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Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...

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Jaime Quintana
Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Jul 28, 2009 at 10:47:54 pm

I know this may sound silly...But I am about to buy a PCI Fibre card to install in an Intel Mac G5. The idea is to create a fibre network to a 24 TB G-Speed via a Q-Logic switch. Should I get the quad port card? Would I have to considering I am routing everything through a switch?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Jul 29, 2009 at 12:04:05 am

you do understand that you will need to get a fibre card for EVERY computer that is on your network, and copper to fibre transceivers for EVERY computer on your network (for each fibre card). AND the fibre cable to go back to the switch. AND a fibre connection to your storage. What is your server - the G5 ? Are you running OS-X server ? Do you know how to configure a QLogic SanBox ?

Exactly what do you think the Quad port Fibre card is going to do for you ?

Bob Zelin




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Jaime Quintana
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Jul 29, 2009 at 4:57:49 pm

You wrote:

you do understand that you will need to get a fibre card for EVERY computer that is on your network, and copper to fibre transceivers for EVERY computer on your network (for each fibre card).


I do understand this. I guess my main question is: Why go for a 4 port card when a 2 port is considerably cheaper? What is the advantage of having four ports as opposed to two?


What is your server - the G5 ? Are you running OS-X server ? Do you know how to configure a QLogic SanBox ?

We are slowly building this facility. I had been working at a botique type post facility over the last two years where we have a Q-Logic SANbox configured with a PC. Two suites with Avids are hooked up to a 5.6 TB X-Raid which we manage with Commandsoft's Fibrejet. This has worked for us very well and I wanted to bring this to my current place of employment. We currently have three suites. The idea is to use one computer as a digitizing station and the other two computers would have access to the digitized material on a G-Speed FC 24 TB drive. Am I at least on the right track? What would be your main concerns with such a set-up? As always, thank you.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Jul 29, 2009 at 10:06:01 pm

Jaime,
stop trying to save a few pennies. Call Commandsoft, and ask them what to do. You DO NOT need a 4 port FC card for a client computer.
You know what you need - SUPPORT - call Commandsoft.

Bob Zelin




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Chuck McMakin
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Jul 29, 2009 at 6:53:39 pm

Hi there Jaime.

It all comes down to your workflow.

Depending on the resolutions and numbers of video streams with which you are working at any given workstation, you may find that a single "pipe" between that workstation and the switch is sufficient.

Likewise, for higher resolution video streams, piping several of them to one workstation will eventually saturate your 2Gb/4Gb/8Gb pipeline such that you simply MUST add more fibre ports before that workstation could take in or output all of the data with which you are trying to work.

In my real world experience, single port 4Gb HBAs are plentiful, dual ported HBAs are also fairly common to see in use and quad port HBAs a bit more rare (since few workflows require that much data to one workstation).

Obviously, the smart money is to think far enough ahead with your planned jobs such that you don't regret buying a single port HBA because you suddenly find you need a "fatter pipe" to it a couple weeks down the road.

Feel free to contact us at CommandSoft if you would like to discuss your workflow further and we can try to provide the appropriate advice.

Chuck McMakin
CommandSoft, Inc. /
Phone: (805)730-7772 /
Email: chuck@commandsoft.com


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Jordan Woods
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Jul 31, 2009 at 12:07:57 am

On a dual port card you will sustain the same numbers as a 4 port card with your setup... the reason: your 24TB fibre array will only be so fast.

Don't waste your money on the 4 port. The theoretical limit on 2 port is 800MB/s. You'll probably see 500-600MB/s read/write depending on the setup and how the manufacturers raid performs. If you need more than 500 per station I would love to know what work you are doing.


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Bob Herzan
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Jul 31, 2009 at 3:31:16 pm

Its not a silly question at all, we take more support calls on our SAN because people dont ask first before the act. You can hook it up either way it all comes down on the performance your looking for, what your array is capable of doing, how may volumes you want to present to the network, how your going to be sharing the volumes and so on and so forth. For your long term sanity pick a partner that has expertise and can support you for the long hall. Believe me down time will cost you more in the long run. I have been supplying customers with SAN's for well over a decade and I have seen it all. Good luck let us know if you need any help.



Bob Herzan
Vice President of Sales
Rorke Data Inc
952-829-0300


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Eric Hansen
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Aug 1, 2009 at 9:57:08 pm

i believe that another reason for the 4 port cards is redundancy at the switch level. if you're running a RAID with Active/Active controllers with dual FC outputs per controller, then you can run one set of FC cables to 1 switch, then another set of FC cables to another switch. then instead of getting 2 FC connections from your client to a single switch (which is the typical setup for Xsan), your computer will get 2 connections to 2 switches, for 4 total ports. at least, this is how Apple explained it to me when the Quad Port cards came out. i'm not sure if this increases throughput, but it protects you if one of your switches goes down.

e

Eric Hansen, The Audio Visual Plumber - http://www.avplumber.com


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Matt Geier
Re: Between Dual port 4 GB card or Quad...
on Aug 12, 2009 at 12:37:41 am

Jaime,

Your embarking on an adventure here. Traditionally, Fiber Channel environments require redundancy with meta data, and also a management overhead to keep things tip top. Not to mention SAN Software to play traffic cop for all the users, and then the fiber channel cards and licenses for each of your clients. (all very expensive...)

The truth is, you can spend a fraction of the cost on some Gigabit or even 10Gb hardware and implement a shared storage solution that can take advantage of what you already have built in (Ethernet), and save you further costs from an overhead perspective and a hardware perspective.

There are solutions available that work via Ethernet, and still allow you to take advantage of your Fiber Channel RAID that you have already. The one pitfall, is often times, people buy their RAID expecting it to do one thing, and find our it's really good at doing much less then they thought. Why? - There's several reasons...

Bandwidth is one
Often these raids have high bandwidth to support a lot of data transfer.

Disk latency is key if you ever intend on editing a lot of video at once. Most RAIDS are not designed for Low Latency Real Time performance. They are typically being designed to act in "push pull" environments, like your G-Tech Raid.

It's likely it will edit DV25/50/Pro100 okay, but if you intend on editing ProRes off it, you may want to test that first before your under deadline.

If you like, consider doing some testing and see how you can fail your RAID. Point your Final Cut Pro to the storage, and start pulling down as many editing streams as you can, and use different formats (they will all vary, based on their own requirements..)

See where it fails, and find out if that's okay with you.

If it is, great, you can use it because it makes you happy. Otherwise, use that storage for backup/archival, and invest in a Low Latency RAID that was designed for Video Editing under Shared environments. In these kinds of environments both Bandwidth AND Performance Latency are key, as are the rest of the components and how fast they communicate to one another.

If you'd like to investigate some proven solutions, I can help you. There's plenty of info on the cow also, and there's a lot of people out here that know what I'm talking about.

Let me know,

Matt G
651-209-6509 x 1
Small Tree





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