Rock a Righteous RAID in Your Mac Pro

Rock a Righteous RAID in Your Mac Pro

Four drives plus Mac OS X's Disk Utility will bring your Mac Pro into the 21st century.



> Mac Pro ($2,499 and up,
> Four identical hard drives (if you didn't get them BTO)


If the word RAID sends you screaming in terror like that big, hairy Brooklyn cockroach in the old TV ads for bug spray, it's time to get reacquainted with the concept as it applies to your Mac. When it comes to high-end storage, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks (or Drives), and you can use it to speed up your storage or keep a running backup of your entire system, among other tricks. Armed with Mac OS X and a Mac Pro chock-full of hard drives, we'll transform the four drives into two high-speed striped RAIDs, which we'll then roll into a mirrored RAID set to continually back up any changes to the main-system RAID volume. Hey, get back here - setting up this RAID of RAIDs is painless. The toughest part is ponying up for the iron: All flavors of RAID work best if all of the hard drives involved are identical in every way (capacity, cache, rotation speed, heck, just get four of the exact same model). However, you'll pay about $1,400 more than the base price if you order your Mac Pro from Apple preloaded with four 500GB drives. FYI: Similar drives sell for $199 each at Other World Computing (




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I can't seem to do this on my Feb 2008 Mac Pro. Do I need to first have the OS installed on an external drive or something? I can create the first striped array (even named it 'Ham'), but when I hit the '+' icon, and create the second array of striped drives, I can't drag the 3rd/4th drives over.

I can create a second set of striped drives, not using the '+' icon, but as a separate entity, and there doesn't appear to be a way to mirror the Ham array with it. I just wind up with two different arrays, and the OS can only be installed on one of them.




I installed 4 500gb drives last night in what I believe is a Raid 10,
it sounds like you didn't create the raid with all the drives in box, the have to arranged first then all created at the same time.
Here the Apple link that should help you.

Good Luck,



You're right. According to a few articles, -one is here: , the best hi perf raid to run is 10, which is in fact different from 0+1



Reading your article I noticed that you striped Disk 1 and Disk 2 then striped Disk 3 and Disk 4 before mirroring the two striped volumes into a RAID volume.

I have seen performance tests that would indicate better performance may be achieved by mirroring Disk 1 and Disk 2 then mirroring Disk 3 and Disk 4 then striping the 2 mirrored volumes into a RAID volume.

What was the thought process on doing it the way you have outlined vs. the alternative method of mirroring then striping?

Would appreciate any insight into which is the better method and why.



Sorry to post a reply to my own question but just trying clear up what I am asking a little. You list in your article that RAID 10 is a Mirror of Stripes, but isn't it in fact RAID 01 that is a Mirror of Stripes while RAID 10 is a Stripe of Mirrors?

The performance testing I have seen on RAID 01 (mirroring two sets of stripes) has been disappointing due to what would appear to be a flaw in Apples Software RAID which prevents i from performing stripe reads across a mirror.

From what I gather it has the same write speed and very little performance gain in read speed over RAID 10 (stripe of two sets of mirrors). This lack of performance gain combined with the fact that from what I understand is inferior fault tolerance seems to make it a poor choice over RAID 10 (striping two sets of mirrors).

That is what I am trying to figure out. What was the rationale for using/recomending RAID 01 vs. RAID 10?

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