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RAID set-up for Mac Pros

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Chris Tarroza
RAID set-up for Mac Pros
on Dec 16, 2013 at 4:33:27 am

The company I work for has some money left in the budget to upgrade my workstation. I work on HD/2K projects for broadcast TV and web. I have yet to touch 3K/4K but the boss says it COULD happen. I also work on multi-cam projects from time to time.

There's a good chunk of change for my upgrades, so budget is not an issue. At the same time, I don't want to scare them by giving them a bill of $20K+ of new toys (even though the budget is SUPPOSEDLY more than $20K!) I brought up getting a new Mac Pro. It MIGHT happen but we'll see. While there is a good amount of money, I don't want to go overboard just because I can. But hey, a new computer is a good thing.

I am very new to the world of RAIDs so please forgive my ignorance in this matter. Basically I have 2 options in terms of my upgrades, get the new Mac Pro (whenever it comes out) and set-up a RAID solution around that or stick with my current Mac Pro, a Quad-core 2012 model. I also have a Kona LHi plugged into the Mac Pro. Seeing how the new MP's have no PCI slots, I discovered the existence of thunderbolt expansion chassis for PCIe cards. Just not sure if i have the right one.

I did my share of research (aka googling) and came down to the following group of products. Group A for a new Mac Pro. Group B for my current gear.

Group A: New Mac Pro (thunderbolt 2 world)

• Pegasus 2 R4 8TB RAID Storage
Price: $1,499
• OWC Mercury Helios PCIe Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis (for KONA LHi)
Price: $349.99 USD

Group B: Current Gear

• G-SPEED eS Pro 8TB RAID Storage
Price: 1,899.95
• ATTO R680 x8 PCIe miniSAS RAID Controller (required for above product)
Price: $1,099.99

While anything larger than 8TB is nice, I think it would be overkill for what I need. That and the prices skyrocket when dealing with anything higher than 8TB.

My questions are these:

- For both options respectively, do I have all the required gear to actually get the RAID up and running?
- Are these the right products to go with? Overkill? Something better?

Thanks for your help!

Freelance Video Editor and Motion Designer
Toronto, CAN

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David Roth Weiss
Re: RAID set-up for Mac Pros
on Dec 16, 2013 at 8:50:07 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on Dec 16, 2013 at 8:51:17 pm

Hi Chris,

The length of your post is quite indicative of the complexity of the of the issues confronting you, because you not only require an immediate solution, but one that potentially addresses future- proofing as well.

I can certainly help you with all of these matters, but you seem to be 100% dead set on remaining in DIY (do it yourself) mode, in spite of the fact that you've written that 1) you're new to RAIDs, and 2) budget is not an issue.

Please be aware, the most expensive solution is the one that doesn't work as expected. And, you are truly delving into a domain best addressed with the assistance of trained professionals who configure, sell, service, and support these solutions.

If you would like my help, and would like the full support of an entire team of professionals behind you, give me a jingle at 949/861-2709, and I'll be happy to help you.


David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.

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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: RAID set-up for Mac Pros
on Dec 16, 2013 at 10:32:29 pm

[Chris Tarroza] "For both options respectively, do I have all the required gear to actually get the RAID up and running?"

Yes. One possible caveat: four drives may be a limiting factor: setting up RAID5 with just four drives make it slower (20-40%, sometimes more) vs. RAID0, and RAID6 (one of the best RAID levels) is not a viable option. Six or more drives is something I'd be looking for, especially if you have anything high bitrate on the horizon.

If you're only looking at RAID0 - then you're all set.

[Chris Tarroza] "Are these the right products to go with? Overkill? Something better?"

They're some of the best in their respective segments (4 bays); if you're looking for 8 or more bays, then perhaps one of the Areca / CineRAID boxes might be a better choice. ARC-8050 for instance is an 8-bay box with Thunderbolt I/O for $1.5K before you add drives, and very decent performance.

-- Alex Gerulaitis | Systems Engineer | DV411 - Los Angeles, CA

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Ricardo Reyes
Re: RAID set-up for Mac Pros
on Dec 16, 2013 at 10:41:52 pm
Last Edited By Ricardo Reyes on Dec 16, 2013 at 10:46:46 pm

Either option you listed will get you going. I would lean toward a Thunderbolt solution, it also looks more cost efficient in the end. But instead of a Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis for your KONA LHi card. The IoXT might be something to consider instead. That is unless you have legacy video devices that need to capture analog audio or video, then the expansion chassis will be your only choice.

Ricardo Reyes
Areca Technologies - US Channel

***** RAID is not a substitute for proper and regular backups *****

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Bob Zelin
Re: RAID set-up for Mac Pros
on Dec 17, 2013 at 3:25:48 am

I had no idea that OWC was making a PCIe expansion chassis !
I bet they come up with a Tbolt 2 version when Sonnet and Magma does.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.

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