How SoftRAID Helped Futureproof Records? – Case Study

SoftRAID

SoftRAID, the manufacturer of high-quality storage solutions for Mac OS has released a real case study, which throws open the real benefits of the software. Futureproof Records, a UK music distribution company was on a lookout for a system not only to store but also to protect plenty of crucial files and applications.

In January 2014, Futureproof Records installed OWC’s SoftRAID 4 software on a Mac Pro 5.1 running Mac OS 10.8.5 Mountain Lion. The company was running essential applications on their Mac Pro. Hence, they retained the older Mountain Lio Mac OS instead of upgrading to the latest OS. The original configuration with the initial install of SoftRAID 4 software has been running continuously since setup.

Like any other computer system, the Mac Pro owned by Futureproof crashed up to three times since January 2014. The SoftRAID 4 issued an alert that their mirror volume was out of sync after each crash. After that, Softraid successfully rebuilt the mirror volume to restore their data. Interestingly, the Mac OS and Software was never updated.

An incident happened on July 9, 2017, with SoftRAID 4 prompting a dialog box stating that Disk predicted to fail. However, the system was running without any problem. When Futureproof President Phil Legg established contact with SoftRAID online support team, he was advised to generate a technical support file and send it to SoftRAID tech support.

When Legg proceeded to launch SoftRAID to create the support file, he managed to find that one of the disks had a Failure Predicted alert, which is a severe issue. The disk sectors were being reallocated at an unusual and alarming rate and he emailed to SoftRAID for a proper solution.

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Unsupported version

It was found that Futureproof has been using SoftRAID v. 4.5.4, which is very old and unsupported by the company. Legg was reportedly informed by the support team that the current version is 5.6.1. When the competitors ditch their customers who make use of an older version, SoftRAID steeped in to help Futureproof.

Disk replacement

Legg was contacted by Mark James at SoftRAID technical support and advised him that his disk urgently needed replacing. James outlined that when a disk starts reallocating sectors that quickly, the disk is in a death spiral. Hence, the disk may not last even a few days. Subsequently, Futureproof sales team placed orders for new disks without any thought.

Well past lifecycle time

According to James, the RAID 0 mirror disks Futureproof were using for their SoftRAID volume had over 30000 hours of use each and were at the end of their estimated expected life. Moreover, the boot disk manufactured by Hitachi had over 50000 hours of use, which is well above the expected lifetime of that drive.

Software upgraded

After the successful completion of the disk replacement, Futureproof has upgraded its version of SoftRAID to 5.6.1 to leverage the benefits of improved protection and extra features. The latest version has been designed in such a way to display reallocation sector counts directly in the disk tile.

It was very reassuring when the SoftRAID warning popped up letting us know of an imminent problem before it happened. I’d advise all small companies to consider SoftRAID for their data-storage needs. Many thanks!
Phil Legg, President, FutureProof Records.

When contacted, SoftRAID product team disclosed that the aim of the company is to serve not only the new but also old customers. The team will continue to serve customers irrespective of the software version customer has installed. The SoftRAID 4 software is designed to protect the user against the disaster of disk failure by initiating warnings and alerts.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and currently part of MVP Reconnect program. He is also part of the prestigious ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com