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Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)

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Alex Valente
Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 11, 2016 at 4:47:14 pm

First let me say hello to this greta community. I've been directing to here often when I have some sort of question that I need an answer for but never registered, until today.

I've registered since a BM forum user told me that this place and Bob Zelin (among other I assume), were the very best to place my questions at. Nonetheless, before I go with the questions I have to say that I've read some of the posts here and found experts saying "go with the best and that's the best you can do". Well... I start saying that I don't have the money to buy a G-Tech, Lacie or anything RAID like that so I ask you to not point me into that direction, no matter how right are you (and I know that you are since I also believe in the saying "buy cheap, buy twice".

Anyway, here it goes:

I'm in the midst of what it might turn a big project shot over the course of some years to come. A documentary that will follow our protagonists over and over.

We decided to shoot it Sony FS7 (if we reach that budget), with it's 4K 4:2:2 codec which is not bad at all and the most efficient (storage wise), that we could came across with that resolution and color space.

We now have to think about storage HDs and edting HDs. One of the crew members is an editor but we do not have editing facilities so we are going to edit on our machines (MBP 2014), most likely with Resolve 12.

For that reason we are looking for the cheapest way to build a RAID array (since we know we can't reach off the shelf ones).

We all are knew to RAIDs but digging some information we found that RAID 5 is not implemented in MAC OSX so buying a 5 enclosure would be more expensive than building a RAID 0. Is this correct?

We are also trying to build a RAID for speed but within our budget we know that we have to make compromises, so USB 3 can be a solution comparing to thunderbolt.

With the small amount of information we've gathered (and the little that we know from the subject), we reached the conclusion that we could solve the issue with a 3 bay system, using 2 for RAID 0 and the 3rd to backup the RAID disc.

I'm truly after your honest opinions on this matter since we are all very "green" on the subject, but please bear in mind that price is a real concern and that we are after a RAID that we can support. Is that or no RAID at all.

Thank you all in advance,
Alex


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Bob Zelin
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 11, 2016 at 8:02:44 pm

buy a used Mac Pro $1000. Craigslist.

update it to OS X 10.10 or OS X 10.11 (free)

buy three SATA drives (you choose the size). Shove them in the Mac Pro sleds. I believe that 3TB SATA drives are about $110 each, so buy 2 of those, RAID 0 in the OS, and buy a single 6TB to back up to.
You are using free editing software (Resolve 12).

So your total expense will be $1500 - $1600.

If you do not have this budget to edit a 4K movie, I suggest working some extra shifts at McDonnalds to save up some more money.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Alex Valente
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 12, 2016 at 12:33:17 am

So you are saying that cheap enclosures (like the ones of Sans Digital and many other brands), aren't capable of doing the job, right?

As a side note, I share my time working in two countries which are bankrupt and ahead of the European unemployment rate statistics. I imagine that working some extra shifts at McDonnalds wouldn't do the trick.


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Todd Perchert
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 12, 2016 at 5:31:59 pm

I think what Bob is saying, if you want the cheap route, to purchase one enclosure and drives. That would be the MacPro. Storage, editing, and backup in one enclosure.
Otherwise, you will want 2 external enclosures and drives so that you can back up your media. Because if one enclosure/drive fails at RAID-0 - you lose all your media, you are back at square one with your entire project.
And what is the throughput (data rate) for those cheap external drives? That is another consideration.
Good Luck!
TC


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Alex Valente
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 12, 2016 at 6:47:50 pm
Last Edited By Alex Valente on Jan 12, 2016 at 6:52:29 pm

Got it now. I was thinking that Bob was suggesting that route for the RAID array alone.

Looking that way it really is a valid option considering that we were buying an editing machine with it. So the question now is to compare which will be more competent at editing. The used Mac Pro VS our 2014 MBP which has the following characteristics:

2.5GHz quad-core Core i7 processor
32GB RAM
512GB SSD
nVidia GeForce GT 750M with 2GB GDDR5


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 13, 2016 at 10:03:57 am
Last Edited By Neil Sadwelkar on Jan 13, 2016 at 10:05:09 am

Alex,

Chances are, your MBP might actually work out a bit faster than an older MacPro, unless you get the very last version. And add a SSD and a GPU like the Quadro 4000 or similar to that.

About RAIDs, I've used the modest cost ones - Sonnet 4-bay, Sans 4-bay and 5-bay, Caldigit 4-bay, LaCie 5big, and Stardom, even Drobo. Of these, so far, I've found Stardom to work the best.

In general they work fine depending on what drives you put inside them. Some of these manufacturers have a list of qualified drives which they have found work fine. If you stick to that list you're good. If there's no such list, then Hitachi enterprise or WD Red work fine.

However, depending on what the pricing is like in your part of the world, the savings on going this route might be large or small depending on what the case and drives cost compared to a ready to use RAID like G-Tech, Maxx etc.

If you do go the self made modest cost route, be sure to add a couple of drives as a backup for your RAID. Using a RAID for speed, and keeping those files on a separate drive for safety is a better course.

As a bizarre alternative, take a look at a 10-port USB 3 hub. Connect 8 Seagate slim 2 TB drives to it. Using disk utility, stripe 4 of these as RAID 0. And keep the other 4 as discrete drives. Keep working media on the RAID 0, and use the other 4 drives to backup what's on the RAID.
The additional two USB 3 ports can be used to plug in card readers, or additional external drives.

Like I said, this is bizarre. But cheap.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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bryce arroyo
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 11, 2016 at 10:53:44 pm

Alex,

Do you have a direct line that we can talk about some options?

Bryce Arroyo
Maxx Digital
714-374-4944
bryce@maxxdigital.com


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Alex Valente
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 12, 2016 at 12:26:11 am

Hi Bryce,

By direct line do you mean phone? I forgot to mention that I'm in Europe. Sharing work between Spain and Portugal so I'm not in USA.


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bryce arroyo
Re: Cheap RAID (yes, yes, I know)
on Jan 12, 2016 at 6:19:01 pm

go ahead and email me directly, so we can talk about some options. Yes bob is right with the cheaper way but there may also be a way you can afford the better way as well. Send me an email so we can talk.

Bryce
bryce@maxxdigital.com


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