support above all
I'm looking for a company that sells, and more importantly, supports, a RAID 5 system, Thunderbolt 1 or 2, with at least 4 drives and preferably more like 8.
It isn't just a matter of technical specs; by far more important to me is support.
On my old Mac Pro system, I've been happy with my old CalDigit HDOne, not because it's been perfect, but because their tech support has been very helpful, well after the warranty expired.
No matter how good the system, there will be problems, and I want the best support out there. Any candidates?
no support for you Bob. As you can see, Cal Digit did not do well with selling 8 bays, or the Accusys Super Share system. Because good support costs money, and companies that offer good support, do not get the majority of the business, because they are forced to charge more than Other World Computing (for the Mercury series - not the expensive Jupiter series which is excellent). And so, the companies that give great support suffer, because only YOU are willing to pay more - and the masses want "what is the least amount of money that I can spend for an 8 bay 32 TB drive array" - only to come to these forums to say " I bought this drive array, and nothing is working, and I can't get anyone on the phone - can someone help me".
You have seen it before, and you will see it again. So exactly who is going to support you for all eternity without a support contract ? Instead of saying "no one" - I will tell you this - most of the products, that are OEM'ed from Taiwanese companies, are EOL (end of life) before you have gotten all the value from them, so when your power supply dies from the 8 bay or 16 bay that you bought only 4 years ago - the odds today, are you will find that even if you can get GREAT SUPPORT from someone, the damn part is no longer manufacturered anymore. Do you actually think that Cal Digit (or Lacie, or ANYONE ELSE that you see advertise here on Creative Cow) has a manufacturing plant here in the US, where there are ladies making the drive arrays, power supplies, etc.), so they can make you your defective part. After a certain SHORT period of time, ITS OVER, there is no support, and you are going to buy a new one. Not like the old days, where you would get your 10 year old Sony Beta VTR repaired. THOSE DAYS ARE OVER.
Rescue 1, Inc.
[Bob Zelin] "even if you can get GREAT SUPPORT from someone, the damn part is no longer manufactured anymore"
Wow - coming from you, that scares me. That isn't even what I was concerned about, but I am now. What about that first level of support, e.g.: "I have a problem, and I can call someone about it, and they're going to be empathetic and helpful." In my experience, AJA and CalDigit have been great at that (CalDigit, as recently as this past week, when they guessed correctly that I had a bad PCI card, sent me a card and a cable just in case that was it, and offered to take back whichever piece was NOT the one that needed replacement).
I take your point about obsolescence. So, what to do? Buy two of everything to have a spare? Or, rigorously renew every part of your studio, on a set schedule (what, every 3 years)? That gets expensive and disruptive, and besides, many of the problems I've had with electronics have actually been within the first couple months of operation.
Re my current issue: to go with a new non-PCI-card Mac, I'm looking for new Thunderbolt storage.
I had been assuming that I would need a RAID-5 or RAID-6, but you're making me wonder about that. If, as you said, the market has gone low-end, with cheap, planned obsolescence, maybe I should go that way too. I'm not working in multiple streams of 4K video anyway -- all I want is to be able to deliver HD videos on time to my clients, even if a hard drive fails now and then. Instead of expensive RAID-5 or RAID-6 devices, what about daisy-chaining some Thunderbolt drives and either mirroring or making frequent, scheduled backups?
I realize, Bob, that you don't need phone support the way I do; hence, your focus on the hardware EOL issue. But I'd be very curious as to whom you would recommend for that first level of phone support. I have never dealt with Promise or Maxx Digital so don't know how they'll be with support. Any other candidates?
Thanks for your insights.
P.S. I just want to give a shout-out for some great repairs: Specialized Communications (for Panasonic), Sony (for a price), and winning the Grand Prize, Midwest Technical Sales and Service. After HP assured me that my LTO-3 drive was not repairable, Midwest Technical Sales and Service fixed it for a very reasonable price. They did not pay me for that endorsement.
for Thunderbolt storage, with large disk drive arrays, there are only a couple of companies making them -
8 bay Thunderbolt -
16 bay and 24 Bay -
Since there are hardly any companies on this list, you could certainly call some of these companies, and see if you can get a human being on the phone from support. That should help you answer your question.
And as you have discovered, there are third party companies out there
(like Midwest Technical - and me !) - that can help you as well.
No one in the planet offers tech support like AJA. I am very sad that Cal Digit has discontinued products like the HDPro 8 bay, and their 24 bay. I guess that they just were not selling enough to keep going with these products. Even if you have working ones, I do not believe that they continue to write driver support for the new Mac operating systems, like Mavericks, so even if there is support, and even if the product is still working, you constantly need updated drivers to keep these products working. Of course, AJA ALWAYS writes updated drivers, even for their old products.
ps - I need support from these companies all the time. You think I know all of this stuff ?
Rescue 1, Inc.
Actually no, AJA promised drivers to use some of there older IO for certain NLE which never was released.
There comment was by the new IO. :( But they do rock!