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Bob Zelin
Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on Dec 10, 2013 at 12:28:11 am

Hi -
I am anxiously awaiting my new Mac Pro with Thunderbolt 2.
But my initial testing with Thunderbolt networking has been dismal so far. No switch - just looping a MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 1 to an 8 bay Thunderbolt 1 drive array with Toshiba 2TB drives (about 750 MB/sec local speed test), and this loops to a Mac Mini. The Mac Mini is the "server", and I am using thunderbolt bridging, to do the networking - so NO Ethernet. The drive array is pretty fast - as I said, about 750 MB/sec.

Connecting to the "shared volume" (8 bay Tbolt 1 drive array on the Mac Mini) via thunderbolt (on the Mac Book Pro), and using AJA System Test, my performance is WORSE than regular 1GbE Ethernet, not the 800 MB/sec that I SAW FOR MYSELF IN PERSON at CCW with the Corning Thunderbolt optical cables. So what's the magic trick - I certainly don't know.

I will re-read the few articles that appear on the internet on what these guys did, to see what I am missing. And ultimately I will certainly call Corning to see what I am missing - but I was there - I saw these tests up close, and I can't get anywhere near these speeds over Thunderbolt using Bridging.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on Dec 10, 2013 at 1:29:09 am

No surprise here Bob.

As you know, while simple file sharing over virtually networks is a piece of cake, reliable and consistent video streaming over networks is a whole different kettle of fish.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Eric Hansen
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on Dec 10, 2013 at 3:38:02 am

What if instead of "looping", you use a server with two TB ports, like a Retina MacBook Pro or iMac? This way the storage is on one TB port and the client computer is on the other port. I know both ports use a single controller, but it's worth a shot.

Just a thought. I've never tested this myself, but if it works it makes the new Mac Pro a bit more intriguing. I've read the Mac Pro uses three controllers for the six TB2 ports.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Bob Zelin
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on Dec 10, 2013 at 12:57:22 pm

Hi Eric -
at CCW in NY, I saw Corning demonstrate their new TBolt 2 optical cables on two Tbolt 1 Apple computers, and they were running Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, and showing about 800 MB/sec between the two computers. I saw it myself. I foolishly did not go into any menus, and poke around and see what was going on. I cannot duplicate these results. I also published a link on this forum to other tests indicating poor results over Thunderbolt networking, and was assaulted by our friend Greg, who basically didn't want to hear it. Certainly, for a small workgroup, a new Mac Pro cylinder as a server would be great in concept, but does it work in real life.
People, including myself, get very excited about "new stuff" that is coming out - but can it perform as we anticipate?

I certainly will call Corning.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Chris Duffy
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on Dec 10, 2013 at 1:52:43 pm

Bob,


You interested in allowing me Teamviewer access to your setup so
I can look at it? A 2nd set of eyes may help :)
Let me know.

Just Duffy


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Eric Newbauer
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on Dec 10, 2013 at 3:36:14 pm

Hey Bob,

Just throwing this out there FWIW... let us know if you think you might want a super special Bob Z stealth-test-mode version of SANmp that can arbitrate Thunderbolt storage.

Eric Newbauer
Studio Network Solutions (SNS)
EVO – Shared Storage Systems for Video Editors


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Bob Zelin
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on Dec 10, 2013 at 5:00:27 pm

just spoke with Corning. They allegedly will get back to me today.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests - Corning reply
on Dec 10, 2013 at 5:28:30 pm

Hello boys !

Well, I can wait for Greg Leuenberger to knock the teeth down my throat.

I have just spoken with Corning. BOY AM I STUPID - you can't take me to any trade shows, because I certainly don't know what I am looking at. At CCW in NY, contrary to what I have reported, Corning DID NOT show Thunderbolt bridging between to Mac Thunderbolt computers, showing the amazing 800 MB/sec speeds. This is NOT what they showed, and I probably (due to my excitement, and stupidity) interpreted this as to what I saw.

What in fact WAS shown, was a single Apple Mac Book Pro, which connected to a Sonnet Thunderbolt interface which was hooked to a Lacie SSD drive. The Thunderbolt cable used was a 30 meter Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable, and they ran Blackmagic Speed Test, and THIS was showing performance speeds of 800 MB/sec. So Corning did not show AND HAS NEVER SHOWN Thunderbolt networking in any manner.

So based on my very limited research, and the Arstechnica article (and several other articles that I found on google searching) - Thunderbolt networking currently DOES NOT compete with 10Gig Ethernet networking (or even 1GbE networking), or of course Fibre networking. I will certainly try this as soon as I have access to the new Mac Pro, but as of now (because this is the way I got into trouble in the first place with Greg) - YOU CANT HAVE SHARED STORAGE FOR 30 BUCKS JUST USING A THUNDERBOLT CABLE.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Scott Cahill
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on May 9, 2014 at 6:07:41 pm

Bob, did your ever do further testing with the NEW Mac Pros? I have done some testing around 2 IMacs, a Mac Mini and the 2 ThunderRAIDs that I have, but due to the lack of TB ports on all these devices daisy chaining everything together is hodgepodge at best. Then if you thrown in dual monitors for the IMacs you simply run out of TB ports.

Obviously the new Mac Pro was solve a lot of the problems with lack of TB ports but from what I have read and the little testing that I have done you still deal with weird latency issues and not near the speeds that you would expect from TB.

Just wondering if the new Mac Pro acting as the hub solved (or bettered) any of the latency or speed issues?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Thunderbolt 1 shared storage tests
on May 11, 2014 at 12:46:15 am

[Scott Cahill] " from what I have read and the little testing that I have done you still deal with weird latency issues and not near the speeds that you would expect from TB.

Just wondering if the new Mac Pro acting as the hub solved (or bettered) any of the latency or speed issues?"


I'm not Bob, nor do I play him on TV, but I'll answer this since Bob has not.

Scott, it's not so weird that there are latency issues - there's simply no protocol currently that effectively communicates to a server via thunderbolt, making shared video storage impossible.

TCP/IP bridging over thunderbolt is at best, extremely inconsistent. So, it's not a speed issue, it's an issue of this inconsistency, and even if your computer had a dozen T-Bolt ports on different busses that wouldn't solve the problem.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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