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Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??

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Mike Masse
Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 24, 2011 at 8:18:30 pm

ENVIRONMENT DETAILS

Mac Pro Mid 2010, OS X 10.7.1
ATTO R680 raid card (SATA III, 6gb/sec) - claims to be Lion compatible.
iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec)
Hitachi 3tb Ultrastar drives (new, SATA III)


Configuration: ATTO Config Tool 4.01.

What I did:
Created raid6 group using Confuration Tool.

Initialized disc using apple disc utility, HFS+ Extended, Journaled

Raid appeared on desktop. Migrated 9tb of data to it (mostly video), using CCC (carbon copy cloner). Verified at OS "get info" level, and opened and used files (fast!).

Powered down Mac Pro. Powered down raid enclosure. Plugged raid enclosure into different battery backup.

Powered up Enclosure, Powered up Mac Pro.

PROBLEM:
Raid would not mount. verification showed repair needed. repair failed, told me to reformat and restore from backups. RAID group showed as "degraded" in Atto config tool. Opening raid group, one disc was "degraded" rest were okay. "Rebuilt" degraded disc (8 hours, approx).

RAID showed in ATTO Config Tool as "online", but not mounted. To mount, I was going to have to initialize volume and put a file system on it -- which would have had to delete all data on raid!.

After multiple attempts at tech support atto suggested that their card seemed fine (surprise?) and that the problem was at the apple os level - file system issues. (Atto answers the phone and has at least one very good tech support rep!), Their engineers suggested I buy DiskWarrior, so (for $100) I did. And, DiskWarrior, miraculously recovered lots of data and at least "saw" the old volume name. Much data was lost -- but all data had just been migrated. (I have backup so a huge amount of time is lost, but the data is safe somewhere else).

NOW....

Still don't understand how the volume became corrupted in the first place -- that's a problem.

This mac pro has never had a file system problem or error (nor have I on any mac for the last 10 years), no other storage, internal or external has had problems before or since. Clearly there is a connection between powering up this raid for the 2nd (or 3rd) time and the mounting and file system problems.

Further, the fact that one disc showed as degraded and that this one degraded disc ruined the data on the entire RAID 6 array doesn't make sense.

Since I couldn't recreate, explain, or repair, what happened, my confidence in this storage is low.

Should I:

a) Build new Raid 6 disc group. Reformat volume as big single volume and press on?

b) Build 4 pairs of mirrored drives? (i.e. 4 Volumes of 2 disc RAID 1 containers? Would each HDD then be individually HFS+, and readable without the raid card? could I recover by plugging in drive to a separate Mac?

c) Build RAID 5 disc group - less parity means less likelihood of weirdness.

d) Something else

e) Get rid of enclosure and card and try something else that will give me size, fault tolerance, and support video editing in FCP 7/X, etc.

-M


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 24, 2011 at 9:23:53 pm

a) Build new Raid 6 disc group. Reformat volume as big single volume and press on?

Run Disk Warrior right after building. Test, test again, then test some more. If your tests fail then consider moving to plan "e" below.

e) Get rid of enclosure and card and try something else that will give me size, fault tolerance, and support video editing in FCP 7/X, etc.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Mike Masse
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 24, 2011 at 11:31:18 pm

Thanks for your perspective. When you say "test, test, test" what kind of test are you thinking of? Real world use? DiskWarrior? Apple Disk Utility?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 25, 2011 at 2:44:20 am

[Mike Masse] "When you say "test, test, test" what kind of test are you thinking of?"

Just wanted to encourage you to avoid getting a big real-world hurt while you still have uncertainties about your configuration. So long as you have a backup real-world testing is just a loss of time anyway, but I'd really run that setup through the mill now. Try to break it... And, like a lot of us reviewers do, if all seems well once you get it back up and do your initial testing, remove a drive intentionally so you can test the RAID's abilities in a one and/or two drive failure.

What you don't know at this point is exactly what created your issue, and whether your hardware really plays nicely together. Buying RAID parts separately does require some diligence on the part of the buyer that is already done for you when buying a more expensive pre-configured RAID.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Mike Masse
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 25, 2011 at 11:12:44 am

Status update:

Decided that the 18TB volume created with creating a RAID 6 volume from 8 x 3tb drives was simply too new - it hasn't been possible to do this (for only a few thousand dollars), and OS/X (10.7.1) hasn't had a enough time in real world. A 18 TB puts a huge number of eggs in one basket.

4 x 3tb Raid1 volumes has following benefits:
- gives me enough storage for a while (year?)
- keeps volume size completely within the typical range
- creates discs which could be pulled and (as I understand it, but need to test) could be read by the OS directly, without a raid car.
- means some juggling of data, but acceptable.
- has the advantage in FCPX (don't laugh..) of not mounting some volumes and keeping event catalog size managable without using the steve marting ".dmg" trick.

OK... so moving a head with this, but one of the raid groups (mirrored pairs of discs), shows status onlline but gives me a persistant blinking green dot.

During the build phase this group, there was red dot (instead of the red exclamation point on the other groups during rebuild).



Current Green Dot:

Detail:


In Context:



Current plan is to wait until Monday, and call ATTO Tech Support. The tech support team as been well above average, but the "ATTO ConfigTool Help" does not have explanation for these dots.

Comments on wisdom of RAID 1 welcome.
- fewer eggs in each basket
- drives may be more recoverable without striping and parity
- forces me to keep data in 2.5tb chunks max, which means backup onto 3tb deskstars via drive dock is pretty easy way to get a backup off site.

-m


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 25, 2011 at 4:14:32 pm

[Mike Masse] "
Comments on wisdom of RAID 1 welcome.
- fewer eggs in each basket
- drives may be more recoverable without striping and parity
- forces me to keep data in 2.5tb chunks max, which means backup onto 3tb deskstars via drive dock is pretty easy way to get a backup off site.
"


Bad idea!

RAID 5 and RAID 6 are used almost universally by most video facilities because those two configurations are considered to provide the most efficient mix of throughput, storage space, and protection.

RAID 1 is a huge waste of the most expensive storage space you'll ever own. Yes, bare hard drives are cheap, but put eight in an enclosure and tie that to an expensive ATTO controller, and it becomes the most expensive storage you've got. That storage is better used for primary video storage and increased throughput than wasting 50% for backup in a RAID 1 config. Firewire backup or just chucking three massive SATA drives into the three empty slots in a MacPro is a much more cost efficient way of creating backups.

And, the concept of creating those 2.5Tb manageable chunks or partitions sounds much better than it actually works in reality. That becomes a royal pain in the butt. One big RAID 5 or 6 that works flawlessly is the way to go, and you shouldn't over think it just because you're having issues now. Once you have the proper hardware and it's setup properly you don't even have to think about it. When you break it into chunks you have to manage those chucks, which is just unnecessary labor.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Producing Episodic TV with "24" Producer Michael Klick:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-1_Michael-Kl...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 26, 2011 at 1:47:06 pm

We nearly went for a same setup but a 16bay but had issues with getting the storage array in UK.

Please keep this updated.


Are large volumes like this in Lion no go currently ?

Atto are always great with support for me.

Please post updates.

ps.. Bobs ya man.. trust ;)

s



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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 26, 2011 at 3:34:52 pm

Hi Simon -
Michael is now up and working.

Simon - do you want your drives to work ?
Simon - do you want your shared storage to work ?

Do you know how to accomplish this Simon ?

YOU CONTACT ME.

Michael's fee for this morning was ZERO.
He is up and working.

Bob Zelin



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Simon Blackledge
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 28, 2011 at 7:55:44 am

Hey Bob. Thanks for the offer. All our raids and shared storage is working fine. I was just saying we nearly upgraded to iStorage but there was a delivery issue. But I was interested in the issue that was causing him issues with his setup. Always good to know for info.

Was talking to these guys at IBC btw http://www.solarflare.com re: 10Gig network.

s


http://www.SpaceDigital.co.uk | http://www.matteblackfilms.com | http://www.flameop.co.uk


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Steve Modica
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 25, 2011 at 12:21:36 pm

Atto had a bug with one of the latest driver revisions where the raid would come up with a drive degraded (even tho it wasn't). We caught this in testing. They also had a bug with NCQ that would take a drive out.

When we see a drive fail in an unusual way, we get them back to Hitachi. We're an official OEM and they send it through an analysis to tell us what happened. Our two most recent cases were faulty head actuator and a bad midplane in the chassis (power sagging).

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Mike Masse
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 25, 2011 at 3:15:27 pm

Steve -

Interesting (if frightening) link to NCQ (native command queuing) - did "SMART" data show any damage?

Your case sounds a little like what happened to me:
- drive showed up as degraded.
- "off to the races" (i.e. would not longer mount / chaos and raid group loss ensued).

Hitachi has been great about replacing / checking drives for our company, but there has always been an onboard S.M.A.R.T. data confirmation of a drive problem - and that has always been a threshold for drive exchange / hitachi tech support (although I've never really tested the boundaries before).

Michael


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 26, 2011 at 2:40:40 am

Bob Zelin
maxavid@cfl.rr.com

why don't you contact me Mike. Why don't you stop playing engineer, and call someone that knows the R680 and CI chassis very well.
We will reconfigure your RAID, and it will all work perfectly when we are done.

What will I charge you for this ? - ZERO.

Just email me. Stop trying to be a f#$%ing hero. I am the hero.
Tomorrow is Monday 9/26. I expect to hear from you.

Bob Zelin



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David Martin
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 26, 2011 at 1:15:20 pm

Nice post Bob :-)

David Martin
Application Engineer ATTO Technology


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Mike Masse
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 26, 2011 at 2:13:00 pm

Hello David,

Realize this is a free forum, but as an ATTO user in pain, little surprised to see that your only comment is on another posters post. Is just walking past the problem, and tossing an aside to another industry insider really the message that ATTO wants to send??

Michael


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 26, 2011 at 3:38:37 pm

Mike's drive array is now up and working. Every manufacturer has different specs on the settings for the ATTO card. ATTO cannot be responsible for every damn drive chassis manufacturer's independent settings.

This is why most people don't try to "do it yourself", but buy a preconfigured drive array with SUPPORT from a professional company, such as Maxx Digital, Small Tree, Sonnet, G-Tech, Dulce, etc, etc.

Mike is a great guy, and I was glad to assist him (for free). And Simon, if you need help, just contact me.

Bob Zelin



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Mike Masse
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 26, 2011 at 3:41:36 pm

Wow, Bob. You've been super helpful. You're the first person I've talked to who is looking at the whole system.


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Mike Masse
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Sep 28, 2011 at 10:25:17 am

I expect to make another post when I close out my support tickets with the manufacturers. Bob's help was terrific. With new, top-end equipment, I am also expecting validaton of our fix, and/or other technical input from the manufacturers.

m


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Ron Amborn
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Oct 3, 2011 at 6:42:39 pm

Mike
I could not agree with Bob more. Ci is a great OEM and they build for many companies such as Isilon, Small Tree and many others. It is as you found out the customer support that makes a huge difference. Bob helped out for free but if you had purchased through a system integrator support is only a phone call away. Try to call Ci and then call Maxx Digital and see who responds quicker. They can bend sheet metal but should leave the system support to system builders like Maxx Digital.

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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Mike Masse
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Oct 9, 2011 at 5:55:02 pm

Mini update -- If you stumble across this post, the message of caution about being your own RAID integrator is absolutely right -- even when what you are getting is all specified to work together.

My iStoragePro 6gb/sec enclosure has dismounted by surprise more than once. I am now using the brand new ATTO FW for the raid card.

If you have the parts and have not turned the thing on:

The enclosure maker is the key. I got my ATTO r680 RAID card from iStoragePro, and the only instructions were in the ATTO Box: card fw should be latest, if not update before proceeding. The only problem is that the enclosure maker (CI) had not yet certified this fw level. Later (only after first set of serious problems), was advised by CI to roll back firmware to their last certified level...

It's important to point out that 2 lessons from this have been that ATTO and CI each are committed to customer service. They are obviously each excellent companies -- and they each are very prompt with tech support.

That said, the integration piece is a problem. A reliable RAID is and the enclosure needs to share what they know about how to set up their enclosures with their preferred card (atto). A single sheet of paper in the enclosure box, with this might have spared me a huge waste of time. Or maybe not... maybe I'd still be having issues. SO... don't assume that you have the key config info from the enclosure maker. Call them up, email, and before powering up, make sure you know the:

- FW for card
- driver level for workstation

(Assuming you are using specified compaitible drives, os, etc.)

Keep you posted.


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Ron Amborn
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Feb 7, 2012 at 12:26:49 am

To my knowledge istorage pro has changed their business model and is only doing OEM through their parent company so if you go that route you maybe surprised at the lack of attention to the after sale.

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: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Jan 5, 2013 at 7:30:27 pm

[Mike Masse] "That said, the integration piece is a problem. A reliable RAID is and the enclosure needs to share what they know about how to set up their enclosures with their preferred card (atto)"

Thanks Mike (and Bob), the whole thread was a great read.

I take it, the solution at the time was to roll back the firmware?


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Pete Leeman
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Feb 4, 2012 at 3:07:10 am

Dear Bob,

I too am looking to build a 6gb system with a ci chassis and an r680. I have built raids before with high point cards but I need this one to be bulletproof as a file server for print production. I am also considering the quantum Superloader 3 to share the other port of the r680. When I read your posts I feel much time and energy can be wasted climbing the wrong mountain. Will you be my digital Sherpa?


All the best,
Pete in Miami


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Feb 4, 2012 at 4:20:25 am

Hi -
I would be honored to help you.
Call Maxx Digital. Ask for Ron.
(714) 374 4944

Bob Zelin



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Tudor Paslaru
Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Nov 28, 2012 at 7:07:16 pm

Hello, we have the latest mac pro and want to buy R680, I see you have the same controller. Do you have fan speed noise problems after installing this card?

thanks


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Mike Masse
R680 Fan Noise / Re: Mac Pro, ATTO R680, iStoragePro 8-Bay (6gb/sec) = RAID 6 and Confidence Crisis. What Now??
on Dec 9, 2012 at 3:17:14 pm

Hello Tudor,

Fan noise not a problem -- now. Originally, fan noise was wicked. Several ATTO flash bundle / firmware upgrades ago (end of 2011), atto made a fix. Now fan starts fairly quiet (not a bother), and escalates based on temp. My system very rarely kicks fan up a level.

See ATTO PRN (Product Release Notes) for more info. Current fw is fine though.

Michael


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