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Mobile RAID solution?

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Stuart Heaslet
Mobile RAID solution?
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:47:42 pm

This is my first ever posting to Creative Cow. I've been lurking for over a year and don't want to ask dumb newbie questions!


Anyway-


I am a FCP student with a 2007 vintage Mac Pro. There are four 750gb SATA drives, and an Apple raid card that is most likely version 1. Am getting sporadic and unpredictable raid battery failure notices, and cannot determine if it is a card or battery issue.


Problem: The raid-based system is aggravated by the fact that it is in an RV and is regularly shut down during travel and off-grid periods. But within a year I expect that this system will be relocated to a land studio with (gasp) real filtered power. When this happens I expect to buy a Caldigit or other external raid array as I would like to move storage off the internal drives.


Reliability is important to me, but I cannot supply regular steady power. I'd like to rid myself of the existing raid card and:

A) Manage the existing drives as JBOD's.

B) Limp along with temporary firewire external backups (hitachi cinemastars?) pending purchase of an external raid array when it's time to move ashore.


For an interim solution using manual/software backups I've thought about a temporary hard drive controller instead of the raid unit.


Any suggestions?


Stuart Heaslet




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Fred Jodry
Re: Mobile RAID solution?
on Mar 24, 2010 at 11:51:50 pm

Stuart, much of what you are describing is sour batteries, amongst a wobbly power source, with obvious temperature changes, bumping and vibration, and more. Since you`ve made a list of problems, go after them regularly. Replace your Raid battery. Get an Uninterruptible Power Source unit and replace it`s battery with a fresh one if needed, and also replace the tired- out battery of your RV with a good E K Richardson, Varta, Traveler, or Interstate. Now befriend someone who knows their onions about electricity so you can put the charging system of your RV in custom shape. This is often an electrical (not necessarily electronics) hobbyist or friendly professional away from the city. (Railroad restorers have telegraphers so they`re good). Put a pair of brass wing nuts on the side of the UPS I recommended so you can use it as AC power with an external battery easily. That`s enough of that.
Now for the data part:
The Raid array you now have can be put in storage for reuse when you get the gasp, "real" AC. I`m sure you could find yourself later still using that array on another Mac Pro in a medium-power editor; while the JBOD data rig you`re now building could continue to be for your little or chop editing mobile camera, while a super CalDigit Raid beast with all those "Lattice" controller chips smiling at you goes into play whenever the customer wants the job done yesterday, on your third Mac Pro. We have a special term for this, we call it growing in the business.
One way to maintain a JBOD set at a bargain is to put your OS (and DVD burner sotware later)on a plain main drive, then put your capture and editing software on the drive or drives you`ve chosen for their peak power arrangement. What you record and edit will stay migrated on these drives. Then when you`re done you back up your sendoffs to folders on the first drive and can burn those sendoffs and archives, erase the folders, then format the peak power drives to be ready to get the recording and editing software reinstalled and be fresh for the next use. There are other ways to do this too. Welcome to the Forums. Fred



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Bob Zelin
Re: Mobile RAID solution?
on Mar 25, 2010 at 2:55:19 am

This is my first ever posting to Creative Cow. I've been lurking for over a year and don't want to ask dumb newbie questions!

REPLY - ask away (just get ready to duck for cover !).


I am a FCP student with a 2007 vintage Mac Pro. There are four 750gb SATA drives, and an Apple raid card that is most likely version 1. Am getting sporadic and unpredictable raid battery failure notices, and cannot determine if it is a card or battery issue.

REPLY - good computer, bad card. Throw it out. Don't use the RAID card. Use one drive as your boot drive, and just simply stripe the other 3 drives together RAID0 with the Apple Disk Utility. Everything will work wonderfully, and you will spend a little time, and ZERO money. If your "vintage" MAC Pro that uses the Expansion Slot utility has the card in a slot where the lanes are not set properly , you will suffer. Quick solution - throw out the card.



Problem: The raid-based system is aggravated by the fact that it is in an RV and is regularly shut down during travel and off-grid periods. But within a year I expect that this system will be relocated to a land studio with (gasp) real filtered power. When this happens I expect to buy a Caldigit or other external raid array as I would like to move storage off the internal drives.

REPLY - good idea. Until then, throw out your RAID card. When you get your external RAID array, if you don't use Expansion Slot Utility to set your host adaptor card to a x4 lane slot, you will continue to have problems.



Reliability is important to me, but I cannot supply regular steady power. I'd like to rid myself of the existing raid card and:

A) Manage the existing drives as JBOD's.

REPLY - GOOD GUESS - DO THIS NOW. Throw out that RAID card.


B) Limp along with temporary firewire external backups (hitachi cinemastars?) pending purchase of an external raid array when it's time to move ashore.

REPLY - see solution A



For an interim solution using manual/software backups I've thought about a temporary hard drive controller instead of the raid unit.

REPLY - see solution A.



Any suggestions?

REPLY - yes, take a shower every few days. Living in an RV can make you stinkey.

Bob Zelin





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Stuart Heaslet
Re: Mobile RAID solution?
on Mar 25, 2010 at 1:10:09 pm

Bob, Fred, thank you very much. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your advice, I thought I had gone nuts. My idea to put a mac pro station in an RV was questionable to begin with given the unreliable nature of power, communications and environment, but I didn't want the fact of a 1-2 year RV adventure to get in the way of learning FCP and related systems.


Besides, I read the fine print on the Seagates that said they could withstand 350 g's. I know it means nothing, but a guy can dream of zero failures, can't he?


The RAID card is outta here. Am cobbling together a temporary external backup array. Pure and lovely sine wave power will soon be on board. And, I guess I'll have to take an RV shower, to honor Bob's main concern. Even though it's not that time of the month yet.


Thanks again.


Stuart Heaslet




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