Friday, July 29, 2011

Icy News: Google+ Traffic Falls As Users Spend Less Time on Site

"After a running start, Google+‘s growth may be slowing down a bit. A report from Experian Hitwise found both traffic and users’ average time on the social network fell last week in the U.S.

Total visits to Google+ declined about 3% to 1.79 million in the U.S. for the week ending July 23 compared to the previous seven days, according to the research company. The site received 1.86 million visits the prior week. Average time on the site was down 10%, from 5 minutes, 50 seconds to 5 minutes, 15 seconds.
Matt Tatham, a rep for Experian Hitwise, was careful not to overplay the findings. “This is not a huge drop,” he says. The company extrapolates its figures from a sample of 10 million US Internet users by partnering with ISPs and from an opt-in panel of about 2.5 million users.
The report comes after Google+’s traffic enjoyed a steady climb since its June 28 debut. Last week, comScore reported that the network hit 20 million unique visitors. Some were so enamored with Google+ that they closed out their Facebook accounts and moved all their activity to the new network." - via Mashable

With Google+ being in the spotlight for a few weeks, it seems to have dropped off due to mainly a lack of features. Of course, the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because there could be many reasons for this. Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Icy News: SanDisk Launches New Ultra SSD Line

"SanDisk announced their new Ultra SSD line, offering SATA II drives aimed at customers looking to bring new life to old systems. Offered in three capacities ranging from 60 to 240GB, these SSDs have speeds topping at 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write. With prices starting as low as $129.99, these drivers are aimed with budget shoppers in mind.
The SanDisk Ultra SSD comes out at an interesting point, where many SATA III drives are hitting the market, some with nearly double the transfer speeds. SanDisk aims this new product at shoppers with older systems, most of which still use hard drives and don't have newer motherboards that support SATA 6Gb/s transfer speeds.
SanDisk Ultra SSD Specifications:
Available Capacities – 60GB, 120GB, 240GB
Transfer Speeds: Up to 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write
Interface: SATA II (3Gb/s)
Operating temperature: 0˚C to 60˚C
Power Active: 0.43W
Shock Resistant: 1500G @ 0.5 msec
Vibration: 2.17gRMS, 5– 700Hz
TBW: 40, 80, and 128TB for 60, 120, and 240GB models respectively
The SanDisk Ultra SSD line is currently for sale on retailers such as NewEgg, with sale prices as low as $179.99 for the 120GB model" - via Storage Review

SanDisk releasing a SSD for older devices is a pretty neat idea, and the specifications are decent, although not top of the line, given who the target customer is. Will you be purchasing this type of drive for the price that they have it at? Or wait until the price goes down? As always, feel free to let us know!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Icy News: LSI Sampling 12Gb SAS Silicon

LSI Sampling 12Gb SAS Silicon

A first in the industry
LSI Corporation announced the industry's first sample shipments of 12Gb/s SAS RAID-on-Chip (ROC), controller and expander ICs to server and external storage OEMs.

By providing customers with early samples of 12Gb/s SAS silicon, LSI is delivering a technology milestone and laying the foundation for the anticipated SCSI Trade Association 12Gb/s SAS Plugfest in mid-2012.

Technology demonstrations for OEM customers showcase performance of over 1 million IOPS with a single 8-port 12Gb/s SAS ROC running small block sequential reads/writes in a direct connect configuration to eight hard disk drives.

"12Gb/s SAS technology will enable a new performance class of storage tiering that spans the enterprise from high-performance solid state storage to mega datacenter scale-out architectures," said Dave Reinsel, group vice president, Storage and Semiconductors, IDC. "Early silicon availability is a critical first step toward 12Gb/s SAS infrastructure development, paving the way for a smooth technology transition and market adoption by late 2013."

The 12Gb/s SAS generation will provide double the data transfer rate of 6Gb/s SAS solutions, allowing SAS infrastructure to deliver bandwidth that exceeds that of PCI Express 3.0 with a single host bus adapter. The improved bandwidth, backed by I/O processing capabilities to maximize link utilization, supports increased scaling of traditional hard disk drives as well as improved SSD performance.

12Gb/s SAS will also provide customers with investment protection through designed backwards compatibility with 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s SAS infrastructures.

Along with these performance innovations are new connectivity options including new connectors and high-density cabling (Mini SAS HD) that features passive copper, active copper and optical capabilities, as well as enhanced cable management. These advancements, coupled with SAS expanders, which enable connection to a large numbers of devices, allow for new ways of scaling and configuring 12Gb/s SAS topologies. These topologies will extend the capabilities of SAS in direct attached storage environments for the public cloud and data center environments.

In the 12Gb/s generation, SAS expanders provide higher throughput and support higher port counts for both traditional hard disk drives as well as solid state storage. This improves storage consolidation for applications such as virtualization, tiered storage and digital content distribution.

"With more than 25 million SAS components shipped, and performance demonstrations of over one million IOPS from a single 12Gb/s SAS ROC, LSI is clearly a SAS market segment leader," said Bill Wuertz, senior vice president, RAID Storage Division, LSI. "By offering our OEM customers sample shipments of the industry's first 12Gb/s SAS components, LSI is once again demonstrating its ability to keep our customers at the forefront of industry inflection points."

According to industry estimates, 12Gb/s SAS market adoption will begin with the release of individual SAS components and devices, and gain momentum as tier-one OEMs begin production-volume shipments of 12Gb/s SAS-enabled servers and external storage systems. Production-volume shipments of 12Gb/s SAS-enabled servers are estimated to occur by early 2013, followed by the availability of external storage systems by mid-to-late 2013.

Since the inception of SAS, LSI has delivered an industry-leading portfolio of products including SAS ROC, controller and expander ICs, host bus adapters, MegaRAID and 3ware RAID controllers, 6Gb/s SAS switches, advanced software options and WarpDrive SLP-300 acceleration cards. Based on a 25-year track record of hardware and firmware expertise and extensive validation processes, LSI is the SAS product supplier of choice for OEMs that want to deliver a broad set of storage solutions. via

Just when you thought data transfer could not get any faster they release 12Gb/s. How important is it to you, how fast your external storage is? Would you rather have more speed or higher capacity? Let us know how you feel. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

MB982SP-1S review - posted by

With SSD prices continuing to get lower and lower, the adoption rate of SSD's for both home and business use is starting to greatly increase. Although their price to gigabytes ratio still isn't that of a mechanical drive, their capacities are continuing to grow and their performance is simply unmatched. The majority of solid state drives use the 2.5" form factor; since a large amount of the full review

MB882SP-1S-1B review - posted by

I recently checked out the MB982SP-1S 2.5" to 3.5" drive converter from Icy Dock. Although this was one of the highest quality products I've seen from this type of accessory, it's strength was also it's weakness. Paying a premium for military grade strength is no problem for IT the full review

ICY NEWS: OCZ Indilinx Everest SSD Controller Enabling Triple-Level Cell NAND Flash

6Gb SATA platform for up to 1TB of storage
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. unveiled the Indilinx Everest SATA 3.0 SSD platform.

The Everest platform features support of 6Gbps interface speeds, high transactional performance that is optimized for compressed files, and maximum capacities up to 1TB.

"The new Indilinx Everest platform is a complete customizable solution that delivers superior storage performance, features, and capabilities designed to exceed the needs of the most demanding SSD applications," said Bumsoo Kim, President of Indilinx. "Combining a 6Gbps SATA Revision 3.0 host interface, a dual-core CPU, and support for the latest, most advanced NAND Flash memory technology available, Everest offers SSD manufacturers unparallel flexibility in optimizing their designs for both performance and cost."

The new Indilinx Everest platform includes:
Supports Next Generation Flash Technologies:The Everest Platform supports state-of-the-art, MLC NAND components and next generation three bit per cell NAND Flash. The ability to leverage Triple-Level Cell (TLC) NAND Flash with proprietary Everest and Indilinx Ndurance Technology provides customers with cost reductions associated with moving to the new process.

Advanced Architecture Optimized for High Speed and Density: The Everest Platform features a controller to support 200 mega transfers per second (MT/s) synchronous-mode flash, up over the 166 MT/s supported by other NAND Flash controllers. Everest supports 1TB capacities in a single controller SSD design with current generation Flash components. Its eight channel design with up to 16-way interleaving for performance, supports full data path and power fail protection to deliver integrity and reliability for enterprise applications.

Performance Optimization: Everest's design delivers sequential speeds up to 500MB/s and is optimized for small file writes at the 8K file size with next generation page mapping technology, which increases transactional performance optimized for 4K to 16K compressed files, by matching file sizes to the 8K page size typical in newer generation NAND Flash.

Enhanced Boot Time: Indilinx's new boot time reduction algorithms can be configured to decrease system boot time by up to 50% over existing SSD controller architectures for customers that require faster boot times and an instant-on experience in their applications. This provides the benefits users seek from their storage solutions and enables quicker access and greater responsiveness, allowing clients to take
advantage of solid state storage as a boot device.

Indilinx Everest Platform Complete Feature-Set:

  • SATA Revision 3.0 - Supports 6Gbps, 3Gbps, and 1.5Gbps interface speeds
  • Dual Core ARM CPU
  • 1TB Maximum Capacity
  • High Sequential Speeds
  • High Transactional Performance - Optimized for 4K to 16K Compressed Files
  • Up to 8 Channels of ONFI 2.0/Toggle 1.0 Flash at up to 200MT/s with up to 16-way Interleaving
  • Advanced BCH ECC engine - over 70 bits per defined sector
  • 400MHz DDR3 DRAM Cache Interface with Support for up to 512MB
  • Proprietary Ndurance Technology
  • Enhanced Power Fail Protection
  • Supports up to 1xnm Node NAND Flash with 1, 2, or 3 bits per cell
  • Efficient NAND Flash Management - Dynamic and Static Wear-Leveling, and Background Garbage Collection.
  • Boot Time Reduction Optimizations - Collaborative Platform Development
  • NCQ Support up to 32 Queue Depth
  • End-to-End Data Protection
  • TRIM Support
  • Numerous Over-Provisioning Options
  • Industry Standard SMART Reporting
The Indilinx Everest SSD platform is  available to OEMs for validation. -via

With OCZ releasing a new SSD platform who will be the first to implement it? Let us know what you think about it and who will be first.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Icy News: Apple MacBook Air (July-2011) SSD Dissected

"There were few surprises when Apple updated the MacBook Air line yesterday, adding a faster Intel Core i5 processor, more RAM, backlit keyboard and a few other goodies like a Thunderbolt port and Mac OS X Lion. We're most interested in the MacBook Air's SSD though; we quickly tore down the 128GB MacBook Air to see what's inside in this mini-review.
Perhaps one of the most important complaints about SSDs and Apple in general was resolved with the Lion operating system update. Lion reportedly does hundreds of new or improved things, one of which is now support of TRIM for SSDs. The screenshot below is from the new MacBook Air, but it looks roughly the same on prior generation MacBook Air notebooks with the Lion update applied.
A quick glance at the drive details shows TRIM support and a new model number for the SSD. The new SSD is called Apple SSD SM128C, where the previous generation was called Apple SSD TS128C. Aside from name changes, physically the drives are very similar, Apple maintains the stick-of-gum SSD design. 
When we get down to the component level, we see Apple has opted for all Samsung components, which are also found in the Samsung 470 SSDreviewed last year. The controller is Samsung sourced, with the markings S3C29MAX01-Y340. The RAM and NAND are also Samsung branded, marked as K4T2G6314QE-MCF7 and K9PFGD8U7M respectively. The NAND is 32GB in capacity, totaling 128GB over four chips, giving the end user 121.33GB of usable space.
The question on the minds of potential MacBook Air buyers though is around performance. With the new processors, more RAM and potentially improved SSD, how does this notebook compare to the prior generation? We ran the Xbench1.3 drive benchmarks to compare both to the previous generation MacBook Air SSD and the OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD upgrade.
While not exactly apples to apples, this does at least paint a picture of what users can expect from the new SSD. For sequential transfers, we saw 4K writes of 210.97 MB/s and reads of 29.21 MB/s. When switching to 256K, the writes go to 194.80 MB/s and reads 212.40 MB/s. Compared to our prior generation Air, there are massive gains in the 4K tests, the 4K read speeds for instance nearly doubled and the 4K writes were up 100 MB/s. On the 256K tests the writes saw a modest improvement and the reads about 50 MB/s. 
In random transfers the new Apple SSD saw 4K write speeds of 80.78 MB/s and reads of 12.86 MB/s. Switching to 256K, we found writes of 126.05 MB/s and reads of 141.13 MB/s. The 4K read speeds are incrementally better with the new drive, up about 10%. The 4K writes were where the old drive performed the worst and thankfully the new one is much better, going from 29.82 MB/s to a hair over 80 MB/s, a very welcome improvement. The 256K benchmarks saw mixed results, the new SSD picks up almost 40 MB/s on the read speeds but gives up the same amount on the writes.
Overall, the new SSD seems to perform well, in anecdotal testing the revised MacBook Air handles things like streaming HD video much better, where the prior generation quickly spun the fan into high gear and started stuttering during playback under heavy load. The other new touches are nice too, the backlit keyboard is great for low-light work, and the keyboard in general is a bit less springy than before. For anyone considering a ultraportable notebook, it's difficult to beat the current line of MacBook Air products." - via Storage Review
The upgrade for Apple's Mac Air has more than meets the eye with the 128GB SSD having support for TRIM for one. The SSD is nonstandard design, so it is not what we are used to in the consumer market as a note. What do you think about this change, alongside with the other changes, will you shell out the cash to purchase and why?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Icy News: Apple has finally unleashed OS X 10.7 Lion

Apple has finally unleashed OS X 10.7 Lion, the revamped operating system for the company's desktops and laptops. Lion is the latest in a string of major OS revisions released over the past 11 years, and this newest cat borrows some tricks from Apple's mobile lineup.

In fact, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs first unveiled Lion last fall, he made the point that it would incorporate some of the lessons learned from iOS, including automatic document saves, saved states for apps, and systemwide gestures that until now have been more common to the iPad and iPhone.

In some ways, the rollout of multi-touch gestures may be the biggest change Lion offers when it comes to how you interact with the new OS, but it's other features, like Auto Save, Versions and Resume, that many users will appreciate most.

The last major desktop operating system from Apple was Snow Leopard, which arrived in August 2009. When that OS was introduced, the iPhone 3GS was all the rage and the iPad was still under wraps. ButApple was already figuring out how it could use swipes, pinches and taps in what would become Lion.

Was the company's decision to change in a fundamental way how Mac users interact with their computers a desperate bid to emulate the success of iOS or a stroke of brilliance? I think it was both -- without the desperation.
Getting started

Lion, which costs $29.99 and is available only through the Mac App Store, requires users to have Snow Leopard in place first. And it has beefed up system requirements compared to Snow Leopard. Chief among them, Apple's new OS requires an Intel 64-bit processor, so anyone with a Mac that doesn't have at least a Core 2 Duo chip can forget about upgrading.
Lion also wants at least 2GB of memory to run -- 4GB is better -- and at least 4GB of free space on your hard drive for the file download. Yes, download. Rather than dashing to the store for a Lion installation DVD, you fire up the Mac App Store, buy the OS online, then download and install it. (No doubt, MacBook Air users will be delighted, since the Air doesn't have a built-in optical drive.)

The bad news: Anyone on a slow connection is going to be waiting a while for the OS to download, although Apple has offered the Wi-Fi in its stores to help out people who don't have broadband. The good news: If your household has more than one Mac, you can hop on that other Mac, use your App Store login there, click on the "Purchased" tab and install Lion using the same Apple ID. The bonus? You don't have to enter a ridiculously long Genuine Protection ID like Windows users do.

For companies worried about updating a lot of Macs in the workplace, Apple has a solution: Enterprise customers with volume licenses can download the Lion installer, which places itself in the Applications folder, and then copy that installer to the machines being upgraded. Apple sent out the info in a PDF explaining what enterprise and education users should do. It also will offer a copy of Lion on a flash drive for $69.99 sometime next month.
Note: If you don't save a copy of the installer before you update to Lion, you won't be able to save it later. The installer deletes itself after the installation is complete; if you need it later, you'll have to download it again from the App Store.

A couple more caveats: Lion no longer allows you to run software written for PowerPC, as the Rosetta framework that allowed older apps to run is now gone. And if your machine doesn't have a glass multi-touch trackpad, you'll be missing out on the new gestures built into Lion. (Earlier versions of the trackpad without the glass coating don't support more than two-finger scrolls.) -via Computerworld

With the new release of the OS X 10.7 Lion how many of you have already upgraded? Are you still waiting for the "bugs" to get out before you upgrade? Let us know what you think about the new Apple OS. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Icy News: Western Digital Releases 9.5mm 1TB Notebook Hard Drive

"Western Digital has announced it's shipping a thinner Scorpio Blue 1TB mobile hard drive. Designed to fit most laptops, the 2.5-inch SATA unit squeezes two 500GB platters into the standard 9.5mm notebook form factor. As part of the Blue line, this drive will feature a 5400RPM spindle speed; offering cool and quiet operation as well as lower power consumption.
Previous 1TB notebook drives up until now have been 12.5mm thick, making them too large to fit in most devices. That includes the existing 12.5mm 1TB model in the Scorpio Blue line... unless you count external options which require additional cables to carry around. For many of the notebook shoppers out there, this new 9.5mm drive will fit perfectly, unless you happen to have a newer system that needs one of the thinner 7mm tall drives.
Western Digital WD10JPVT 1TB Specs
  • Spindle Speed 5,400 RPM
  • Buffer Size 8 MB
  • Average Latency 5.50ms
  • Formatted Capacity 1,000,204 MB
  • Interface SATA 3 Gb/s
  • User Sectors Per Drive 1,953,525,168
  • Idle Mode 22 dBA (average), Seek Mode 0 25 dBA (average)
  • Operating 32° F to 140° F, Non-operating -40° F to 149° F
  • Read/Write 1.4 Watts, Idle 0.59 Watts, Standby 0.18 Watts, Sleep 0.18 Watts
Pricing and Availability

The Western Digital WD10JPVT 1TB hard drive is being listed with a suggested price of $139.00 and is shipping now through select retailers." - via Storage Review
This is a new edition to WD 2.5" consumer grade line of products. The interesting points are that it's 1TB & 9.5mm in height. Also, the 5400RPM or 5200RPM should do well in notebooks and enclosures alike. Since this is the case, now several of our 2.5" device that were not compatible in the past will now work with our enclosures & converters:
So will you be getting these new hard drives to further expand your 2.5" storage capability?? Let us know!

Icy News: MacBook Air Refreshed With Sandy Bridge Processors, Backlit Keyboards, Thunderbolt And OS X Lion

"Apple has updated the MacBook Air family of ultraportable laptops. The third upgrade brings three big updates: updated processors, backlit keyboards, OS X Lion and next-generation I/O technology Thunderbolt.

The first MacBook Air was introduced in 2008 at Macworld when Steve Jobs famously pulled out the ultra-portable from a vanilla envelope. We’ve seen three revisions so far, with the latest being today.

MacBook Air 2011
Today’s upgrade isn’t as serious an upgrade as the second since the previous generation’s industrial design is carried into the third generation. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, since the design is outstanding. The upgrade comes just nine months after the 2nd upgrade.

As expected, there are two models. An 11.6” model and a 13” model:
The 11.6” model starts at $999 with a 64GB SSD, 2GB of RAM and a 1.6Ghz Core-i5 Sandy Bridge processor. Apple is also offering a higher-end version of the 11.6” model, priced at $1199 that comes with a 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM.
The 13” model also has two variants. The low end variant costs $1299 and comes with a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM and a 1.7Ghz Core-i5 processor. Stepping up, you have the $1599 variant that comes with a 256GB SSD and 4GB of RAM while keeping the same processor.
All MacBook Airs have an Intel HD 3000 integrated graphic processors, FaceTime webcams, two USB ports, a backlit keyboard (new feature), OS X Lion1366×768 screen resolution for the 11.6” model and 1440×900 for the 13” model. Battery life is rated at up to five hours and seven hours for the 11.6” and 13.6” models respectively.

Death Of $999 White MacBook
With the updated MacBook Air priced at an attractive $999, we see the original white MacBook dying down in popularity very, very soon. In fact, if you look up, you won’t even see the original MacBook in the dropdown menu.
Who would buy a fat MacBook when you can get a mighty fine-looking MacBook Air that offers, arguably, the same performance thanks to updated processors and the SSD technology.
Update on white MacBook: Apple has confirmed, white MacBooks have been discontinued.

What are Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge?
All new MacBook Airs come with one Thunderbolt I/O port. Thunderbolt is an all-new I/O technology that allows data to be transferred at blazing fast speeds. Speeds up to 20 times faster than the currently ubiquitous USB 2.0.  Thunderbolt allows users to pull off previously impossible things like connecting multiple hard disks, a video camera and a high-resolution display without things slowing down.
As for the updated processors: Sandy Bridge is the 2nd generation of the Core-i series of processors manufactured by Intel which work more efficiently than the previous generation." -via Redmond Pie

With Apple releasing the their new operating system dubbed "OS X Lion", new refreshes for different product lines, although the main attraction seems to be the new operating system. So, are any of these products worth purchasing in your opinion? Let us know!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ICY TIP: How to setup a RAID in a Small form factor case with a single 3.5” hard drive bay?

Mini ITX motherboards and small form factor cases are becoming very popular with system builds. An application where they have become very prevalent is in Home Theater PC (HTPC), small home server or low profile desktop computers. The key benefits of the Mini ITX PC are low power consumption, space saving and portability. But what comes with a small case is limited 3.5” HDD bay space.

Most Mini ITX cases are limited to a single 3.5” hard drive bay. This can be a problem if you would like to have more than a single drive or would like to have two drives to run a RAID 1 array for data security or RAID 0 for fast speed, as both of the setups required 2 hard drives or SSDs. With the standard case setup this would not be possible. Icy Dock has a solution to this problem that allows you to mount 2 x 2.5” drives in a single 3.5” bay with a screw-less design for fast and easy installation.
Using the MB990SP-B 2 x 2.5” SATA/IDE SSD & HDD bracket is the most simple and economic way to run a RAID array with your Mini ITX case. Thanks to the MB990SP-B’s completely tool-less design, you can simply slide the drives into the bracket and lock them in, press the two tabs of the bracket and slid the bracket into a 3.5” bay. Connect the SATA cables from the drives to the motherboard. Setup the RAID in BIOS and now you have a RAID array in your ultra small system. There are many brackets on the market, but none of them are as easy as the MB990SP-B. Keep in mind that the case is so small and space is very limited which makes it difficult for drive installation; you definitely don’t want to deal with 8 screws for 2 x 2.5” hard drives and then 4 screws for the bracket. That’s why we designed the MB990SP-B which makes things much easier for you.

It is not possible to run a RAID array on a Mini ITX motherboard that doesn’t have an onboard RAID chipset since there’s no room for a RAID card, not true. The MB982SPR-2S has a built-in RAID chipset that supports RAID 0, 1, PM and BIG functions. It allows you to use two 2.5” SATA HDD/SSD in RAID in a single 3.5” bay. With its screw-less design, you are able to put two drives in without tool or screws. Screwing the MB982SPR-2S into a 3.5” drive bay only required 4 screws. Setting up the RAID array can either be done by using the built-in hardware RAID switch or the RAID manager software. Next connect the SATA cable from the MB982SPR-2S to the motherboard, plug in the SATA power connector and now you have a standalone hardware RAID array in your system.

Setting up RAID in a Mini ITX case or other small form factor cases can be a challenge due to the bay limitations. Icy Dock offers a quick and easy solution for your small computer cases. Now you can rest assure that your data/OS is safe and secure in a RAID 1, or enjoy the fast data transfer rate in RAID 0 setup.
MB990SP-B EZ-FIT Dual 2.5" to 3.5" SATA & IDE SSD / HDD Bracket
MB982SPR-2S Dual 2.5" to 3.5" SATA SSD / HDD Converter with RAID

Monday, July 18, 2011

Seagate Pulsar XT.2 SSD

"Seagate has begun shipping their latest enterprise-ready SSD, the Pulsar XT.2. The Pulsar XT.2 was announced in March and features SLC NAND and a 6Gb/s SAS interface - making it the fastest drive offered by Seagate...also announced the MLC-based enterprise SSD Pulsar.2 SSD will begin shipping July 29" -via StorageReview
An interesting release by Seagate, note the 6Gb/s SAS interface and drive capacity. Will you purchase one of these drives? If so, which capacity? Do you think it's the perfect time or too late?
If you need a way to make it easier to use 2.5" since they are not really standardized at this point, we have the perfect converter for anyone who is looking to use with their already existing system: MB982IP-1S, a 2.5" SATA/SAS to 3.5" converter. If you're looking for something more, we have the MB994SP-4S, a 4 2.5 SATA/SAS in 5.25" bay enclosure as well. Let us know what you think about this!

Friday, July 15, 2011

3TB hard drive prices slip below $150

"After selling for $250-$300 at their introduction about a year ago, 3TB hard drive prices are now falling below $150. This weekend, the Hitachi H3IK30003272SW, a 7200-rpm drive, is $149.99 at, with a promo code..." via Extreme Tech
What you think about this? Will you wait until the prices are lower or get one now? Of course, playing the waiting game usually does not work out, as there will be newer and faster technology to come out. If you are the ones that do have one or will purchase one, which Icy Dock products will you use them for? If you're not sure which ones will work, check out our announcement back in March about 3TB support: 
As always, feel free to let us know what you think here or on our Facebook or Twitter!

Monday, July 11, 2011

ICY TIP: How to backup your photos, video and data in a safe and secure RAID storage device

Backing up your data and storing it in a safe and secure place is important for just about any computer user. But when it comes to backing up a large archives of valuable photos, videos, or sound files you need a larger capacity storage device then other users may need. If you are a photographer, video editor, or music producer you know what I am talking about. Keeping large archives of your files requires a very large capacity storage device or server. With the newer technologies emerging with larger capacity hard drives a 3Tb hard drive is not uncommon. In the past when you wanted to make a large capacity storage enclosure you needed to purchase a 4 or 5 bay enclosure to build up a 3Tb storage enclosure. These enclosures were bulky, heavy, use a lot of power and can be very costly.

The other popular backup option is to use backup software, to set a scheduled time and the software will move the selected files to a destination (usually another hard drive). The weak point of the backup software is sometimes it fails without any notice. You wouldn’t know until your drive has gone bad but by then it is too late to do the backup. Some backup software can corrupt previously installed software or data on the server. Not to mention it uses system and hard drive resources while backing up the files. That’s why many professional users prefer hardware RAID backup solutions; even the software backup solution has built-in to Windows server & Mac OS.

You may already know that RAID 1 mirrors all data from one drive to the other drive automatically. Having an enclosure in RAID 1 allows you to not worry about drive failure. Dual bay 3.5” external RAID enclosures are getting more popular as hard drive prices are dropping and hard drive capacities now hitting 3TB. However, there are many dual bay RAID enclosures on the market and they aren’t cheap. So it is important to choose an enclosure that is reliable, fits your needs and packed with features.

Here are the tips when buying a dual bay RAID enclosure:

1. Drive compatibility: Make sure it supports more than 2TB capacity per partition; many RAID chipsets are limited to 2TB capacity. That said, it won’t work with 3TB hard drives or even 2TB hard drives in RAID 0 or BIG. So make sure the enclosure you buy supports greater than 2TB capacity per partition.

2. RAID Chipset: It is the core of the RAID enclosure as it handles the data connection, interfaces and RAID functions. It is important to choose a brand name chipset since brand name chipsets have more thorough testing for better compatibility with OS and hard drives.

3. Cooling: One of the main causes of drive failure is caused by heat. Having proper cooling is important in dual bay RAID enclosures. Make sure the enclosure is equipped with a quality cooling fan in order to protect your drives as well as the enclosure.

4. RAID selection: Although you can only use one RAID mode at the time, it’s always good to have more than one RAID option to choose from. Another RAID option might be good for a future upgrade.

5. Warranty: Most hard drives come with a 3 year warranty. It would be nice if enclosure came with a 3 years warranty as well.

ICY DOCK offers dual bay enclosures that cover everything we’ve mentioned above. The MB662 series has two different versions, MB662US-2S and MB662USEB-2S. Both of the enclosures support more than 2TB capacity per partition and compatible with 3TB hard drives, the MB662US-2S uses a Silicon Image chipset and the MB662USEB-2S uses an Oxford chipset. They both are equipped with high performance “Sunon” MEGLev cooling fan with fan speed control in order to keep the hard drives cool and running smoothly. ICY DOCK team offer various customer service options including phone support, email support and live chat support. As always, all the ICY DOCK products are covered with a 3-year limited warranty.

Tool-less Design
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MEGLevc Cooling Fan
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Using Icy Docks MB662US-2S or the MB662USEB-2S you can get the benefits of a large capacity storage device with the added benefits of RAID 1 (SAFE). Using the enclosure in RAID 1 with two 3Tb drives would be an excellent storage unit for any professional that wants to keep a large archive of files but still keeping them safe in RAID 1.
When a hard drive fails it is usually due to heat, vibration, and condition of the drive and when it does fail it can be a major issue. RAID 1 mirrors all data from one drive to the other drive automatically. Having an enclosure in RAID 1 allows you to not worry about drive failure. If one drive false then you are still in luck since the other drive has the exact data on it, simply replace the failed drive with a identical hard drive and then the enclosure will automatically rebuild the data to the new drive. With the MB662 series all of the RAID setup and functionalities are handled by the enclosure. This means that the enclosure is a standalone RAID enclosure that requires no tricky software, complex setup or additional hardware such as RAID controller card. This is a perfect solution for anyone who has a fixed form factor system such as iMac, Macbook, Macbook Pro, HP / Dell All-in-One PC or any laptop computer. Desktop computer can also benefit from quick hard drive installation and hassle free setup.

If you want a rock solid external RAID enclosure that will out perform, out last and provide protection not found in any other enclosure then you need an Icy Dock MB662 Series enclosure.

Product links:

MB662US-2S - Dual Bay eSATA & USB 2.0 RAID External Enclosure

MB662USEB-2S - Dual Bay Quad interface RAID External Enclosure

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