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iMac RAID solution?

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Joel Thiessen
iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 6:36:12 pm

I am a small video production company shooting with an HPX-170 and running FCP, Motion etc. on my iMac. I am looking for a RAID that will function as my capture scratch and let me remove all but my applications from my iMac's hard drive.

I want something fast enough to edit HD footage off of through FW800 but would also love to have some redundancy as in RAID 1 but fear that might be too slow?

I've been looking at the iStoragePro Dock II http://www.istoragepro.com/prod.php?id=it2dock
or
OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/MirrorRAID/

Perhaps RAID 1 or RAID 0 are not the best options for this application?

Any help or insight would be great, I've just started out on my own as a company and have been going in circles trying to find what solution will work best for me!

Thanks!!


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:30:28 pm

Either one is good for the purpose; personally, I'd go for the iT2DOCK or G-RAID. Ensure the box has decent 7200rpm drives; this way, FW800 will be the bottleneck, not the drives or the RAID level.

Alex (DV411)


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David Roth Weiss
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:47:41 pm

[Alex Geroulaitis] " FW800 will be the bottleneck, not the drives or the RAID level."

Alex,

While one could argue that RAID 1 reads are not hampered as much as writes, and therefore editing performance is not significantly affected, I still think RAID 1 is a huge waste of resources, especially for users who have been using single drives. I say, if you're going to invest in a RAID, invest in the performance RAID offers. Backups of media files just aren't something that absolutely has to be automated.

BTW, I have an 8-drive RAID 5 myself, but that's a whole different kettle of fish.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:16:55 pm

You got a point. Still, there is some value in RAID1 for light and medium duty projects: e.g. you spent a day editing an urgent project, only to see one of the drives fail at the end of the day, and the whole edited project with it. Sure, your source files are backed up, but if you start re-creating the project from scratch, you'll miss the deadline, and possibly, ruin a good working relationship with your client.

Or, you could have spent $200-300 extra on RAID1 protection and that would have saved the day, the time, the project and the client.

Alex (DV411)


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Joel Thiessen
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:48:57 pm

So with that mentality, what would be the optimal configuration of a RAID? RAID 0?

Also, how important (useful) is it to be able to remove and swap the discs in an enclosure?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:47:49 pm

[Joel Thiessen] "So with that mentality, what would be the optimal configuration of a RAID? RAID 0?"

Joel,

As I said earlier, you have very limited choices, RAID 0 and RAID 1. You don't have the luxury of hardware RAIDs, which are the only really secure ways of achieving the bigger and better protection features of RAID 5, 6, etc. So, if we've ruled out RAID 1, that leaves just one more possibility. Right?

[Joel Thiessen] "Also, how important (useful) is it to be able to remove and swap the discs in an enclosure?"

It can be a nice feature, but you'll typically find that once you're set up your primary RAID, and it's working perfectly, you'll tend to move things on and off the drives rather than swapping drives, especially because big drives are so cheap these days.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Jon Schilling
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:17:50 pm

A JBOD 2 bay Firewire 800 storage device is another option.
Back up your data manually, no decrease in speed as with a RAID 1 device.

Jon Schilling


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 2, 2011 at 12:01:47 am

[Jon Schilling] "A JBOD 2 bay Firewire 800 storage device is another option.
Back up your data manually, no decrease in speed as with a RAID 1 device."


I like that idea. Is there a Stardom 2- or 4-bay model that allows for RAID1,0 and JBOD?


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Jon Schilling
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 2, 2011 at 2:20:43 am

Alex,

The ST2 offers RAID 0 or JBOD but not RAID 1, still decent & priced right too: http://stardom-usa.com/product_list.php?sno=0000184 we're still working on the page content, but it's configured through a switch in the back.

Jon


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Joel Thiessen
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 6, 2011 at 6:52:46 pm

Okay so what would you all suggest. I am stumped as to what would work best for me!

I need a FW800 enclosure I can edit HD footage off of and implement an archiving process from.

I've been looking at these drives:
OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual Bay
or
OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro

And thinking I would use these to work from and then purchase additional drives (simple usb drives or possibly naked drives w/a dock?) to back-up and archive. Once it's safely archived, erase that content from my working drives?

Also would there be a benefit to do a 2-bay enclosure with 1TBx2 vs a 1 bay enclosure with 2TB.

Thank you all!!


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 6, 2011 at 7:11:34 pm

[Joel Thiessen] "Also would there be a benefit to do a 2-bay enclosure with 1TBx2 vs a 1 bay enclosure with 2TB."

There is a performance benefit in RAID0 (insignificant with FW800 I/O) and redundancy benefit in RAID1. I think we went over this already.

[Joel Thiessen] "I've been looking at these drives:
OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual Bay
or
OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro"


What are your own thoughts?

[Joel Thiessen] "And thinking I would use these to work from and then purchase additional drives (simple usb drives or possibly naked drives w/a dock?) to back-up and archive. Once it's safely archived, erase that content from my working drives?"

It's a feasible workflow - you may want to archive critical files to at least two different drives.

Alex (DV411)


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Joel Thiessen
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 2, 2011 at 5:08:36 am

Okay so I've done some browsing and have come up with what I thought would be some potential units. If any one product stands out as a good idea or a really bad idea please let me know. I hope I'm on the right track with these!

2TB G-RAID ($269.99)
- Decent size
- Fast
- Reliable

2TB iStoragePro Dock II ($335.00)
- Affordable
- Able to switch between RAID 1 or RAID 0 (can it do JBOD?)

2TB Mercury Elite-AL Pro
- Very affordable
- I've heard good things about OWC products

2TB Caldigit AV Drive ($358.00)
- Apparently very fast
- Caldigit seems to be very reliable

Stardom ST2 ($?)
- I can't seem to find a lot of information about this product, but Jon Schilling seems to like them!
- Input on this would be appreciated


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Jon Schilling
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 2, 2011 at 5:32:09 am

http://www.welovemacs.com/st2wabc.html
Price and description there.


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Alex Geroulaitis
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:57:13 pm

[Joel Thiessen] "So with that mentality, what would be the optimal configuration of a RAID? RAID 0?"

RAID1. RAID0 will give you twice the capacity but no protection and no significant performance boost given that the pipe (FW800) isn't all that fast to begin with.

[Joel Thiessen] "Also, how important (useful) is it to be able to remove and swap the discs in an enclosure?"

Not (important or useful): I assume the plan is to take a drive out and store it on a shelf for backup, and this is not a great practice.

David Ross suggested using separate external (or internal with a docking station) drives, and Walter - using Time Machine, both valid and efficient backup practices.

Alex (DV411)


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David Roth Weiss
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:36:46 pm

Forget about RAID 1 and redundancy with your iMac. IMacs are limited in their connectivity, and so you're pretty limited in your choices, to just RAID 0 and RAID 1. RAID 1 is a complete waste of resources; it eats up throughput and space on your RAID at the expense of creating automated backup.

Just get yourself the fastest FW-800 RAID you can afford and backup manually to the most inexpensive hard drives you can find. Keep in kind, media backups aren't an everyday necessity, you only have to backup media after capturing new material, so why waste your time, money, and hardware resources focusing on something you can do at lunch with one click of your mouse.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Walter Soyka
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:51:30 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "RAID 1 is a complete waste of resources; it eats up throughput and space on your RAID at the expense of creating automated backup."

I don't mean to come across as pedantic, but RAID 1 provides redundancy, not backup.

A lot of people like the idea of RAID 1 because they think it makes their data safe. RAID 1 may be a little safer than storing data on a single drive, but it only protects you against one risk -- the failure of a single disk. File system corruption, accidental deletion, controller failure, fire, flood, theft, etc. can all wipe out your data, no matter what RAID level you are using.


[David Roth Weiss] "Just get yourself the fastest FW-800 RAID you can afford and backup manually to the most inexpensive hard drives you can find. Keep in kind, media backups aren't an everyday necessity, you only have to backup media after capturing new material, so why waste your time, money, and hardware resources focusing on something you can do at lunch with one click of your mouse."

This sounds really reasonable, given the budget. I'd also think about another drive for Time Machine or Time Capsule for automatic hourly backups (with versioning) of the project files.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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David Roth Weiss
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:02:16 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I don't mean to come across as pedantic, but RAID 1 provides redundancy, not backup. "

I understand that Walter. I'm saying the same thing as you...

Joel, like others who look to RAID 1 for this purpose, is essentially looking for a way to create and automated backup, and there are much cheaper and better ways of achieving that.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Walter Soyka
Re: iMac RAID solution?
on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:18:03 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I understand that Walter. I'm saying the same thing as you... Joel, like others who look to RAID 1 for this purpose, is essentially looking for a way to create and automated backup, and there are much cheaper and better ways of achieving that."

Absolutely. I should have phrased that a little better. You are an expert and I know that you know the difference between backup and redundancy. I just think it's very important to clearly point out that difference for less-experienced readers who may stumble across this thread in the future.

RAID is not backup!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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