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Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs

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Randall Packer
Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 28, 2016 at 8:26:18 pm
Last Edited By Randall Packer on Aug 28, 2016 at 8:27:11 pm

I have a multimedia studio for video and music production, where I have accumulated several Thunderbolt 2 DAS and external hard drives as file workspace for my iMac. Each DAS or single drive is dedicated to one aspect of my work: video, music, and images, each with with its own database (Lightroom, CatDV, and Audiofinder) tagged with metadata. Currently I use a rather crude, but cheap system of backup: loose HDD's and a drive dock connected via USB 3. I would like to now purchase an NAS for backups with about 12 TB of data and growing.

Here is my conundrum: I have a lot of money invested in my DAS/HDD's, I don't want to risk changing the directory paths, and the DAS units provide very fast workspace with Raid 0. I just want to use the NAS with rundundancy formatting in Raid 5 for backup only. Since I am the only one working in my studio, there is no need to share files.

However, after doing a great deal of research on NAS systems from QNAP and Synology, I can see that integrating DAS/External drives as workspace and NAS RAID as backup space is unorthodox. I can't find any examples of anyone who is doing this. Plus, I was told by a rep at Synology that I would have to rely on third party software for backups in this direction. This is not such a problem though because I currently use Econ Chronosync for my dock backups, and could use it for scheduled backups to from DAS/HDDs to NAS.

Has anyone tried integrating DAS and NAS systems in this way? Or is there perhaps a better solution given my workflow?

Many thanks in advance for advice.

Randall Packer

Multimedia Artist and Composer


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Nathaniel Cooper
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 29, 2016 at 3:33:51 pm

Hey Randall,

There are two ways that I know of to integrate all of these together.

To get all of your DAS Thunderbolt storage seen directly by a NAS, you can get a Mac Mini and reshare it as AFP storage, then as you described, use a 3rd party NAS to NAS backup utility between the two. In my opinion, there is a whole lot of networking and complexity there, especially considering you don't need multi-user access.

The other option is something in the ProMAX Platform line up. All ProMAX servers have built in Thunderbolt for the exact reason you are talking about. There is also built in backup and archive software, so it would be a single unit to learn/support.

I don't know of any other vendors doing this, but it is a very common use of both Mac Mini's and ProMAX Platforms.

If you want to dig into the ProMAX side of things, hit me up.

Best,

Nathaniel Cooper
nathaniel@promax.com


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Randall Packer
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 29, 2016 at 4:05:09 pm

Thanks Nathaniel for taking time to offer your advice and suggestions.

It's not exactly clear to me why you can't backup files directly from a chain of external Thunderbolt hard drives to a NAS without the addition of another computer to "reshare it as AFP storage." I'm not understanding the terminology there...

The ProMax system sounds wonderful but looks like it is way over my budget. I'm a media artist working out of my studio, and so I'm not doing any commercial work, just projects for online exhibition. I am planning to spend 3K to 4K for a complete backup solution.

But I really appreciate your ideas!

Best, Randall

Multimedia Artist and Composer


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Nathaniel Cooper
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Aug 30, 2016 at 4:31:31 pm

It's a matter of access to the storage, both the NAS you add and your existing Thunderbolt storage need to be able to see each other if you want to backup between them.

You could do this at your 'creative' workstation, but I would not personally want to use the same workstation for both backing up and working, as it will likely slow your primary tasks down. This is why you would (generally) want a dedicated workstation to do this (like an iMac). The AFP reshare, in this case would be so that your primary workstation can access the Thudnerbolt RAID that is directly connected.

I would recommend checking out https://bombich.com/ they make Carbon Copy Cloner, which should have some great features in the budget you want to stay within.

Good luck!

Nathaniel Cooper
nathaniel@promax.com


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Sep 14, 2016 at 11:01:30 am

Hi Randall,

this is rather unorthodox. Normally you would have all your data on a Raid5/6 external raid system via thunderbolt and do the back-up on the single drives. This is what you should aim. Future projects will go on your new Drive system.
Meanwhile you work whith your old system whithin the existing workflow.
After some time you get there and your main file system is on your Raid, the back-up on single drives.
By the way Raid0 is no option. It is not whether rather when your Raid0 fails and you loose all the data on it. in this case you can switch easily.

Cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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Randall Packer
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Sep 14, 2016 at 12:42:43 pm

"this is rather unorthodox. Normally you would have all your data on a Raid5/6 external raid system via thunderbolt and do the back-up on the single drives. This is what you should aim."

Thanks so much for your comments.

However, based on extensive research, I don't see the advantage of using a NAS as "workspace" for video editing if I am the only one working off the drive. To setup a NAS that is sufficiently fast for up to 4K editing, requires either a 10Gbe network, adding significant cost, or a Thunderbolt NAS, such as the QNAP series. The problem with the QNAP is they don't daily chain, so you essentially have to free up an entire TB port, which is not possible with my setup. I spoke with a Small Tree rep, a top video NAS maker, and even with a 10Gbe network, he claimed speeds of around 350 Mbs read/write at a relatively high cost (for me).

Now if I were to purchase say a CalDigit T4 using Raid 0, I could get up to 750Mbs read/write, significantly faster. I would then use a 1Gbe NAS to backup the DAS. Again, I am not sharing files, so with scheduled backup ever day from the DAS to the NAS, I would have regular backups to a NAS with redundancy. The idea would be to keep space available on the fast DAS by deleting completed projects as they are backed up on the slower NAS. The cost of doing it this way I believe is much cheaper than a high end NAS on a high speed network.

I'm sure most videographers on this list work in collaborative studios, but this simply isn't the case for me. I am very interested in anyone who works solo who uses this type of workflow.

Thanks, Randall

Multimedia Artist and Composer


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Sep 15, 2016 at 10:56:55 am

Hi Randall,

I think you've never had a data loss, because for us professionals redundancy with huge amount of data comes first.
Speed comes second, mainly because most of us have data speeds above 1000 MB/s.
The best solutions are via 4x8Gb/s FC or thunderbolt, mainly with 16 or 24 bay Raid5/6.
For a decent workflow in 4K including compositing effects you need more than 700 MB/s speed.
Even for a one man show you should consider a solution like this. The longer you work and getting more and more data to provide for your customers the more you appreciate a solution like this.
Just redundancy for your backup you can use a 4bay Raid5 with esata.

Cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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Randall Packer
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Sep 15, 2016 at 1:49:22 pm

[Rainer Wirth] "I think you've never had a data loss, because for us professionals redundancy with huge amount of data comes first.
Speed comes second, mainly because most of us have data speeds above 1000 MB/s.
The best solutions are via 4x8Gb/s FC or thunderbolt, mainly with 16 or 24 bay Raid5/6.
For a decent workflow in 4K including compositing effects you need more than 700 MB/s speed.
Even for a one man show you should consider a solution like this. The longer you work and getting more and more data to provide for your customers the more you appreciate a solution like this.
Just redundancy for your backup you can use a 4bay Raid5 with esata."


Rainer, thanks for your thoughts. My idea is to use DAS for workspace and NAS for backup, so in fact there is I believe plenty of redundancy in this design. Can you tell me what model of RAID you are using and the network configuration to get above 1000Mbs? I talked to a representative from SmallTree, a leading video RAID manufacturer, and he quoted me 350Mbs Read/Write for an 8-bay Raid using Raid 5 over a 10Gb network. There seems to be quite a varying range of performance specifications for the various Raid systems I have looked at. Also not sure what you mean by "FC." Many thanks, Randall

Multimedia Artist and Composer


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Integrating DAS and NAS RAIDs
on Sep 15, 2016 at 3:36:51 pm

Hi Randall,

Small tree is one of the best, they can offer you a really professional set up.
We use Sonnet, Axus and Promise raids.
The connection is over FC with PCIx Cards, FC switch and Software.
Al Raids are 16 or 24 bay Raids.
The Computers have Atto cards (FN64) built in. Back-up is over esata on 4-bay Raids plus normal HDs.

cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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