Aloha to All.
Allow me to begin by saying thank you in advance for any and all help. Please understand I am a marine biologist first and a videographer second so please excuse my elementary knowledge.
I am asking for assistance concerning RAID.
I have a new 2011 17" macbook pro, 8gigs RAM
At current, I have 3 firewire 800 2TB external hard drives. All 3 are brand new Iomega eGo's for mac (let's call them A, B, C).
They are connected to 3 different channels on the mac:
A to the expresscard34 fw800 port1
B to the same expresscard34 fw800 port2
C to the built-in fw800
Note: the expresscard34 dual port fw800 IS ALSO a dual channel
Also, I have a blu-ray burner in daisy chain with drive A.
I film a lot of HiDef footage for research and am wondering if it is advantageous or not for me to arrange these drives in a RAID configuration. These drives are solely intended for housing the video clips and render files. All project and working files are on my built-in HD.
If it is better to configure a RAID, Apple should help me walk through the process correct since I have Apple Care and the laptop is about a month old? If not, will I be able to get assistance here in this forum?
Generally OS X (along with Linux and Windows) wouldn't (and shouldn't) allow you to RAID separate portable drives into a single volume - for a good reason. Disconnect one drive and the whole volume may be toast.
Although I am normally a huge fan of RAIDs, and I suggest them almost all the time to editors who have been stuck with single drive configurations, I'm not a huge fan of striped drives daisy-chained together across FW-800 connections. Unlike eSATA drives, which seem to retain their RAID configurations when one of the drives is accidently knocked offline, FW-800 drives sometimes lose the configuration and refuse to mount, and when that happens you lose your media.
Others may disagree, but that's my advice based upon both personal and professional experience.
It sounds like you are running through a reasonably large amount of material. While adding up the sum for your RAID drives needs also consider a tape backup unit. 15 years from now you could have an awful lot of data in your safe. I know I am not being too specific at the moment but I would recommend that you get a RAID about as good as David Weiss uses so your work drives do not make you spend your life in front of your editing computer. Aim for very fast RAID without huge storage on your hard drives. That is what the backup, restore is for. Your 3 firewire drives as sombre storage will not be much of a problem for now.