to wipe free space on any volume?

diglloydTools

The dgl wipeFree command in diglloydTools does so efficiently without any need to erase the drive (a full erase/wipe is always better if the drive is to be sold, but this is not viable when/if the drive is in active and continued use).

At present, the wipeFree command is command-line (Terminal) only. There is also the wipe-files command which erases file and/or folder contents and metadata.

As it turns out, my most frequent use of the wipeFree command is to wipe free space on Disk Utility disk images so that they compress down to the smallest possible size (e.g. when I zip compress one for downloading).

Note that for SSDs, wiping really cannot truly be done in a security sense due to block remapping internal to the drive. In this case, use disktester recondition command (available in GUI) with total writes exceeding the drive capacity by at least 10% does the job, so that the SSD has to “turn over” all its internal blocks.

The new Apple iPhone: Display Zoom on Larger Model Attractive

Friends have asked my whether I’d be getting the new iPhone 6, having the same doubts as I have: every new iPhone comes with new hype and new sleekness and new this and that, but nothing really better for my particular needs (which do not involve music or videos or apps).

But in taking a look at the new 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus size model (the first large screen model Apple has offered), I am now inclined to consider it for one ergonomic reason: the tiny type on the iPhone 5s is trouble for my presbyopic eyes.

The iPhone 6 Plus screen is not only larger, but higher density. So the iPhone 6 Plus “Display Zoom” feature means I can get the iPhone 5s content magnified up to the iPhone 6 Plus screen with similar clarity but at a larger size—easier to see. The too-small everything on the iPhone 5s has denied me useful operation of an iPhone for basic operations like web browsing—can be done, but it’s never comfortable.

Along with Display Zoom, the wider landscape view affords more area which itself can help by allowing some displayed material to be larger, since other stuff can now reside to the side. Together, the iPhone 6 Plus looks like it might be a practical upgrade for a nagging issue for me.

On the downside, 172 grams vs 129 grams will make the Plus model noticeably heavier, and it won’t fit as well into a pocket. Always a tradeoff.

Battery life

The iPhone 6 Plus battery is larger, and it nets out at 20% to 80% longer battery life than the iPhone 6 and that alone could be reason to go with the larger model for some users.

But I’m not buying one.

Don’t Assume that a Password Manager is Safe, Auto-Fill for Password a Bad Idea

Security expert Bruce Schneier posted some good info on password managers.

Security is often a trade-off with convenience, and most password managers automatically fill in passwords on browser pages. This turns out to be a difficult thing to do securely, and opens up password managers to attack.

My own password manager, Password Safe, wasn't mentioned in either of these papers. I specifically designed it not to automatically fill. I specifically designed it to be a standalone application. The fast way to transfer a password from Password Safe to a browser page is by using the operating system's cut and paste commands. I still recommend using a password manager, simply because it allows you to choose longer and stronger passwords.

MPG agrees completely that use of a password manager is a big step up in security for most users, because password quality goes way up—relieving the user of the need to think up new and relatively weak passwords and/or struggle with strong but difficult and hard to remember passwords.

I don’t know if Apple Safari Auto Fill is secure or not. Or if secure, whether if it will stay secure. But this is how I configure Safari.

Apple Safari auto-fill username and password Is it safe? You never know, and so it is never a good idea.
Apple Safari auto-fill username and password
Is it safe? You never know, and so it is never a good idea.

Auto fill for passwords = risky in general

Free WiFi might be far more costly than you think.

From Password Managers: Attacks and Defenses. Emphasis added. Lots more critical details, but the main thing is that autofill is a dubious idea subject to many risks, and varies by browers and password manager as to the extent of those risks.

As a warm-up we present one example here. Consider web sites that serve a login page over HTTP, but submit the user’s password over HTTPS (a setup intended to prevent an eavesdropper from reading the password but actually leaves the site vulnerable).

Suppose a user, Alice, uses a password manager to save her passwords for these sites At some point later, Alice connects to a rogue WiFi router at a coffee shop. Her browser is directed to a landing page that asks her to agree to the terms of service, as is common in free WiFi hotspots. Unbeknownst to Alice, the landing page contains multiple invisible iFrames pointing to the login pages of the websites for which Alice has saved passwords. When the browser loads these iFrames, the rogue router injects JavaScript into each page and extracts the passwords auto-filled by the password manager.

This simple attack, without any interaction with the user, can automatically extract passwords from the password manager at a rate of about ten passwords per second. Six of the ten password managers we examined were vulnerable to this attack.

From the user’s point of view, she simply visited the landing page of a free WiFi hotspot. There is no visual indication that password extraction is taking place.
...
Chrome (all platforms) is the only automatic autofill password manager that is not vulnerable to the iFrame-based attack, because they never automatically autofill passwords in iFrames. All the other automatic autofill password managers are vulnerable to this attack. Even though the autofill policies of Norton IdentitySafe, Safari, Mobile Safari, and LastPass Tab described in Sec- tion 2.2 restrict the number of passwords that can be stolen in a single sweep to 1, they remain vulnerable.

Password sync across devices (e.g. desktop computer and iPad/iPhone) is a risky thing too, for reasons the paper discusses.

We disclosed our results to the password manager vendors, prompting several changes to autofill policies. Due to our findings, LastPass will no longer automatically autofill password fields in iFrames, and 1Password will no longer offer to fill passwords from HTTPS pages on HTTP pages.

Emperor’s new Password manager

A video explaining some vulnerabilities. Again, auto-fill is a bad idea, but there is more than that.

FOR SALE: 6 OWC Mercury Elite Pro External Quad-Interface Enclosures (for 3.5-inch Hard Drives)

You pick up locally (near Palo Alto, CA) or pay shipping. Contact.

MPG storage has moved to multiple OWC Thunderbay units, so these are no longer needed.

OWC Garage Sale

OWC has a semi-annual garage sale on all sorts of stuff: enclosures, cables, drives, power adapter, all sorts of accessories for Mac/iPad/iPhone, etc.

On Nude Selfies and Celebrities

IQ test #1: is it a good idea to take nude selfies?

IQ test #2: (if you failed at #1): is it a good idea to take nude selfies with your iPhone, sync them with your computer, and then back them up to the Cloud?

IQ test #3: (you must be a teenager or celebrity) who’s fault is all this, anyway?

Apparently, more than a few celebrities have IQs around the level of my cat (sorry to state the obvious) who at least knows for sure that rabbit brains are tasty. And she has never taken nude selfies and does not own an iPhone. But has enough hair to make it all perfectly fine even if she did.

Maybe iPhoto needs a “Reject all nude selfies” option, sort of like face recognition?

Not a selfie

OWC Thunderbay Now Up to 24TB (4 X 6TB Hard Drives)

OWC Thunderbay, front
OWC Thunderbay, front

See also Simplify Your Storage: Fast, Reliable, Expandable as well as the MPG review of the OWC Thunderbay.

OWC is now shipping the Thunderbay in configurations that include 6TB hard drives, up from the previous 5TB option.

With 6TB drives, a RAID-5 edition Thunderbay delivers 18TB of available capacity.

Woodstock, IL – September 2, 2014 – OWC announced today that the ThunderBay 4 and ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition are now available with up to 24TB of capacity.

The larger capacity option, combined with its ultra-quiet cooling technology, makes the ThunderBay 4 perfect for today’s workstations where having a quiet desktop drive with ample storage is paramount to a productive workflow.

The Speed, Freedom, and Capacity to do More

Equipped with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, the ThunderBay 4 delivers blazing-fast speeds with sustained data rates up to 1,342 MB/s RAID 0 and up to 675 MB/s RAID 5. With capacities ranging from 4TB to 24TB, customers can get the optimal balance of storage, performance, and data-redundancy to fit their specific workflow requirements.

For those wanting more freedom and flexibility, OWC offers the perfect “bring your own drives” solution with the ThunderBay 4 Enclosure Kit, and the ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition Enclosure Kit. Add up to four hard drives, SSDs, or a mixture of both hard drives and SSDs for customizable performance to meet specific storage and backup needs. Set up a RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, or 1+0 array using SoftRAID and enjoy advanced features, such as drive monitoring, e-mail notification, and rapid rebuild capabilities.

“I'm very impressed by ThunderBay 4's overall design and performance. I like that OWC chose to leave the RAID options strictly in the user's hands. This allows the ThunderBay 4 enclosure to be used in many different scenarios: as a backup, as extra storage, or with various RAID configurations to increase performance.” – Tom Nelson, About.com

Extremely Quiet, Cool, Durable, & Reliable

The ThunderBay 4’s ultra-quiet cooling technology coupled with rugged, vibration-absorbing, non-skid feet minimizes sonic resonance and vibration to enable quiet performance. Combining this with the ThunderBay 4’s durable, aluminum, open “flow-thru” vented enclosure design keeps the four internal drives cool and protects the enclosure’s internal components.

“As computers have become quieter and the need to reduce workspace noise becomes a focus, we know that our solutions need to be quieter too,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, OWC. “That’s why all our high-performance ThunderBay 4 solutions come equipped with exceptional noise-reduction technology which resulted in reducing noise levels by approximately 33%. Fostering a productive workflow has never been easier with our ThunderBay 4, especially with the larger 24TB capacity option.”

Key Features Include:

Availability in large capacities up to 24TB
Speeds up to 1,342 MB/s RAID 0 and up to 675 MB/s RAID 5
SoftRAID 5 – the first ever software RAID 5 for the Mac (available with ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition)
4 drive bays and dual Thunderbolt 2 ports
Improved fan technology for an ultra-quiet work environment that is approximately 33% quieter
Flexibility to combine multiple ThunderBays into a single massive RAID array
High-Quality, Certified, Double-Shielded 1-Meter Thunderbolt cable
Utility software bundle for Mac
OWC 3-Year Limited Warranty with 48-Hour Turnaround Time

Pricing and Availability:

OWC’s ThunderBay 4 and ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition are available for immediate ordering.

Cell Phone Kill Switches

A “kill switch” will soon be required for all cell phones in California.

There are far more implications to a kill switch than most of the press and politicians understand. Or maybe they do understand (the scary part).

Imagine what a prize it would be for hackers to suddenly destroy 100 million phones comfortably from their couch. Or what a useful tool in time of war, or for the suppression of an entire Twitter-happy populace.

Thunderbolt Cabling Reliability: Check the Fit and Tension

Stephen B writes:

I’ve been using the ThunderBay 4 for about two months now. I have been having intermittent disconnects and I have been wondering if you’ve also experienced this as well. Typically this happens when the thunderbay is connected but not actively being used. The disconnects often cause my MBP to hang eventually and I can’t reconnect the drive without rebooting.

I haven’t been able to track down the cause. I’m running a 3-disk raid0 and 1 separate volume.

MPG: MPG had an issue one day and investigated. MPG ovviously cannot rule out other different issues with particular systems (bad drives, bad cables, bad device whatever), but what follows turned out to be the root cause for MPG.

First, the MPG experience NOT related to the Thunderbay. Tracking down the cause one day, it turned out to be loose (sloppy fit) Thunderbolt ports on the 2013 Mac Pro (and MacBook Pro) that had tension / torque on the cable.

Examining and testing both Apple and OWC brand Thunderbolt cables, MPG found that both brands fit very snugly into the OWC Thunderbay ports, but are slightly sloppy fit on the 2013 Mac Pro and MacBook Pro. So any torque / tension on the cable as it enters the Mac can cause a bad connection. Care should be taken to have all cables enter straight-on, so as to avoid any tension on the cable as it enters the port.

MPG doesn’t know if tjhe slightly loose fit on Macs is by design (e.g., a design specification) or poor quality control at Apple. But all five of the MPG OWC Thunderbay units have very snug-fitting Thunderbolt ports, and the Apple Mac Pro and Macbook Pro have slop.

Barry M writes:

Yup, I had this very problem with a Lacie 2Big drive, which kept ejecting itself. Drove me nuts, I assumed it was a faulty Lacie unit, and surely not the overpriced Apple Thunderbolt cable. I then was fastidious about making sure the cable had no tension and a straight path to the ports at either end. This did seem to help a little, but the drive would still eject without warning albeit not as frequently.

I was about to return the Lacie drive when I used a free bundled Belkin Thunderbolt cable and voila !! Everything worked perfectly !! Not one false eject since, I also used the Lacie TB cable with the same results, perfect reliable connection every time.

So check your cables, and have another brand on hand just to rule it out.

MPG: Swapping cables is often a best first step for any type of device.

Simplify Your Storage: Fast, Reliable, Expandable

OWC Thunderbay, front
OWC Thunderbay, front

For years, high performance or high capacity external storage was a painful struggle, first with Firewire 400 / 800 (yuck beyond words, fried ports, unreliable cabling), then eSATA (unreliable cables in multi-drive setups, driver kernel panics for a time), miniSAS (obnoxious PCIe card, very expensive and Mac Pro only), and now USB 3: Apple USB3 driver bugs persist to this day, it’s not a good choice for multiple external enclosure RAID though fine for single drives.

It’s simple: you want one unit that is fast, reliable expandable and quiet from a company that knows and tests for and supports Macs. The OWC Thunderbay is what I wanted all those years. Which is why I purchased five of them for all my storage needs.

MPG has observed that there is still confusion out there on the best choice for a Mac with Thunderbolt (reader feedback).

Whether you have a Mac Pro or iMac or MacBook Pro, a quality investment is the way to go: skip the multiple-USB3 hassle or dual drive stuff and just standardize on one or more Thunderbay units (this comment is not addressed at travel needs or single drive backups and so on, but main storage for serious users).

With one Thunderbay, most users can have a main Master drive (main storage, master copies), an Archive volume (overflow as Master fills up over time), a Time Machine backup volume and a spare drive/volume left over. Or RAID-5, and RAID-5 can be partitioned or not. And so on. Beautifully flexible.

For most users, the original $379 original (Thunderbolt v1) Thunderbay IV (“add your own drives” unit) is the deal—one reliable box to stuff drives into. Get the Thunderbolt 4 (Thunderbolt 2) for higher daisy-chained setups and/or get one preconfigured with or without RAID-5, and get extra Thunderbay drive sleds for swapping drives to expand the versatility even more.

OWC Labor Day Specials

Thunderbay

OWC Thunderbay, front
OWC Thunderbay, front

MPG’s favorite OWC product is the OWC Thunderbay. MPG has switched entirely to the Thunderbay for all external storage* (except for a few special-purpose high performance OWC SSDs).

The $379 original (Thunderbolt v1) Thunderbay IV (“add your own drives” unit) offers more than ample performance for hard drives and is a good deal for most users, since most do not need Thunderbolt 2 (Thunderbay 4). One reliable Thunderbolt cable to one quiet box beats the pants off USB3.

Have extra drives lying around you want to put to use? Get the Thunderbay IV and perhaps even some more Thunderbay drive sleds for swapping drives as needed (for backup, extra storage, whatever).

Want big storage? The 5TB Toshiba drives are what I use now.

* Three Thunderbay 4 units with 5TB Toshiba hard drives, and two Thunderbay IV units with various 2/3/4TB drives.

OWC deals

Free shipping within the contiguous 48 US States on most orders $49.00 & up including on all used Mac systems.

Prices listed include/reflect instant rebates which expire/end after 9/1/2014 - prices w/instant rebate valid through Labor Day Weekend.

See all Labor day specials at OWC

An additional $60 off select ThunderBay IV Thunderbolt 10Gb/s 0GB and Solutions up to 20TB. Now from $379.00

NAS-certified hard drives
3.5" 4TB HGST 7200RPM Desktop/NAS Certified HDD for $159.99 and Toshiba 5.0TB 7200RPM 3.5" HDD for $229.00

Used Apple MacBook Air
2011 i5 1.7GHz w/Thunderbolt, 4GB Memory, up to 480GB SSD
+ Includes AppleCare Warranty through December/2014!
Now from $549.00

Used Mac selection, from $139.00

Save on External Drive Enclosures from 1 Bay to 4 Bays - USB 3.0, FireWire, and Thunderbolt models. Now from $2.99!

Saving on Bus-Powered, Portable Solutions with USB 3.0, FireWire 800, and/or Thunderbolt up to 1.5TB from $69.00

2.5" Hybrid SSD/HD Notebook HDDs 750GB to 1.0TB from only $60.00

Griffin Loop Stand for X$29.99X just $7.79!

Premium, top rated, Made for i certfied NewerTech Lightning Cables 0.5M to 3.0M for $5.79 to $14.97! up to over 70% off!

diglloydTools Updated to version 2.2.7b

diglloydTools

diglloydTools has been updated to version 2.2.7b. Download page.

See the diglloydTools 2.2.7 release notes and previous 2.2.7a feature discussion.

This "b" release fixes one bug in which the duration of test-reliability was set to a default of one hour. Now unless explicitly specified, duration is the number of iterations (not time-based).

Purchase diglloydTools.

Some of the capabilities in diglloydTools

Aside from testing hard drive or SSD or RAID performance and reliability with DiskTester, data integrity with IntegrityChecker is a must-have workflow tool for anyone with important data:

diglloydTools graphing template
diglloydTools graphing template

Thunderstorms and Thunderbay

A field shooting trip (photography) kept me busy half of August, and will for a while yet, but I expect to see some very interesting products before long, both computer stuff and photographic. Wow, what nice Thunderstorms in early August in Yosemite.

When traveling and shooting, I use the OWC Mercury Envoy Pro EX for backing up my laptop with my photos, which tend to hit 100GB or more over the course of 10 days or so. A perfect little bus-powered and pocketable SSD for travel. Like the Sony RX100 III for quick handy photos.

And when home, I’m relishing the OWC Thunderbay. It’s just so straightforward and easy to add storage with Thunderbolt, and the OWC Thunderbay gives me high speed, high capacity, minimal noise, small footprint, tremendous flexibility. So many years I would have loved to have such a solution over eSATA and miniSAS and the associated hassles. All that messy business is now banished by using the Thunderbay units.

....

This year, all my fruit trees think it’s early October. Never before (in over 25 years) have I seen such a heavy and strangely early-maturing fig crop. Can’t keep up unfortunately, so much of it rots and drops.

Trout Dinner Sony RX100 Mark III
Thunderstorm over Pine Creek Drainage
Nikon D810 + Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon
Trout Dinner Sony RX100 Mark III
Trout Dinner
Sony RX100 Mark III

OWC Offers Thunderbay in RAID-5 Edition

See also SoftRAID 5 goes final.

All about RAID.

OWC Thunderbay 4, front
OWC Thunderbay 4, front

MPG now has converted all external storage (primaries and backups) to four Thunderbay units, purchased over the past few months.

A mix of single volumes, RAID-0 striping, RAID-1 mirrors, RAID-5 and RAID 1+0 are all used for various reasons.

See the MPG review of the OWC Thunderbay.

OWC’s ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition Delivers Speeds up to 675 MB/s and is the First Ever Software RAID 5 on a Mac

Woodstock, IL – August 5, 2014 – OWC continues to innovate and build on the proven performance and flexibility of its second generation ThunderBay 4 by releasing the ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition. The OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition gives users the freedom to use this cutting-edge technology as additional storage or backup, with the optimal balance of data-redundancy and performance via various RAID configurations.

Thinking Outside the Enclosure

Over a year ago, OWC and SoftRAID created a strong collaborative partnership to harness the full power and flexibility of ThunderBay 4 and software RAID 5 to bring enhanced performance, storage, and data-redundancy capabilities to the Mac.
“Going this route offers an extremely competitive price point with exceptional flexibility, advanced RAID / drive health monitoring features, and up to 35% higher performance compared to other RAID 5 hardware solutions that typically cost twice as much,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, OWC.

Greater Speed + Capacity

The exceptional performance and massive capacity of ThunderBay 4, combined with a robust, proven software RAID engine, provides better performance capabilities that are up to 35% faster than many competing drives. With capacities ranging from 4TB to 20TB, and sustained data rates up to 675 MB/s for RAID 5 performance, users can optimize their workflow, and experience the first and only software RAID 5 technology developed for the Mac with the ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition.
“OWC’s ThunderBay 4 brings to the market capacities that have yet to be seen in such a compact medium, as well as the performance and data security that only RAID 5 can provide!” – Les Tokar, The SSD Review

Personalized Performance + Redundancy – Bring Your Own Drives (BYOD)

Get the perfect BYOD solution with OWC’s ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition Enclosure Kit to add up to four drives, SSDs, or a mixture of both hard drives and SSDs for customizable performance to meet specific storage and backup needs. In addition, users can also set up RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, or 1+0 arrays using SoftRAID that also includes drive monitoring, e-mail notification, and rapid rebuild capabilities.

Configure & Go Bigger

Use ThunderBay 4’s dual Thunderbolt 2 ports and daisy-chain up to five additional devices, plus one high-resolution display. Or take full advantage of the flexibility offered by ThunderBay 4 and SoftRAID to connect multiple ThunderBays to create even larger RAID arrays with up to 8, 12, and 16 drives for optimal performance and redundancy. Now, users can get near enterprise-level storage and performance on their desktop for a fraction of the cost.
“I remember when I spent $20,000 to buy 20GB of storage. Now, we can get far more storage, with far better performance, for about $100 per terabyte. The ThunderBay 4. I like what I see. Congratulations, OWC.” – Larry Jordan & Associates, Inc.

Key Features Include:

4 drive bays and dual Thunderbolt 2 ports
Speeds up to 675 MB/s for RAID 5 performance
Availability in large capacities up to 20TB
Flexibility to combine multiple ThunderBays into a single massive RAID array
High-Quality, Certified, Double-Shielded 1-Meter Thunderbolt cable
Utility software bundle for Mac
OWC 3-Year Limited Warranty with 48-Hour Turnaround Time

Pricing and Availability:

OWC’s ThunderBay 4 is available for immediate ordering in the following configurations:

OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Edition

Bring-Your-Own-Drives (BYOD) $649.00

4TB (1.0TB x four (4) 7200 RPM) $869.99

8TB (2.0TB x four (4) 7200 RPM) $999.97

12TB (3.0TB x four (4) 7200 RPM) $1,129.99

16TB (4.0TB x four (4) 7200 RPM) $1,499.99

20TB (5.0TB x four (4) 7200 RPM) $1,769.99

One-Stop Destination for Thunderbolt Upgrades and Thunderbolt Solutions

OWC’s Thunderbolt upgrades and Thunderbolt solutions are available at: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/
The OWC Advantage – Over 20 Years of Storage Design and Innovation
– All solutions pre-tested to 100% capacity with a multi-hour full load burn-in (excludes BYOD)
– OWC tested for guaranteed compatibility, speed, flexibility, and reliability
– Comprehensive step-by-step installation and support videos
– 24/7 award-winning, US-based support for both ThunderBay 4 and SoftRAID is included with purchase

About OWC

OWC is the manufacturer and upgrade provider of choice for Apple enthusiasts with OWC Memory upgrades for Apple computers dating as far back as the mid 90’s. Over the last decade, OWC specifically built SSD upgrades for Apple computers winning multiple awards while also earning accolades for OWC External Drives and OWC Optical Drives. OWC also provides extensive US-based technical support for Mac users around the world. As a member of the Apple Developer Program, OWC also produces a catalog of upgrades and accessories having served the Apple community worldwide since 1988.

OWC’s Industry Awards Include:

– Inc. 5,000 “Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in America” list honoree 2007–2013
– Reseller Ratings Elite Member 2009-2014
– Better Business Bureau Top Rating of A+ 2010–2014
– About.com Readers’ Choice Award winner for best Mac Peripheral Reseller
– Business Intelligence Group 2013 Green Tech Company of the Year

 

OWC Thunderbay 4, front
OWC Thunderbay 4, front
5-drive RAID-5 volume in SoftRAID 5
5-drive RAID-5 volume in SoftRAID 5

SoftRAID 5 Goes Final: High Performance RAID 5, RAID 1+0, RAID-0, RAID-1

SoftRAID version 5 is now final.

SoftRAID 5
SoftRAID 5 volume icon for RAID 1+0

I’ve been working with a beta version for some months, delivering varied feedback to the SoftRAID team. My concerns were addressed, with a few user interface suggestions pending that I’m told will be improved.

RAID-5 (striping with one drive fault tolerance) and RAID 1+0 (striped pair of mirrors) are the new standout features in SoftRAID 5. Now final and with fixes for a few issues I found during the beta test cycle, I am very impressed

SoftRAID 5 delivers RAID-5 and RAID 1+0 performance in software that beats many hardware RAIDs and with far greater versatility across devices.

Of course, SoftRAID can format single volumes and do RAID-0 striping and RAID-1 mirrors also. I use RAID-5 and RAID-1+0 for some purposes, and RAID-0 and RAID-1 for others. For example, a neat trick is a RAID-1 mirror for 2 or more backup copies in one backup operation; these can be split apart (if desired) and updated later with “smart update‚—very cool feature.

Links and more information follow below these screen shots.

5-drive RAID-5 volume in SoftRAID 5
5-drive RAID-5 volume in SoftRAID 5

See also:

Performance:

4-drive RAID-1+0 setup with 4 volume in SoftRAID 5
4-drive RAID-1+0 setup with 4 volume in SoftRAID 5

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