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Topic: Ethernet Hard Drives?

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  1. #1

    Ethernet Hard Drives?

    Are ethernet hard drives good for storing samples?

    I use firewire 800's right now, and I don't have any problems. But what's the deal with the ethernet ones? Better/worse/same?

    Thanks.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  2. #2

    Re: Ethernet Hard Drives?

    If you're referring to Network Attached storage (which is basically a drive with a LAN card and some simple electronics - like a very scaled down computer) they are intended for file sharing and network backups - i.e. they are comparatively SLOW. Not my first choice for streaming media.

    It's been a couple of years since I last purchased one, so I assume that the speed has improved somewhat. But why would you want to spend the extra bucks for something that will probably be slower than cheaper and more evolved technology? Historically, internal hard drives have been the fastest type of storage, followed by external firewire and USB drives. But the differences between them has been narrowing.

    I have had fewer problems with firewire devices than USB, but your actual milage may vary. It seems to depend on what type of device you are dealing with, how well it's made, what you're trying to do with it, and what else is on your system.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  3. #3

    Re: Ethernet Hard Drives?

    "it depends"

    Man I say that a lot...

    The storage world is, more or less, divided into two camps - network attached storage (NAS) and device attached storage (DAS).

    DAS is, generally speaking, faster than NAS. DAS includes SCSI, USB, Firewire, and eSATA, among others.

    NAS usually refers to Ethernet or even TCP/IP based networking.

    The lines are, however, blurry. There is, as an example, a hardware/software combination called Fibre Channel, that could be considered either DAS or NAS. It's blindingly fast, and insanely expensive. (FTR Fibre Channel is a bit of a misnomer, it can run over optical or copper, it can look like anything from point-to-point to a full blown fabric, and at the lowest levels it's really just SCSI commands<G>!)

    If you need speed and your resources are limited I'd probably go with eSATA or Firewire. Be forewarned, all firewire chipsets and drivers are not equal - which tends to push things towards Firewire. eSATA is cool, and works quite well, but it is still a bit more expensive, and not every motherboard supports it (yet).

    The other option, and one that I particularly like even before one hits the limits of the above, is iSCSI. Check it out! Both Apple and MS support it, the drives are cheap, the interface hardware (on the drive side) is relatively inexpensive, and there is no hardware on the host side... it runs over plain old Ethernet! I've used it on 100MB networks that also carried some other traffic an it worked, but for best results I'd build a separate, dedicated network of at least 100MB, and maybe even 1GB, depending on my needs.
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  4. #4

    Re: Ethernet Hard Drives?

    Personally, I haven't had any e-net drive systems that are fast enough for sample-loading with a DAW. HOWEVER, they are fabulous for near-line or archival storage because they are cheap, easily shared between machines, and on the newer ones you can hot swap drives in and out as needed without rebooting the network. I've taken to buying cheap HDs and just pluggin' em in every few months to take an 'image' of all my important files from all machines (DAW, samples, office, etc.)

    The one I use is from Buffalo.


    ---JC

  5. #5

    Re: Ethernet Hard Drives?

    thanks for your replies everyone. i think i'll stick with my firewire 800's. i just wanted to make sure that there wasn't any huge benefit to getting an ethernet one before i got another drive.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

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