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Tuning performance for a NA381TB with 2014 Mac Mini + Areca AR-1882IX-24

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Julian Poon
Tuning performance for a NA381TB with 2014 Mac Mini + Areca AR-1882IX-24
on Feb 2, 2016 at 11:32:57 pm

Currently I have a NA381TB Netstor with a 2014 Mac Mini 8GB RAM 3.0 GHz i7 with the Areca AR-1882IX-24 card connected to an Dell Power Connect 6248 Switch with a 10Gb SFP+ connection into the Dell Power Connect 6428 Switch from my Areca AR-1882IX-24 installed in the Netstor connected to the Mac Mini.

The Netstor has 48TB of storage (12 x 4 TB with one hot spare) and is running in RAID 10, so it's a 24TB of usable storage array. The Netstor backs up to a QNAP with an identical amount of storage, 24TB, and connects to the same Dell Power Connect 6248 Switch over a gig ethernet connection. The Mac Mini inside the Netstor mounts the QNAP via SMB and I use Chronosync to backup every night.

Also, daisy chained on the second Thunderbolt port on the PCI-E card that's preinstalled inside the Netstor I have 2x Pegasus R6 arrays (the written to R6 is 1st and the backup R6 is daisy chained off the second thunderbolt port of the first R6). Those R6 are both 10 GB and one mirrors the other essentially. So one is an actively used array and the other is a backup. They're both in RAID5 with 12 TB (6x2TB) of actual disk space with 10TB of usable disk space. The active R6 definitely doesn't see as much read / write action as the Netstor array.

We run 45+ OS X machines off of this setup. One 2011 Mac Mini on 10.8.5 runs our OD and DNS, and the aforementioned Netstor mounted Mini runs 10.10.5 as a OD replica and handles the fileshare.

I have write performance concerns for the multiple stations that are attempting to do smaller renders / save larger files (maybe 6-10 GB) to the 24TB Netstor. Sometimes users will be logged out of their AFP / SMB connection to the fileshare and other times they get "No disk space" or some other error preventing autosaving or saving in general. They can all save locally after having these concerns. All my clients are 2011 or later Macs connected to the aforementioned Dell switch over CAT6 cable and I'm getting solid gigabit ethernet when just one machine is doing something like I mentioned before (like moving a 5-10 GB file from a local Macintosh HD to the file share).

I suppose, perhaps, that at the heavy points throughout the day that we're hitting the performance threshold for this setup. Or maybe I should just suggest that people don't use the netstor to directly render or save larger files (For say like, Keynote decks that are ridiculously large, After Effects renders, Indesign, Photoshop, C4D etc). We have people on edit stations using Premiere that edit off of external G-Technology Thunderbolt RAIDs and then they save finished deliverables to the server after it's finished on their local machine.

We're currently utilizing these additional Dell N2048P network switches in a ridiculous way (that have also two SFP+ module 10GBps fiber compatible per switch) to support our Shoretel network, and I'm thinking the answer may be to get rid of our current Dell Power Connect 6248 switch and stack the two Dell N2048P switches and somehow utilize both of the SFP+ 10Gbps fiber connections out of my Areca AR-1882IX-24 and connect both to one or both of the Dell N2048P if that makes sense. And then getting a smaller POE router(s) for these 8 Cisco VOIP phones + a Cisco Meraki I have running on my second Dell N2048P (but I digress, that's a separate issue).

____

I'm trying to gather some thoughts based on my setup (I hope I was specific as possible) and I'm working with a vendor who apparently knows very little about how our network switches could be utilized better. My vendor is also very vague when I discuss details of the Netstor, the Areca card, the new Mac Mini, and troubleshooting our environments issues of actively saving to the netstor, even though we sourced Netstor, the new Mac Mini, and the Areca card. I've been thrown into this setup after the fact of it all being setup. This may be the wrong sub for this sort of question, but maybe someone has had a similar experience and could point me in the right direction. I think basically I'm going to need to hire a consultant to assist me in reconfiguring the network switches first, and then I can better optimize and scale out how we're sharing files.

I can't confirm, but I'm pretty sure that our Dell POE N2048 Switches were stacked originally and our previous Mac Mini that was running just the Pegasus R6 x2 was just connected via CAT6 to one of the two Dell POE N2048's - but the second Dell N2048 was moved to support Cisco phones in a space that's slightly remote to the Mac Mini file share.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Tuning performance for a NA381TB with 2014 Mac Mini + Areca AR-1882IX-24
on Feb 3, 2016 at 10:15:34 pm

45 clients on a Mac Mini with a single thunderbolt port ? And you have the Netstor and the dual R6's on the same thunderbolt buss ?
You did not say what SFP+ card is in the Netstor, but this too is on the same singe buss !
A 24 bay, with only 12 drives in a RAID 10 config ?

I guess your vendor does not have too much experience doing this.
That is why he is vague with you.

Bob Zelin

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


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Julian Poon
Re: Tuning performance for a NA381TB with 2014 Mac Mini + Areca AR-1882IX-24
on Feb 3, 2016 at 10:38:20 pm

Yeah I've lost all confidence when talking with this vendor...

I really appreciate your insight and glad to know that my concerns are not unfounded.

So, I could move my R6s to the second thunderbolt port on the Mac Mini. Ideally I suppose I want everyone using just the hard drives in the Netstor and I want the Promise R6 to go away or be using for backing up even further / for archives of projects people still want stuff from.

Whatever SFP+ card is in there, it has two ports and only one port is being utilized.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Tuning performance for a NA381TB with 2014 Mac Mini + Areca AR-1882IX-24
on Feb 4, 2016 at 3:54:22 pm

there is no second port on the Mac Mini - it's the same buss.
You should be running a 2013 Mac Pro with 6 thunderbolt ports (3 busses) for this many computers.
And you should have a dedicated 10G switch for your network.

I cannot locate you. Are you Julian Poon the Harvard attorney in LA ?

Bob Zelin

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


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Julian Poon
Re: Tuning performance for a NA381TB with 2014 Mac Mini + Areca AR-1882IX-24
on Feb 4, 2016 at 4:10:47 pm

I am located in Los Angeles but I am not a Harvard attorney haha. Apparently I've been well with tightening my digital trail.

Ok understood. So they split the thunderbolt rail on two ports. It's hard to believe my place of work was surviving without the Netstore before and two 2011 Mac Minis handling the R6s and a smaller QNAP.

I thought the switch even having 2 10G SFP+ ports on the front qualified it as a 10G switch but apparently I am more ignorant than I thought!


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