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Netstor na381tb setup

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Adam Levine
Netstor na381tb setup
on May 19, 2015 at 3:51:59 am

I'm pricing out a new Mac Pro system to replace my on-its-last-leg 2010 model, and I'm looking into the Netstor (also Highpoint Tech branded) na381tb which looks like a beast. I read Bob Zellin's review, though that was from a while ago and I'd be interested in more recent opinions and longer term experiences

Anyway, here's my deal. I like to keep 2 large arrays, one for media, and the other for Time Machine. Right now each are 30 TB in Apple RAID 0. Never had data loss in many years with that setup, though plenty of bad drives.

Anyway, looking at:
Netstor na381tb
24x Ultrastar 7k 3TB

With this setup, will I be able to make 2 12-drive arrays using RAID 6 or would I be stuck with JBOD and Apple RAID?

For background, I use pretty much all NLEs here (APP, FCP X and 7, AVID), but mostly APP CC 2014 along with PS and AE.

Thanks for reading this and any other comments you may have on these components is welcome.

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Simon Blackledge
Re: Netstor na381tb setup
on May 19, 2015 at 9:41:21 am

I really wouldn't bother with 2x Raid 6 volumes.

Your loosing 4 drives from the off. Plus you'll want minimum 1 global hot spare - preferably 1x local hot spare per volume. So thats 6 disks you loose before you even start.

Also yes you have 2 raids. But they are not on separate machines. So you still have a single point of failure.

raid card breaks.. something in the mac breaks.. dodgy lead.. and you can't get to your data.

I'd go with Raid 6 with 2 hot spares set to auto rebuild.

I like the thunderbolt stuff. Means if your mac breaks you can just plug in another thunderbolt mac and install driver and away you go.

If you want a backup I'd seriously look and running something totally redundant/separate to the above setup and using something like Chronosync or a simple rsync script to clone Disk to Disk hourly.

In your scenario - TimeMachine to 2nd raid. If raid 1 goes bye-bye - how do you just start work again ? You can't see all your folders in a time machine backup.


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Adam Levine
Re: Netstor na381tb setup
on May 19, 2015 at 4:02:19 pm
Last Edited By Adam Levine on May 19, 2015 at 4:06:02 pm

Thanks Simon.

Not sure I trust RAID 6 enough to be the only means of recovery. In your opinion, is that the most secure RAID level?

I get your point about Time Machine. When drives go bad, I have had to swap in a spare, rebuild the RAID 0 and copy the files back from the Time Machine volume (or vice versa). Generally, this goes pretty quickly with 10-drive RAIDs, but still not good on a tight deadline. This is a function of RAID 0, though, not Time Machine, unless you are suggesting a working mirror is a better choice

As for your suggestion of something "separate/redundant":
  • Are you suggesting that I have a working mirror so I can just switch over when something goes down?
  • What would you suggest as the hardware setup? I love rsync, but I'm not sure what you mean exactly on the hardware end. I need about 30 TB of high speed media array and the same for backup, which means two RAIDs, right? But you say at the top that I lose 6 drives in the 2 RAID setup. Could you go into more detail?
  • Do you think I'd be better off with 2 PCI cards with 12 drives apiece? I'm beginning to think the ARC-1882IX-24 is overkill as it is PCIe 3.0 and the extender in the RAID case is only 2.0


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Simon Blackledge
Re: Netstor na381tb setup
on May 19, 2015 at 4:10:36 pm

Ok Raid 6 - 8 drive array - you use 2 drives for parity data. So in total your volume is only 6 disks.

If your doing 2 volumes at raid 6 you use 4 drives for parity.

Raid 6 you can have 2 drives die before you loose anything.

When you say high speed. What bandwidth do you need?

Rally don't see the point of sticking time machine in the middle and having to jump though another hoop before you can get back to work. and getting back to work is the whole reason for the backup and safety net.

So how fast do you need ?

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Adam Levine
Re: Netstor na381tb setup
on May 19, 2015 at 5:05:23 pm

These would be 12 drives per array (24 total), so I would still have 30 TB per array with the 3 TB Ultrastars, right? Plus 2 spares in the closet.

Right now, my ancient port multiplier RAID gets 550+ MB/sec on read/writes, though more like 650+ when empty, which it never is. I'd love to get something that is in the ballpark of a GB/sec. With RAM and drive space/speed, I always try and get more than I think I'll need, because I always need more. I like for the backup volume to be as fast as possible as well, as sometimes I dump a few TB onto the media RAID from a shoot and I'd like it backed up quickly so it's not slowing me down for too long.

What do you think generally of Areca hardware? How does it compare to ATTO?

Should I favor 2x 12-port cards over 24-port?

Thanks again

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Simon Blackledge
Re: Netstor na381tb setup
on May 21, 2015 at 3:27:55 pm

Talk to Ron if he's local. They know what they are doing.

If you want max speed I'd still go at least Raid5. If your over 16TB Raid 6. As the possibility of another disk failure during rebuild is higher.

I'd do a local 8bay Raid 5 with a larger Raid6 for backup of that and other data.

ThunderRaid2 32TB as main plus the Netstor to backup/offload to.

You should backup incrementally like this Disk > Disk >Tape


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Ron Amborn
Re: Netstor na381tb setup
on May 19, 2015 at 9:35:13 pm

We have quite a lot of experience with this set up and can help you turn key the whole thing at a competitive price. Give us a call at 714-374-4944 ask for Ryan or Matt.

Ron Amborn President
Maxx Entertainment Digital
3189 Redhill Ave #B
Costa Mesa , Ca 92626
Direct 714-374-4944
Cell 714-713-4492 Fax 714-374-3404

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