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Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading

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Martin Fisher
Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading
on Apr 17, 2010 at 2:54:12 pm

Hi there,

My company wants to build 2 workstations for 2k capturing and color grading. We are a small company so we don't have a big budget.

I've been reading a lot and i cant seem to find out "definitive answers" regarding to what we should buy in terms of a Shared Storage. Probably cause many of the posts & articles i've found related to this subject are old and i really think that there has to be newer, better and more affordable options.

I need a RAID that can get a stable 750 MB/Sec if i want to share this raid in 2 workstations reading or writing 10bit uncomp 2k 4:4:4 at the same time.

I'd like to know what kind of RAID (hardware) should i buy that can deliver that stable speed in RAID 5.
Also need to know a good way to share this raid on 2 or more PCs to get 750 MB/Sec.

This new forum arrived just in time for me!
Thanks
Martin

PS: English is not my main language. Please let me know if i wasn't clear enough.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading
on Apr 18, 2010 at 1:35:31 am

At NAB, I demonstrated Smoke for MAC running 2K DPX files running over 10 Gig ethernet at the Maxx Digital booth. 2K DPX files require 292 Mb/sec. Modern drive arrays (from companies like Maxx and others that you see advertise on this website) run between 600 - 700 Mb/sec, so you can currently get two systems doing 292Mb/sec (one stream only each system) using 10 Gig ethernet. I want to stress to you that you cannot do more than 2 systems maximum this way, because of the drive speeds. A "trick" around this is to get two RAID 5 arrays (of course twice the money) with two ATTO cards, and stripe both RAID 5 arrays together to RAID 50 - then you will get about 1200Mb/sec. When the 6 Gig SATA drives come out, you will get much greater performance and will be able to hookup 4 - 6 uncompressed 2K systems, but for now, today, I can only get two 2K uncompressed DPX systems to work with 10 Gig (if you want to be on a budget).

You can contact Maxx Digital to ask about 10 Gig ethernet, and how this can happen. It's really easy.
Easy, as long as you currently only want two systems, and understand that you cannot currenyly expand this.

Bob Zelin




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Martin Fisher
Re: Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading
on Apr 18, 2010 at 9:36:40 pm

Hey Bob, Thanks for the answer.

Do you have experience with some of the modern drive arrays that you mention ? In case you do, can you point me out some that runs at a stable 600 - 700 MB/Sec ?

Also, which ATTO card are you referring to for stripping 2 arrays ? (do you have a model name or a link ?)

And finally, if i can make a RAID 50 stripping 2 of this drives to get double speed, why is that you say that getting one of this arrays isn't an expandable option ?

Thanks again !


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Bob Zelin
Re: Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading
on Apr 19, 2010 at 1:30:16 am

Martin -
all modern drive arrays will do 600-700 Mb/sec - that is all PROFESSIONAL arrays will do it - exactly who - every damn advertiser that you see on Creative Cow - Cal Digit, Dulce Systems, G-Tech, Maxx Digital, JMR, and all the others - they are all great products. I use ATTO R380 cards, if you stick two ATTO R380 cards (or two R348 cards) into two slots in your Mac, and run any two identical hi quality RAID arrays, then you will get 1200Mb/sec. But of course, most people do not want to buy a double set of drive arrays and controller cards to get this speed, so most will wait for the new 6Gig products that will come out soon, to keep their costs down. Once you have these speeds, you can do more than two clients.

So, which drives CANNOT do 600-700Mb/sec reliably - any deep discounter crap provider like
Newegg, Frys, or Other World Computing. When you see a big RAID array for $400, let me assure you, this won't work.

You can do anything today - you can have full 4K uncompressed SAN's if you want - it's all a matter of how much money you want to spend. If money is no object, you can do anything. If you want to keep within a budget, then you have these limitations.

Bob Zelin



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Martin Fisher
Re: Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading
on Apr 19, 2010 at 8:34:16 pm

Hey Bob,
I've been checking some drive arrays and i think that any of this would fit my requirements:
CallDigit HDPro2
Evo 2k Expando
Evo 4k Expando

I plan to connect this to a PC using the ATTO R380 card you mention, but this just brings me a doubt: If this card can manage 3Gb/Sec, how would it be able to get up to 700 or 800 MB/Sec that this arrays are offering ?

If i undertand you correctly, as soon as i get this workstation Up & Running, i'll connect the other PC over a 10 Giga Ethernet Network and i'll be ready to go.

Thanks again for the help.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading
on Apr 20, 2010 at 1:52:02 am

the HD Pro 2 uses a propriatary SATA host controller. All the drives you mention will do about 700Mb/sec.

are both of your systems PC's - do they both have x16 PCIe slots in them for modern 10 Gig ethernet cards ?

Bob Zelin




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Martin Fisher
Re: Shared RAID for 2K Capture and Grading
on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:53:42 am

Ok, cool. So if i get an HDPro2 then i dont need to get the ATTO.

Both systems WILL BE PC. Meaning that i still have to build/buy them. I just want to make sure that everything will be PC compatible and that i'll have enought PCI slots available before i buy them.

So the new 10 Gig ethernet cards must run on a 16x PCI-E slot ?

I'm also planning to get this for one of the PCs:
  • PCIe 16x - Quadro FX 4800 or 5800 (5800 is almost 2 times more expensive than 4400. do you know if it worth it?)
  • PCIe 8x - RedRocket
  • PCIe 4x - AJA KONA3

I guess that the controller card for the HDPro2 or the evo should be in a PCIe 16x ?

Thanks again!


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