Glyph PortaGig 62

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Glyph PortaGig 62 portable RAID data storage system

Though choices abound in the marketplace, PAR’s Senior Contributor swears by Glyph’s PortaGig 62, a drive “as close to perfection as possible.”

By Russ Long

When it finally came time to replace my trusty Glyph PortaGig 100GB hard drive -- after over half a decade of heavy use! -- naturally I returned to Glyph. Their drives have continually proven themselves to be both amazingly reliable and reasonably priced. A lot has changed since I purchased my PortaGig 100: Glyph’s new leader in the portability department is the bus-powered PortaGig 62, the little brother to the Glyph GT 062E, priced at $279 street.

Features

The PortaGig 62 is a portable RAID data storage system providing storage capacities up to 3TB in a tiny package (4.8 in. wide, 3.6 in. deep, and 1.7 in. tall). The PortaGig’s all metal enclosure surrounds a pair of 2.5-inch SATA hard drives and is available in a wide variety of size and speed configurations, including 1TB, 2TB and 3TB sizes at 5,400 RPM and 320GB, 500GB, 640GB, and 1TB at 7,200 RPM. All of the configurations provide transfer speeds of up to 177MB/second and the drive supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and Spanning modes. When configured to RAID 0, drive performance is improved but there is no redundancy. RAID 1 configuration provides redundancy by allowing data to be written identically to both internal drives, meaning that 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. The drive includes the Glyph Manager software that provides easy drive configuration and the ability to continuously monitor the health of all supported Glyph drives connected to the computer. If the drive has a problem, the front panel’s activity LED (which typically glows blue) glows red and the software immediately notifies the user. Theoretically, this will allow a backup to be made before the drive fails and data is lost. 

The PortaGig 62 has front and rear-panel ventilation holes, allowing an extremely quiet internal fan to pull cool air in the front while pushing hot air out the rear of the enclosure providing maximum airflow and optimum cooling. A convenient power switch is located on the drive’s back panel. The drive features connectivity and bus-power via FireWire 800 or connectivity via USB 2.0 or eSATA ports. The drive includes a wall-wart as an alternative to bus-power. It is actually possible to use the eSATA connection for fast data transfer while simultaneously powering the drive via the FireWire 800 connection. 

All Glyph drives feature Glyph’s 3-2-1 Warranty; it includes a 3-year drive performance warranty, a 2-year free basic data recovery policy, and a 1-year advance replacement policy.

In Use

Although it is larger than my PortaGig 100GB hard drive, the Portagig 62 is still small and, considering its data transfer speed, connection options and software control, it’s massively more powerful. I carry an external hard drive with me all of the time -- it just makes sense. I never know when a producer is going to show up for a tracking session without a drive, when I will need to bring a session home from my studio, or when I will need to rough in a mix or two in a hotel room when I’m working out of town. I’ve been carrying the PortaGig with me since last December and it has performed flawlessly. 

The PortaGig 62 is shipped Mac-formatted with RAID 0 configuration although it can easily be formatted for PC use. Before implementing the drive into my regular workflow, I tested it in all three RAID modes and it worked perfectly in each instance, and the Glyph Manager software made the repeated drive configuration quick and easy. Glyph Manager boots up immediately and provides a quick system appraisal or, by selecting a specific drive, the application will provide specific drive model, serial number, current status (fully-operational, initialized, degraded or halted), volume or partition name(s), connection configuration (Firewire, USB or eSATA), the temperature of the Oxford bridge chipset and each drive, and the fan speed (which varies depending on the temperature). I experimented with recording and playing back sessions with large track counts at 44.1kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz and the drive worked perfectly in all three RAID configurations. I decided on the RAID 1 configuration as my permanent setup (you lose all of the drive’s data when reconfiguring the RAID mode). It cuts the drive size in half, but the advantages of built-in redundancy trump the size issue in my book. [Using a RAID 1 configuration, as Russ does, is the equivalent of purchasing a master and safety drive and therefore the PortaGig 62 (and its price) should be compared to buying two identical drives from another vendor. - Ed.]

Summary

My only complaint about the PortaGig 62 is its lack of a protective carry case. Even though the drive’s design is extremely robust, a small padded carry bag (like the one that was included with my PortaGig 100) would make me feel more comfortable carrying it in my bag. Otherwise, the PortaGig 62 comes as close to perfection as possible. 

BIO: Russ Long is a Nashville-based producer, engineer and mixer as well as a senior contributor to PAR. russlong.ws

Prices: $309.00 to $785.00 (depending on drive capacity and speed)

Contact: Glyph Technologies | glyphtech.com