Any suggestions on best way to rationalise external hard drives?

Discussion in 'PC' started by Bunford, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Bunford

    Bunford Audiosexual

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    I've now got an insane amount of external drives (about 11 in all) of varying sizes between 500GB and 4TB. I have posted about this ages ago (probably years rather than months), but advice might be outdated by now and I couldn't actually find the previous thread.

    Anyway, what is the best way for me to reduce these down into a single enclosure and connection (if possible)?

    In time I will replace with 8TB drives probably, consolidating them down to less drives. On this note, Are the WD Red series (designed for 24/7 on usage for NAS) any good for audio production and storing Kontakt libraries on etc? They're only 5400rpm rather than 7200rpm, but are designed to spin slower and load up and find things quicker, as I've been led to believe, so the rpm difference shouldn't be a significant concern. Is that correct?

    Any suggestions on a workable solution? And the cheaper the better as I've no real spare cash due to the amount of electricity all these external drives are using up! :rofl:

    Cheers all! :wink:
     
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  3. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    Do a quick test with any tool that let's you measure velocity and access time. AIDA64 or any other hard drive tester.
     
  4. Qrchack

    Qrchack Rock Star

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    Excuse me, but this is complete and utter bullshit. Spinning slower means it takes longer to get to the point you need to go to.

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Digital:
    Nothing at all about speed, in fact they're not talking about speed but reliability and energy efficiency. Wonder what they had to sacrifice?

    Also there:
    For audio stuff I'd go with Black, or Blue if you're on a budget. Red could be good for backups

    EDIT: not to mention NAS is anything but "24/7 on usage"
     
  5. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    Also look at the ST Ironwolf series. 4TB is 5k9

    Should be tolerable. I'd rather drives that last longer, less heat/energy.
     
  6. G String

    G String Rock Star

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    WD Blue here, pretty good.
     
  7. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Audiosexual

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    NAS drives are designed for 24/7 operation, which primarily means less boots, and constant usage or at least spinning,
    lower rotational speeds are because of less heat and lower requirements for data rates, since NAS is primarily targeted as storage,
    I have four 4TB IronWolf drives in my NAS and it works perfect, transfers speeds are bottlenecked by 1Gbit wired network,
    you may check some NAS models offering nvme SSD caching, read and/or write (Synology DS918+ for ex.),

    depending on what you have on these drives,
    if those are "backups" you need to access no more than once a year, then it would be more reliable not to have them plugged them anywhere, and spin them up only when needed,
    on the other hand if you have some frequently used kontakt libraries, you might just buy an external SSD (something like Samsung T5 series),
    NAS is great for storing things you need to access at least once a month or week, be it documents, exported projects, audio sample database etc..
     
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  8. Qrchack

    Qrchack Rock Star

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    How is "documents, exported projects, sample database etc.." 24/7 operation? That kind of stuff should only spin up when you need that specific document or export
     
  9. famouslut

    famouslut Audiosexual

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    I kinda stuck 2 6TB drives (already had) and 1 12TB drive into an old desktop & used it as a kinda media / sample lib thingy. I mainly use HD as bak nao, just try to squeeze Kontakt libs onto SSD. It's prolly all the storage I'll rly need, nao streaming is a thing. It doesn't cost too much to get a 12TB drive if ur patient. I think you can get a 12TB purple (7200) for $400, maybe shop around. And then use the lil old leftover (11?) drives as offsite backups. Save up for black friday?

    Not really! I'd try to get used to using SSD for sample libs, if possible? It really makes a difference.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  10. Blobshotters

    Blobshotters Newbie

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    Be wary of those NAS Ironwolf drives (had a few DoD), most likely due to the crappy idea they make premium versions "Ironwolf Pro", so the best of the factory production likely gets picked out to go pro, and the normal versions are therefor only low-average grade units (with an obvious higher failure rate).

    Like you, i have tons of hd's (i have over 50 stacked up on a shelf). I bought a secondhand Synology NAS and 4x4GB (cheap these days anyway) to dump stuff on that instead. Old drives just draw too much power, noisy etc, i keep them only as a type of historic backup of my systems over the decades, maybe one day i will check to see wuts on them ;-) [But, i dont have the required hddcontrollers for a few of those really old MFM and SCSI drives, but i still keep them lol.]
     
  11. VroundS

    VroundS Kapellmeister

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    Terrabites of what? Hoarder?
     
  12. pizzafresser

    pizzafresser Producer

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    Once you get into Kontakt libraries, it's easy to accumulate Terabytes of data.
     
  13. twoheart

    twoheart Audiosexual

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    Not necessarily. If you use some of the actual top notch Orchestral Libraries with >= 100 GB each 10 of them give a terabyte.
    Thats not hoarding.
    But it's questionable if everyone needs all those mic positions everytime.
    I have the impression that lately the size of a library is considered a sign of quality. This is nonsense, of course.:no:
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
  14. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    The size of the library can indeed be indicative of its possible quality. They certainly bulk up sample packs on purpose; but in terms of HQ Kontakt (kinds of) instruments; they are just not allowing the quality to be restricted by a certain size. Does a 60 gig library make a difference if it is 50? No. It's probably easier for them to leave it that way, rather than shrink it.
     
  15. recycle

    recycle Guest

    That insane desire for terabytes: yes we all have it. The truth is that almost all of what we store in the HDD is useless, the only space really needed is that of today's audio project
    In my opinion they should invent hdd with built-in oblivion: any file that is not used for a long period of time will self-destruct, freeing the disk to its original state. After all, this is how memory works in the human brain
     
  16. VroundS

    VroundS Kapellmeister

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    Yeah, but usually Konakt libaries go along with terrabytes of samples never been used. External usb storage will always be an obstacle rather than advantage. I would rather sell most of the external hdd for an SSD than put my self in position of motherboard and windows USB management. HDDs are great for backup.
     
  17. twoheart

    twoheart Audiosexual

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    True, that certainly makes no difference.
    However, NI has not really made an effort to shine with innovations in this area in recent years.
    Why should it be necessary to transfer a library always as one huge indivisible download.

    For example, Orchestral Tools with the Sine Player or Toontrack with Superior Drummer make it possible to load instruments or mic positions only optionally. This saves potentially hundreds of gigabytes.

    Not everyone has D/L rates of > 10 or even 100 Megabit/s. So that makes a difference!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
  18. Strat4ever

    Strat4ever Platinum Record

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    I don't know what you are talking about "I've no real spare cash due to the amount of electricity all these external drives are using up! "
    Even older externals that I have have used had small power supplies that hardly use any electricity, Secondly there is no reason to have them all plugged in and connected at the same time, even if they were all on they should hardly consume more Wattage than your PC power supply. Don't have equipment powered on and running for nothing, this will save you money in the long run.
     
  19. PifPafPif

    PifPafPif Platinum Record

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    I bought a good shape second hand NAS
    synology DS414 4 x WDred 3TB = 12TB in RAID 5
    For 325 euros

    Perfect for my needs (even if limited due to old processor)
    For this price : no brainer
    A brand new disk is 80 euros alone.

    It is a game changer
    No more external drives !

    Apart important backups stored elsewhere.
     
  20. twoheart

    twoheart Audiosexual

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    A NAS is a great choice.
    If you are on 1G network you won't see transfer rates >110 MB/s anyway so the processors doesn't mean that much when reading. Only writing small files may tend to take a little longer because of striping over your drives (RAID5). But you get more total reliability.

    There are scenarios where external storage makes sense, e.g. I have DAW Projects and Samples ... on one and my (frequently used) Kontakt Libs on another external Samsung T5 SSD. When I'm away from home I take them with me and use them on my laptop.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
  21. BlackHaze1986

    BlackHaze1986 Producer

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    I would recommend an 1 or 2 TB SSD Drive depends on your Budget for the Most used Libaries. Definitly Better than any normal HDD in Terms or reading speed. Since we are blessed with the Lite Versions you can pack a lot on your SSD. Using my Sandisk Portable SSD Drive i can carry everything i need around with out hassle of weight or to think about the mechanical parts of an regular HDD while transporting or beeing bound to an Internet Connection.

    Also you don't need expensive NAS. you can build your own with something like this based on Linux https://www.openmediavault.org/. This one works also on an Raspi 4B which is ARM based.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
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