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HP SAN with Mac OS X

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Scott Thomas
HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:15:21 pm

Our company has just installed an HP MSA 2012FC. We have the link connected to a couple of Mac Pro systems running Leopard.

The SAN serves up a 8TB partition to the Mac that we then format as HFS+. Upon testing, the files transferred to it become corrupted.

Disk Utility shows no problems.

I've tried making smaller partitions and different file systems to no avail.

Any ideas?


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 3, 2009 at 1:36:41 am

HFS+ is a filesystem. You can format an attached drive with a filesystem. You can't (AFAIK) format a mounted volume.

Neil Sadwelkar

FCP Editor, Mumbai, India.
Completely PAL.


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Bob Zelin
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:07:44 pm

http://www1.hp.com/products/servers/proliantdl380g5/index.html'>http://h18004.http://www1.hp.com/products/servers/proliantdl380g5/index.html

as per the above article from HP, that specifies your system, GOOD LUCK getting SMB to work properly (MAC's on a PC Network).

bob Zelin




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Scott Thomas
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:24:01 pm

Thanks guys for your response. Here's more specific info. If there's some info I'm failing to provide, tell me and I'll find out.

We are connected to the SAN via Fibre Channel through a Brocade 300 switch.

The SAN is just serving up a raw drive that we are formatting on the Mac side.

Disk Utility formats the partition without showing any errors. It's when you start copying files to the SAN where the problems become apparent.

The files show up as having copied, but are damaged or incomplete.




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Scott Thomas
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:53:53 pm

We still have work to do on this, but I have heard something interesting today.

It may be related to the Fibre Channel HBA in the Mac. We were trying to use the Apple-LSI 4 channel 4Gb card. Some HBA vendors are certified specifically for HP SANs and their cards provide some functionality that is apparently missing on others.

I was told this "off-the-record" by a vendor, so we have some testing to do.


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Bob Zelin
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 6, 2009 at 11:24:22 pm

If you decide to install a HP FC card in your MAC, it won't work unless there are MAC drivers. Small Tree uses some Intel cards, but they WRITE the MAC drivers for these cards. So does ATTO. Why on earth are you assuming that every manufacturer (like HP) is writing compatible Apple Macintosh drivers ? Why are you assuming that your PC network will seemlessly integrate with your MAC client computers ?

Bob Zelin '




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Scott Thomas
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 7, 2009 at 1:03:47 am

I'm not assuming anything.

I'm an art director not an IT director and didn't have input into this purchase.

I recommended ATTO HBAs and *they* bought the Apple cards.

I was told that this SAN would work with the Macs, and it hasn't yet.

The HP provided HBAs, of which we don't have but one spare for one of the PC systems, does in fact have OS X drivers. (Q Logic) I'm waiting for IT to change the settings in the SAN to serve up the partition to the new HBA. (mapping is done via the card's WWPN) We'll see what happens.

Another test will be to take one of my ATTO HBAs and try it with the SAN.


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 7, 2009 at 4:19:56 am

*They* may have made the choice but now *you* don't have a working storage. I've been through many a 'suit-n-tie' presentation form normal IT vendors who try and sell you their banking and insurance storage, and tell you it will work with video and with a Mac.

HP, IBM, Hitachi, EMC, all make great shared storages, but absolutely none of them work with a Mac. And definitely can't handle video.

The surest test comes when one calls the SE (system engineer) from any of these companies and ask them to demo. They make the connections, sit in front of the Mac and move the mouse screen bottom. Then they ask you where the start button is. It is then you realise these guys aren't even aware of an operating system other than Windows and maybe Linux.

Quicktime HD uncompressed needs about the same bandwidth of about 20,000 ATMs vending cash simultaneously. Except that this bandwidth has to be sustained and not in 5-10 k packets every few seconds or so. This is the part that they find out after trying out. Which is what you're doing for them now.

I'm sure there's a simple fix for your problem. Just don't expect it to come from *them*. Its up to you to get it to work.

Please let us know how you managed. When, (not if) you manage.

Neil Sadwelkar

FCP Editor, Mumbai, India.
Completely PAL.


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Scott Thomas
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 7, 2009 at 6:19:44 am

As the SAN was being purchased, I asked about what data rates were to be expected from it. The answer wasn't what I wanted to hear; Avid was consulted, but only in the context of a multi-channel MediaStream playback server that only deals with MPEG2. (@ 30Mb/s)

When I told them that that wasn't going to support an HD editing system at uncompressed rates, I was told that they could just add more disks to the SAN to increase its speed. Not a well thought out solution.

But yes, I'll post back with info as I learn more.

Thanks for listening!



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Greg Leuenberger
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 7, 2009 at 6:28:14 am

Oh man....if it's not too late send it back. I get the unsettling feeling that you're in for a world of hurt..even if you manage to 'get it working'. If your company just spent a bunch of dough on an HP system and the Art Director (no offense, this shouldn't be your job) is over at Creative Cow trying to find answers instead of having HP personal in your office then you're in trouble. People here aren't even going to be familiar with this system...it's' not for Macs and it's not for Production. Send it back while you still have a prayer to do so. That voice you hear in your head is your common sense saying 'senditbacksenditbacksenditback'.


-Greg

Greg Leuenberger
CEO
Sabertooth Productions, Inc.
http://www.sabpro.com


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Scott Thomas
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 7, 2009 at 7:07:32 am

I think the primary focus of this SAN is for other station business. My guess is that the Final Cut system integration was supposed to be a bonus.


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Bob Zelin
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 7, 2009 at 5:20:05 pm

Scott -
I apologize for "lashing out" at you, but I encounter crap like this all the time. You are an art director, and are being forced into something that you should not have to deal with. I find it
ever-frustrating that these "IT experts" simply REFUSE to learn anything about MAC networking, or integrating into a PC enviornment, but when you ask them, they always say "oh yea, it will work". I have heard this from before Gig ethernet was even out, when IT PC people would swear that they could run a video network over 100BaseT
in a Microsoft Server enviornment. Stupid then, and more stupid now (only because THEY refuse to learn anything about MAC networks).

What is more threatening to me (and makes me more frustrated, and more crazy) is when Apple Enterprise is called in, and convinces the PC IT people that "all they need is an XServe, and drive storage" - because with rare exception within Apple Enterprise Group - Apple considers DV25 to be "perfectly fine" video, and firewire is all you need to get video into your network. And the idiot IT people, who would not know DV25 from Uncompressed HD say "yea, it looks great".

The minute DV25 is "good enough" for every application (major TV shows, feature films, etc) - most of our careers on all of these forums are over. Yet if the IT department can "see a picture" or "hear some scratch audio" over the 2" speaker inside your MAC or PC - they all rejoice and say "hey, it works great !". I personally observed Apple Enterprise Group talk the US publisher "Tribune Corporation" into this mindset.

I know you know better, and I am sorry for attacking before.

Bob Zelin




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Ryan Stoutenborough
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 29, 2009 at 8:54:46 pm

"HP, IBM, Hitachi, EMC, all make great shared storages, but absolutely none of them work with a Mac. And definitely can't handle video."

I think this depends on who's doing the solution. Studio Network Solutions (SNS) have been implementing audio and video (FCP/Avid & Pro Tools) SAN solutions using EMC, IBM & LSI storage for years. Just finished up a 30 seat ProRes/HD uncompressed XSAN install running on EMC CX4 arrays the other day.


Regards,
Ryan

http://www.studionetworksolutions.com


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 8, 2009 at 5:01:05 am

To be fair, I checked out this storage solution at the HP site.

It is termed
"HP ProLiant DL380G5 Cluster Solution with MSA2012fc"

There are two servers and two switches and 8 clients can be handled.

And the actual storage module is a StorageWorks 2000fc which can be configured with a variety of drive types.

This, according to HP is ideal for

"Large companies that have multiple smaller departments and/or remote locations, and smaller companies whose storage needs demand shared resources."

I have doubts if this can be successfully used formatted as an HFS+ volume. Even if it did, it probably will have trouble streaming DV over long timelines. Uncompressed SD or HD, extremely unlikely.

Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com

FCP Editor, Mumbai, India.
Completely PAL.


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Scott Thomas
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Jul 9, 2009 at 10:15:05 am

Neil, Bob, Greg,

Thank you all for your input. I've already hinted to IT that this thing probably isn't going to handle our needs for editing. I think they were also looking to hook it to our newsroom editing system which is based on Canopus Edius. (Currently editing anamorphic DVCPro) So, that should be interesting to watch, from afar.

At the very least; if we can get the SAN working, it would allow us to back up a 4TB XServe RAID to figure out why it's slowed down so much (only half full). I started a thread in the FCP forum if anyone is interested.



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Jeff Bernstein
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Aug 13, 2009 at 9:03:45 am

You have one BIG problem here. Perhaps I missed it, but I don't see that you have any SAN software. Thus, you do not have a SAN. Is the fibre switch zoned so that it is only one computer and the one RAID set? If not, all your data will be corrupt.

That said, you really need to have someone who does this day in and day out. You have an IT department that is out of its comfort zone. You have a complex system and the Cow is probably not the best way to get your very expensive equipment up and running. Just look at your lovely experience getting your SFPs for your Brocade.

We have installed HP storage before in a Mac environment, but that was using the higher-end EVA line which had Mac OS X specifically supported. In fact, we have it working with a Brocade switch. The EVA line runs screaming fast and it's installed in a 20 seat SAN for uncompressed HD. Your unit does not support Mac OS X. This may be one of the issues.


Jeff Bernstein

Digital Desktop Consulting
Apple Pro Video VAR
XSAN Certified
MetaSAN Master Reseller

323-653-7611


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Scott Thomas
Re: HP SAN with Mac OS X
on Aug 14, 2009 at 9:12:04 am

Thanks for the insight.

The SAN is still not functional, and I've really washed my hands of it. I've given IT all of the information I've uncovered on their behalf and I'm not interested is working on it any more.

There is no SAN client software provided for the Macs. They are only trying to set it up as logical SCSI devices. (Kind of defeats the purpose of buying a SAN I think.)

It's really more fun to watch this from afar, I find.



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