Raid-10 on an Icy Box IB-3740-C31 – 4-bay USB-C case

Just got an Icy Box IB-3740-C31. Packaging was thankfully good as it was not delivered in a brown box around it.

Adding 4 SSD drives was a bit of a fiddling, but once the two screws per drive were attached and the sliders were in the case it was fine.

Starting up, all 4 SSDs were directly detected by my MacBook Pro.

Noise level is not super silent but ok, maybe I switch the fan later on.

Setting up a RAID-10 with Apple Disk Utility

In Disk Utility, go to File > RAID Assistant…

Who would know that once you have 4 drives you can’t just create a RAID5 with the disk utility? The only obvious options are RAID0, RAID1 and JBOD.

But there is a trick here if you want to use the RAID Assistant. Just create a RAID-10 out of 2 RAID-1 combined by a RAID-0.

First, we create a RAID-1 with 2 disks:

For my use case I used the largest block size and named the first RAID-1 raid1_1.

Then I did the same steps again with the second two disks, named it raid1_2.

Now as you have 2 RAID-1s, it makes sense to combine them to a RAID-0 – set the same block size and works fine. Named it raid10 (finally).

Benefit

  • If you have 4 drives you get 50% of the capacity (e.g. 4x 1TB -> 2TB to use)
  • up to 2 drives can fail here and it would still work (1 on each RAID-1)
  • better fault tolerance than a JBOD
  • fast(mirrored & striped) compared to JBOD, single drives
  • a lot cheaper than a NAS
  • faster than a NAS with up to 10 Gbit/s via USB3.1 (Gen2, UASP)

Drawback

  • a software raid on top of another software raid, not sure yet if you can move it between macs?
  • RAID-5 would give you 75% of the capacity (e.g. 4x 1TB -> 3TB to use), but only one drive can fail there
  • Only attached to one computer compared to a NAS – but possibly more speed

Conclusion

The Icy Box seems to work fine so far, and it feels quite fast (no scientific test/speed runs here) to copy large files around – it’s definitely a lot faster and responsive than the NAS in the same room. Looking forward to video editing on it.

Would have loved to go with a RAID-5 but for now I can always use the provided system tools.

Raspberry Pi: Time sync

When I tried to do a regular update on a Raspberry Pi 1 with sudo apt-get update, I got this error message:

E: Release file for http://raspbian.raspberrypi.org/raspbian/dists/buster/InRelease is not valid yet (invalid for another 1d 14h 44min 54s). Updates for this repository will not be applied.

Checking the date I saw that the Pi was not in sync with time. Adjusting the date is easy:

$ sudo timedatectl set-time "2019-11-09 21:25:00"

and now it worked again. Thanks Patric Fromaget / raspberrytips.com for the solution I found with a quick web search.

MacBook Pro: full resolution

A fresh MacBook Pro 15″ 2017 with MacOS High Sierra. However, the cool resolution of 2880*1800 is not available to the mere user, even with usage of holding the option key.

Found the tool RDM which enables all those resolutions for me to choose.

Now on to testing responsive design with 5k resolution.

Needs update: gfxCardStatus

gfxCardStatus is used to manually switch between integrated and discrete graphic cards on the MacBook Pro. My 2011 model had some issues in the past (before fixed by Apple) and I prefer turning off the discrete graphics card if not required. The app does this automatically (f.ex. no external monitor at work).

After using gfxCardStatus for quite some years, the app seemed to stop working after my latest OSX update run. As the latest version 2.3 by CodyKrieger has not been updated for years. However, steveschow updated and optimised it and that version works with OSX High Sierra.

Reactivate old RasPi

As my first Raspberry Pi catched some dust I found a new project involving it.
Researching current procedures regarding backup old image and add new image to the SD Card, here it is:

Backup

  • Putting the SD Card in my reader in my Mac
  • Utilities > Disk Utility
  • File > New Image from boot
  • Choose as type CD/DVD image and save it

New Image

The really cool and minimalistic tool Etcher is suggested by the RasPi homepage.
I chose the current Raspbian 9 to be put on the SD Card by Etcher.

Etcher in use

Once the copy/install process was finished I opened a terminal session, navigated to /Volumes/boot and used touch ssh.

This will enable ssh on the RasPi, directly enabling it to be contacted by a terminal session instead of putting a usb keyboard on it.

  • User: pi
  • Password: raspberry

Any changes can be done with sudo rasps-config – especially password and network name of system

Now the old RasPi can be used again, this time without extra ac plug but on the new Bestek Steckdosenturm.

Netgear GS716T v3: Firmware update to V6.3.1.19

After one and a half year with the Netgear GS716T v3 I’m still pleased. A bit late as the update is around for a while I updated the switch as some bugs were fixed.
Over here you find the download.

You find in this previous article how I did it: Netgear GS716T v3: update Firmware

2018-06-19 Update: for our convenience the general download link to GS716T v3.