Thunderbolt/SAS Raid for PC
I am having a custom PC built for my new job. The pc is being built on with an X99 motherboard. Specifically the Gigabyte G1 Gaming Wifi or the Asus Deluxe. Both of these boards have Thunderbolt headers (is that the term?) but their respective thunderbolt pcie cards are crazy hard to find and do't have great reviews.
My question...to those sooooo much more tech savvy than myself. Should I continue this headache of trying to find cards and have the pc builder get it to work? Or go with another option...like sas?
I am wanting to stay less than $1500. Preferably at least in the 16TB range.. It has to be raid 5 and need to be able to be fast enough to work from if necessary.
I'm only able to put regular spinning HDD's in so am I right to assunme that no matter what the cable (thunderbolt, usb 3.0 etc.) I am going to be bottle necked by the drive speed right? Should I get a 4 bay thunderbolt 2 raid 5 enclosure or get an 8bay mini sas enclosure with more smaller drives. Won't that be faster than the 4 bay thunderbolt in raid 5?
I appreciate any and all help. I don't have lots of experience with these types of equipment and all of a sudden I am put in charge of buying $10k worth of computers and then getting a raid to work from.
wait, wait -
you want a new PC with Thunderbolt interface, and you want 16 TB of RAID storage, and you want someone to custom build this for you, and you want all of this for under $1500 ?
God bless the person that will do this for you.
And then you say "I am put in charge of buying $10k worth of computers and then get a raid to work from.
So are you saying that you (or your boss) wants to buy multiple hi performance computers, and have a single shared storage RAID so that all of you can work from this, and your total budget is $10,000 ?
Wehn I find out who your boss is, I am going to damage his automobile.
Rescue 1, Inc.
Thanks for the responses so far. Let me clear up the budget question. $1,500 is my budget for the raid and ONLY the raid. Not for the computers too.
Yes I am getting two computers...no this raid will NOT be connected to both computers. I do 3d animation motion design so I have 1 working computer (the one the raid is connected to) and a second slave/render machine. Its sole purpose is to be additional CPU/GPU power.
I'm one person...with a budget...just trying to figure out my best options for what I can spend. So far it seems like the suggestion is to soldier thorugh the frustrations with trying to get thunderbolt II to work with my motherboard and just buy a 4 bay thunderbolt II raid.
I just had seen online that I could get an entry level 8 bay raid 5 mini SAS enclosure for like $500 and then put in like $1k worth of drives.
I still very much appreciate additional opinions now that hopefully I've cleared up any confusion.
I hadn't looked at cables yet. I'm new to SAS. Never heard of it before now. I thought I saw a PCIe card for like $200. Again I wasn't looking at that yet. I feel so trapped with regards to a good backup on the pc. I'd hate to think that USB 3 is my only option...if I can't get the thunderbolt to work.
Isn't usb 3.0 faster than esata?
eSATA is dead. I will respond to you in detail tomorrow.
I am saddened by reading your post. You sound like a young person who has been hired by a boss that refuses to go to a knowledgeable reseller to install the equipment that he needs to make a working system for his company. He expects you to go to a mail order company, order all the parts (based on recommendations from Creative Cow), and save SO MUCH MONEY , that he can buy his daughter that new BMW she wanted for freshman year at college.
I will respond (more seriously) in detail tomorrow. Most people on these forums are using Apple Macintosh computers, with software from companies like Adobe. If you are using PC's, I will make recommendations tomorrow, but it's not going to be 10 grand.
Rescue 1, Inc.
Bob, again I appreciate all responses. Did you read my post about my budget of $1500 is only for the raid?
I know you mean well but I'm not just a "young kid hired by a boss that refuses to go to a knowledgeable reseller." There are a lot of things you don't know about my situation. One being that this is a very reputable production company with a large office full of server rooms and high dollar equipment. I have been graciously hired but allowed to live in my state. They have bent over backwards to work with me even to the point of giving me a large budget to get my remote home office all equipped...within reason. I'm a creative guy. I've been in the industry fo a little over ten years. I have an emmy and plenty of experience...but I've never been put in charge of buying my own computer equipment to this degree. It's always been given to me. They mean it with the best intentions. instead of just buying stuff regardless of if it's the best for me...they have taken on the frustration of allowing me to do all the research and tell them what I need to comfortably work at home.
Essentailly my post here is a simple question...
IF I decide NOT to go with Thunderbolt 2 raid...what is my next best option around $1500? Im not asking about computers. Thanks again and I appreciate any and all supportive suggestions.
Give me a call. Bob and I work very closely with clients and can help you find a solution. I saw all your posts about budget and what you're looking for. I think its best to get a conference call together.
Hi Matthew -
I don't know how to answer your question.
There are only three RAID host adaptors that I can recommend, that you will not get screwed with -
if LSI Logic or Emulex or someone else has a RAID card that is cheaper, and actually works, then I just don't know, I am ignorant of it. But the three cards I have listed above are all wonderful, and all work, and are all reliable. The problem of course, it that the card alone almost blows your budget.
To work professionally, you need (in my opinion) 8 drives. I don't care if you buy the cheapest crap drives in the world. You add one of the RAID cards above, an empty 8 bay mini SAS chassis, and one of the cards that I listed, and you have exceeded your $1500 budget. Isn't there anything cheaper - I have no idea, nor do I care. My clients have a strong interest in not LOSING THEIR DATA, and if there is something cheaper, and they wind up LOSING THEIR DATA, they will kill me, and then kill themselves. So if you are a contractor to a professional company, it is your responsibility to say "if we don't buy one of these products, I cannot assure you that we will not lose our data".
My previous home computer had a 40 gig Maxtor ATA drive in it. It lasted for many years. Any professional that based their business on this would be an idiot. Might as well as go to the local gun shop, put in one bullet, and play russian roulette. I currently use a HP Z420 as my home computer, as well as my Mac's for building systems. And I back up routinely.
drives fail. If you are looking to "cheap out" - then you are playing with your income, and your clients income. If you can't buy professional equipment, then you should not be doing this for a living.
Let me be more aggressive for a moment. I have a hobby. I learned how to play guitar recently ( I am almost 60, and I am playing now for about 2 years). If your cheap ass guitar can't stay in tune, then you have no business playing even in an amateur band. You go out and buy a guitar that will stay in tune that will not embarrass you in front of your friends. If you can't buy a professional drive array, that will not lose your clients data, then what the hell are you doing, trying to make a living doing this for a living.
Rescue 1, Inc.
Bob,I don't know what to say other than it's clear to me now that you aren't hear to help anyone. If you were you would read carefully the question and offer a solution. But it seams that you are only interested...and possibly capable...of offering up judgement. I don't need you, or anyone else, to criticize me and make me feel less than. There are PLENTY of crazy talented people who don't spend tens of thousands on equipment and have very successful careers. Did it ever occur to you that we have three other levels of redundancy after this raid? Did it ever occur to you that we have an offsite data center with backups of all of our projects for the last 10 years?
No, you know why because all I asked was if people has other suggestions regarding raid storage other than thunderbolt. I didn't ask someone to offer up a ridiculous opinion on whether someone was cut out to be a professional based on an equipment budget.
Obviously you can do and say what you want but I would appreciate it if you wouldn't involve yourself in this thread anymore. I would very much like to speak with people interested in offering up solutions...not people trying to feel better about themselves by bashing others.
[Matthew Bowden] "Bob,I don't know what to say other than it's clear to me now that you aren't hear to help anyone."
Bob is indeed trying to help you - he's doing his very best to keep you and your boss from THE single most common mistake any of us in the hardware sales and consulting business encounter, which is "false economy" - unfortunately the number one cause of customers having to buy twice.
You'll have to get past Bob's online persona (i.e. pretending to be the grinch who stole Christmas), which anyone who knows him understands is just his way of horsing around. I too absolutely hated him, until i got to know he was really a real teddy bear and a prankster.
To reinforce the valid points he was attempting to make... SAS is essentially identical in speed to Thunderbolt-2, but requires a PCIe controller card, and the ONLY good ones are not cheap ($1000 on average). FYI, though Thunderbolt does not require a controller card, the manufacturers still get you, because the good one's (with hardware RAIDs) charge an extra $1000 over their identical SAS enclosures (that come without an included SAS controller card).
Bob also mentioned that an 8-drive array is the only enclosure to buy... Of course, that's not entirely true, but he's just trying to keep you from falling into the trap of false economy, which would most likely require you to buy another RAID before you you know it.
Why an 8-drive array you may ask??? Because, every time you double the number of spinning disks in an array, you double the throughput of that array. So, with 4K upon us, and with the requirements of multi-cam workflows, spending a bit more now for the right RAID will make you and your boss happier that you know.
For the record, Bob and I are both considered storage experts... Besides my years as high-level storage user and integrator, I also have many years experience as a sales exec and consultant, specializing in both direct attached and shared storage systems.
David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.
I really don't like Matthews attitude. He clearly states that he is unfamiliar with this type of equipment, and is now IN CHARGE of making this happen.
Want a working system, with a RAID that you can share ?
1) Go to Newegg, and buy your multiple REFURBISHED HP Z420 computers. These are wonderful inexpensive computers. You don't need thunderbolt for anything that you are going to do. You can get these for under $1000 each.
2) buy an 8 bay QNAP NAS - model TVS-863+. Now you will have a drive array that is fast enough to keep up with multiple systems running at normal HD rates. Buy a Netgear 10G uplink switch (under $1000) to distribute to all the network ports on your HP PC's, and you will have enough bandwidth to do what you want.
DONE - there is your solution for under $10,000 for everything.
How someone with little or no background in charge of this project is completely beyond me. This is not your fault - this is your bosses fault because he is too cheap to hire your local professional dealer to come in and do this for your company. Instead of relying on Creative Cow, why don't you go to the local professional reseller, and have them put a quote together for you, for multiple PC's, and a shared RAID array. Why on earth do you want to "custom build" these PC"s when you can simply go out and BUY THEM from reputable companies, so that you are assured that you will be able to run the Adobe CC suite, Cinema 4D, and whatever other professional applications that you need ?
Am I bashing you - no, you are being ignorant (or innocent) of the simple correct procedure of doing THE RIGHT THING. If you need a car, you don't go to the junk yard to try to put pieces together to have a car. You go to a used car lot if you don't have money, and you find a used car, with some sort of support from the lot that you bought it from.
Anyway, not only did I provide you with detailed information previously about RAID cards for your PC that would work reliably for you, I have just given you a complete list of equipment that you can purchase, without having to build anything, and will do exactly what you want for the budget that you want.
If you are determined to put together a Win Thunderbolt based solution, I can only ask WHY ? You don't have the budget to do this. What benefit will Thunderbolt give you at your budget ?
You can get a Promise R8, for example, that requires Windows 10 drivers, but how are you going to share this ?
Rescue 1, Inc.
I came across this storage box from QNAP at a show a couple of weeks ago
"The QNAP TVS-871T is the world’s first Thunderbolt DAS/NAS/iSCSI SAN tri...
Its an 8-bay box with Thunderbolt 2 and USB3 for DAS functionality, as well as 2x 10 GigE, and 4x GigE ports for simultaneous NAS functionality. The specs on the site says two machines can connect to this simultaneously over Thunderbolt too.
There's also a HDMI port to playback up to 4k video, and a built in app to transcode video, though I could not see this feature in action in the demo I saw.
The box is available without drives too.
I have no experience with QNAP products so I'm not sure this will work in all situations. But it looks like an interesting feature set.
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
matthew, the folks here are quite knowledgeable and we're all better off for having them as regular contributors on this forum.
But at the same time, there are inexpensive options for a single system.
I've upgraded to TB3 on my pc by purchasing a gigabyte x99p-sli mobo and I'm using an OWC Thunderbay 4 with it for editing with an Akitio T3T Adapter.
I did all of this for less than $1300.
Greg, thanks for the reply. This thread is almost two years old. I ended up purchasing a matching thunderbolt card for my computer and also purchased a Pegasus 2 R6 Thunderbolt raid.