A new addition to the Storage Switzerland Lab is the AKiTio Super Mini S. This is a small, somewhat portable dual drive storage device that can either stripe or mirror two 2.5″ hard drives. While some assembly is required I found the unit simple to configure and get up and running.
Our first test configuration is to use the system as our new boot drives for one of our lab servers. While the unit supports a variety of connections we used Firewire on our Mac server. With Firewire the unit is bus powered so no need for an additional power supply. This makes the unit ideal for throwing in a suitcase and using as a fairly high speed portable backup device when traveling although it is a little bit bulky for a laptop bag.
For the most part the performance of the Taurus is going to be dependent on the quality of drive you install in it since you get to make that selection. Our next test will be with our two Seagate Momentous Hybrid Drives and we hope to test it with two SSD drives in the future.
Our guess will be that the device will deliver whatever the drives can deliver and that the user will select the drive combination that makes the most sense for their use case. If it is going to be a primary boot device, like we are using, the faster the better. If it is going to be used mostly for backups or high capacity storage the slower high capacity hard drives will make more sense. Again we will take a road trip with the Taurus in the near future and report back here.
Getting to select your own hard drive reflects a key advantage for the Taurus, flexibility. The unit is inexpensive enough to be used to house capacity drives for backup but seems to perform well enough to be used with SSD. Again you get to pick the drives, so the choice on how you use it is yours.
Installation was relatively straight forward. Buy two 2.5″ hard drives, mount the drives in the included mount brackets, plug them into the drive and plug the unit into your computer. The on screen LCD takes a little getting used to but with the included instructions we were able to figure out how to configure the RAID setup we wanted, in our case RAID 0. At that point we initialized the drive and started loading data. Total time was less than 10 minutes.
We have been running the unit as the primary boot device for one of our lab servers for over two weeks now with no performance or reliability issues. As I indicated earlier we will change the configuration to a RAID 1, test higher performing drives and test as a portable backup in upcoming entries.
AKiTio is not a client of Storage Switzerland