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Brian Nermyr
Raid
on Jul 29, 2011 at 4:52:33 am

I know this question is asked all the time but systems change and so does technology. I would like to know what the find folks of COW are using for ARRAYS/RAIDS. I'm using a 4 bay Cineraid with an Areca card. It's fast enough but the chassis has failed twice and that's not giving me the type of security I would prefer. I don't need a lot of storage because I archive the projects when they're done. I suppose I should mention that I'm using it to edit on FCP and composite with AE. Along with a Mac Pro.
Thanks in advance.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Raid
on Jul 29, 2011 at 5:32:23 am

A good controller, high quality drives and the right configuration (e.g. don't use RAID5 on just three drives, watch your write caching, and don't play with setup buttons during write operations) - are keys to optimized and well performing arrays. A chassis is important as well, it needs to be of sufficient quality for the application.

You can come up with RAID arrays for $200 to $200K+ - even for a single Mac Pro. So knowing your criteria and what exactly were the failures will make it easier to come up with recommendations.

What were the failures - the card, the chassis? What failed, exactly? Was there loss of data? What is the RAID level used? Which Areca card is it exactly?

Alex (DV411)


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Bob Zelin
Re: Raid
on Jul 29, 2011 at 3:51:34 pm

Brian, you have not provided enough information.

The CineRaid chassis is excellent, and the Areca cards are excellent.
Did you have a RAID 5 setup, or was it RAID 0 (or don't you know, because someone else set it up for you, like a dealer). Exactly which Areca card do you have - the 1221x, the 1680x ? Are you on a MAC ? Do you have the V1.49 Firmware on your card ? When you say "it failed" - did the RAID disappear, or did a drive fail ?

Without this information, I can't help you. You can buy the most expensive drive array, but if it's not setup correctly, it will fail and you will say it's a piece of junk. SATA drives fail - and you have to have the array setup correctly. There are a zillion ways to configure the Areca card - and this applies to ATTO, Highpoint, and LSI logic as well. Why can't it be easy - because it can't.

bob ZElin



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Brian Nermyr
Re: Raid
on Jul 31, 2011 at 11:00:39 pm

Right then, here goes.
Did you have a RAID 5 setup.
It is in fact a RAID 5.
Exactly which Areca card do you have - the 1221x, the 1680x?
The Areca is a 1680.
Are you on a MAC ?
I did mention I was using a Mac Pro
Do you have the V1.49 Firmware on your card?
The firmware is V1.48...I haven't discussed an upgrade with Cineraid. Didn't know they had one. Communication is nearly always me asking Cineraid about their products. Not an issue to me however.

When you say "it failed" - did the RAID disappear, or did a drive fail?
The #2 slot indicates a drive failure. A new drive was inserted and the raid rebuilt. 4 hours later the slot indicator shows the #2 failed again. No data was lost. I have received a replacement chassis while Cineraid looks over mine. I have placed all my drives in the replacement chassis and it's solid without errors. The last failure was diagnosed as a connection between the drive and mounting hardware in the chassis.
I'm not knocking the Cineraid as much as asking opinions on alternatives that might be in their price range. Not looking for an easy way. Just a secure way.
Thanks in advance.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Raid
on Aug 1, 2011 at 7:31:09 pm

you had a defective chassis. CineRaid makes good products. Thinks break, and you had a chassis with a bad slot.

Glad you are up and working.

Bob Zelin



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Brian Nermyr
Re: Raid
on Aug 2, 2011 at 12:50:10 am

Thanks Bob and Alex. Referring back to my original question. What do you or others on Cow recommend as a good replacement for a Cineraid chassis BUT might use an Areca 1680? I've looked at every ad on Cow and it's a daunting task.
Thanks in advance.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Raid
on Aug 2, 2011 at 10:47:05 pm

There actually aren't too many high quality diskless chassis options available with MiniSAS I/O. I've had experience with iStoragePro and Stardom:
- iStoragePro iTMIS 8-bay and 4-bay boxes; iTSAE 6G series;
- Sohotank ST8-U5 and others.

Alex (DV411)


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Brian Nermyr
Re: Raid
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:31:19 pm

Thanks Alex. That's a start. I'll check them out.


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Malcolm Hamilton
Re: Raid
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:14:20 am

Hi there,

I'm about to invest in an 8-bay SAS 6G chassis too.

(other components: 2010 Mac Pro, ATTO R680; I will be using Enterprise-grade SATA drives in a RAID 5 format)

Two choices that I can find:

1. Stardom SOHOTANK ST8 (for about $600; I think for this one I'd need two mini-SAS cables. The cables ATTO recommends for their R680 card cost $125 each, so add at least $250 to the cost of the SOHOTANK)

2. iStoragePro 6G SAS enclosure. I think I read in a review that, for some reason having to do with brilliant engineering, this enclosure might only need one cable. But the enclosure itself is quite a bit more expensive than the ST8.

Would those of you who know about these two 8-bay units mind commenting?
By the way, the same reviewer who spoke so highly of the iStorage 6G unit also said that it comes all set up for RAID 5 on a Mac. Makes it sound easy.

I'm looking for dependability for the long haul (when I buy something, I don't mind spending a bit more if I get something that's going to serve me well for a number of years at least).
Regards,
Malcolm


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Malcolm Hamilton
Re: Raid
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:35:30 am

update:
I just found an update from the same reviewer who had used just one cable with the iStorage unit, and he said this:
"I initially tested the iStoragePro with one SAS cable, but I learned from the CiDesign contact that by connecting two cables performance could be improved by 10-15%"

So two cables with either unit, just to level out the playing field.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Raid
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:40:54 am

Which unit is it, exactly? They have an iT8SAE6G expander, and an iT8MIS non-expander.

Alex (DV411)


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Malcolm Hamilton
Re: Raid
on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:50:22 am

Good point.

I'd want the expander unit.
I don't know if the SOHOTANK can be expanded or not. I just re-read a description of the web at:

http://www.stardom.com.tw/sohotank_st8_feature.html

but can't find a mention of this.

By the way, here's a link to the iStorage unit:

http://www.istoragepro.com/prod.php?id=it8sae6g

What do you think about these two units?

(sorry, I don't know how to make the links 'live')


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Raid
on Aug 24, 2011 at 2:46:04 am

Like you said, the ST8-U5 is not an expander; iT8SAE6G is; I actually didn't know you could pool two MiniSAS cables together to an expander unit and increase the bandwidth - nifty feature! That said, one 6G MiniSAS cable delivers 24Gbit/s or 3GB/s (theoretical), more than enough headroom for 8 mechanical drives (at 150MB/s ea. - combined will be less than 1.2GB/s).

There are other expander units in the market but very few sell them diskless.

Where are you thinking of buying the iT8SAE6G from?

Alex (DV411)


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Malcolm Hamilton
Re: Raid
on Aug 24, 2011 at 2:59:21 am

I appreciate the extra info. So drives don't have to be screwed into trays? (which is what I do now with my eSATA enclosure).
I usually buy from B&H, but I don't think they carry the iStorage unit. I'm checking other options and will post back.
If this unit is approx. $1500, do you think it's worth it, over the SOHOTANK?
Malcolm
(glad to see that links become 'live' when you post)


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Raid
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:17:45 am

You would need screws to install drivers into trays unless they've changed their design recently.

It's worth the extra money if you need the expansion capability. If you don't, then it's iT8MIS or the Sohotank. If you aren't sure, there is still an option of going with the less expensive non-expander box, and then if you need to expand - sell it on eBay, replace it with the expander type. Yet another option is to buy a 3rd party expander (as long as it's compatible with both the controller and the box) and add it in the mix when you are ready.

Nobody can make a decision for you, what it's worth to you to have the expansion capability. :)

Alex (DV411)


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