At first when I started to play with the Axus FiT500 I was only using two hard drives and it would only allow me to combine the two drives together into a larger drive. Obviously not something I personally was looking to do as I shoot hundreds and hundreds of photos per day, I need some sort of redundant backup. Luckily I was able to borrow three hard drives so I decided to redo the array (which was really easy) and configure them so that I would have a bit of a redundant system in case a hard drive would fail. If one drive fails, my data is not lost and I can quickly add a new drive.
Typically when you run RAID systems you will preferably want to have the same brand, size and speed of hard drive. You don’t necessarily need that but you will have a lesser chance of failure or data corruption further down the road.
For the tests I ran against the Axus Fit500 I will be using x3 Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 250GB SATA where were graciously borrowed from the guys over at Futurelooks.com
I ran the setup both using the USB connection and the eSATA connection with two pieces of software: HDTune and DiskTT.
Since I am looking for speed and redundancy, I tested the Axus Fit500 in RAID3 and RAID5.
RAID3 & RAID5 – HDTune
Right off the bat I knew that eSATA would most likely out-perform USB. eSATA, on average, is about 3 times faster at transferring data and uses less CPU resources.
When I switched over to RAID5, you don’t really gain a performance boost but you do increase your chance of being able to recover quicker should one drive fail. With RAID5 the other two drives will continue to work as you look for a third drive.
The transfer rates between USB and eSATA were similar in RAID5 as they were in RAID3. The only deference I saw while using HDTune was that eSATA used less than 10% of my CPU. This would definitely help when processing photos.
RAID3 & RAID5 – DiskTT
I thought that it would be best if I could run some more tests against the RAID array and use another program. I found that DiskTT seemed to be a reliable piece of software that other people have been using to test file transfers between disks.
Not a big surprise here that eSATA is still the faster option when it comes to the interface for faster read/write speeds.
Clearly if you’re looking for faster speeds and better redundancy, RAID5 is the way to go. If you add the ability of using eSATA you not only lower your CPU usage when using the Axus Fit500 you also can transfer your files to and from the enclosure quicker.