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Editing on a Drobo

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Matthew Freed
Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 1, 2013 at 5:30:44 pm

Hi, I'm working on an indie documentary I've currently got around 20TBs of footage spread out across 12 different external drives daisy-chained with FW800. We still have another 5-7TB to shoot. My higher-up just got access to an empty DroboPro 8-bay enclosure. We'd like to load it up with 4TB drives (which the support at Drobo said will work) for ~28TB of space, divided into however many volumes the enclosure needs. My boss wants an answer from someone who is more familiar with large-storage editing systems. Is this a suitable setup (let's ignore the subject of backups for now) for using the Drobo to edit on (FCP7), or is there a better system for editing on?


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Matthew Freed
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 1, 2013 at 5:45:49 pm

Forgot to mention. Editing on an iMac(11,3), so not sure if there's any controller cards I'd be able to use if I don't end up using the Drobo.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 1, 2013 at 6:41:16 pm

It's probably fine as a safer and larger replacement for external FireWire hard drives, but Drobos are known to be slow and finicky.

The best setup for a Mac Pro for that kind of a capacity is a MiniSAS tower with a RAID controller - speeds in excess of 700MB/s (vs. 75MB/s on that Drobo). Costs: $500-900 for the RAID controller, $800-1500 for the 8-12-bay box, plus drives in RAID6, preferably enterprise class.

If you're not looking for those speeds, and are fine with 75MB/s, Drobo Pro will likely work.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Matthew Freed
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 1, 2013 at 8:43:58 pm

Thanks for the info.

As I said before, I'm editing on an iMac, so I don't know if there's a controller card available I can use with it. If i were to set up a small server tower, what would be the important specs besides that controller card?


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 1, 2013 at 9:49:15 pm

iMac with Thunderbolt? CineRAID 8050 is one such solution, up to 32TB raw capacity, 600-700MB/s. If it is the newest one with USB 3.0, there's also ProAvio EB400CR - up to 16TB raw capacity per box, around 150MB/s.

Most important specs of direct-attached storage are three things: speed, capacity, level of redundancy (RAID0, 1, 5, 6), RAID6 being the best of them, if available.

[Matthew Freed] "If i were to set up a small server tower, what would be the important specs besides that controller card?"

What does the server need to do?

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Matthew Freed
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 2, 2013 at 1:18:58 am

It's an iMac 11,3. No thunderbolt, no spot for a RAID controller.

For the server I am presuming I would need a tower to put the controller in, and then have the tower hooked up to the local network. Not much else than that. Do your suggestions have internal controllers? because that would negate the need for a tower, I suppose.


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 2, 2013 at 1:23:35 pm

Your bottleneck is the iMac with no option for a controller card or thunderbolt. In case of speed, redundancy and reliability I wouldn't go for a drobo. As Alex said the drobo tends to be finicky. With a lot of Data on a 8bay FW connection even with redundancy on Raid 5 I wouldn't be happy. I think I would use a FW 800 Raid 1 enclosure (lots of brands on the market) and swop HDs when you run out of space. In this case you have at least a reliable back-up system.
On a long term run I would buy a new mac pro with SAS PCIX card plus a 8-16 bay sas chassis and 4TB Hitachi Ultrastars in it. I recommend Raid 5 (8bay) + spare/ Raid 6 (16bay) + spare.

cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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Matthew Freed
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 2, 2013 at 2:41:18 pm

I see. Thank you. Next question: I may be able to get a mac pro to fit a raid controller in, but it's old. specs:

Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 20 GB
Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MP11.005C.B08
SMC Version (system): 1.7f10

Currently contains an ATI Radeon HD 5870 (x16 slot 1) and a RED Rocket (x8 slot 4) with 2 empty slots in between.

is this rig good enough to run a decent enough card and edit on?


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 2, 2013 at 5:31:59 pm

[Matthew Freed] "Model Identifier: MacPro1,1"

It has PCIe slots, and will fit nearly any modern RAID controller. ATTO R680 and Areca ARC-1882x are some of the most popular ones.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Editing on a Drobo
on Apr 2, 2013 at 5:37:59 pm

[Matthew Freed] "Do your suggestions have internal controllers? because that would negate the need for a tower, I suppose."

Yes they do, and you're right, that makes them portable, "plug-n-play", compatible with any computer that has the right connectivity (like USB 3.0).


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