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Elliot Lim
FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Aug 18, 2013 at 1:12:56 pm

Hello

We are trying to connect up two mac pros (mid 2012) to work off from a 12TB Caldigit HDPro2 RAID. Currently the RAID connects directly to the first MacPro (refer as MP1) via direct pcie connection.
The second MacPro (refer as MP2) works by referencing files from the RAID by connecting through MP1 by gigabit ethernet cable.

Assuming that FCPX won't have an update that allows SAN workflows other than XSAN anytime soon, for now we are content with using the 'disc image file' workaround to have everything living within RAID.
The MP1 has its scratch events&projects nestled in the RAID (as through its direct connection it is being recognized as local storage), and MP2 has its scratch in its local drives and references footage needed from the RAID when needed.

However our problem is that the gigabit ethernet connection is not fast enough for the data traffic that MP2 needs to work off our RAID.

Hence our questions are:

1. Is there anyway to split the pcie direct cable from our RAID so that it can branch off into the two MacPros directly?

(At the moment we can see that there are some modular pcie units that can split out signals (eg mercury helios and Sonnet enclosures), but they appear to be only cater to thunderbolt, which MacPros are sorely lacking in... as a follow up IF such a thing exists would that enable both Macs to see the RAID as NAS?)

2. What is the best solution for having faster connection between the two Macs? Is it possible to have a network through USB3/eSATA?, we are also contemplating 10 gigabit ethernet model as well. What other network solutions would you recommend?

Of course all of this discussion would be moot if Apple releases thunderbolt capability to current gen MacPros... Or is XSAN the only way to go? It feels like it is an overkill for such a small network and there doesn't seem to be too much confidence in investing into fibre connection at this stage.

If you were generous (or patient) enough to read until now, thank you so much for your time and we look forward to your valuable suggestions. Finally posting to CreativeCow after years of gleaning info off it, hoping there would be a solution to be found to our conundrum!

All the best
Elliot


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Aug 18, 2013 at 9:06:41 pm

I have metasan and it works just fine with fcpx. Some of the clients are Ethernet base sand work well with ProRes. What are you working with in that Ethernet doesn't work? I get 90-100 MB/sec over Ethernet.

As far as I know, there's no way to share pcie directly.

Your best bet would be to get a third MacPro or something like the sonnet xmac mini server:

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/xmacminiserver.html

You'd hook you the storage to that via pcie and serve the data via Ethernet to each MacPro. If you need to go faster, you'd need to share the data out via fibre or 10Gb Ethernet, but then things start to get even more costly.

Per MacPro, you'd only be able to go as fast as the hdpro2 can go, divided by 2. If you're getting 600MB/sec on the raid, you'd get 300 per MacPro.


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Elliot Lim
Re: FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Sep 12, 2013 at 11:47:18 pm

Hi Jeremy

Thanks for your suggestions, we decided to go ahead with implementation of metaSAN and metaLAN by Tiger Technology.
As an update on our setup we have a:

RAID
ll
MacPro (metaSAN)
ll ll
MacPro (metaLAN) MacPro (metaLAN)

as recommended by our reseller. The connections are:
Pcie direct from RAID to MacPro with metaSAN,
Ethernet from metaSAN MacPro to each MacPro with metaLAN

There seems to be a hitch with installation at the moment, we cannot get the metaSAN to export out the RAID as a mountable volume to metaLAN. They can see each other but the volumes come up as 'error' saying that they are missing metaSAN activation.
When we try to activate the license to the metaSAN and metaLAN they look to be accepting the activation key but nothing happens when we click 'activate'! Could this be the source of our problem?
We are using a 45 day trial version of the software before purchase.
Are we using the right configuration of software? Because it seems metaSAN iSCSI seems more logical as we are all ethernet based to work from, unless metaSAN already has iSCSI built into it?

All the best


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 1:27:00 am

[Elliot Lim] "When we try to activate the license to the metaSAN and metaLAN they look to be accepting the activation key but nothing happens when we click 'activate'! Could this be the source of our problem?"

Our LAN licenses are controlled by the metadata Master, only SAN (not LAN) clients need to "activate".

Does your metadata master activate? Or is it only the clients that don't activate?

Also, did you setup all your IP addresses correctly or are you still using DHCP? Do you have a separate metadata network?

Did your reseller help with the setup or are you doing this yourself?


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Elliot Lim
Re: FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 5:12:50 am

Does your metadata master activate? Or is it only the clients that don't activate?

It appears that the metadata master is not activating because it's license status still shows up as 'not activated'
On our licensing server there are corresponding activation keys for both the metaLAN license as well, so where would we have to input those? In our metaLAN there are not 'activation' option to input them into.
None of the volumes in metaSAN are showing up to be mountable in metaLAN, though the metaSAN can add in the workstations as members.

Also, did you setup all your IP addresses correctly or are you still using DHCP? Do you have a separate metadata network?

We don't have a separate metadata network as we are only using the ethernet to connect up the workstation to the server. Our reseller also didn't specify whether or not we need a switch other than 'it can offer more grunt than the built in NIC of macpro' We didn't have any issues with connectivity or network performance with the aforementioned setup, and with an absence of separate metadata master thought it would be sufficient to not have a dedicated switch. We are in possession of netgear gs108 unmanaged switch though, would it help to hook it up?

Did your reseller help with the setup or are you doing this yourself?

No just few correspondence through email and we got a download link to a x1 metaSAN and x2 metaLAN evaluation software. We are in New Zealand and the reseller that was referred to us is in Australia.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Sep 13, 2013 at 4:54:49 pm

It might be best to contact Tiger directly about this, but I can try and help.

For now, forget the clients until the master is setup (shut them down completely).

Are you using the PCIe connected MacPro as a dedicated metadata master?

You activate the metaLAN licenses through the metaSAN master, at least that's how we do it. Our setup is little different than yours, though. This is done through the "About" tab in the MetaSAN Control Panel.

Have you set dedicated IPs for every computer and entered those as Members in the "San Management" tab? DId you check the "add as LAN" for your LAN IP addresses? I would suggest using the switch as it makes things a bit easier.

If you wouldn't mind, give me the step by step of what you have done so I can try and see if you may have missed a step.

Jeremy


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Elliot Lim
Re: FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Sep 15, 2013 at 11:40:54 pm

Hi Jeremy

Cheers for your help, essentially what happened was;

Installed metaSAN on to our 'macpro server', running osx lion. During installation the quick start wizard came on but it could not see any volumes (RAID) attached to it, so was unable to complete that part of the installation.
Installed metaLAN into each of the 'workstations' running osx mountain lion. Installation went off without a hitch.

----------------

Unable to activate the metaSAN license, either through automatic or manual method (from the abouts tab in metaSAN) The activation code was obtained through licensing server by using the the given serial number. The status of activation goes through the loading wheel but then the window closes and nothing has changed in the activation status.
Interestingly there are also serial and activation code for the 2 metaLAN license as well , though one of the metaAN has the same serial number as the metaSAN but with a different activation code. Same situation in that they will be inputted with the activation code but nothing happens of it.

-----------------

Initially had all the workstations physically disconnected from the server, but then none of the volumes even showed up on the server until they were reconnected.
Unable to create 'new' SAN definition from metaSAN as it is greyed out. Can add RAID as volumes (but the icon goes from HDD mounted as private to a fragented disk with error - volume will not be mounted because of missing SAN activation)

-----------------

No trouble adding members through input of ip addresses or machine name.
Able to add in volumes in LAN shares tab but it does not show up in the metaLAN for them to be a mountable volume.
metaLAN seems to be able to see the server but again no volumes show up to be mountable.
Just tried to fix up the ip situation by making them manual and the machines can still see each other, however still having issues activating the metaSAN license.

-----------------


Will be hooking up the switch to see if it could solve the situation. We also tried to hook up a spare raid (running off esata cables) but are plagued with the same issues.

Thanks in advance for your help Jeremy!

All the best
Elliot


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX - Two Mac Pros (mid2012) - One Caldigit HDPro2 RAID - How to connect it all up?
on Sep 16, 2013 at 2:32:36 am

[Elliot Lim] "Unable to activate the metaSAN license, either through automatic or manual method (from the abouts tab in metaSAN) The activation code was obtained through licensing server by using the the given serial number. The status of activation goes through the loading wheel but then the window closes and nothing has changed in the activation status.
Interestingly there are also serial and activation code for the 2 metaLAN license as well , though one of the metaAN has the same serial number as the metaSAN but with a different activation code. Same situation in that they will be inputted with the activation code but nothing happens of it. "


This is where I would focus efforts for now.

If your reseller gave you the licensing info, you should follow up with them to get a different license or have the current one fixed.


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