G-Technology have released a ‘USB 3.0 only‘ and ‘Dual Thunderbolt with USB 3.0‘ version of their G-Technology G-RAID with removable drives product.
This is great for users who perhaps want a more cost effective version of this product compared to the current ‘Firewire, USB 3.0 and eSATA’ version. They can now opt for the USB 3.0 only version. USB 3.0 is still going to give really fast transfer speeds and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 for older devices.
For users who want to take advantage of Thunderbolt transfer speeds they can opt for the Thunderbolt version. This has dual Thunderbolt so is ideal for daisy chaining and with the additional USB 3.0 port, gives the flexibility to use with non Thunderbolt devices should that situation arise.
The G-RAID with removable drives is soon to take over from the traditional G-RAID model which will eventually be discontinued in favor of this newer model.
The “removable” product although slightly more expensive, does have some distinct advantages over the standard G-RAID product.
Enterprise Class Drives
The new model ships with Enterprise Class drives which are proven to more reliable than standard Hitachi internal drives. They are built to tolerate more vibrations and like NAS drives are designed to be able to run for many more hours in the day. For further information on this please read below excerpt which I have copied from G-Tech’s website.
HGST enterprise-class drives are the only SATA HDDs rated at 2.0 million hours mean time between failure (MTBF), and receive additional manufacturing and testing at extended temperature ranges to ensure a target of less than one non-recoverable bit error per 1015 bits read (i.e. no dropped frames). They also utilize enterprise-specific firmware to minimize the performance impact of rotational vibration interference (RVI) found in rack-mounted servers and multi-drive storage arrays, and feature special error recovery and detection features that help maximize performance and improve data integrity. All these attributes make them the workhorse inside G-Technology’s highquality, high-performance G-SPEED solutions.
Switchable RAID Modes
The standard G-RAID was only ever RAID 0 (for high speed editing). The G-RAID with removable drives has switchable RAID modes. It ships as RAID 0 but can be changed to RAID 1 (mirrored for redundancy/backup) or JBOD – both drives appear separately on the desktop and work independently. The RAID mode can be easily changed by downloading the RAID configuration software from the products support page.
The new G-RAID model has removable drives. This gives a lot more flexibility in various scenarios. In RAID 1, should you have drive failure you can still access data from the working drive and remove the faulty one. This can be sent off for replacement under warranty and if you insert a second drive this will re-build the RAID (like the old G-Safe). So you have no down time.
You can also archive the first set of drives (once full) and buy a new set to work from. Rather than buying a whole new external drive unit you just buy replacement Enterprise Class drive modules, which will save you money and space.
In RAID 0, if a drive fails you would still lose your data, which is why it is important you make regular back ups when running in RAID 0!
The new G-RAID models (with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt with USB 3.0) go up to 16TB! The Firewire version goes from 4TB up to 12TB. This beats the older model which only goes up to 8TB.
- G-RAID (with removable drives) Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 – Up to 440MB/s. Easily supports multistream HD, 2K and compressed 4K video workflows.
- G-RAID (with removable drives) FW800, USB 3.0 and eSATA – Up to 400MB/s. Easily supports playback of multiple HD video streams.
- G-RAID (with removable drives) USB 3.0 – Up to 440MB/s. Ideal for storage-intensive applications like audio/video editing, digital photography, music libraries, and high-speed data backup.
I would say this new version of the G-RAID is definitely worth paying the extra for compared to the older G-RAID model. The fact that it has switchable RAID modes would sway me towards this model any way. But also as the drives are removable – this saves a lot of messing around in the event of drive failure and gives more flexibility in terms of workflow. The Enterprise Class drives do seem to be more reliable (so far I have not had any back) and it can take higher capacity drives.
If you are looking for a professional RAID storage solution for editing or storage this is really strong contender.