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Simon Blackledge
Promise SanLink2
on Jun 5, 2014 at 4:19:34 pm

Anyone had a play with one of these in 10Gig Bast-T form?

Seem cheaper than Atto Thunderlink but does that mean not as good ?

S


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Bob Zelin
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 5, 2014 at 11:22:20 pm

ok Simon, I have to hand it to you. You are better than me. You found this, you found the Netgear 10G switch - you find all kinds of cool stuff long before me.

I have not tested this product.

Bob

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


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 7:55:41 am

Am just lucky.. came across this as a link from tcp.co to top fcpx tweeters.. saw someone I don't follow.. checked his timeline and saw this still and though eh!. there fibre!...

Just luck mate...

Have you played with the atto thunder link ? Driver have options for tweaking ? Not sure this has a guy for tweaking... suppose its prob just an Intel card inside?

S



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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 1:44:49 pm

Bob! I was showing the darn things in the booth at NAB! You picked one up. :)

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 1:59:46 pm

Haha classic!

So thoughts Steve ? Atto or Sanlink ? Both as good or ATTO worth the extra $$$ ?

S



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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 2:57:35 pm

Since we sell the SANlink, I obviously like it better :) I'm also a lot more familiar with the driver code.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 3:15:17 pm

But you have the ThunderNet also.

So are they tweakable ? Or is that an OEM access only thing?

Any tips ? :)

s



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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 3:21:20 pm

The ThunderNET product is primarily so we can offer optical and larger port count devices. The SANLink is currently just 2 10GbaseT ports.

Coincidentally enough, both devices have all the same tweakable parameters! It's very convenient.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Bob Zelin
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 9:32:13 pm

Hi Steve -
I just didn't realize that A) this was a Promise product, and B) how cheap it was !

bob

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


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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 9:53:30 pm

How "economical" it was :)

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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John Davidson
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 6, 2014 at 10:39:52 pm

Call it what you want Steve, but I just ordered two from Small-Tree. Thanks!

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Mike Coley
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:17:26 pm

Driver code for the sanlink... How about the Sanlink2 Fiber link... I'm smacking my head against the wall over here with one of these things....


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 19, 2015 at 10:50:03 pm

http://www.promise.com/us/Support/downloadcenter

then use search for sanlink2
then on the left select drivers
then on the right you will see the

Sanlink2 10G SFP+ FCS driver for Mac OS X 10.9 and 10.10

That what you need?


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Eric Notarnicola
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 12, 2014 at 10:03:04 pm

I just ordered a few of these from Small-Tree and they are FANTASTIC. Not only the smallest and lowest priced 10gbe t-bolt adapters, they are also hands down the QUIETEST. Nearly silent and perfect for use in an edit bay. Knowing they use a licensed rock solid Small-Tree driver is also reassuring.


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John Davidson
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 12, 2014 at 10:07:10 pm

Great because nothing sucks worse than having a room full of quiet SSD computers and then plugging in one of those old jet engines. Can't wait for ours to get here.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 16, 2014 at 1:51:29 pm

Any speed test results anyone ?



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John Davidson
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 20, 2014 at 9:48:36 pm

So far we're only getting about 167Mb read and about 200Mb read with a few peaks to 300 but it's not as consistent or as fast as our ATTO TB1 boxes. The ATTO's get about 800 Mb r/w. Granted, I haven't had much time to work on them yet so perhaps Promise has more information.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:11:58 pm

A couple comments here:

1. A normal mac doesn't have its tuning setup to deal with 10Gb very well. The window sizes are too small. (How it's tuned can also depend on your destination. BSD doesn't like to let a lot of packets go unacked, but linux seems to do much better with unacked packets)

I personally use these settings:

net.inet.tcp.doautorcvbuf=0
net.inet.tcp.doautosndbuf=0
kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=8388608
net.inet.tcp.sendspace=4000000
net.inet.tcp.recvspace=4000000
net.inet.tcp.maxseg_unacked=8
net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0
net.inet.tcp.win_scale_factor=7

2. Flow control has to be on everywhere. (802.3x). It has to be enabled everywhere and hopefully, everything negotiated to have it on. Systems have to both heed and send xon/xoff packets. Some switches (Cisco Catalyst) won't send xoff. This is bad since any one element in the chain not pushing back will cause that element to drop packets when congestion occurs. That's bad and leads to some really bad performance (similar to what you're seeing).

Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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John Davidson
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:46:14 pm

Sorry it took me so long to respond Steve. We put that in and I had to clean up the coffee I spewed everywhere when the first test came back.

895 Mb Read and Write. And that's with other people also accessing the server.

Anybody wanna buy some ATTO 10 Gbe TB1 boxes? I have two for sale.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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John Davidson
Seriously. W O W
on Jun 21, 2014 at 12:50:04 am

Kaboom. This is awesome.



John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Chris Duffy
Re: Seriously. W O W
on Jun 21, 2014 at 8:10:13 pm

Bob, you need to get out of Florida and get up here to
visit us at Small Tree if you want to see more WOW stuff
you can use :) Besides it will be getting too hot down
there soon....I'll take you fishing up here and make some great
margaritas for you.


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Seriously. W O W
on Jul 3, 2014 at 1:55:53 pm

Whats the server your pulling from consist of ? Basestar ? NAS ?

S



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John Davidson
Re: Seriously. W O W
on Jul 3, 2014 at 7:24:12 pm

We have a 16 Drive ProAvio array, controlled by an Areca 1882x and mounted to a 2010 Mac Pro. It's being fed out via ethernet from a Netgear 10Gbe switch.
It is a NAS and BASESTAR is the name we gave the RAID because I loved the Battlestar Galactica reboot.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Elvin Jasarevic
Re: Seriously. W O W
on Jul 21, 2015 at 2:16:11 pm

This is our tests using the two Sonnet box and DDP. What do you think about this?



We also found that SanLink2 would not play nicely with ProTools. Cut cut story short, when you have 2-3 hours Video/Audio together, audio will be off few seconds. Using the Sonnet box solved our issue.


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Luc Vleugels
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 10:50:49 am

Hi John, Do you have the SANLink2 10GBase-T version? I can't get the jumbo frames/full duplex/flow control up and running. My current speed is max 220mb/s.


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 1:44:54 pm

In the System Preferences-> Network Preferences
click on the SanLink port,
click on Advanced
click on Hardware
change Configure to Manual
change Speed to Autoselect
now you can change the mtu to 9000 or whatever
apply and so on.


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Luc Vleugels
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 1:50:07 pm

Thanks Chris, But my SANLink2 10G Base-T doesn't allow me to turn on both Flow Control AND Jumbo frames (MTU 9000)...


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 2:00:03 pm

When you select "autoselect" the speed greys out which means
it will auto-negotiate speed/duplex/flow-control for you
at the same time you select the MTU. So you will use
flow-control, 10Gbe and full-duplex doing this....


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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 2:13:33 pm

I think this issue with 9000 byte MTUs on 10GbaseT is fixed in 10.9.4.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Luc Vleugels
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 2:34:54 pm

Thanks Steve/Chris, I'm running 10.9.4 and put MTU to 9000 (auto speed select), but still max speed 200MB/s. Do you have good results with 10G Base-T version of SANLink2? Then maybe something else is causing this poor performance.

I also contacted Promise, but they are saying the SANLink2 is only for use with their storage. I have a Netsor storage with an Areca controller, Myricom NIC en a Netgear 10Gbe switch.


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 3:02:54 pm

Try building/changing the file called
/etc/sysctl.conf
Put the following lines it in and reboot....
then re-test:

net.inet.tcp.doautorcvbuf=0
net.inet.tcp.doautosndbuf=0
kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=8388608
net.inet.tcp.sendspace=4194304
net.inet.tcp.recvspace=4194304
net.inet.tcp.maxseg_unacked=32
net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=2
net.inet.tcp.win_scale_factor=7


Use an editor like "vi" or textedit to build it....
you have to be admin/root to do it.


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Luc Vleugels
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 6:42:33 pm

Thanks Chris, I created /etc/sysctl.conf, but still no luck...


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 7:17:46 pm

:)
Easier and faster if I can just screen-share with you on your mac to
help....... let me know.... we use teamviewer for screen-sharing but
you may have another program you use?


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Luc Vleugels
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 17, 2014 at 8:18:44 pm

That would be great Chris. Teamviewer is up. How can I contact you?


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Kieran Steele
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 30, 2014 at 2:33:34 am

I'm also running 10.9.4 with a 10gbe sanlink 2, and can confirm you still cannot set the MTU above 1500. Good to know it sounds like a fix might be on the way.

Awesome to hear the drivers are produced by small tree! I've been using their 10gbe cards on the mac pro I'm replacing, and not only have they been rock solid, but updated every time apple does, and it seems apple is often poking things in there.

I am getting fantastic write speeds to my qnap 1279 on this new mac pro 6,1. . Around 390MB/s measured with aja with the same settings as those on this thread, but my read speeds are behaving very strangely. Write goes up to around top speed straight away, read starts at nothing, takes about 5-10 seconds to build up to 230 slowly, then drops down, 190, 160, then back up to 200. Seems to really stutter for fractions of seconds as well.

I was running 1.3.12 driver from promise, now 1.3.14. (there is no uninstall, so I guess it just goes fine over the top)? Seems to be no release notes I can find other than click install.

I've tried the tcp tweaks here. I also still have the existing mac pro running 10.7.4 and a small tree card going to the same nas. There is no switch, they are going straight to the two ports on the qnap. Swapping cables made no difference (have two runs). The existing mac pro is running 350 write, 278 read, but its consistent and from the get go.

I cannot try the sanlink2 on the old mac pro, as they don't have tb.

Anyone think of anything else I can try? I'm not so worried about a minor speed drop on read when its running at full speed (though on some times I test and it stays around 80), but more the stuttering and consistency.

The only other thing I can think of is that between 10.7.4 and 10.9.4 there may have been plenty of tweaks to AFP which I'm using (and either the processor speed of the new mac pro, or improvements to afp have boosted the write speed), but I wouldn't think they would have severely broken read. Seems much more like a driver issue, but then here I can see people are getting good results, so doesn't seem universal issue with the driver.

I suppose I could upgrade the old mac pro to 10.9.4 to see if its the os that broke read stability, but then again its using a small tree card and different driver, so not a good comparison.

I've just tried the sanlink 2 on a mbpr 15 on 10.9.2 using 1.3.14 and I got 480-500 write, 380-450 read.

So I'm thinking either apple pooched afp between 10.9.2 and 10.9.4, or the promise/smalltree driver got fixed with no release notes from promise between 1.3.12 and 1.3.14 but having no uninstaller, maybe it did not go on well over the top. How can I make sure the new driver is being used?

Ill now take the mbpr15 to 10.9.3 then 10.9.4 and retest in meantime. Won't fix the mac pro though. If it is an osx issue, I'll have to get full 10.9.2 from somewhere and do a complete rebuild (i have a backup at 10.9.4 minus 40 apps I just installed, but that won't help), I recall 10.9.3 broke adobe and d700 gpu combo. If its the smalltree/promise driver though needing updating again after apple pooched something, I can probably wait.

Kieran


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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 30, 2014 at 11:18:32 am

I'm also running 10.9.4 with a 10gbe sanlink 2, and can confirm you still cannot set the MTU above 1500. Good to know it sounds like a fix might be on the way.


The bug is only in the GUI. You can set the MTU to 9000. It's just that in Mavericks, the GUI won't show 9000 as an option (or accept it) when a 10Gb media type is selected. In the "speed" section under "Hardware" just pick Auto and it'll let you set 9000. You can also do it in the terminal with the networksetup command.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 23, 2014 at 7:42:13 am

Good to know.

Is that info just for NAS or is that something you can tweak in diver? Or OSX ?

Cheers

Si



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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 23, 2014 at 11:39:40 am

The sysctl settings are OSX.
The flow control settings are hardware level, so they get set in the driver. Unfortunately, every piece of gear and OS is a little different, so how you set flow control sometimes requires a look at the manual. We enabled it by default, but it can be set manually in the Network->Advanced->Hardware tab (it goes with "full duplex")

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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John Davidson
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 3, 2014 at 2:11:07 am

Hey Steve,

Are there different settings when using the Sanlink2 on a TB1 iMac?

Thanks!

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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John Davidson
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 3, 2014 at 2:16:39 am

Actually, never mind - I'm getting this with regular old Thunderbolt1.



Not to shabby!

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Kieran Steele
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jul 30, 2014 at 3:33:27 am

Ah. new here. Thought my reply in the middle would somehow reference that post. So my new post is halfway up. Not sure if I should delete and repost here.

Anyway, just tried with 10.9.4 on an mbpr15 that worked fine on 10.9.2.

Same issue, slow to build to full speed, unreliable/jumpy read using the current smalltree/promise sanlink2 driver. I also went from 10.9.2 to 10.9.3 on the way through and tested. Did not happen with 10.9.3. But since that has the adobe d700 gpu bug, I'll have to go back to 10.9.2 unless I know its likely to be addressed in the next small tree firmware since apple probably changed something again.

Still open to other theories/suggestions, or if anyone else is proper consistent reads above say 300MB/s using sanlink2 on 10.9.4. Otherwise might be another one to watch out for.


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Kieran Steele
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Aug 1, 2014 at 3:42:19 am

Ahhrg. There is no way back to 10.9.2 without time machine. I did not back it up bare shipped before i put all the apps, no data on it, as I figured two point releases should be fine, and I knew I had to skip 10.9.3. All the recovery methods get 10.9.4. Only way is if I could find a bare Mac Pro 6,1 with 10.9.2 on it to clone. Genius Bar and AppleCare said same thing :(

So pushing forward, even though 10.9.2/3 worked fine on sanlink2 and 10.9.4 did not. It turns out the device on the other end (qnap) was somehow picky about dealing with Afp exactly on 10.9.4. Upgraded the qnap fw (which I hadn't for 6 months as they kept breaking things with 4.x). Booyah. Reliable reads again.

Interestingly it now supports and defaults to smb2.0, so I did some side by side with smb1 cifs:// and 2 and AFP. Read speed same with smb1/2. Write speed 10pc faster with smb2, write speed Afp similar. Read speed AFP about double. Wtf!? Not expecting that, that normal?


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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Aug 1, 2014 at 1:54:30 pm

Small Tree's been working with the netatalk guys to improve AFP a lot.
There were improvements to the IO performance and some changes to how AFP responds to requests. All of this is in the 3.1.3 code I think.

All these changes are in our TitaniumZ systems, but they are also rolling out into Linux based boxes too.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Baule Alessandro
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Sep 16, 2014 at 8:42:59 am

Hello,

I buy 9 sanlink2 10baseT for work with Netgear XS712T Switch and a FreeNas Server with dual 10Gbe ports RJ45.
The Server is OK, transfers about 1`gbps is ok, the Macs for Video edition with Adobe Premiere works great, is possible edit and play in file videos together.

Now we make the migration for 10gbe and nothing more works, don't is possible play in the files in the Premiere, the video freeze, dont together with sound, delay all.

Please, help with this support, are 9 Sanlink adapters that dont work in 10gbe.


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Boris Tsipenyuk
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Sep 16, 2014 at 1:02:09 pm

I have the same configuration here are some important tips:

Make sure all switch ports are set to jumbo frames (not on by default)

Make sure network interface on OS on client and server is set to jumbo frames

The rest of these worked well for me but results may vary!

On the client Mac enable the following settings (running via Sudo don't survive reboot for testing)


sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.doautorcvbuf=0
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.doautosndbuf=0
sudo sysctl -w kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=4194304
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.maxseg_unacked=32
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=2
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.win_scale_factor=7
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=1
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.sendspace=1048576
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.recvspace=1048576


I am unclear if you are using a Mac or Windows server. What I have found on windows servers is I disabled ALL tcp offload options on the interfaces, but make sure receive side scaling is enabled.

Also if a windows server in local security policy make sure to disable samba digital signing (I'm mobile so I can't look up exactly what this setting is called)


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Baule Alessandro
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Sep 16, 2014 at 1:49:48 pm

The Promise dont have Jumbo Frames (mtu 9000)
My server is a Freenas - BSD Based
The server is set mtu 9000

i think that mac make a cache for play files, and when the video freeze the mac dont access the server, i see access in the "server disk" like zero mb/sec.

Have a special config for premiere works in the 10gbe?

thanks


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Baule Alessandro
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Sep 16, 2014 at 1:51:22 pm

The Promise dont have Jumbo Frames (mtu 9000)
My server is a Freenas - BSD Based
The server is set mtu 9000

i think that mac make a cache for play files, and when the video freeze the mac dont access the server, i see access in the "server disk" like zero mb/sec.

Have a special config for premiere works in the 10gbe?

thanks

PS we use a AFP protocoll


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Steve Modica
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Sep 16, 2014 at 3:04:35 pm

We get contacted a lot for things like this.

People take some server hardware, install redhat, freebsd or windows, and then expect to hook it all up with 10Gb and have it go fast. It usually won't for a number of reasons.

Typical operating systems are not tuned to deal with 10Gb ports very well. Their window sizes are not large enough in some cases. On others, they allocate a ton of memory for each port, but it's not optimized for single stream video editing.

I have a feeling the Netgear switch does not have flow control on. Most switches ship with it off, and in standard core/edge switch setups, this is preferred. However this is not a core/edge setup. This is a single layer setup with a large number of systems pulling data from the server. Symmetric flow control is necessary.

Promise supports jumbo frames. However Apple's system preferences tool has a bug. It will not allow jumbo frames if you set the speed of the device to 10Gb. Set it to Auto and it works. This is fixed in the next release.

Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Baule Alessandro
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Sep 16, 2014 at 7:02:06 pm

I think that the problem is more with macosx and 10 gbe particular.
The migration From 100 to 1000 gbps was more easy, but now for 10gbe have very complications.
The line to way is flow control, sysctl in macosx, and mtu 9000 to all adapters and switch?
Have a secrets from macosx to all work ?
Definitely 10gbe don't is plug and play.
Thank you very much for your attention .


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Boris Tsipenyuk
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Aug 3, 2014 at 8:51:11 pm

Hello all, I just got one of these am testing from a macmini6,2 running 10.9.4 - - AFP and SMB - and what I have seen
the final setup will almost certainly be different in some way (probably the file server piece)

netgear switch
Server: vsphere 5.5 server with a windows 2012 r2 virtual machine (native file share for SMB, ExtremeIP for AFP)
10 gigabit equalogic 6000 san array with 16 x 7200 RPM sata running raid 6 - I will be testing further in raid 50 and with faster drives to make sure that's not the bottleneck

I've been using blackmagic design's disk benchmark from the app store as well as AJA recommended on this thread (other suggestions welcome)

I wanted to ping this group because what's clear in my testing is that the sysctl settings are absolute key (as long as being on 10.9 vs. 10.8)
the best results I've gotten are as posted by Chris Duffy Earlier in the thread)

sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.doautorcvbuf=0
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.doautosndbuf=0
sudo sysctl -w ern.ipc.maxsockbuf=8388608
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.sendspace=4194304
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.recvspace=4194304
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.maxseg_unacked=32
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=2
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.win_scale_factor=7


so far I have managed sustained 450 MB/Sec write and about 615 MB/Sec Read using SMB volumes via blackmagic


when using AJA I get even wackier results and generating ton of file write errors in the console log (this is for a 16 gig file test)

8/3/14 4:39:07.754 PM AJA System Test[331]: Disk write error: fd = 7, tried to write 12746752 bytes, stopped at 18446744073709551615
8/3/14 4:39:07.000 PM kernel[0]: smb2_smb_read_write_async: smb_rq_reply failed 22
8/3/14 4:39:07.756 PM AJA System Test[331]: Disk write error: fd = 7, tried to write 12746752 bytes, stopped at 18446744073709551615

8/3/14 4:39:34.668 PM AJA System Test[331]: Average read rate = 682.95
8/3/14 4:39:34.668 PM AJA System Test[331]: Average write rate = 5762.20

for an 8 gig file test:

8/3/14 4:40:40.920 PM AJA System Test[331]: Average read rate = 677.26
8/3/14 4:40:40.920 PM AJA System Test[331]: Average write rate = 5978.89

so obviously something is out of whack (and yes system buffers are disabled on aja)

and finally here are my sweep file results from aja:

128.0 703.1 3467.3
256.0 700.5 2897.4
512.0 681.5 3447.9
1024.0 693.6 3931.2
2048.0 698.0 2926.8
4096.0 671.2 3322.4
8192.0 634.0 5222.6


(and also the same disk write errors on console log)

thanks


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Kieran Steele
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Aug 4, 2014 at 12:55:55 am

Boris,

I get the same results as you with aja, 10.9.4. First run after a boot ;again with cache off; real speeds, each test after that, some sort of super fast cache speeds. I too switched to black magic disk test when I encountered that issue. I'm not sure if my tcp tuning as above is having an effect. What was your before and after figures, and did you notice increased speed on 1gbe as well as 10gbe (presume not), and AFP as well as smb, or only smb. I presume it's system wide and across all nics no matter how they are connected.


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Dec 16, 2014 at 9:57:30 am

Anyone noticed the if your sharing out storage over 10Gig the Server Macs ram gets totally gobbled up?

Never freed up even when clients disconnected. Even after a weekend of no connections.

Is this to do with the settings in sysctl.conf ?

keep having to run sudo purge.

Never had this over 1Gig with other machines. Should the server be running OSX Server to cope with this?

Or is osx just pants at flushing cache with 10Gbit ?

S



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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Dec 16, 2014 at 2:38:38 pm

This is a fact of life :)
Anytime you have local storage and "share" it out on a Mac,
Mac OS will take all the memory that is not being used and allocate
it for it's buffer cache....always been that way....does not matter
what type of networking you are using.....Of course Mac OS will steal
it back for an application or program that needs it for something else....
so on most Mac's that share storage you will always notice that
most of the memory is being used ;)
and yes, "purge" command (if you have the developer tools installed)
will get it back temporarily but give it some time and it will
be gone again :)

What I have found over the years is people forget to tune the
kernel's filesystem buffer that it can use in working with files.
Called kern.maxnbuf (maximum size of the filesystem buffer).
Mac OS usually defaults this kernel
parameter to 16384 but it does have a formula it uses to set
it depending on the amount of physical memory
but a file server with lots of memory needs more of this to work
optimally...... So if you want to help Mac OS server do it's
job better, jack up this tunable..... You can find some articles
on the web on what to set it to.....Start with 262144 and for
most systems this should be enough.....maybe
go up to 524288 if you have LOTS of memory.....
should not need more then this even with
large memory Mac's.


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Philipp Meier
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Feb 25, 2015 at 3:11:39 am

Would love to re-visit this topic. Also using the Promise SanLink2 and getting decent performance connecting to a Windows Server 2012 R2 with a 36 drive RAID 60. Internally the RAID gets 3,000MB/s read and write.

A Mac Pro 2013 with a Promise SanLink 2 currently gets 630MB/s writes and 840MB/s reads with the following systlc config:

net.inet.tcp.doautorcvbuf=0
net.inet.tcp.doautosndbuf=0
kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=8388608
net.inet.tcp.sendspace=4000000
net.inet.tcp.recvspace=4000000
net.inet.tcp.maxseg_unacked=8
net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0
net.inet.tcp.win_scale_factor=7

Before that I used these:

net.inet.tcp.doautorcvbuf=0
net.inet.tcp.doautosndbuf=0
kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=8388608
net.inet.tcp.sendspace=4194304
net.inet.tcp.recvspace=4194304
net.inet.tcp.maxseg_unacked=32
net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=2
net.inet.tcp.win_scale_factor=7

That got us to 632MB/s write and 828MB/s read. Seems like decreasing the unpacked value to 8 and setting ack value to 0 squeezed out just a little bit more. Possible that it was just a fluke, though.

Anyways, the performance isn't bad but the write are much slower than the reads. Again the RAID is not the bottleneck as it can pull 3000MB/s writes. Wondering if there are any additional settings on either the OSX or windows side that can be tweaked to improve the speed?

SMB signing is already turned off and Netbios over TCP is turned on on the Windows NIC. Jumbo frames enabled on Client, Server, and Switch. Switch is a Netgear M7100-M24X.


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David Davidson
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 9, 2015 at 12:16:56 am
Last Edited By David Davidson on Apr 9, 2015 at 12:22:55 am

Philipp

Who build your system?!

David


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 9, 2015 at 1:02:54 am

well, you can do some further tweaking on the
windows side for the Intel 10Gbe nic/card....

Why don't you try in the device manager, network hardware
area:

jumbo frames 9014

Set Receive Side Scaling (RSS) to enabled

Set Receive Side Scaling (RSS) queues to match the CPU logical core count
i.e. as an example,
On an i7 based computer with hyper-threading enabled, set it to say 8
for the number of cores it has....

increase receive buffers to the maximum of 4096

increase transmit buffers to maximum of 16384

and I hope you have some memory on your windows system ;)

see if anything above helps improve things.


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Patrick Brown
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 4, 2015 at 12:26:16 am

Hi All.

We are having difficulty in our studio with a new server install. The company who installed it have been unable to troubleshoot it so we have abandoned their support and are looking elsewhere for a new tech team. I am not a system administrator, just but I work here as creative professional and doing all I can to help fix the problem in short term

Since the install, we have major network stalling during file transfers, file corruptions, slow directory browsing, slow network transfers, clients crash when reading or browsing server. All symptoms are intermittent.


The setup is

2 x Promise raids connected to Mac Pro (late 2013) running server via Sanlink2 Fibre channel to Thunderbolt (f2101) device. The Mac is connected to Cisco switch via what I think is an odd aggregation, consisting of 1 x Sanlink2 10g Base T to thunderbolt device, aggregated with the 2 x Ethernet ports built in to the mac pro server.

All clients are 1gb Ethernet connected to the switch.

I have two key questions - 1. What is your opinion of the way that the server / switch connection was aggregated? (Ethernet and sanlink2 together)

2. Is there compatibility issues running two thunderbolt sanlink2 devices on the same MacPro?


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 4, 2015 at 8:37:27 am

Your all mac based? Or are these PC's pulling also ?

Are you 100% sure the servers 10Gig ports are aggregated with the 1Gig ports on the switch ? Thats mad.. surprised it even works.

Your feeding the Mac Pro to the switch at 10Gig but the workstations are all Gig yes?

Have you customised the sysctl as in the settings in this thread?

I'd delete all the aggregation. Just connect 1 x 10 GB port from Sanlink to switch and see if that works better to begin with.

Make sure the promise raids and the SanLink are plugged into their own port on the MacPro

You ask can you have 2X sanlink on same machine. Don't see why not but you only have 1 currently no?

Remember if you connect another machine at 10Gig and start pulling data from one of those Promise raids from the server at say 600MBs and the raid can only do 700MBs then it only leaves 100MBs to everyone else till you stop read/write. I doubt you'd see anything close to 100 even and it will be v choppy.

Delete your aggregation and just start with 1Port feeding the switch/Lan and see where that gets you.

Baby steps.

s



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Patrick Brown
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 4, 2015 at 9:31:18 am

Hi, Thanks for you response.

We are 80% mac. Our 3D team run PC.

I am 100% sure the 2 server ports were aggregated with the 2 x ethernet cables coming off the sanlink TB to ethernet device, into the switch. The switch seems to be 1Gb only (SGE2010P 48-Port Gigabit Switch)

All workstations are gigabit

Have not customised the sysctl as in the settings in this thread - not 100% sure what this isor where to tweak the settings, but we have a new tech support solution lined up so I will show them the settings you refer too.

Each Sanlink device was plugged into their own thunderbolt port, however I was told they are on the same bus.

As per your suggestion, we removed the aggregation with the Sanlink TB - Ethernet box, and connected with just 2 x built in ethernet ports to the switch. This setup appears more stable, for 1 day so far anyway. I will continue to test this for another few days. Far less reports of network slow down, no corruptions as yet. I will report back if this helps.

Yes - we did have 2 x sanlink devices. The reason I asked about having 2 x sanlink on same machine would cause problems was this - when we disconnected the sanlink2 10 Gb Base-T, i tried plugging the device back into the server later that day. The device was not recognised by OS X or the sanlink utility this time. I wondered if there is a conflict using both a Sanlink2 Fibre Channel (for the raids) on the same machine as a Sanlink2 10 Gb Base-T. Or Maybe this is a sign the Sanlink2 10 Gb Base-T is faulty?

We plan to keep all workstations / clients at 1Gg for now. No 10Gig clients.

Thank you so much for your help and support.


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Baule Alessandro
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 4, 2015 at 7:07:51 pm

Do you are to be use a thunderbolt to Ethernet 2 ports 10gbe to connect a 1 gbits switch?

If yes, because do you don't use other Ethernet card pcie?

For 1 gbits Ethernet don't necessit sysctl config.


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 4, 2015 at 1:06:26 pm

Just some comments.......

Like the previous guy said :)
do not mix 1Gbit and 10Gbit ports in a lagg/bond,
just use one 10Gbe to switch as it can handle plenty of
1Gbit clients.

Second, it is key that the switch you are using
supports symmetric flow-control (flow control
in both directions) i.e. 802.3x standard
on ALL of it's ports.
A lot of the Cisco's only support flow-control in one
direction and you will be unhappy since the switch will
be dropping packets when attempting to transfer data
to/from a 10Gbit port and 1Gbit ports..... If the
switch you have does not support flow-control properly
then just get a different switch.....most of the newer
switches have 12/24 gig ports and at least 1-4 10Gbe uplink
ports and they are cheap and work :)

Once you stop using the bond, get onto a switch that supports
flow-control properly, then you can take the next step and
enable jumbo frames (9000 bytes as an example) on the Mac
network ports, switch ports and the server 10Gbe port. This
will get you more performance......in addition to what the previous
gentleman stated about getting a good /etc/sysctl.conf file on the
server which will "tune" the network stack fort he 10Gbe port
on this server.

One last thing....Thunderbolt is nice but in some cases where the
Thunderbolt is shared by multiple daisy-chained devices
you have to remember that all the devices are taking/sharing resources
and you will not get the bandwidth that you think you ought
to get.....

It will all work out if you follow the steps offered to
you by others and the above.


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Baule Alessandro
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Jun 4, 2015 at 4:39:30 pm

Hello,

The mechanics is:

Lagg Ethernet - only with same Ethernet velocity, prefer same chipset in the board, (2 x 1 gbits or 2 x 10gb), the mix of the link velocity the system will be based for the link more slow, how all the system work for the more slow, this is valued for memories ram mixed, hds mixed raid, etc.

Files corrupt, look the ram memory's and the healthy Hds, transfers about network don't corrupt files in the server.

My system work about the freenas server, with 2x 10gbits Ethernet, one 12 ports 10 gbits switch Netgear, and all HDS in the Freenas are Hibrids HDs Seagate 4TB.

In network mechanicals, all macs thunderbirds Ethernet adapters are connected in the switch 10gbits, and one port is uplink in the other switch 1 Gbits where are connected all 1 gbits machines, the lagg 10gbits are connected directly in the 10gbits switch together with macs.

The system are done for 4k edition simultaneously, mixed with other stations prores 422 edition and other machine making upload of the media files for workflow.

The videos editions are Adobe Premiere and FinalCut, the PCs work with After Effects and others effects programs, and all this working simultaneously .

Remember, for Ethernet 10gbits use 6A cables categorized is fundamentals.


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 17, 2016 at 10:13:29 pm

I have just ordered two PROMISE SANLink2 Thunderbolt 2 to 10 Gb/s Ethernet Adapters. My intent is to use these for two of my office Apple MP6,1 systems.

I will also use them for testing at first using my home Apple Late 2015 iMac17,1 27" 5K Retina (32GB RAM) and my Mid 2012 Apple MBP9,2. (16GB RAM) The iMac has Thunderbolt 2 and the MBP has Thunderbolt 1.

The office MP6,1 systems have Thunderbolt 2 and 64GB RAM.

All the Macs are running macOS Sierra.

I notice on the MBP's Network panel "Advanced..." I cannot set MTU above 1500, whereas on the iMac I can set MTU to 9000. I've not checked this on the MP6,1 system at this time.

The reason for trying out these SANLink2 devices is to see if the data transfer between our two office MP6,1 systems is better than using a simple Thunderbolt Bridge. This technique is very cost effective as it requires just a single Thunderbolt cable. However, we see varying issues over time using the Apple's SMB and AFP. Sometimes SMB is better and sometimes AFP is better. It seems to vary with the macOS version we run. Currently running Sierra we find AFP is much better than SMB whereas pre Sierra we found SMB was better. The other issue we see with using the tHunderbolt Bridge is that the i/o rate is VERY choppy, and at this time is very bad using SMB vs. using AFP. I attach a graph (hopefully I've done this correctly) showing what I'm seeing using AFP. The orange is for writing from my MPB to the iMac and the blue is for reading from the iMac to the MBP.

So the writing goes along and improves in two distinct steps which I don't understand (that is, why the sudden steps). The reading shows an initial ramp up and then continues to be very 'choppy' with lots of stalls.

I'm hoping the SANLink2 will address these issues and smooth out the data transfers and consequently provide a better overall average i/o rate.

Question: Does the SANLink2 require special driver code that needs to be installed, or is it a plug&play setup much like for the Sonnet Adapter which I'm told does not require driver code to be installed ?

Thanks for any attention to this issue(s).


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 17, 2016 at 11:18:43 pm

Well, Well, if it is not Barry Sharp out west?
Duffy here.......
I am sure many folks will respond to you but I'll give you a few
ideas and of course, if you want it fixed in leas then 10 minutes, why waste time here,
just let me teamview/screen-share with you on that mac and we can
resolve quickly ?

-Yes the Promise SANLINK2 needs a driver.....
go to promise's website, sanlink2, download their 1.7.4 driver,
install and reboot.

-In the %$^% Apple Network Preferences manual,
if you want to use jumbo/9000 byte frames, first
select advanced,
manual instead of automatic,
change to autoselect
then you can change mtu to 9000..
save and so forth.

-Samba huh? lol known bug with samba on mac OS El Capitan (and Sierra) with
"signing".......use afp for now and if you really want to use samba, there is
a workaround you can do on the macs.

-If you are using a switch to connect 10Gbe you will
need to configure jumbo frames and symmetric flow-control.


let me know how it goes or if you want me to fix it ?

Duffy


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 17, 2016 at 11:45:16 pm
Last Edited By Barry Sharp on Oct 17, 2016 at 11:51:53 pm

So my attached graph did not make it into my posting!

Thanks for the reply and the advice about the need to download software driver code from Promise site. I'll do that ahead of time.

I'll try attaching my graph again here.



This graph is me using a Thunderbolt Bridge between my home MBP and my home iMac.

The i/o traffic writing and reading across my Thunderbolt Bridge using my MBP as Server and my iMac as Client. I performed the i/o from the MBP. This was using AFP which performs better than does SMB under Sierra 10.12.1 (build 16B2584a). Even so, you can see how the writes run fairly smoothly but ramp up over the course of writing in two distinct steps (the orange graph). For reading from the iMac (the blues graph) you can see how choppy the transfer is, and also note how it ramps up initially before its gets going.

The peak write (orange) achieved here was around 800 MBytes/sec and the peak read (blue) tops out at around 1350 MBytes/sec. However the average rate is much much lower because of all the writing step-ups and the stops & starts in the reading transfer.

So I'm hoping/expecting the SANLink2 will avoid these writing steps and the 'choppy' reads. Should this expectation be real I ask ?

BTW.... on my MBP I cannot set MTU to 9000 no matter what I do. On the iMac I can set MTU to 9000. Why is this ?

Can I use a command in Terminal on the MBP to force/setup MTU=9000 ? If so, what would this commend be ?


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 18, 2016 at 1:05:19 am

Chris:

Yes, sorry for not responding to you saying..."well, well etc". I'm now retired from HPC and do all the IT at local office for my son and my consulting work. We are an all Mac setup with MP6,1 12core and beastie iMacs.

We've been getting along kind of AOK using a simple Thunderbolt Bridge between two of our MP6,1 systems and for the most part it works except that Apple keeps tuning/tweaking/braking the networking software layers (SMB and/or AFP) moving from one OS version to the next. Very annoying. We had been using SMB for the TB Bridge prior to El Capitan and Sierra. We now find that AFP provides a much much better i/o rate. It means with each macOS version/update we have to test the TB Bridge i/o to make sure there's been no regression. The TB Bridge certainly is a low cost solution and can move data at well over 1000 MBytes/sec in spurts, but cannot maintain that over an entire file transfer. It's choppy and this results in the overall average i/o rate to be a lot lower. This 1000 MBytes/sec is when the MP6,1 server system (which has 64GB RAM) has most, if not all, of the data in its kernel buffer cache which can deliver well over 5000 MBytes/sec. This 5000 MBytes/sec obviously overloads the Thunderbolt-2 by a factor of 2, but does show as much as 1500 MBytes/sec at times.

With the use of the SANLink2 I'm hoping to see a much smoother i/o transfer without step-ups and without it being 'choppy', and in so doing the overall average transfer rates will be better/smoother and hopefully in the region of at least 800 to 1000 MBytes/sec continuously during the transfer when the data is moving from the server's buffer cache to the client's buffer cache.

Our MP6,1 server has fast RAID-5 than can deliver around 800 MBytes/sec. At times we place Project data in the server's internal SSD (it's a 1TB Apple PCIe SSD that delivers around 1400 MBytes/sec). The client MP6,1 systems only read the initial Project data files from the server and then do their work and eventually deliver/write back the results to the server in their respective locations. In this manner there never ever any chance Clients will be at odds with each other reading data from the server nor writing data to the server. Thus our MP6,1 File Server cannot be considered being a true File Server. So one might say we've configured a poor man's server and fast data networking using the Thunderbolt Bridge technique.

I simply do not want to be at the mercy of Apple any longer as they simply seem to mess up the networking software layers now and then and at unexpected times for us doing Production work at the office.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these SANLink2 adapters work as well as everybody is saying here and elsewhere. They were not cheap at $535 each from my Apple Business Dept. If they don't work I can return them within 14 days for a full refund.

I presume I need to use CAT-6 cable or better for connecting the two SANLink2 adapters, right ? I also assume I can bond two CAT6 cables for link aggregation and fail over, right ? Improves bandwidth but does not improve individual write and read speeds as that is done over a single cable.

Nice to hear from you, and thanks for responding.


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 18, 2016 at 4:22:19 pm

Hey Barry,

ya, Thunderbolt Bridge is a %$% lol

and yes Apple keeps changing smb every release and
one never knows if it will work (haha) any better then afp
but sooner or later it should.

you can bond the two ports on a SANLink2 but keep in mind
as you mentioned that Mac OS will only use one of the ports
mostly and the other port while slightly used, i.e. on return
packets/acks and so forth, it does not buy you much.

The SANLink2's will have a steady stream for performance
BUTTTTTT this only will hold true if the disk I/O of the client
and server do not get caught up in any bottlenecks, i.e.
if that Raid on the server is on a Thunderbolt (separate bus)
it helps but there is no guarantee....if you know what I mean.

Good luck,
Duffy


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 18, 2016 at 6:15:52 pm

THANKS Chris for your responses.

Yes, bottle necks are always present and the trick is to unearth them and to figure out how to free them up.... and then of course you then bump into the next bottle neck.... and so on and so on. It's simply the nature of the beast

In my case at the office what we do is to before starting up a Client's work we preload its needed data into the servers kernel buffer cache (RAM). Now since RAM can deliver 5000+ MBytes/sec we position the server with its best delivery of data and make sure it's not the bottle neck. Now the Client demands its data which is already in the servers RAM which then can be pushed across the network (today that's the ethernet over Thunderbolt Bridge) to the Client's kernel buffer cache (RAM). So in essence we get data moving from Server RAM to Client RAM across the TB Bridge. In this case the TB Bridge becomes the bottle neck as it can sustain no more than 20 Gbps (2.5 GBytes/sec)... but that's pretty darn fast for our purposes. So this is all theory, right? What actually happens in our case today is that we have to choose carefully between SMB and AFP as that is what Apple provides with its file sharing feature. As you and I know, which you have alluded to, is that Apple mucks up either SMB or AFP or maybe both at same time. Apple's file sharing software is what we have to deal with and over the years this has been a terrible chore. Today under both El Capitan and Sierra the SMB simply is not worth considering and I'm left with having to use AFP. The i/o across the TB Bridge takes a while to 'ramp' up when the server writes/pushes its data to the Client it does so in a very 'choppy' manner after the 'ramp up' completes. When the client writes data back to the server it goes a lot better but that is not of any real importance to me as that occurs only when the Client has finished its work and is delivering results back to the server. Other systems such as Linux and proprietary systems always seem to have a better handle on networking/ethernet performance compared to Apple's efforts. IMO, Apple has little interest in networking as quite likely 99% of their customer base use a single Mac with at best a single external device to hold extra data. Thus we Pro folks that have the need for strong, fail-safe, reliable and fast networks are left to figure out how best to get our work done.

My hope is that the SANLink2 adapter will help 'smooth' the writes from server to client and offer an improved overall average i/o rate when the client systems 'fire' up.

My home test system uses a Late 2015 27" iMac 5K Retina having 4.0 GHz i7 and 32GB RAM and 512GB PCIe internal SSD and a Promise Pegasus2 R6 RAID-0 (the server) and a Mid 2012 13" MBP9,2 with 2.9 GHz i7, 16GB RAM and a fast internal SSD (the client). Both of these Macs are running Sierra 10.12.1. When I get the SANLink2 adapters I will first test things with the home system.

I'm trying to understand why the iMac can configure its Thunderbolt Bridge's MTU to be 9000 while the MBP cannot, and is limited to 1500 for the MTU. This issue on the MBP is shown by the Network -> Advance... -> Hardware and by the Terminal command 'networksetup' as shown below...

bash-3.2# networksetup -listValidMTURange bridge0
Valid MTU Range: 1500-1500

Even by setting Configure: to "Automatically" the MTU box grays out and I don't know if that will cause the MBP to use jumbo frame regardless.

At the office we have multiple Apple MP6,1s with 64GB RAM and 1TB SSDs inside. They all are running latest El Capitan OS. Last night I checked their Network panels for the Thunderbolt Bridge and they also are limited with an MTU = 1500 regardless of using Manual or Automatically.

I'm assuming MTU = 9000 is preferred over the 1500 value for best performance. Do you agree with this ?

I'm wondering if when connecting the SANLink2 adapters the MTU=1500 limitation will be lifted so I can use 9000.

Again, since both the Apple Thunderbolt Bridge and the Thunderbolt-to-SANLink2-to-10G are both converting Thunderbolt to Ethernet protocol my guess is that I will at best see less 'choppy' i/o and a smoother overall average i/o rate. That is, the SANLink2 will 'smooth things out. What do you expect me to get going from Thunderbolt Bridge to using the SANLink2 ?

The one thing that bugs me is that Thunderbolt 2 is rated at 2.5 GBytes/sec whereas the SANLink2 using 10G only gives half of the Thunderbolt 2 rate. So given this will I observe better i/o rates using the SANLink2 ?


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 18, 2016 at 10:58:25 pm

OK.... So I went to my local Apple Store where they have a MP6,1 running Sierra. Using the network setup in Terminal I was able to see that the MTU can be set to 9000. This tells me the issue related to MTU = 1500 limitation on our office MP6,1 systems is that they are running El Capitan. If we were to upgrade them to Sierra then MTU = 9000 will be possible.

Thus the MTU=1500 max limitation on the MP6,1 is related to the El Capitan OS and not any hardware limitation.

This is good new in some respects, but does mean I have to validate our workflow applications with Sierra which is just another chore on my plate.... sigh.


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 19, 2016 at 12:54:32 pm

Barry,
all Mac OS levels and hardware will do 9000 MTU for the SANLINK2's.
In the network preferences GUI,
select the interface/port,
change to
Configure->Manual
Speed-> autoselect

then the MTU can be set to 9000

duffy


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 19, 2016 at 4:22:27 pm

Chris:

Is that true ONLY when the SANLink2 is connected. I ask this as my MBP9,2 which is running macOS Sierra does not allow MTU=9000 for the Thunderbolt Bridge with Manual whereas for 1GbE ethernet on the MBP9,2 the MTU=9000 can be set with Manual setting.

On my iMac17,1 running macOS Sierra Its Thunderbolt Bridge can be set for MTU=9000 with Manual as well as its 1GbE ethernet.


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 19, 2016 at 4:23:56 pm

I will have my two SANLink2 adapters later today so will start testing then. Will report back with results.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 20, 2016 at 6:09:34 pm

Hi Barry -
as you have discovered, you cannot rely on Thuderbolt bridge networking. In my opinion it is not even low cost, because even though it "appears" to be free, if you have two Mac's in two different offices that are more than 6' away from each other, you need an expensive Corning Optical Thunderbolt 2 cable, and this costs as much as two Promise SanLink 2 boxes. Bottom line, I have discussed this with the Intel folks for the past 2 years at the NAB show. Both years they have told me that while data transfer can be achieved using thunderbolt network (as you have seen yourself), the performance is inconsistent, and they do not recommend it. Their Thunderbolt guy said that "possibly with thunderbolt 3 this might work" but he could not assure me that this would be the case. All Thunderbolt development and research is done in Tel Aviv, Israel, not here or Japan, or China.

With that said, any thunderbolt to 10G adaptor requires drivers. Nothing is native to the Mac OS. This means that if you purchase a thunderbolt to 10G adaptor from Small Tree, ATTO Technology, Promise, Sonnet, or Akitio, you must go to this companies website, and install their proprietary driver, and reboot your computer. As Mr. Duffy has pointed out, when you go into System Preferences> Advanced> Hardware, you change from Automatic to Manual, and change the 10G selection to Autoselect. Once you do this, you will be able to select an MTU of 9000. This applies to all products on the market today.

I must urge you to stop going to the Apple store to ask for advice. The employees at the Apple store know nothing about this subject. If you are insistent on dealing with Apple directly, your only hope is to speak with the Apple Enterprise group, which has no affiliation with any store. I am surprised, that since you have dealt with Mr. Duffy in the past, you did not deal with Small Tree right away, who would have resolved this for you quickly.

You will find that if disable SMB signing (create a nsmb.conf file in the /etc folder), your SMB networking will work very well, and you will not see the ramp up performance you are seeing with AFP. SMB has it's own issues (random disconnects) but it is currently native to macOS Sierra 10.12.

Since you have the SanLink 2's on order, I would be very surprised if you do not see dramatic performance improvements instantly between your two computers (once you load your Promise driver and reboot your computers).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 20, 2016 at 6:13:15 pm

Well, it is nice to know Zelin made it thru the hurricane a few weeks ago ?

Hope to hear more from Bob now ?

Duffy


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 20, 2016 at 10:47:31 pm

Hi Bob:

Thanks for you reply and advice.

1) Non optical TB cables can be had for $39 for a 6.6-foot cable, $48 for a 9.8-foot cable. Beyond that one has to go for the Corning optical cables that start at around $245 for a 33-foot cable.

2) If Thunderbolt 3 improves this for the 'Bridge' solution that will be very welcomed.

3) Yes, I have the SANLink2 Adapters now and started my testing yesterday using them. I did preload the Promise driver software which was done without issues.

4) Yes, as soon as connecting the SANLink2 adapters I was able to set MTU=9000 on my MBP. when configuring "Manual".

5) I did discuss File Servers and 10G connectivity with Chris Duffy several years ago but at that time the cost of the minimum Small Tree file server would not fit our office budget at the time. The cost then was close to $10,000 including file server, switch, 10G adapters for the Macs (pre MP6,1 model) and cables. We limp along using 1GbE bonded pairs for our Mac for a while and then switch them all out for the Late 2013 MP6,1s.

6) All of the office MP6,1 and iMacs are situated at workstations in a circle around a enclosed central office. In the central office we have a maxed out MP6,1 12-core with as much RAM as we could ram into it along with a the largest internal SSD. This MP6,1 has all of our high-speed RAID-0, RAID-5 and backup units which are all connected to this MP6,1. We call it our File Server although strictly speaking it's not in the technical sense. The cable distance between any Client Mac and the central inner office Mac is no more than 9 feet with a small amount of slack. In some cases the cable distance is 6 feet with some slack. Our Client Macs outside of the office pull/read from the inner office MP6,1 File Server their need project data, crunch on this data and eventually return results to the File Server Mac6,1. Each Client does this and grab their piece of the Project work and return their specific results. The File Server MP6,1 can then when all Clients have completed their workload and delivered results pull all the results together and produce final results.

7) The Clients use a Thunderbolt Bridge to the central MP6,1 File Server. Total cost was no more than $130.

8) The 'Bridge' works for us as the Clients ONLY read data from the File Server in the inner office for the most part to get ONLY their share of the Project work and deliver ONLY their result files. Because of this there's no collision of data being written back to the File Server in the inner office.

9) Our solution is limited as there are only so many Thunderbolt ports on the MP6,1. But so far we can deal with having four Clients connected via Thunderbolt Bridge to the inner office File Server MP6,1. To go beyond we would need to obtain a 'real' file server such as SmallTree offers and use 10G cables, 10G switch and 10G adapters such as the SANLink2.

10) It should be noted that the 10G adapter all start off having to connect to the Mac via a Thunderbolt cable. For this reason, I expect the i/o patterns, dat flow, choppiness and stalling I see using the Thunderbolt Bridge to still be apparent.

11) Yesterday I ran my first set of tests using my home test rig of two Macs. I employed AJA for the testing as well as a few 'dd' execution for good measure. I used the old AJA version rather than the newest AJA version, but will also use the newer AJA over next few days to ensure the results are consistent (or not).

12) So here's my test report

Summary
1) The Thunderbolt Bridge was far superior in both performance and cost vs. using the SANLink2 Adapters.
2) Let me say up front that using two SANLink2 Adapters for moving data between two Macs is likely an anathema to some people.
3) The SANLink2 Adapter in all fairness is a device for allowing a Mac to access a storage device (local or a NAS through a switch) that has 10GbE port(s).
4) My purpose for wanting to perform this evaluation was to see if the data transfers would be 'smoother' using the SANLink2 Adapters vs. the Thunderbolt Bridge which are seen to be 'choppy' at times. I really don't expect the i/o rates to be better, but hopefully on a par with the Thunderbolt Bridge.
5) The storage device used was a Promise Pegasus2 R6 (RAID-0 across six 7200rpm 2TB Toshiba disks) connected directly via Thunderbolt-2.

In order to establish a baseline for the best performance and to prepare for reviewing how well a pair of PROMISE SANLink2 Thunderbolt 2 to 10 Gb/s Ethernet Adapters will compare to using a simple Thunderbolt Bridge between two Macs; a Mid 2012 13-inch MBP9,2 with Thunderbolt-1 and a Late 2015 27-inch iMac 5K Retina with Thunderbolt-2, I first ran AJA on the iMac to sweep File Sizes from 128MB to 16GB to the iMac's connected Promise Pegasus2 R6. The R6 unit was 25% full.

Both Macs were running the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.1 (Build 16B2553a). The File Sharing was set for Apple's AFP.

Topology: iMac <--> Thunderbolt Cable <--> Promise Pegasus2 R6









As a further sanity check I decided to quickly run the newest AJA....

Woweeee, this new AJA is very colorful and is showing much higher write/reads for my iMac using the Pegasus2 R6 directly.

Just tested writing and reading a 64GB file..... (not sure what all the settings are at this time)



At first blush using the new AJA System Test the results for Case 2) and 3) (Bridge vs. SANLink2) are close for writes and reads.

I'll need more testing using the new AJA to ensure of my findings are correct. However, at this time the TB Bridge still is a better choice when you compare the Bridge cost of a mere $60 for a TB cable vs. a pair of SANLink2 Adapters costing $1,070 there really is no issue in deciding which to use.

Here's Case 2) using TB Bridge



Here's Case 3) using SANLink2



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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 20, 2016 at 11:32:39 pm

Hi Bob:

Thanks for you reply and advice.

Question: Should the /etc/nsmb.conf have any contents or is it sufficient to just define/create it as a zero length file ?

1) Non optical TB cables can be had for $39 for a 6.6-foot cable, $48 for a 9.8-foot cable. Beyond that one has to go for the Corning optical cables that start at around $245 for a 33-foot cable.

2) If Thunderbolt 3 improves this for the 'Bridge' solution that will be very welcomed.

3) Yes, I have the SANLink2 Adapters now and started my testing yesterday using them. I did preload the Promise driver software which was done without issues.

4) Yes, as soon as connecting the SANLink2 adapters I was able to set MTU=9000 on my MBP. when configuring "Manual".

5) I did discuss File Servers and 10G connectivity with Chris Duffy several years ago but at that time the cost of the minimum Small Tree file server would not fit our office budget at the time. The cost then was close to $10,000 including file server, switch, 10G adapters for the Macs (pre MP6,1 model) and cables. We limp along using 1GbE bonded pairs for our Mac for a while and then switch them all out for the Late 2013 MP6,1s.

6) All of the office MP6,1 and iMacs are situated at workstations in a circle around a enclosed central office. In the central office we have a maxed out MP6,1 12-core with as much RAM as we could ram into it along with a the largest internal SSD. This MP6,1 has all of our high-speed RAID-0, RAID-5 and backup units which are all connected to this MP6,1. We call it our File Server although strictly speaking it's not in the technical sense. The cable distance between any Client Mac and the central inner office Mac is no more than 9 feet with a small amount of slack. In some cases the cable distance is 6 feet with some slack. Our Client Macs outside of the office pull/read from the inner office MP6,1 File Server their need project data, crunch on this data and eventually return results to the File Server Mac6,1. Each Client does this and grab their piece of the Project work and return their specific results. The File Server MP6,1 can then when all Clients have completed their workload and delivered results pull all the results together and produce final results.

7) The Clients use a Thunderbolt Bridge to the central MP6,1 File Server. Total cost was no more than $130.

8) The 'Bridge' works for us as the Clients ONLY read data from the File Server in the inner office for the most part to get ONLY their share of the Project work and deliver ONLY their result files. Because of this there's no collision of data being written back to the File Server in the inner office.

9) Our solution is limited as there are only so many Thunderbolt ports on the MP6,1. But so far we can deal with having four Clients connected via Thunderbolt Bridge to the inner office File Server MP6,1. To go beyond we would need to obtain a 'real' file server such as SmallTree offers and use 10G cables, 10G switch and 10G adapters such as the SANLink2.

10) It should be noted that the 10G adapter all start off having to connect to the Mac via a Thunderbolt cable. For this reason, I expect the i/o patterns, dat flow, choppiness and stalling I see using the Thunderbolt Bridge to still be apparent.

11) Yesterday I ran my first set of tests using my home test rig of two Macs. I employed AJA for the testing as well as a few 'dd' execution for good measure. I used the old AJA version rather than the newest AJA version, but will also use the newer AJA over next few days to ensure the results are consistent (or not).

12) So here's my test report

Summary
1) The Thunderbolt Bridge was far superior in both performance and cost vs. using the SANLink2 Adapters.
2) Let me say up front that using two SANLink2 Adapters for moving data between two Macs is likely an anathema to some people.
3) The SANLink2 Adapter in all fairness is a device for allowing a Mac to access a storage device (local or a NAS through a switch) that has 10GbE port(s).
4) My purpose for wanting to perform this evaluation was to see if the data transfers would be 'smoother' using the SANLink2 Adapters vs. the Thunderbolt Bridge which are seen to be 'choppy' at times. I really don't expect the i/o rates to be better, but hopefully on a par with the Thunderbolt Bridge.
5) The storage device used was a Promise Pegasus2 R6 (RAID-0 across six 7200rpm 2TB Toshiba disks) connected directly via Thunderbolt-2.

In order to establish a baseline for the best performance and to prepare for reviewing how well a pair of PROMISE SANLink2 Thunderbolt 2 to 10 Gb/s Ethernet Adapters will compare to using a simple Thunderbolt Bridge between two Macs; a Mid 2012 13-inch MBP9,2 with Thunderbolt-1 and a Late 2015 27-inch iMac 5K Retina with Thunderbolt-2, I first ran AJA on the iMac to sweep File Sizes from 128MB to 16GB to the iMac's connected Promise Pegasus2 R6. The R6 unit was 25% full.

Both Macs were running the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.1 (Build 16B2553a). The File Sharing was set for Apple's AFP.

Topology: iMac <--> Thunderbolt Cable <--> Promise Pegasus2 R6









As a further sanity check I decided to quickly run the newest AJA....

Woweeee, this new AJA is very colorful and is showing much higher write/reads for my iMac using the Pegasus2 R6 directly.

Just tested writing and reading a 64GB file..... (not sure what all the settings are at this time)



At first blush using the new AJA System Test the results for Case 2) and 3) (Bridge vs. SANLink2) are close for writes and reads.

I'll need more testing using the new AJA to ensure of my findings are correct. However, at this time the TB Bridge still is a better choice when you compare the Bridge cost of a mere $60 for a TB cable vs. a pair of SANLink2 Adapters costing $1,070 there really is no issue in deciding which to use.

Here's Case 2) using TB Bridge



Here's Case 3) using SANLink2


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Bob Zelin
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 21, 2016 at 8:30:30 pm

Barry, Barry, Barry -
I see that you have joined Creative Cow just three days ago. I see that you have retired from Boeing recently. I am sure that you are a very smart guy. If you have searched the internet about me, you have probably seen that I am quite a jerk. This is a long thread, and I am going to reply with a non technical answer that is not becoming of a professional forum like Creative Cow. I am an "old guy" - almost 61. And Chris Duffy ain't no youngster. There are a lot of great people on these forums.

I am sorry to say that I am not going to help you for free, so that your son's company can have the luxury of wonderful network performance, so that he can buy his family lots of new wonderful things, so that the rest of us can suffer. It is my advice to you that you say to your son "son, we should hire one of these companies - like Small Tree - or anyone else that you see here advertise on Creative Cow - so that we can get our stuff working properly". We do this for our living,
and not that we are smarter than you - you seem to be a very very bright guy, but you seem like you need some help with this. Just like you might need some help getting your transmission fixed, or your leaky toilet fixed, or your leaking roof fixed. And someone - perhaps your son - needs to pay SOMEONE to assist you to get the rest of this working.
$10,000 for a complete shared storage system from Small Tree (or other manufacturers) is NOT a lot of money. You just spent over $1000 for the two Promise SanLink2's and you got some free advice. If someone chimes in here, and says "look - I know how to get thunderbolt 2 bridge networking working" - are you going to return those SanLink2 boxes, and screw the dealer and Promise, so that your son can have more profit for his company, and buy his family more stuff ? WE WANT THE MONEY TOO ! We have families, we have medical insurance. And we don't have a pension from Boeing.

You have purchased wonderful SanLink2 boxes. As I mentioned before, there are other products on the market, from Small Tree, Sonnet, ATTO, and Akitio in addition to this, that would have worked as well. Each have drivers. Each have tuning files. Each have a unique way of setting them up. You and your sons company needs to HIRE SOMEONE to proceed with this process at this time.

Thunderbolt bridge is a terrible choice, compared to ANY of the hardware solutions on the market. I don't know exactly what your son's company does, but if it involves video editing, those "kids" doing the editing will HATE what you have setup, if you continue with Thunderbolt bridge networking. You are not saving your son any money. The #1 expense of any business is LABOR, and if they can't work efficiently, then YOU are costing them money, just because you thought you found a solution for 60 bucks, which all of us can tell you, will not work in real life applications, when you use software editing or graphics products from Davinci, Adobe, Apple or AVID.

You know what to do next.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 21, 2016 at 11:22:29 pm

Hey... No need to apologize for your age of for Chris Duffy. ? I'm several years ahead of you both. I've known Chris for quite awhile related to HPC. I'm pretty sure Chris knows my background.

I was unaware that Creative COW was not a forum for sharing information freely as is done on many other sites. My bad for not realizing this. I've been using/reading Creative COW for quite some time and yes, my account probably expired at some time and had to re-sign in a few days ago.

From my SANLink2 testing I do find it's a waste of money for my son's office environment. The Thunderbolt Bridge performs better and quite honestly the use of SANLink2 for joining two MP6,1s together is completely unnecessary. Thunderbolt 2 provides 20 Gbps and the 10G provides 1/2 of this. So really it's no surprise to me that the use of SANLink2 cannot improve data transfer rates. My whole point was to see if the i/o transfers would be smoother over the hybrid TB/10G connection vs. the pure TB connection. My testing shows no change in this respect when using the TB/10G connection and of course the transfer rates are less than the pure TB connection.

As in my previous posting I did say the use of SANLink2 for connecting two MP6,1s was an anathema because the real purpose of the SANLink2 is for connecting to a 10G File Server storage system. If ever we were at a point at the office where we would need this type of File Server then the SANLink2 would be a good/proper choice and I would be in touch with Chris.

The one disadvantage we have at the office today for not employing a proper File Server such as SmallTree has, is that if our pseudo File Server crashes it affects all the Client Macs. Having a proper File Server would not cause this, unless of course the File Server crashes. ?

I will make a final test run using the SANLink2 adapter at the office over the weekend to satisfy myself with what I've learned so far on my home testing rig. At the office it will be that Server and Client system both employ Thunderbolt 2 whereas my home rig uses TB-1 on the Server and TB-2 on the Client. I do not expect the office testing to show a different set of results to what my home rig as shown so far.

I'm sure that at some time in the future I will call Chris again for his help/advice when we require a bone fide File Server storage system.

My SANLink2 adapters can be returned within 14 days for full refund, so their cost is not a factor for me.

Finally, I apologize if I've abused this forum thinking I can obtain free knowledge/help/advice. Personally, I like to share my knowledge, just as I've done in this thread. Just keep in mind that the older you get the more you find you don't know, but do realize how much you do know. The trick/hope while aging is to not forget what you do know.

Take care and thanks for the discussion. ?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 22, 2016 at 12:05:10 am

Hi Barry -
no offense - and please remember - it's ME that is the jerk ! Creative Cow is an open forum for exchange of information, but for me (personally) there is a limit of how much I will give for free.

If we want to be offended by anyone, it should be Apple, that has promoted Thunderbolt networking, which in real life, doesn't work very well. The smaller companies (don't you like to support small companies ?) make "third party products" (like Promise and Small Tree) that actually DO WORK !.

you state - -
"The trick/hope while aging is to not forget what you do know."

My problem is that most of the information that I know, from being a video engineer since age 20 is completely worthless today. No one told me 30 years ago that Linux would be "all the rage" today !

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 22, 2016 at 12:50:01 am

Bob: I was not offended in any way. I understand the need for people like yourself needing the income or revenue stream as some call it.

My goal in all of this issue is to provide my son's office with a cost effective solution for his office Mac workflow environment. He and his hired freelancers are indeed video professional people that use the Adobe and Apple products on Macs exclusively. For the past 3 years using Apple's Thunderbolt Bridge for File Sharing has proven to be VERY beneficial and obviously low cost. I compare this to a similar but larger business partner (many more video editing workstations than we had) who decided to go to employing 10G throughout their office. They ended up paying around $100K when all said and done. The same freelancers they used were same as we used in our office and they were astounded by how well our small shop was able to get the same kind of work done using the Thunderbolt Bridge networking for file sharing.

Personally, I have no real issues with Apple's implementation of Thunderbolt for simple networking and/or file sharing between Macs. It's a very easy and understandable and low cost. I'm also aware that Apple's networking software isn't on a par with the likes of Linux and other proprietary UNIX systems. They do make changes that negatively affect networking as I use it at home and in the office. As mentioned earlier, one has to pay attention to the use of SMP and AFP in the macOS File Sharing configuration panel. Sometimes SMB is best and other times AFP is best. At this time with El Capitan and Sierra I find AFP is the best choice by a long shot.

Back in 1998 I was on a panel with several other HPC-centric people at Manchester University in UK and was asked if Linux was suitable/reliable/robust-enough etc for aircraft design engineering problems. This was being asked by some of the USA Govt. folks in the audience who presumably were at the time using costly proprietary systems from SGI, Cray, IBM, HP, Govt. home-grown systems, and so on. Around that time Linux was a low-cost 'child' OS and viewed with suspicion by a large community of IT folk. My response was that as Linux matured it would be the right choice because of its low cost and eventual wide-spread use. Some of the audience was astounded with my response as they knew Boeing was using Cray and SGI systems for the aircraft design engineering problems. It's a pity you were not in that audience some 20 years ago. ?

Yes, fore sure, ones technical baggage can be harmful (or gets in the way) when using it for todays changing technologies. The need for keeping an open mind is essential and there should be no hesitation in trying to learn the 'new stuff'.

Ethernet technology has been around for a long time and IMO will last for quite some time as its cheap, mature, easily deployed when comparing it to other more exotic and vastly more expensive networks such as Infiniband.

When I left Boeing I left behind an enormous shared file storage system I helped to design and implement. Access to it was from thousands of nodes in several large compute Clusters. It was a Panasas system and is still being employed and expanded today with much success. It was based on ethernet as well. You can imagine the number of large switches used to bring all that together. It was a challenge but fun to work on. The IT Networking Dept. were absolutely astounded at the amount of data we were pushing around the network attached/servicing the Panasas storage system. It overloaded their accounting data fields because the numbers were so large. ?


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 22, 2016 at 6:10:58 am

I forgot to mention that on the Client side when using the SANLink2 the Client's kernel cpu use was 20% higher than when using the Thunderbolt Bridge.

Using the Thunderbolt Bridge the kernel_task cpu hovered around 98% while using the SANLink2 it hovered around 120%.

To ensure I was not seeing things I had my Mac Client system request a 30 GB file (that took some 120 secs) from the Mac Server and monitored the cpu use for using the SANLink2 and then for using the Thunderbolt Bridge.

20% is significant IMO.


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 22, 2016 at 7:12:50 pm

I suspect the extra 20% CPU use is caused by the Promise SANLink2 driver software as it's shown as kernel CPU use.


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 23, 2016 at 3:54:13 am

I made a further check into the use of SANLink2 for my purposes/goals and used the SANLink Utility to spiff up the quality of the data movements. With this I came close to what the Thunderbolt Bridge delivered. No matter, the Thunderbolt Bridge still trumped the use of SANLink2 Adapters for my case.

This has been a good educational task and now I can put it behind me and return the SANLink2 Adapters for a full refund. I must say the SANLink2 Adapters are very well made, are quiet, and run a bit warm to touch. The Adapters having two 10G ports is a bonus for sure and could be used for bonding for link aggregation, improved bandwidth and fail-over protection for one link going down/failing. They are costly but much less (1/2 the cost) than the earlier PCIe 10G cards of the past for older MacPros. If and when our office require the need for a true File Server, and we still have the MacPros with Thunderbolt ports, the likes of the SANLink2 Adapters will be high on our list.

The bottom line is that we can enjoy our $60 Thunderbolt Bridge solution knowing that 10G brings little to the table for helping us at close to 25x our current cost.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 23, 2016 at 4:35:49 pm

Hi Barry -
if you don't mind me asking (perhaps this was mentioned earlier in this LONG thread) - I am under the impression that you are using Thunderbolt bridge networking via AFP to connect to Mac Servers in the office where editing is done.
May I ask you - exactly how many client computers are there, and exactly what drive array are you using in this configuration that you state works perfectly fine for video editing ?

Thank you very much (and sorry for driving you crazy with this).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Oct 23, 2016 at 5:42:57 pm

Bob:

Yes I did detail our office setup (somewhat) in an earlier posting, but maybe I did not clearly describe it or it was incomplete.

Today we have three Macs. We do also rent extra Macs at times when Project workload demands it.

1)
Pseudo file server; MacPro6,1, (2.7GHz 12core, 1TB SSD, 64GB RAM, Dual D700s)

This is the pseudo file server in our central office. It has an 8 disk SoftRAID managed RAID-5 made up with 6x 2TB and 2x 3TB Toshiba 7200 rpm disks accessed over Thunderbolt. We use SoftRAID version 5.5.5.

The RAID-5 is partitioned into 4x 3.5TB (known as BIG-1, BIG-2, BIG-3 and BIG-4) and 2x 1TB JBODs for OS backups (Primary & Test OSes).

The BIG-1/2/3/4 can deliver sustained 650 MBytes/sec for reads and some sustained 350 MBytes/sec for writes. These units are use for loading up Project data to be used by all office Macs.

The BIG-1/2/3/4 units are backed up daily in early morning hours to a MacGurus 5-bay Burly eSATA Port Multiplier that has 5x 4TB disks. The Burly unit is daisy chained off the 8 disk RAID-5 unit using a TSATAII-PRO-E34 - Sonnet Tempo 2 Port Express34 Pro SATA Host Card in a Sonnet ECHOPRO-E34 - Sonnet Echo ExpressCard Pro.

This MP6,1 is also used for all Project workloads.

2)
Client MP6,1 (3.5 GHz 6core, 1TB SSD, 64GB RAM, Dual D700s). Has a local 4T USB3 unit for local backups. This MP has Thunderbolt Bridge connection the the pseudo file server in our central office.

3)
Client MP6,1 (3.5 GHz 6core, 1TB SSD, 64GB RAM, Dual D700s). Has a local 4T USB3 unit for local backups. This MP has Thunderbolt Bridge connection the the pseudo file server in our central office.

Today all the Mac systems run latest version of Apple's El Capitan. We are testing macOS Sierra at this time when we have some free time over weekends.

All three Macs use bonded 1GbE ethernet to a managed Cisco SG200-18 switch.

Sometimes we bring in a high-end 27" iMac to help with workload. We may use Thunderbolt Bridge or bonded 1GbE ethernet to connect it to the pseudo file server in our central office via the Cisco SG200-18 switch.

Each client and the pseudo file server will read their respective piece of the current Project and crunch away independently and return their results to the pseudo file server when done. There is never any confusion with file collisions happening on the pseudo file server. Original Project data is never ever overwritten. The pseudo file server Mac is responsible for pulling all the Client results together to produce final results.

The one weakness in our setup is if the pseudo file server hangs or crashes during heavy Project workloads. This has been a problem for us as now and then as Mac OS can act up at times as can the Adobe/Premier/FCP software etc.

Our MP6,1 systems run 24/7 and have been for nearly 3 years now without any hardware issues at all. The Burly did fail one time and I had to replace its power supply and install some stealthy fans (very quiet). The 8 disk RAID-5 unit lost one of its disks just a month ago but being a RAID-5 no data was lost.

If we were to grow much beyond having 4 Macs we would definitely need a bone fide File Server than can deliver at least ~400 MBytes/sec to each and every Client machine at same time. We would at this point abandon the use of Thunderbolt Bridge because it would become too unwieldy and quite likely there would be insufficient Thunderbolt ports for connections. Thus if say we had 5 Macs in the office a file server would need to push out at least 2000 MBytes/sec at any given time over multiple 10G connections. This would be a nice and easily manage network but obvious would require some serious brass/money. ?

I hope the above helps.


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Chris Crichlow
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 17, 2018 at 10:43:07 pm

Hi All,

Hope all is well!

This forum has been a pretty solid well of knowledge for me when trying to work out a little conundrum of my own. Wondering if you guys can help!

I'm currently looking after a few event spaces and 2 edit suites. I'm having crazy issues with FCPX (v10.4) on my two edit machines, linked back to an EVO RAID5 NAS. My edit suites are running Mac Pros (10.13.4, 2.7Ghz 12 Core Intel Xeon E5, 64GB 1866Mhz DDR3), connected to a SanLink2 (all connected interfaces are running on High Throughput) which then leads to an EVO RAID5 NAS over fibre (10GbaseSR, 9000MTU).

Bear with me... This part becomes a little convoluted. The edit suites are fed video files from two other MacPros of the same spec which are ingesting live 1080p/50 3G-SDI feeds, converting them over an AJA I/O 4K interface to thunderbolt using Softron MovieRecorder. The feeds are then pushed down as ProRes LT to the EVO servers over SanLink2 units.

The EVO is segmented into various partitions - one of which houses the local files and the other partitions are for the edit suites (projects storage, cache, etc).

Since our upgrade to High Sierra, and no other infrastructure changes, FCPX has been lagging and beachballing beyond belief! I get continual hangs and regular beachballing when editing and I'm totally unable to get to the bottom of it.

I've attached my AJA System Test for one partition, the rest only vary by 20 -/+ MB. At this point, I'm at a bit of a dead end though. Any ideas anyone?

Hope you can help!

Thanks

Chris


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Bob Zelin
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 18, 2018 at 3:34:32 pm

Hi Chris -
I have no idea of why you added to a post that started in 2014, and ended in 2016. You should have started a new post for this.

1) . You own a SNS EVO. Why don't you call SNS for support ?
2) you upgraded to High Sierra. You need to turn off SMB signing on the Macs, and you need to reinstall the
SanLink2 drivers, which you will not be able to do unless you turn off Apple System Integrity Protection, which will block you from installing the Promise drivers (the simple "click Allow" in Security and Privacy no longer works.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Chris Crichlow
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 18, 2018 at 5:47:03 pm

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the response. I was just adding to it as it was relative to the discussion that was going on, which various others had contributed to. No problem for future postings.

Prior to calling SNS, I wanted to see if there were things that others had tried that I hadn't. My SMB signing is already off and I have the drivers installed, this was one of the first things I did in setup of the system to enable the connection. What I'm trying to work out is where the throttling is happening and why this is affecting FCPX so heavily. My colleagues at Apple didn't have an answer, so I thought I'd reach out to various people in the pro community who use these interfaces in their workflows.

I'll direct my query to SNS.

Thanks.

C


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 18, 2018 at 6:58:44 pm

I don't see the attached AJA System Test for one partition! Maybe I'm not looking in the right place for it....


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 18, 2018 at 7:04:49 pm

Do you see the same issue when JUST one FCPX is running and pulling data from the EVO ?


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 18, 2018 at 7:06:56 pm

Did you first remove the previous/old SanLink2 driver code before installing the new code ?


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Barry Sharp
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 18, 2018 at 7:44:11 pm

Chris.... that link did not work for me.... I get "Page not found" .... "We're sorry - the page you're looking for can't be found." !


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Chris Duffy
Re: Promise SanLink2
on Apr 18, 2018 at 9:30:28 pm

Barry,
just use google and search for
aja system test tool
and it will take you to the place...
which in turn takes you to the App store
to download it
chris


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