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Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives

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Andrew MacRae
Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 15, 2011 at 3:30:46 pm

Hi All

As stated I'm in the process of actually buying two RAID systems and archiving a pile of old drives. Maybe I should start two threads, but I'll stick with one, and if the mods want to split it up that's cool.

1st question: I have a fairly good idea of what I need in the two RAID systems, I'm planning on having them both be RAID 6, 12TB-16TB. However There was a reseller that was recommended to me who I called to get pricing info, and was thoroughly unimpressed with. Not knowing a ton about different RAID hardware options, I did have one product in mind which I asked about. The sales person promptly started telling me about another product, which after researching it seems to be a good choice, but is more expensive. Even after repeatedly asking about the original product I never received any information about it, just the one they were pimping, without even a comparison or explanation of why their product was superior. So I'm looking for suggestions of retailers who have a history of non sales weaselness. I'm in Canada, however we buy lots of stuff directly from the states, at least where warranty issues aren't a concern.

2nd question. I'm currently indexing and preparing to archive the old external drives, and I'm looking for the best solution. I've got close to 30 TB that needs to be backed up, but I don't think a tape backup is going to be in the budget. I was actually considering buying a number of internal drives and cloning everything, but I know how not permanent that is, and don't really relish copying everything to fresh drives again in 5 years, or however long hard drive expected spans are now. Also considering doing an additional cloud backup with a service like CrashPlan, but since we're not in an area with Fibre Op or the like, it would probably take 6 months to upload everything.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Andrew MacRae
Audio Engineer, Outreach Productions



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 15, 2011 at 7:24:50 pm

[Andrew MacRae] "So I'm looking for suggestions of retailers who have a history of non sales weaselness"

Pretty much extinct given the economy and the general state of affairs. Appreciation of knowledge and experience has declined considerably even during my 15 years in the industry, and with that - the "non sales weaselness" salespeople went on to do better things, mostly.

How about post your questions here? (The ones you wanted to ask that salesperson.) If anyone gives you any BS, there is always a BZ (Bob Zelin) to call them on it. :)


[Andrew MacRae] "I've got close to 30 TB that needs to be backed up... I was actually considering buying a number of internal drives and cloning everything, but I know how not permanent that is, and don't really relish copying everything to fresh drives again in 5 years, or however long hard drive expected spans are now."

I'd look into getting a reliable fail-safe box or two or three that won't break the bank. Drobo 8- or 12-bay comes to mind, especially with dual drive failure resistance (equiv. to RAID6). These boxes don't require RAID-qualified drives, will happily run with 5400rpm drives, and will alarm you if the drive failed (or even about to fail). Way better that cloning every drive every 5 years.

Alex (DV411)


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Andrew MacRae
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 16, 2011 at 6:05:59 pm

Thanks Alex. Ok here's my thoughts.

First off I was more or less set to pick up a Stardom ST8-U5 with an R680 card. Fill it with 2 TB drives for 16TB of storage, or roughly 12TB of usable space in a RAID 6 configuration, or so I'm told. This would do for quite a while, but one of my questions is, what happens when it does inevitably fill up? Can you swap out drives like on a drobo to add space? By the time it would fill up, 4TB drives or bigger would be the norm. Is there a max size for these types of RAID?

Before I could even get these questions answered mr sales was telling me about cineRAID products. Which is all well and good, they seem to be very good products, but they also seem to be a bit more expensive. Although I don't even really know as I couldn't even get a price for the Stardom products. So my biggest question was- what's the difference between the two? Is one superior, and if so why?



For archiving I've looked at the drobo before, and then kind of forgot about it. If I were to get an 8 bay unit loaded with 16TB, how much actual usable space would it have? I know it wouldn't be suitable as an edit bay, but would it work fine for doing simple edits and re-exports of old projects? Obviously for a full overhaul the media would have to be moved to the new RAID.


I'm sure I'll have some other questions, but that's all I can think of right now.

Thanks for you help.

Andrew MacRae
Audio Engineer, Outreach Productions



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 16, 2011 at 8:02:21 pm

R680 isn't generally associated with archive storage; but I wouldn't stop you if you'd want to go that route: it's great that it can serve both as archive class (fail-safe but not necessarily fast) - and performance (fast but not necesarily fail-safe) storage.

For expansion, you'd want to get Mini-SAS expander-style boxes; once a box fills up, connect another one to the back - this way you can create a new RAID set or expand the existing one seamlessly, with the R680.

(As I mentioned before, there is a cost associated with R680: RAID-qualified drives are generally more expensive than desktop ones.)

ST8-U5 is the non-expander type. Raidon/Stardom doesn't make expander type boxes AFAIK. I'll check if Areca / CinemaRAID does.

Alex (DV411)


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 19, 2011 at 4:45:35 am

[Alex Gerulaitis] "ST8-U5 is the non-expander type. Raidon/Stardom doesn't make expander type boxes AFAIK. I'll check if Areca / CinemaRAID does"

CinemaRAID does have multiple SAS expander type products: most of the towers and racks in the bottom half of their product list are SAS expanders. I haven't had any experience with them but from the look of it, they know what they are doing, and provide decent support for their products.

Alex (DV411)


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 19, 2011 at 4:37:04 am

[Andrew MacRae] "First off I was more or less set to pick up a Stardom ST8-U5 with an R680 card. Fill it with 2 TB drives for 16TB of storage, or roughly 12TB of usable space in a RAID 6 configuration, or so I'm told. This would do for quite a while, but one of my questions is, what happens when it does inevitably fill up? Can you swap out drives like on a drobo to add space?"

No. With ST8-U5 you take the existing set (of drives), put a new set in, format it. That's the only way to "expand" it.

[Andrew MacRae] "4TB drives or bigger would be the norm. Is there a max size for these types of RAID? "

Up to 128 total drives with ATTO R680, and I don't believe it has a limit of its own where it comes to individual drive capacity. If it does, it's likely far beyond 4TB.


[Andrew MacRae] "So my biggest question was- what's the difference between the two? Is one superior, and if so why?"

Areca and its division CineRAID is a far more established company with a much wider range of products, including SAS expanders. Stardom/ RAIDON doesn't have a single SAS expander in its lineup. That doesn't mean ST8-U5 is not a good product - in fact it is.


[Andrew MacRae] "For archiving I've looked at the drobo before, and then kind of forgot about it. If I were to get an 8 bay unit loaded with 16TB, how much actual usable space would it have?"

14TB with a single drive failure protection, 12TB with dual; minus 2-4% for US overhead. Same goes for any 8-bay box (RAID5 and 6, respectively).


[Andrew MacRae] " I know it wouldn't be suitable as an edit bay, but would it work fine for doing simple edits and re-exports of old projects?"

Depends on the model, how it's set up, what drives are in it - but generally, yes for single layer timelines with compressed footage and without expectations of print-to-tape smoothness. You may get dropped frames and stutters.

Alex (DV411)


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Ron Amborn
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 19, 2011 at 2:29:27 pm

Andrew
The stardom is good product if you do not want to expand in the future. we here at Maxx Digital make a wide range of expandable SAS products that are being used of many high end feature films,commercials,large and small post production studios around the globe and the support level we provide is second to none. Just ask around the industry and you will not have look far for a great success story about Maxx Digital.

I ask you to contact us because we can not be completely open about any other gear on the Cow as it violates the ethic of the Cow and something we say not sit well with another sponsor. So pick up the phone or email me privately and I will conference Bob Zelin in and you will get a free education with no obligation about what is good for your needs.

Sincerely,
Ron Amborn President
Maxx Entertainment Digital
21562 Newland Street
Huntington Beach , Ca 92646
Direct 714-374-4944
Cell 714-713-4492 Fax 714-374-3404
ron@maxxdigital.com
http://www.maxxdigital.com




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Ron Amborn
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 18, 2011 at 11:38:32 pm

Andrew
Send me an email or a phone call. I will put you on the phone with Bob Z and we will give you real answers with no BS. I think DV411 can sell our gear to you as well. ron@maxxdigital.com or 714-374-4944

Hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
Ron Amborn President
Maxx Entertainment Digital
21562 Newland Street
Huntington Beach , Ca 92646
Direct 714-374-4944
Cell 714-713-4492 Fax 714-374-3404
ron@maxxdigital.com
http://www.maxxdigital.com




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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 19, 2011 at 4:38:52 am

[Ron Amborn] "Send me an email or a phone call. I will put you on the phone with Bob Z and we will give you real answers with no BS"

I thought I was already doing that here on the forum - "real answers with no BS"? ;)

Alex (DV411)


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Andrew MacRae
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 22, 2011 at 12:43:50 pm

Thanks guys, I really appreciate your info. I'll try to be in touch later this week Ron.

Andrew MacRae
Audio Engineer, Outreach Productions



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Andrew MacRae
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 23, 2011 at 7:24:08 pm

So I'm working away still researching all this, sent you an email Ron. One thing though, Drobo seems like a great solution for my archiving needs, but are there any competitors with similar features/price point that I should be considering?

Thanks

Andrew

Andrew MacRae
Audio Engineer, Outreach Productions



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:42:45 am

I honestly thought that answering questions here on the forum was a better way (ethically and in terms of potential sales) than handing out virtual business cards while providing little actual information.

Was I wrong? (This isn't a jab at anyone personally - I am just trying to figure out what is the more effective way to earn people's business. Possibly trying to help and answering questions isn't it.)

In this specific thread, I tried to answer all the questions; Ron then stepped in and basically said, "call or email me", and Andrew went along and did just that. (Against, please don't take it personally. It's not.)

Is something missing in my approach of answering questions without sales pitches?

(Granted, Ron is a CC sponsor; DV411 is not; Ron's company is probably given more leniency in terms of sales pitches on CC.)

Alex (DV411)


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Bob Zelin
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 2:02:15 am

Hi Alex -
many companies, sponsors and not sponsors, say "hey call me, and I can answer your questions" - just look at the SAN Network Forums - everyone from Studio Network Solutions, Rorke, Small Tree, Maxx Digital, ProMax, Apace, etc. all say "call me and I can answer your questions". Many people do this because they don't want to get into a "pissing" contest - as you know, I enjoy the aggressive banter on open forums.
DV411 is a fine dealership, and caries many prestigeous lines, like EditShare, Dulce, ATTO, Cache-A, Tolis Group, as well as Blackmagic, Sony, and Convergent Design. But when you recommend "garbage" (lower priced products) it opens the door for other to either say "you should call me for the right answer" - or dopes like me that say "are you crazy -that's a piece of junk". DV411 carries lots of wonderful lines, and they carry some "low end" lines, and guys like me will "attack" the low end stuff, because I want to see people do the right thing, and buy profesional products - and you should be happy, because then DV411 gets to sell more expensive produts, and ultimately, the client is happy because he got the RIGHT equipment, that does the job properly without exuses.
Anyone with any brains can see that you know what you are talking about, and can easily search your company, to buy gear from you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. But at the same time, this is a competitive market, and people can say "call me" if they don't want a debate online. Some companies, like Sonnet and EditShare won't even directly respond on these forums (but I do !).

Bob Zelin


I honestly thought that answering questions here on the forum was a better way (ethically and in terms of potential sales) than handing out virtual business cards while providing little actual information.

Was I wrong? (This isn't a jab at anyone personally - I am just trying to figure out what is the more effective way to earn people's business. Possibly trying to help and answering questions isn't it.)

In this specific thread, I tried to answer all the questions; Ron then stepped in and basically said, "call or email me", and Andrew went along and did just that. (Against, please don't take it personally. It's not.)

Is something missing in my approach of answering questions without sales pitches?

(Granted, Ron is a CC sponsor; DV411 is not; Ron's company is probably given more leniency in terms of sales pitches on CC.)



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 2:27:57 am

[Bob Zelin] "But when you recommend "garbage""

Which part? (Do consider OP's specific request for an archiving-class storage solution - not (collaborative) editing - along with his request "non sales weaselness".)


[Bob Zelin] " I enjoy the aggressive banter on open forums"

Yes, I can see that. :) If anyone else wants to avoid a pissing contest - it's not you. :)

Speaking of "sales weaselness". To me, a bare-knuckled plain vanilla sales pitch in the middle of someone else answering technical questions is not the most ethical thing to do - and disrespectful to both the OP and to the techie answering questions. Am I wrong? Or is it OK to do just because "everyone else does it"?

The really interesting part to me is that the OP (Andrew) responded to Ron's sales pitch despite his asking for "retailers who have a history of non sales weaselness". I can only guess he didn't view Ron's approach as "sales weaselness" - and with that, I may have to change my own approach however much I'd hate to.

Alex (DV411)


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Bob Zelin
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 2:54:23 am

Hi Alex -
I am sure that Cow management will ultimately pull down this thread, but I just can resist -

On the SAN Networks forum, you recently said this -
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/197/858353

"Overnight it from Amazon? (decent price.)

Alex (DV411)"

Yet on the DV411 website, it shows that you sell ATTO -
http://dv411.com/storage.html
http://dv411.com/atto.html

and sure enough, there on your website is the ATTO R680 card.
So why not say "you can contact me to get the ATTO R680" - after all, the guy posting wanted to know where to get one.

Yet you suggested "overnight it from Amazon". I just don't get it.
You are a fine dealer, and are knowlegeable about installing this card, and as a value added reseller, you can assist this customer, as opposed to a "box house" from Amazon, where he will ultimately say "now what do I do with this ATTO R680 card". Why are you recommending the CHEAPEST POSSIBLE WAY when the customer will ultimately suffer (because he wont' know what to do) - instead of recommending DV411, where YOU can sell him the card, and upcharge for the installation, because YOU know what you are doing. When you suggest to people the CHEAPEST POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS - it is only YOU (and other knowlegeable dealers) that can put these things together from little parts - this is what DV411 does (I assume). So I just don't get why you don't promote this, instead of pointing people to cheap junk. It is YOU that can make things work, and not super low end discount companies, which for most users, will turn into a pile of junk.

Bob Zelin



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 3:05:13 am

Are you serious Bob? You call that recommendation "garbage" and "cheap junk"?

(You really think you or I can compete with Amazon, NewEgg and the likes on price and delivery?)

Alex (DV411)


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 3:10:09 am

[Bob Zelin] "I am sure that Cow management will ultimately pull down this thread"

I hope they don't. I hope they see the value of techies hanging out helping people vs. "sponsors" doing sales pitches.

Alex (DV411)


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Bob Zelin
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 2:17:31 pm

Alex,
just like you, I participate on Cow in hopes of promoting my name, and hopes of people wanting to use me. I am not a dealer, but you are, and lots of other people that say "just contact us" are trying to get business. And so should you.

As you well know, most of the sponsors of Creative Cow get "bits and pieces" of computer components and create products out of them. They make money, the dealers make money, and Creative Cow makes money. YOU are a dealer, and I assume that YOU want to make money, and that you too are participating on Creative Cow to promote your business. I am only questioning why you point to the exact location of where to buy the cheapest "bits and pieces", instead of saying "go to DV411, we can put together a great system for you". Doesn't DV411 want to make a living ? Aren't you 100 times more qualified than most of the people on these forums ? Don't you want all these people to rely on you ?


I often bash Newegg, and Other World Computing, but I have certainly purchased from these companies (because of thier low prices) - but I am well aware that products like these (and others that we have discussed in the past) are the "lowest possible prices" and make do the job in certain situations, but are not like higher end products (as you see advertised on Creative Cow), where not only do you get better products (as seen on your website), but someone that can assist you (just like you) to make things work properly.

I can't believe that I am having an "argument" to simply state that YOU are the qualified one, and that YOU should be saying "come to DV411, because we know exactly what we are doing, and we can provide you with a professional solution" - (instead of saying - oh yea, forget us, just go to Amazon, you can get it much cheaper there).

Bob Zelin



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 9:37:32 pm

[Bob Zelin] "I can't believe that I am having an "argument" to simply state that YOU are the qualified one, and that YOU should be saying "come to DV411, because we know exactly what we are doing, and we can provide you with a professional solution" - (instead of saying - oh yea, forget us, just go to Amazon, you can get it much cheaper there)."

Bottom line you're right, and my referral to Amazon was misguided and out of place.

At the same time, my clients buy less and less hardware from me and the trend is growing. I've stopped fighting it (along with the likes of Amazon, NewEgg and B&H), but can't expect you or anyone else to.

The "value add" of you and me is really consulting and service, not commodity items. Forcing clients to buy commodity items from me is simply counter-productive, IMHO.

Alex (DV411)


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Ronald Lindeboom
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 6:19:45 pm

[Alex Gerulaitis] "(Granted, Ron is a CC sponsor; DV411 is not; Ron's company is probably given more leniency in terms of sales pitches on CC.)"


Alex,

This is, well, to use a bovine aphorism, pure bull.

When have we EVER stopped you from doing anything in this site, Alex???

Your comments are purely speculative and downright FALSE.

There is post after post on this very forum where you not only tell people what they should buy, but you offer to sell it to them and ask them directly, "would you like to order one?" We haven't stopped you.

So you can either apologize or you can now go into permanent moderation to insure that you do not stretch the bounds of propriety here ever again...your call.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net

Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 7:39:09 pm

[Andrew MacRae] "One thing though, Drobo seems like a great solution for my archiving needs, but are there any competitors with similar features/price point that I should be considering?"

Drobo is unique in its Apple-like approach to storage: sexy and easy to use. I don't know of another player that does it with the same gusto. There are companies that do great SAN, NAS and DAS solutions - but don't know of any that puts user experience and design first and foremost.

Other than that, you can always find an archiving storage solution that is faster than Drobo or has features that Drobo doesn't - at a better price point. It boils down to what's important to you.


Alex (DV411)


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Andrew MacRae
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 6:59:37 pm

Wow this thread went downhill fast. I'd just like to chime in and say that one of my requests in the OP was for a knowledgeable retailer, so I certainly didn't take offense or consider it weaselish for someone to suggest a company, even if it's there own.

Secondly Alex, I didn't realize that you are also a reseller. I don't spend a ton of time around here and I'm not really familiar with the "usual suspects". I thought you were just a friendly knowledgeable chap who gave some very helpful responses. Once I had your information I was quite happy to move on to someone who could provide me with a quote for product, not knowing you were one of these types of people. I'd be happy to speak with you privately as well and get a quote for our needs.

Cheers

Andrew MacRae
Audio Engineer, Outreach Productions



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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Aug 25, 2011 at 7:26:23 pm

[Andrew MacRae] "Wow this thread went downhill fast."

I do apologize for that. Regardless of my intent I did spoil the thread and it became a "pissing contest". Not good.

Also, like I said, it wasn't and isn't personal. My question was about the ethical aspect of a direct sales pitch in the middle of someone else answering tech questions. I do see your point that you essentially asked for sales pitches and thus, they were justified. Case closed, I stand corrected.

Alex (DV411)


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Mick Kalber
Re: Building a new RAID and archiving the old drives
on Nov 22, 2011 at 3:16:43 am

OTOH, a pissing contest like this is very educational to those of us who lurk and try to learn what we can. This thread has been very informational... thanks.

Mick Kalber
Tropical Visions Video, Inc.
Hilo, Hawaii


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