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Slightly Less Ghetto SAN

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marcus lyall
Slightly Less Ghetto SAN
on Oct 13, 2010 at 11:17:06 am

So we have had our basic gig-e network running for a while now.
It's working really well. Thinking about upping the ante.

Here's what we have.

Apple MacPro single Quad core with 8gb of RAM
Atto R380 raid card.
Small Tree PEG6 ethernet card
Proavio S8MS with 8 x Seagate 1.5tb drives.
Procurve 24 port ethernet switch


Here's what we're thinking.

1) Replace Atto R380 raid card with Atto R680 Raid Card
2) New Drive chassis. Cannibalize existing drives and add a further 8.
3) Install second PEG6 ethernet card.
4) Buy Small Tree 24 port Gigabit Stackable L3 Ethernet Switch.
5) Configure all 12 ports from server as one big pipe.
6) Run up to 8 machines off the result. Single ethernet cable to each.
7) Recycle the Procurve switch for connecting these machines to the internet.

Again, not all will be doing full-on FCP editing. A lot will be AFX stuff.

Any thoughts on whether this is possible / advisable / easier to do in a different way?

Cheers

Marcus


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Bob Zelin
Re: Slightly Less Ghetto SAN
on Oct 14, 2010 at 1:47:02 am

Hi -
I am going to answer your questions, so I expect you to answer only ONE question right now please - exactly which Procurve switch are you using (what is the model # you are using) -



Here's what we're thinking.

1) Replace Atto R380 raid card with Atto R680 Raid Card

REPLY - this product is not ready. Just wait. Wait for the 6 Gig drives to come out.

2) New Drive chassis. Cannibalize existing drives and add a further

REPLY - which new drive chassis ? You want it to work with your new ATTO R680, right ? Just wait. If you don't, you will be disappointed. Besides until the 6 Gig SATA drives come out, this is all pointless, unless you are willing to spend the money for SAS 6 Gig drives.



3) Install second PEG6 ethernet card.

REPLY - why ? You can't create a 12 port bond.

4) Buy Small Tree 24 port Gigabit Stackable L3 Ethernet Switch.

REPLY -this is all that I use (but remember, you promised me that you would tell me what HP Procurve you are using - the exact model #).

5) Configure all 12 ports from server as one big pipe.

REPLY - I don't think you can create a bond bigger than 8 ports. Same with the Procurve series.


6) Run up to 8 machines off the result. Single ethernet cable to each.

REPLY - you can run 8 machines right now with your PEG6 card. Get a faster drive array (a 16 bay), and an 8 core MAC Pro with 16 gig RAM.

7) Recycle the Procurve switch for connecting these machines to the internet.

REPLY - come on, tell me exactly what model you are using !



Any thoughts on whether this is possible / advisable / easier to do in a different way?

REPLY - I just answered your question. Now answer mine. If you are good, I will tell you about 10 Gig ethernet.

Bob Zelin



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marcus lyall
Re: Slightly Less Ghetto SAN
on Oct 14, 2010 at 9:28:01 am

The switch is a Procurve 2810 - 24g.

A false economy it turned out.
Not easy to configure, unless you happen to have a hardcore server network specialist with a spare week on his hands. Which we did.
Not user-friendly and no help from HP.
In retrospect, cheaper to buy a switch that wants to play nicely already.

But it has worked pretty well. System has been up for 8 months.
A few hiccups where you can't connect to the server and have to reboot the client machine, but fairly occasional. Acceptable considering the low(ish) cost.

We were wondering about running 10gig into a switch and getting a bunch of single/double gig-e lines out of it. But no idea if there's something out there that will do this......
Is this what you were hinting at?



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Bob Zelin
Re: Slightly Less Ghetto SAN
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:06:45 am

This is not what I was hinting at, but both HP and Small Tree make switches with dual 10 Gig ports (options) on the back, so instead of the PEG6 card, you can get a 10 gig card, stick this into your server, plug the other end into the 10 gig port, and then all your ethernet ports have a fat pipe going back to the server. This is exactly what EditShare does all the time (with a HP Procurve switch - I don't know the model they use, but they use the Myricom 10Gig card in their Linux server, which will also work in the MAC Pro).

Please remember that there is now a full 10 Gig RJ45 switch out, but it is $15,000 just for the switch (yes, it is backwards compatible for 10/100/1000baseT as well as 10Gig).

Bob ZElin



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marcus lyall
Re: Slightly Less Ghetto SAN
on Oct 14, 2010 at 9:38:13 am

dunno if last post came up.
Switch is a Procurve 2810 24g.
Lots of CLI boffinry needed to make it play properly.
But it works.....



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Steve Modica
Re: Slightly Less Ghetto SAN
on Dec 30, 2010 at 5:18:01 pm

The R680 card can work with 3Gb drives and offer better performance but you have to get the firwmare right and the expander has to be correct (yours won't be).
The seagate 1.5 TB drives wern't good realtime performers when I tried them. (I'm not sure if you are using ES drives or not, but even their ES drives didn't do well with shared loads.

The 680 cards will work well with the right pieces, but probably not with legacy pieces.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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marcus lyall
Re: Slightly Less Ghetto SAN
on Feb 7, 2011 at 12:05:22 am

OK. I'm back on this again.
We now seem to have a regular 5-9 computers hanging off the network.
Again, mostly rendering in AFX, but with some FCP on there too.
It's all still working, but we have no in-house CLI wizard any more.
So we're thinking about upgrading.

So here's the new thought.

Part 1:

New small tree l3 managed hub with 10gb card. Can't work out how much this card is.

Replace PEG 6 card with 10gb card in server. (only 4 cores in server)
Put more ram in server.
Stick PEG6 card in one of the edit macs to run as super-fast edit machine.

Part 2:
Buy atto r680 card.
Find 6GB raid chassis.
Put in large number of 3tb 6gb drives.

Recycle Proavio chassis and r380 card as local storage for other edit machine.

Any ideas how much of this is currently do-able / advisable?



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