ToughTech Duo offers solid RAID functions in a portable package
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

ToughTech Duo offers solid RAID functions in a portable package

Years ago I never would have thought I'd see the day when you could have a portable, RAID storage system for around 500 bucks. But that day has come to pass with CRU-DataPort's ToughTech Duo (http://macte.ch/QP3qX), which works with two 2.5-inch notebook drives or solid state drives to back-up or store data.

It's designed for professional photographers and digital media users while on location or in the studio, but, at its price point and relative portability (though it has some heft at 1.65 pounds with two drives installed), it will appeal to many users beyond its target audience. The ToughTech Duo -- compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 o5 higher -- maximizes storage in a mini footprint (3.5 x 6.26 x 1.34) and guards against data loss by writing the same information in real-time to both drives. The system can continue to run while the ToughTech Duo restores data on the hard drive, which is very handy.

Connecting to any host computer via FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and eSATA provides flexibility, while the eSATA interface option offers the fastest transfer rates. I used a FireWire 800-to-FireWire 800 connection from the ToughTech Duo to my iMac, and it offered plenty of speed.

One convenience is that the CRU-DataPort device -- which runs very quietly -- also supports bus power with an included FireWire cable, though the ToughTech Duo sports a multi-country compatible AC power supply (with swappable, removable "tips"). In fact, the ToughTech Duo can supply power over a FireWire cable while allowing a data connection over the faster eSATA port. A Kensington security slot is integrated for a lock to prevent theft.

Using the ToughTech Due is pretty easy, even for those not accustomed to working with RAID systems. Unique trays let you swap and mount drives quickly without tools and without voiding the warranty. But you can also screw down the drives in environments where additional protection is needed.

You can access SMART data (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) directly on the LCD menu to track drive temperatures and help prevent drive failure. Companion software (which is both Mac and Windows compatible) allows you to configure what temperature the warning LEDs turn on and/or the audible alarms sound.

However, as the folks at CRU-DataPort point out, a mirror, while it protects against hard drive failure, is only the beginning of your backup strategy. Keeping a separate copy of your data on another hard drive (in this case a third hard drive) will help protect you from data corruption and accidental file deletion.

You can do this with a ToughTech Duo in mirror mode. Simply unmount the volume to stop all write activity, remove one of the two drives, and then insert a third drive. You can remount your ToughTech Duo immediately as you work. The ToughTech Duo will rebuild your data to the third drive, restoring the full mirror.

The removed drive can be treated as a back-up that you can archive in a fireproof safe, off-site and away from the original data. You may access the information on your backup disk anytime with the Duo or another enclosure or drive dock; it becomes a standalone drive.

ToughTech Duo supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and a single drive, so you'll have to decide what configuration best suits your needs. You'll have to initialize all hard drives before you use 'em. You can't add a drive to ToughTech Duo and access pre-existing data on that drive. The hard drive must be initialized by the unit and that zaps all data on the drive.

In RAID 0 mode, the unit will configure the drives in a “striped” RAID. This will split your data between the drives, offering faster performance and allowing you to use the full capacity of the drives in a single volume. However, this mode offers no protection for the data; if either hard drive were to fail, all data would be lost.

In RAID 1 mode, the unit will “mirror” the two drives for best data protection. In this mode, you will work with a single volume equal in size to the capacity of one drive. When you copy data to the volume, ToughTech Duo will simultaneously write the data to both drives. If one drive were to fail, your data would still be preserved on the other drive. After replacing a failed drive you can rebuild the RAID on the fly so that your data is once again redundant and secure.

In Single Disk Mode, the ToughTech Duo supports a single drive. The device is compatible with 2.5-inch SATA hard drives that are no more than 9.5 mm in height.

To remove and/or mount a drive:
Push the ejection button. The handle will swing open.
Remove the drive sled and swing the side panel out. c
Insert the drive with the label up.
Close the side panel. Ensure the panel is flush with the drive.
If you want to, though you don't have to, secure the drive with the provided screws.
Slide the drive sled back into the unit. Close the handle and ensure the sled is securely in place.

Creating a new RAID is fairly easy, and you'll need to use the LCD and interface buttons to do this. If you purchased your unit pre-configured you won't need to worry about these steps:

Upon insertion of new disks, the LCD will read “Raid Error: not a RAID set.”
Press “Enter” on the front interface twice.
The LCD screen will display “Make a new RAID?”
Select “Yes.”
Select your RAID type (RAID 0 or 1).
The LCD screen will read “Will erase all data OK?”
Select “YES.” The RAID is now created.

To change the RAID type:
Press the Up button, for the “Change RAID Mode” screen.
Press the Enter button.
Press the Down or Up button to select the desired RAID type.
The screen will display “Will Erase all Data.” Selecting “OK” will result in the loss of all data on the drives (so make sure everything is backed up).
If you’re ready to continue, press Enter.
The new configuration will be selected and ToughTech will reboot.
ToughTech has been configured and is ready for operation. Follow the instructions for the
appropriate operating system usage instructions to initialize and format the drives.

In the event of a disk failure or removal for a RAID 1, the RAID will continue to function in a degraded state. You can add a new disk to the ToughTechT Duo to rebuild the RAID.

After the new drive has been detected ToughTech Duo will ask to add a new disk. Press the Enter button to select “Yes” to add the disk. The disk will be added to the RAID and the RAID will begin to rebuild. The LCD screen will display the percent complete for the rebuild. Rebuild times vary; a 1TB hard drive takes just over three hours to rebuild.

There are some things you should note. Never remove a drive from a RAID 0 as this will cause the loss of all data. In the event of a disk failure for a RAID 0, the RAID will be destroyed. Add a drive and then press the Up button to create a new RAID. Follow the display prompts to build a new array.

In the event of a drive failure in Single Disk mode, all data will be lost. Single Disk mode allows usage of a single hard drive. If a second drive is added later, it can't be combined with the first disk, nor will it provide the option of two individual disks to be seen by the host computer. It will allow the option to create a new RAID using both disks, though this will destroy any data on both disks.

If you see your ToughTech volume mounted twice, the unit is probably connected to your Mac using both the eSATA and FireWire connections. When this is the case, the operating system may attempt to mount the ToughTech twice resulting in two volumes appearing. Simply turn off the ToughTech and unplug one of the connections to resolve the problem.

Some Windows users may justly complain that the ToughTech Duo doesn't have USB 3.0 support, and Mac users may wish for Thunderbolt connectivity. But if you can live with the connectivity options (and most of us can) the CRU-DataPort device offers a fantastic, flexible solution for backing up and protecting our valuable data at home, in the officer or on-the-go.

Rating: 9 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.2 - Live performance t...
MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring to the stage all the same instruments and effects that you love in your recording. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar with from... Read more
formZ 8.5 - Solid and surface modeler. (...
formZ pro is a powerful 3D design application featuring a variety of modeling personalities and tools with an easy to use interface to express and communicate your imagination. It is based on... Read more
PopChar 7.2 - Floating window shows avai...
We're also selling a 5-license family pack for only $25.99! PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar provides a frustration-free way to... Read more
FileMaker Pro 14.0.2 - Powerful, easy-to...
FileMaker Pro is powerful, easy-to-use software used to create custom solutions for your business that run on iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the web. Use FileMaker Pro to manage and share information... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more
Today Only: Save US$50 on Adobe Elements 13;...
Keep the memories. lose the distractions. Summer’s winding down and it’s time to turn almost perfect shots into picture perfect memories with Elements 13. And get the power to edit both photos and... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Best Buy has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price for online orders only, in-store price may vary... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gold MacBook on sale for $1149...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849.99. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Declin...
Does Apple badly need a touchscreen convertible/hybrid laptop MacBook? Yes, judging from a new market forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which... Read more
Continued PC Shipment Shrinkage Expected Thro...
Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -8.7 percent in 2015 and not stabilize until 2017, according to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker data. The... Read more
Imminent iPhone 6s Announcement Leads To 103%...
NextWorth Solutions, with its online and in-store electronics trade-in programs including http://NextWorth.com, reports that it has experienced a 103 percent surge in quoted trade-in values over the... Read more
Weekend Deal: 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros for...
Save up to $100 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pro at the following resellers this weekend. Shipping is free with each model: 2.7GHz/128GB MSRP $1299 2.7GHz/... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
Product Design Engineer - *Apple* Watch - A...
**Job Summary** Product Design Engineer Job Description As a member of Apple 's Watch product design team, you will help to create the next generation of the world's Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Software QA Engineer, *Apple* Pay Security...
Changing the world is all in a day039s work at Apple . If you love innovation, here039s your chance to make a career of it. You039ll work hard. But the job comes with Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.