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RAID array software -- what are you using?

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Jim BloklandRAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 11, 2005 at 2:19:51 am

Hello:

Just bought 2 Seritek SATA enclosures and the 4-port External card. Thinking of using either the 400GB Seagate .8s or the new Western Digital Caviar Raid 2 edition with the 16MB cache. Wondering what software people are using to set-up their RAIDs? Do I need a copy of SoftRAID or will Apple's Disk Utility do the trick?

Any real-world advice welcome.

Best, JIM.

OSX.4.1
Dual 2.7 G5
3.5 GB RAM
Radeon X800 XT
Kona 2 / K-Box


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Bob ZelinRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 11, 2005 at 4:05:15 pm

I use this configuration on almost every FCP install I do now. I use either Hitachi or Seagate SATA drives. You will find that you can just take TWO of the SATA drives, and stripe them together, simply using the Free Apple Disk Utility program, and be able to get 8 bit uncompressed, 10 bit uncompressed, and DVCProHD with ZERO ZERO ZERO problems. I used to only buy the Sonnet Tempo X 8 port card, but the Firmtek card works great, and if you don't need uncompressed HD, only two drives will do the trick.
You can use your second array for more storage, as a totally seperate volume. Once you try this, you will never go back to FW800 drives.

Bob Zelin


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Jim BloklandRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 11, 2005 at 9:13:32 pm

Bob:

As always, thanks for your response. In your experience, what is the optimum configuration for the PCI slots? I seem to recall most folks putting the Kona 2 in slot 3 and the Firmtek in slot 4 (in my case, slot 2 will be empty for the time being...possibly getting filled with a firewire PCI card).

Have you heard anything about the Western Digital RAID II drives I mentioned? I'm wondering if it's worth the extra money for the 16MB cache (and supposed 24/7 reliability)...otherwise I'd just go with the Seagates. I've heard they're quite solid.

Thanks again for any other tips.

Best, JIM.

OSX.4.1
Dual 2.7 G5
3.5 GB RAM
Radeon X800 XT
Kona 2 / K-Box


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Bob ZelinRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 11, 2005 at 11:48:56 pm

DO NOT put the Firmtek (or the Sonnet) in the PCI-X slot - they MUST be in slot 2 or 3, and the Kona 2 must be in Slot 4. The SATA cards are not ATTO UL4D's.

I have no opinion, or no knowlege of the Western Digital SATA drives, but since I have been putting in SATA, I have NEVER seen a Hitachi or Seagate SATA drive die yet (except for Hitachi's that came with Apple XServe RAID's - go figure).

If you have a NVidia 6800 card, it blocks slot 2, so you wont' have any room for any additional PCI cards.

Bob Zelin


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Jim BloklandRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 12, 2005 at 1:53:54 am

Bob:

Thanks for the info. I've got my Kona 2 in slot 4 now, so I'll LEAVE IT THERE! (and I've got a Radeon X800, so slot 2 is still available for anything 'down the road') Here's a link for the WD drives I was talking about, if anyone's interested...

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=158

And a review from Storage Review:

http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200510/WD4000YR_1.html

Guess I'll have to double-check about the NCQ feature, to make sure it's compatible with the Firmtek card.

Thanks again for the help, Bob.

Best, JIM.

OSX.4.1
Dual 2.7 G5
3.5 GB RAM
Radeon X800 XT
Kona 2 / K-Box


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David SmithRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 12, 2005 at 1:57:07 pm

[Bob Zelin] "DO NOT put the Firmtek (or the Sonnet) in the PCI-X slot - they MUST be in slot 2 or 3, and the Kona 2 must be in Slot 4. The SATA cards are not ATTO UL4D's."


Hi Bob,

Could you tell us what problems there are in putting the SATA card in slot 4? I have a Tempo-X 4+4 card in slot 4 and a Kona LH in slot 3 in a dual 2.7 G5.... seems to be working fine but I'm one with only "a little knowledge" which of course is a dangerous thing. Your input would be very welcome.

Thanks and Regards,
David




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Justin BarhamRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 13, 2005 at 12:07:27 am

" I have a Tempo-X 4+4 card in slot 4 and a Kona LH in slot 3 in a dual 2.7 G5.... "

It will work fine generally, but the Kona card will be more bandwidth starved in certain situations then the SATA card. The idea is that the Kona needs the most speed, and that's what AJA recommends.


- justin barham -


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John SellarsRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Jan 12, 2006 at 3:32:43 am

Actually, Aja doesn't always recommend their card get top billing. See excerpt from their FAQ (last sentence). . .

John

Question: Is KONA 2 PCI-X slot usage in a PowerMac different from Kona HD?

Answer: Yes, on Kona HD we recommended having the RAID controller card on the same PCI bus. For KONA 2, you can install it into either the 133 MHz slot or one of the 100 MHz slots in the PowerMac


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Bob ZelinRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 13, 2005 at 12:14:33 am

David -
Does it really HURT YOU when you get a new product, and it comes with a 1 or 2 page "installation guide", which is a single sheet of paper, if you READ THE F#$%ING manual?

From the Sonnet Tempo-X eSATA 8 installation guide (page 2 - IN BOLD HIGHLIGHTED PRINT to make sure that you read it !) -

Support Note for Power MAC G5 Users: The Tempo-X eSATA 8 card many not be installed in slot 4 (closest to the drive bays), and may only be installed in slot 2 or 3. Users should be aware that when certain standard 33MHz PCI adaptor cards are installed along with the Tempo-X card in slots 2 and 3, the Tempo-X card's performance may be adversely affected".

Bob Zelin





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David SmithRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 13, 2005 at 4:07:37 am

****************
[Bob Zelin] "David -
Does it really HURT YOU when you get a new product, and it comes with a 1 or 2 page "installation guide", which is a single sheet of paper, if you READ THE F#$%ING manual?

From the Sonnet Tempo-X eSATA 8 installation guide (page 2 - IN BOLD HIGHLIGHTED PRINT to make sure that you read it !) -

Support Note for Power MAC G5 Users: The Tempo-X eSATA 8 card many not be installed in slot 4 (closest to the drive bays), and may only be installed in slot 2 or 3. Users should be aware that when certain standard 33MHz PCI adaptor cards are installed along with the Tempo-X card in slots 2 and 3, the Tempo-X card's performance may be adversely affected". "

******************

First, thank you Justin for your thoughtful and helpful reply.

Bob,

Actually, I can read quite well. Can you? I politely inquired as to positioning my Tempo-X 4+4 card. I don't own a Tempo-X eSATA 8 card. My owner's manual reads (in bold highlighted text to make sure one reads it):

"Support Note for Power Mac G5 Users: .... The Tempo-X card may be installed in any of the slots and perform equally well under most circumstances. Users should be aware that when certain standard 33MHz PCI adaptor cards are installed along with the Tempo-X card in the 100MHz slots (slots 2 and 3), the Temp-X card's performance may be adversely affected."

I believe I've read (on Barefeats I think) that the "8" card has a physical problem fitting into slot 4. The design of the card causes a component to come into contact with the motherboard. That is why the eSATA 8 card cannot be used in slot 4, but that is not an issue with the 4+4 card.


David Smith




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Jim BloklandRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 17, 2005 at 11:09:39 pm

Hi folks:

Thought I'd update you on my progress.

Decided to try out the WD drives mentioned above. They seem good/fast/quiet -- the only drag is that WD's accounting for GBs leave something to be desired...their 400GB drives show up as 372.5 GB on the desktop. (don't knkow if Seagates are the same, but...) At any rate, I've tried a few 2-disk tests with the Apple Disk Utility and seem to average about 125 MB/s Read/Write on the Kona 2 tests (sweep Video Frame Sizes, 1 GB File Size). I've tested the RAID set-up with both 32K, 64K and 128K blocks -- seem to result in about the same performance on this test. My only question is: in the real world, is there any advantage/disadvantage to any of these block sizes? Just want to be thorough before I commit data to the array. BTW, I tried the 256K block size, and the read speed drops to the basement at about 55MB/s. Funny that...

Anyway, loving the Seritek enclosures/card. They're quite, cool and well-designed. I tried some hot-unplugging and replugged the RAIDed drives into a second enclosure, and the Mac reminded me what I was doing, and then they happily re-mounted as a RAID with all data in tact.

Hope this info is of use to fellow COW members.

Best, JIM.

OSX.4.1
Dual 2.7 G5
3.5 GB RAM
Radeon X800 XT
Kona 2 / K-Box


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Bob ZelinRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 18, 2005 at 3:54:34 pm

Jim -
you are doing WAY TOO MUCH thinking about block size - just use the defaults, stop running drive exerciser tests, and GET TO WORK. Digitize some 8 bit SDI, 10 bit SDI uncompressed, or DVCProHD . You will see that it works GREAT. You now have tons of cheap reliable storage. Stop trying to be a rocket scientist, and start making some money. You have great equipment. In the future, try the Hitachi SATA drives - you will be very happy.

Bob Zelin


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Jim BloklandRe: RAID array software -- what are you using?
by on Dec 19, 2005 at 2:21:05 am

Hey Bob:

Good advice. When I go on about what camera I want to shoot my feature on, a DOP friend keeps asking me when I'm going to write the script! On that note, I'm gonna put this system through its paces.

Thanks for all your help.

Best, JIM.

OSX.4.1
Dual 2.7 G5
3.5 GB RAM
Radeon X800 XT
Kona 2 / K-Box


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