RNAS “C” models versus “U” models. Classic trays or Utility Bays
C models use fully enclosed drives for daily swap media that replaces tape.
U Models use raw hard drives for lower cost, yet field replaceable/upgradable drives. They can also be quickly installed into a USB 3 toaster enclosure for fast restores.
Since 2004 Highly Reliable Systems has always relied on “daily swap” aluminum drive trays to provide an alternative to tape. This physical media contained low cost SATA hard drives and kept our users in control of their own data. The ideas behind fully enclosed trays included:
- Provide physical protection against shock or damage of electronic components on the bottom of the drive.
- Include a connector designed for thousands of plug/unplug cycles (versus a rating of 50-100 for raw SATA connector)
- Provide a level of static protection because when you carry a hard drive your body induces static shocks that can damage electronics.
So why have we introduced the New RNAS with “Utility bays” that allow the raw hard drive to be removed? Because increasingly our clients don’t intend on “handling hard drives” and want an automated solution in which any off-site is down to the cloud. However, the ability to access the drives for either upgrade or to do fast restores was still desirable so we created the “Utility Bay”. The Utility bay model should be used if drives will be left in place most of the time and backups are uploaded to another location or to the cloud. If there is a drive failure, upgrade, or emergency the drives are easy to remove.