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Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.

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carlos castro
Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 12:21:24 am

Please allow me a short setup so you see where I'm coming from.

I'm about to buy a Raid desktop version of Cal digit or maybe G Speed, I'm not sure which one I will settle on just yet. I posted a question about choosing the proper raid drive in the FCP forum.
They pointed me towards Cal digit and I was looking at G speed since its already on the website ads.

When I visited the Cal digit site I saw a video where this guy was shooting a project in Africa and he had a Mac Pro notebook and a Portable raid. He was using it to ingest his media when his cards where full.

My question is why is it necessary to use a raid drive in the field if you are shooting on P2?

This is new to me since my background is primarily broadcast news. I've never had a reason to shoot more than the 5 cards our Panasonic 2000's hold. We back them up on regular external drive and then we ingest them into a server.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing the process, I'm trying to understand why its done if P2 is a file based system anyway.

Again I don't own a Raid and have never used one but it looks some what complicated just to transfer over media.
Why carry extra equipment especially oversees if it can be done on a regular drive?

Since I'm leaning towards Cal digit anyway do any of you use it and what do you think of it. If you use another brand which do you use?

Thanks.


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Shane Ross
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 12:48:54 am

[carlos castro] "My question is why is it necessary to use a raid drive in the field if you are shooting on P2?"

Because P2 cards are expensive...you don't have TONS of cards to shoot to, you have maybe two to 5 cards. And they fill up fast. So what you do is reuse them. When one fills up, you offload the card to multiple drives, or a RAID 1 Drive unit like the CalDigit VR. Then you can erase the card and put it back in your. Your footage now on the Raid unit. These are, in essence, your source tapes.

You don't need a raid, it is just a solid and simple thing to use. I myself use multiple bus powered firewire drives. I back the cards up to two drives, then we send one back to the post house and keep one on set. When we are sure the post house has transferred the files to the main backups, and things are fine, then we reuse the external drives again.

I use CalDigit drives as media drives. I use G-drive minis and LaCie Rugged drives in the field. And Acomdata drives.


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
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Noah Kadner
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 12:59:44 am

RAIDs are faster and much more reliable than a single hard drive. And difficulty-wise once you configure the RAID it is exactly the same as working with a hard drive.

Noah

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carlos castro
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 3:08:33 am

Thanks Noah.

That makes sense. It must be much more prevelent in production type work, I still haven't seen raids in News Broadcasting. In the field that is, we have them in house {Server}. I guess time and money are an issue, not that they aren't in production.

We typically use 2 16g cards a day to shoot enough material to put together a 1:30-1:45 piece. During major news coverage we will go into 4-5 and offload them to external drives.


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carlos castro
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 2:59:41 am

Thanks Shane.

I figured it was due to the cards being recycled, I was just wondering why a raid instead of a regular drive. It makes sense though if you have to reuse them, especially in Production type work. I'm glad to hear you've had good experiences with cal digit, I plan to get one here in the next week or so.

I notice that their are several types of connectors for the raid, firewire, eSata, etc... any particular preference?

I looking for speed redundancy and reliability. I'm sure we all are, lol.


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Matthew Romanis
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 3:07:59 am

If you are using the duel adapter with a laptop then eSata won't work as it has to use the express slot too.
Stick with a drive enclosure that has 1394a(FW400) and 1394b(FW800).
eSata as well as the firewire connections mentioned is good for all round use.



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carlos castro
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 8:11:18 pm

Hey Shane one last thing, in your post it says you travel with G minis, to off load P2's, how many and what size?

Do you have a preference as to the connection type{fire wire, usb, sata etc..} for raids, desktop or portables?

Thanks for your input.


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Shane Ross
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 12, 2009 at 12:49:56 am

[carlos castro] "in your post it says you travel with G minis, to off load P2's, how many and what size?"

I have (4) 320 GB models. Use them in pairs, and they usually work for the entire shoot.

[carlos castro] "Do you have a preference as to the connection type{fire wire, usb, sata etc..} for raids, desktop or portables?"

Firewire...because my offloading machine is a Powerbook G4 and it can bus power firewire drives, but not USB. MacBook Pros can bus power USB.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matthew Romanis
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 1:16:07 am

We have a Caldigit 1.5TB and a Taurus 3TB both set to Raid 1.
The reason for doing this is so there is total redundancy of the stored P2 media.
Our Caldigit, for example, has two 750GB drives and in a normal Raid 0, this would mean that you could store up to 1.35TB of usable data storage (allowing for 10% headroom), but it is not redundant.
A Raid 1 is a mirror, meaning that one 750GB drive is mounted while the other is a complete separate drive that has exactly what the mounted drive contains. So when you transfer a P2 card to the mounted drive, another copy is made to the mirror drive at the same time.
This is different than a partition in that if a part of the drive or all of the drive becomes corrupted or damaged, you simply mount the mirror drive (either through manually changing drive pins inside the enclosure, or through software in some cases) and you have a backed up copy of all your media. With a partition, you run the risk of loosing all the data if there is a hardware problem.
You could easily do the same by making two separate copies of the P2 media on two separate drives, but the Raid 1 way is idiot proof.
The Taurus drive we have has an eSata connection which makes editing in the field a breeze, the data rate is phenomenal allowing for multi layering of HD streams in real time.
The only drawback is that both these drives require mains power, which means that some applications in the field become limited.
It is very careless/dangerous to have only one copy of your media on drive, more so when you are travelling anywhere. I have experienced around 5 separate drive failures over the years, the 1st was fatal for all the data, the others thankfully were in Raid 1 (mirror) and raid 5 (self re build, Raid 5 can't be used on a two disk array), so I have not suffered data loss in those instances. Never trust one drive 100%.



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carlos castro
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 3:16:40 am

Great Point!

"It is very careless/dangerous to have only one copy of your media on drive, more so when you are traveling anywhere. I have experienced around 5 separate drive failures over the years, the 1st was fatal for all the data, the others thankfully were in Raid 1 (mirror) and raid 5 (self re build, Raid 5 can't be used on a two disk array), so I have not suffered data loss in those instances. Never trust one drive 100%. "

I have had a P2 camera for about 2 years at work, to date I've been lucky, no issues. Drives on the other hand a different story. It makes perfect sense then when a client pays the rates they tend to pay production houses, to not have the material at the end of the day, that could get ugly.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 8:28:12 pm

Everything I put on a hard disk on my production machines is organized for the archive, and that begins at the shoot. We have a two drive sata enclosure that we run JBOD (not raid). I then use shotput Pro to make two copies of the material right there at the shoot. This way we can send one drive with one person and another drive with another person if we are traveling. Or one drive below deck and one drive in a backpack. Sometimes, we ship a drive back and carry one on. It all depends. The point being is that we have an removable drive enclosure. Once those drives get 60-80% full we pull them and then they become the archive on the shelf, double backed up right away. I will be looking for a more permanent archiving and database system at NAB this year, but for now, this has been serving us well. We have about 20TBs and counting worth of SATA drives. We are going to need a system in place to manage all this soon. I should preface that we also have a PCD20 to so our card transfers with, freeing up the faster Express34 slot for editing.

Jeremy


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carlos castro
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 8:37:47 pm

Thanks Jeremy, lots of useful info their for me. I guess that's a nice problem to have, 2oTB not enough space, you must be cranking out the work.

Thanks


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 8:40:18 pm

That's 20TB sitting on the shelf for archive, not my desktop production raid, that's only 8TB.

It's about the last 5 or 6 years or work, and p2 shoots.

Jeremy


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Matthew Romanis
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 11, 2009 at 10:01:45 pm

Hi Jeremy,
What do you think of the story getting around that un-powered drives start to "evaporate" over time?
Is there any corroborated evidence?
One of the universities here in Australia is conducting a study at the moment, part of the study is an empirical test for which there won't be results for a while, the other part is survey of users and their experiences.
I pulled a drive out of a 7 year old PPC that has spent the last 3 years as a door stop, and fired it up in an external enclosure. It took a long time to spool up and eventually was interrogated and mounted. Most of the Data that was left on it seemed OK, but several Docs were definitely corrupted and could not be repaired. Not a very scientific example, but enough so I don't take it for granted.
One of the IT guys in the study has dozens of drives that he powers up once a month, he admits he has no evidence yet if this works, but he's not taking chances and is also backing stuff up on LTO.
I have 36 LTO tapes (14TB) worth of Data backed up on our LTO, and periodically I go through some of the earlier LTO's and randomly retrieve video and files.
We also have a tape library of over 4000 tapes, both wild reels and program masters. We have had several jobs in the last several years where we have needed to go back to wild reels shot almost 20 years ago, and library archive rolls from the 1940's. So I'm becoming a little concerned at the longevity of our storage media. The film from the 40's was in good condition and had been looked after very well.
Matthew.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Just curious about p2 and Raid drive.
on Apr 13, 2009 at 4:16:01 pm

[Matthew Romanis] "What do you think of the story getting around that un-powered drives start to "evaporate" over time?
Is there any corroborated evidence? "


I don't know if there's evidence. I have had similar experinces where the computer is way old, way dusty and sitting for years. Turn it on and it works.

We too, spin up all of our drives every month or two. So far so good, but with all these drives, I am sure the math can work out that one will fail. Everything is pretty much doubled at this point, so we should be covered. We are probably going to look at an LTO system as well, and we will keep a set of tapes offsite, but we already have a lot to catch up on. I am hoping that eventually solid state drives will take over the spinning disk, but we might have to wait a few years on that. Not only do we need offsite redundant storage, but we also need a database to track all the footage and tell us where it is once it's offline and archived. I'll be looking around at NAB for sure.

Jeremy


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