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metalan server - impressed to say the least

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Adam Berk
metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 27, 2011 at 5:38:37 am

We're just in the process of setting up a gig-e connected nearline storage server using metalan server and metalan clients as a method for us to keep finished projects online for a few weeks after completion before being passed off to deep archive (we use Bru PE with LTO4). We are using entirely off the shelf, 100% repurposed hardware that we've put together ourselves. The switch is a used netgear GSM7224R we picked up for ~ $300, the server NIC was pulled from our Flame, the computer was being used as an extra windows workstation when we needed one, etc, etc.

DIY server specs as follows:
• Gigabyte EX58-UD4P motherboard with an Intel i7 920 cpu and 12gb DDR3 ram.
• LSI MegaRAID 9280-8e SAS raid 6 controller
• Supermicro 24bay 6gb/s SAS expander JBOD with 15 Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB SATA drives installed
• Broadcom 57xx based 4-port pci-e gigabit ethernet NIC
• Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation 64bit

The 24TB RAID6 volume is pulling 1200 - 1400 MB/s according to the AJA, ATTO and Blackmagic system test applications, as well as HD Tune Pro.

The clients consist of several nehalem and westmere mac pro's as well as a linux based Flame.

The port bond on the server side was created via Broadcom's software.

After getting everything up and connected this afternoon, we decided to run a few quicktime playback tests from the macs as a quick check for stability, throughput, etc.

The result of this test was watching 3 mac pro's each playing back separate 1080p 23.98fps 8bit YUV uncompressed movies with stereo PCM audio in realtime simultaneously, while the server never peaked above 9% cpu usage.

Seeing multiple streams of uncompressed HD quicktime movies being pulled in stable realtime for such little cost, over gigabit ethernet is quite amazing. Add to this the fact that this is a windows based server with mac based clients, and seeing Finder transfers to and from the server happen at 110MB/s... It's just flat out crazy. Hat's off to the talent at Tiger Technology.


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Nate Cooper
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 27, 2011 at 8:09:09 am

Thumbs up!


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Bob Zelin
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 27, 2011 at 3:23:43 pm

welcome to ethernet shared storage. "Everyone" says you have to have fibre, and ethernet
doesn't really work. Well, you have just proved this for yourself.

This is why the following companies, who make ethernet based shared storage solutions, are teriffic -
Maxx Digital
Small Tree
Apace Systems
EditShare
(and AVID Unity ISIS 5000)

your performance limitation will be your multi port ethernet cards performance.
Put in some 10 gig cards and you will do even better.


Bob Zelin



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Adam Berk
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 27, 2011 at 5:01:42 pm

I'm not sure i catch your drift Bob. I'd say this ethernet config works pretty damn well for what it is.

R. Adam Berk
Managing Director
Creative Technology San Francisco
http://www.CT-SF.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:37:30 am

sorry for not being clear Alex -
I am saying that ethernet shared storage works beautifully, and you have proved it to yourself.
Many people say "oh, those guys are full of it" - well, we are NOT full of it - it works great - just
like you found.

Bob Zelin



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Adam Berk
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 28, 2011 at 6:22:15 am

For sure.

I'm hoping to gradually transition to, or perhaps just supplement this system with 10gig-e direct links to certain throughput hungry workstations, ie our flame, resolve, etc. I will be discussing what of this is possible with Tiger this week. I started this config using a separate switch, nics and subnet for the metalan but this caused problems with the server. The SAN members were showing up on the wrong NIC's, etc, so I just moved the entire house network + the metalan over to the one fully managed switch and it seems to be working perfectly fine. Our network is pretty small in the grand scheme of things. It's not like we've got 200 people all surfing the web and listening to internet radio all day, etc. The regular "house" network traffic shouldn't be so substantial that it would cause any problem with the metalan co-existing on the same subnet, switch and NIC's. I could be wrong about this, but I would be surprised.

R. Adam Berk
Managing Director
Creative Technology San Francisco
http://www.CT-SF.com


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Nate Cooper
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 28, 2011 at 6:10:52 pm

Don't forget:

Promax Systems
Studio Network Solutions

Both with great gigE solutions for video production. Yes, I work for Promax, yes, I used to work for SNS ;) Both, great solutions.

Nate Cooper
nate.cooper@promax.com
office: 949.861.2725
cell: 949.375.2738

I support:
Xsan
MXFserver
Promax ShareMAX
EVO/SANmp
EditShare
MetaSAN
Small Tree
NAS solutions


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 27, 2011 at 10:17:45 pm

[Adam Berk] "3 mac pro's each playing back separate 1080p 23.98fps 8bit YUV uncompressed movies with stereo PCM audio in realtime simultaneously...

...seeing Finder transfers to and from the server happen at 110MB/s... It's just flat out crazy."



Congrats on getting fantastic performance at a great value. Getting GigE bus 100% saturated is no small feat. Maybe even 110%? :)

What speeds does AHA System Test report this setup, from MetaLAN clients to your shared storage?

Can you still run standard networking on MetaLAN-controlled NIC, or does MetaLAN completely take over it?

Alex.


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Adam Berk
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 28, 2011 at 6:28:03 am

The AJA test on the macs is consistently reporting between 105MB/s and 110MB/s for both read and write. This system has been integrated into our single switch with our regular house network. Same subnet, no vlans, etc. The clients connect to the network via a single NIC. The metalan seems to be happily coexisting with the rest of the regular internet and lan traffic.

Finder transfer speeds are now peaking up to 117MB/s.

R. Adam Berk
Managing Director
Creative Technology San Francisco
http://www.CT-SF.com


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 28, 2011 at 6:52:54 pm

[Adam Berk] "The AJA test on the macs is consistently reporting between 105MB/s and 110MB/s for both read and write. This system has been integrated into our single switch with our regular house network. Same subnet, no vlans, etc. The clients connect to the network via a single NIC. The metalan seems to be happily coexisting with the rest of the regular internet and lan traffic.

Finder transfer speeds are now peaking up to 117MB/s."


Impressive. I didn't think that was possible outside of iSCSI - especially with vanilla flavor NICs and switches. All that - with under $300 per client and under $600 per server?

Alex
DV411


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Adam Berk
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Mar 1, 2011 at 3:15:05 am

Like iSCSI, metaLAN is block level sharing as well. The biggest difference to me aside from the all of the technical stuff under the hood is that iSCSI doesn't really gain you anything on its own if your intention is to share the same volume amongst multiple clients. To the best of my understanding, connecting via iSCSI is the same as connecting via fibre channel in that you need SAN software to keep your filesystem from exploding. metaLAN handles all of this as part of the system. It's one price for one product.

And in response to the other ethernet storage sharing products... I've yet to find any other product outside of Tiger's offerings that's explicitly advertised as fully supporting the Autodesk linux distributions. Without such support, those products are complete and total non-options in my company's facility.

R. Adam Berk
Managing Director
Creative Technology San Francisco
http://www.CT-SF.com


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Mar 1, 2011 at 11:40:46 pm

Adam - thanks for sharing - yours is a great testimony to Tiger Tech and MetaLAN.

Alex
DV411


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Kevin Christopher
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Feb 28, 2011 at 3:43:46 pm

MetaLan is Hammer Software, and MetaSan is Tiger technology. Which one are you using?

Kevin



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Kevin Christopher
Re: metalan server - Answered my own question
on Feb 28, 2011 at 3:46:06 pm

Both have products named the same thing. Duh!!



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Adam Berk
Re: metalan server - Answered my own question
on Feb 28, 2011 at 5:45:44 pm

Yeah. This is Tiger Technology's MetaLan Server/Client system we're talking about.

R. Adam Berk
Managing Director
Creative Technology San Francisco
http://www.CT-SF.com


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Joaquim Herrera
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Oct 4, 2012 at 5:54:17 pm

Same here

Windows 2008 server
2 Areca Arc 8018 12xdiscs sata on each controller (raid 6 on Arecas, Raid 0 on windows)
1 Intel Pro 1000 Quad Port 4 ports Link Aggregation
SSD for Windows 2008
Metalan Server

Metalan clients
1 Edius 1 Gb
1 Protools 1Gb
2 FCP 7 each Mac Pro with Link Aggregation (bond) 2 Gbits
Allied Telesys Switch AT-GS950 (must be the green version, otherwise you can´t aggregate/bond Mac´s)
1 NAS synology DS2411+ 1 Gb for mirroring on another building in case of flood or fire ;)
Robocopy for mirroring

works like charme, i´m pretty impressed with speed and robustness of everything, 6 months 1 crash on windows lol :D
I´m doing soap in HD Prores 422

Best Regards

Joaquim Herrera


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Adam Berk
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Oct 4, 2012 at 6:05:36 pm

Bonding the NICs on the mac clients won't gain you any speed to/from the server in that configuration.


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Joaquim Herrera
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Oct 4, 2012 at 6:14:59 pm

does 180/ 190 Mbytes per second on each Mac.....sustained!!!
do you want to see a screen shot?


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Adam Berk
Re: metalan server - impressed to say the least
on Oct 4, 2012 at 6:17:03 pm

Yes - use the AJA or Blackmagic disk test.


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