Isn't disk performance, ultimately, the gating factor and not Thunderbolt 2 performance?

How does the Pegasus2 compare, say, to a Drobo 5 (being that it's non-Thunderbolt 2 but presumably similar hard drives) outside of bandwidth/throughput? Is it true that at some point it comes down to the RPM and other performance characteristics of the hard drives being used rather than the hardware interface? If someone (me) already has a (a non-TB2) NAS is it better to just wait until PROMISE (and others?) come out with SSD TB2 systems so storage medium no longer is the gating performance factor and the true potential of TB2 can be experienced? Or am I just completely missing something fundamental?

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  • Best Answer:

    Technically, in traditional hard drives yes. The reason for this price isn't the thunderbolt 2 alone. It's the many different raid configurations. If you use striping you can effectively pull data close to 600mb/s by pulling the average hdd at 150mb/s across four. The raid enables much higher speed. I'll be utilizing raid 10 which is a nested raid system comprising of raid 1 and raid 0. This will enable about 310mb/s and give me a back up.

    The reason this drive system is also very impressive is due to the fact it will allow for 4k video passthrough for daisy chaining while being able to transmit such a high signal. If you want a mac pro and a fast 4k monitor set up with fast data/data back up. This is the way to go.

    but once again, if you bought a drive for thunderbolt two, that was a simple single drive system, you would have been correct.

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  • Thunderbolt 2 is responsible to get the data to the Promise box, then YOU, the owner, and person who configures the raid levels are responsible for the performance of the drive itself. If you want redundancy, then you loose speed, plain and simple. If the raid is set well, you have striping, so more than one drive is contributing to the stream of data that the promise box is supplying, adding to the speed of data transfer. Raid 0 is the hot setup for speed deamons, but smarter users use raid 5 or even raid 10 for some protection for data. Recovery of a crapped out drive can be a real freak, if you do not do the NSA thingie and backup to the cloud. Your choice. The gating of data transfer is definitely effected by drive latency, but proper balancing and use of RAID structures can be the defining factor more than just raw speed.

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  • You hit the nail the head. TB2 doesn't make this device any faster than its TB1 counterpart. Drive speed will always be the bottleneck for this device, there's nothing "technical" or fancy about it. TB1 supports 10 Gbps, that's 1250 MB per second. The only remotely realistic scenario that would crowd bandwidth that much would be putting a 4k monitor in the same TB chain, and even that's questionable. Do yourself a huge favor and stay away from Drobo (terrible problems in my personal experience), don't over pay for this thing, and score a TB1 Pegasus for a nice price. If crazy fast performance is what you're looking for you'll have better luck with something like a Lacie little big disk2 or similar SSD equipment, otherwise stick with the TB1 devices.

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  • Hi Randy:

    The advertising for the latest 7200 rpm drives says they are capable of 6 Gigabits per second (768 megabytes) of transfer. Since your numbers are much lower I'm guessing those claims are only "partially true" (as in peak read/write speed).

    Can you explain further?

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  • I think the right thing to do is to populate your bays with solid state hard drives. You will then see the full potential of thunderbolt and just plain be blown away.

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