Glyph Production Technologies PortaGig 62 Review

Glyph Production Technologies'' PortaGig62 is a portable RAID data storage system.This diminutive unit (123mm W X92mm D X 43mm H) is the offspring ofGlyph''s larger desktop RAID, the GT 062E.The unit''s all-metal case contains two2.5-inch hard drives (made by either Seagateor Hitachi) and is available in a varietyof speed/size configurations
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Glyph Production Technologies'' PortaGig 62 is a portable RAID data storage system. This diminutive unit (123mm W X 92mm D X 43mm H) is the offspring of Glyph''s larger desktop RAID, the GT 062E. The unit''s all-metal case contains two 2.5-inch hard drives (made by either Seagate or Hitachi) and is available in a variety of speed/size configurations: 5,400 RPM in 1.2, 2, and 3TB sizes and 7,200 RPM in 320GB, 500GB, 640GB, and 1TB (tested here). All of these drive systems have transfer speeds of up to 177MB/second.

PortaGig 62 is cooled by a small internal fan and is bus-powered via FireWire 800. For FW 400 use, its bilingual 9-pin socket will accept an 800-to-400 adapter cable, or you can connect using either the USB 2.0 or eSATA ports. Also included are a wall-wart external power supply, FW 800 cable, and on/off switch.

PortaGig 62 ships with Glyph Manager software for configuring and monitoring the health of all connected and supported Glyph drives. If a problem arises, the blue activity LED on a drive''s front panel will glow red and the GM icon will animate in the Mac''s dock or generate an error balloon on Windows computers. While an updated version is in progress, GM works in 64-bit systems only if you connect drives using USB 2. GM configures PortaGig to run in any of three modes: RAID 0, RAID 1, and Spanning. RAID 0 mode does block-level striping without parity or mirroring. RAID 0 improves drive performance but offers no redundancy. RAID 1, or “mirroring,” allows data to be written identically to both internal drives for redundancy—i.e. real-time backup. As long as one drive is working, your data is safe. Spanning mode writes data sequentially across both drives—when the first one fills, the second one continues onward.

PORTAGIG 62 IN THE STUDIO
PortaGig worked fine as a Pro Tools session drive in any of the RAID modes. Right out of the box, I was able to record and play back large track counts just as I normally do using my internal SATA drive in my MacPro.

But I wanted to partition PortaGig 62 into two volumes for backing up my current Pro Tools session files and to save a “clone”of my system drive using Mac''s Time Machine program.

Because I have the artist''s and record company''s assets on my Pro Tools drive(s), I am interested in safety through redundancy offered in RAID 1 mode, instead of opting for maximum space. PortaGig 62 ships Mac-formatted and configured in RAID 0, so I used the intuitive Change Configuration window in Glyph Manager to reconfigure it in RAID 1. That means the total drive space of 1TB now becomes 500GB, but it also means all data is cleared— erased! I re-formatted the drive using the Mac''s Disk Utility and partitioned it into two 250GB volumes.

GM boots up instantly and provides a fast system appraisal. Select any drive and GM drills deeper, indicating each drive''s model, serial number, and status (fully-operational, initialized, degraded, or halted); volume name or names for each partition, connection configuration— Firewire, USB, or eSATA; and even the internal temperatures of the Oxford bridge chipset and the drives themselves. Even with the fan whirling, the PortaGig 62 runs quietly so fan''s speed (1500 RPM) is displayed in case it dies, which could lead to the drives overheating.

In continuous everyday use, PortaGig 62 has been totally reliable. It''s small enough to be tucked out of the way anywhere in my studio, but away from the heat flow of my computer''s fan output. I also liked the convenient back-panel on/off switch.

SMALL DRIVE SCORES BIG
For me, the PortaGig 62 scores in three ways: Its small size makes it the perfect portable drive for “on the go” music production on a laptop. It makes an excellent archive drive for locating my precious files in an alternative, safe place. Or it just works great 24/7 as my main session drive. The manufacturer''s insurance policy is great, too. Like all Glyph drives, the PortaGig comes with a three-year warranty, a free two-year data recovery plan, and a one-year replacement guarantee. All good, indeed!

Overall Rating (1-5): 4
PortaGig 62 Product Page