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RAID Confusion on a PC...

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Gerry Cast
RAID Confusion on a PC...
on Feb 11, 2016 at 4:19:41 pm

Hi, I've been reading here, but still am stumped.

I currently has a 5 Bay Sans Digital RAID array connected to my PC with an estata cable to a RAID card.

My array sometimes just "disappears" and I have to reboot to get it back. Sometimes after a few hours of editing, sometimes not for 25+ hour of running. I've googled this problem and other with this brand and same RAID card are having the same problem. I backup every few mintues, so I am able to work without major problems, it's just inconvenient.

I was taught about 3 years ago, to get the best video editing speed, I should create a 4 terabyte total(2 Two Terabyte drives), RAID O in my current bay, and then use another disk for my Media Cache and another drive for my Previews. I'm running Adobe Premier Pro CC 2015, again, connected via eSata.

Since I found out that I can't connect Thunderbolt to my PC, USB 3 seems the fastest connection I should now buy.

My problem is that Drobo 5D ($630.00) and some others all DO NOT allow me to create separate RAIDs or use individual disks separately within the enclosures, UNLESS I go to the 1500.00 Glyph or Lacie.

My question is, do I really need the Media Cache and Preview folders to be on separate drives to this day still? Or is using the big RAID 0 (with the Media Cache folder and Previews folders on it while editing video) ok, and will still be faster using USB 3 than my current setup and separate drives using eSata?

Any recommendations?

Thanks.


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Paul Thurston
Re: RAID Confusion on a PC...
on Mar 7, 2016 at 8:02:49 pm

Hi Gerry,

Q: “do I really need the Media Cache and Preview folders to be on separate drives to this day still?”
A: The answer is no. You may actually put these items on the same drive your media is on.

BUT, you have substandard technology that will limit your ability to edit well. The Drobo 5D is a Near Attached Storage designed for small bandwidth. So yes, you can save large files to it, and yes they will playback the file, as data, but the speed or transfer, as you probably noticed is not great.

I’ve edited various projects using RAID-0’s, and have successfully finished them all quite well. But every six to eight months, I have to rebuild the RAID as it starts to fail (RAID-0 is problematic, especially with non-server type SATA drives.)

ALL drives fail, even server destined SAS drives. But non-server type SATA drives fail or die faster.

For video editing, you should consider using at least four drives for a RAID-0, preferably SAS 10k ones.

Just because you have a RAID-0, does not mean disaster will not strike. This is why some folks tend to build a RAID-60 (inside a CHENBRO chassis) and connect it to a fine PC computer using an ARECA manufactured RAID adapter card (x16 PCI-e 3.) They also tend to only use HGST manufactured SAS hard drives (they hold up longer than Seagate or Western Digital branded drives). WD owns HGST by the way.

Does it cost piles of money to build a RAID-60 inside a CHENBRO chassis? Yes, oodles of it. And the reliability is really high also. You get what you pay for. Personally I can’t stand unreliable equipment, or equipment that is unreliable because the hard drives are under-engineered on purpose.

On the other hand, if you choose to not build your own “tank” full of hard drives, you could just buy something advertised at Creativecow.

Regardless, this type of endeavor is going to be expensive. And yes, most people just give up and use substandard equipment, not designed for heavy duty video editing (Drobo and even Lacie.) They all eventually regret it though.

Q: “So what about USB 3.0? Isn’t it fast enough?”
A: Technically speaking it’s fast. But the drives connected to that USB 3 connector, are usually just home use, under-engineered, SATA drives not designed for video editing RAID setups.

Alas, if you have less than $1000 US Dollars for a RAID setup, you’ll need to save up some more money. Low end hard drives, inside whatever chassis you choose, will always work against you at the end.

For MAC folks who happen to read this:
Q: “What happens if I have an Apple computer, won’t that work better?”
A: You have to look at the least common denominator of the endeavor. If the SATA drives connected to it are for home use, the type that are substandard, and under-engineered (they cost much less than professional server types), no advanced computer technology will save you from the aggravation of the drive’s design. I’m not saying Macs are under-engineered. I’m saying those cheap SATA drives usually chosen for video editing will frustrate certain high bandwidth projects and nothing will save you from that.

The hard drives are the issue, not the computer or drive chassis of choice.

-----------------------------------------------
Paul Thurston
Producer
Chile


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Paul Thurston
Re: RAID Confusion on a PC...
on Mar 7, 2016 at 8:25:54 pm

Now I thought about the symptoms you describe and based on my experience, you may have a driver that is conflicting with another driver, you have a driver that is damaged, you may have a driver that causes what you experience by design(perhaps the driver was probably coded before the product even existed… yikes… need an updated driver), or as I’ve described, there’s perhaps something happening with your drives.

What kind of drives do you have?

-----------------------------------------------
Paul Thurston
Producer
Chile


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Gerry Cast
Re: RAID Confusion on a PC...
on Mar 8, 2016 at 12:48:07 am

Thanks, but all is working well for me and my system right now. I appreciate your help.


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Gerry Cast
Re: RAID Confusion on a PC...
on Mar 7, 2016 at 8:32:22 pm

Thanks for all that info.
I went for a 4 Terabyte G-RAID in RAID 0, and also two 1 Terabyte G-Drives, one for the Media Cache and one for the Export/Previews. I read what you said about not needing multiple drives AFTER I bought these. But interestingly enough, it "seems" faster to edit when the Media Cache is not on the same drive as my Raw video files and Project Files. Maybe I'm wrong, don't know.
I'm backing up all three drive enclosures to other drives constantly during editing, so I'm ok as I use a home safe and an off-site place for the backups.
This setup, editing in Premier Pro CC 2015 is faster than the Sans Digital 5 Bay RAID 0 setup that I had using an eSata PCIexpress card (using USB 3.0), as I can preview in real time a 1/2 resolution, which I couldn't do before.
Thanks again for your help!


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