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Classic Mac Pro and 10GbE Connected RAID

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Adrian Price
Classic Mac Pro and 10GbE Connected RAID
on Jun 30, 2017 at 3:47:43 am

Ok first disclaimer, I fully acknowledge my lack of networking experience and apologise in advance if my newbie questions raise the hackles of anyone with a far greater brain and networking experience than I, but hoping such brains can point me in the right direction.

I've finally gotten around to upgrading the internals of my 5.1 Classic Mac Pro, and am trying to find a cost effective and stable solution to a media RAID for 4K editing/grading in FCPX and Resolve (most likely ProRes 422 UHD at the most). In researching around it seems like a 10GbE network connection might be the answer. Im a single person cameraman/editor/video producer so I don't need the networking or shared component of the usual networking solutions.

Sonnet are currently offering these PCIe cards that should work inside the 5.1
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/presto10gbesfp.html
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/presto10gbaset.html

and it looks like the cheapest 10GbE RAID solution at this time would be this
https://www.qnap.com/en-au/product/model.php?II=260

Can I simply attach the two together and live the 4K editing dream or would I need a 10GbE switch to make this work?
I'm also a little hazy on the tech of Link Aggregation (Teaming). Would it be possible to link the two connections together to increase bandwidth?

It seems like there is a real movement to open up the editing options to NAS, I understand with FCPX 10.3 we can now store libraries on NAS
https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT207128

but this would require using the SMB protocol? Is this mutually exclusive to using NFS? There seems a fair amount of debate as to which is faster
https://ferhatakgun.com/network-share-performance-differences-between-nfs-s...

Again I apologise if these questions seem ridiculous to the Networking professionals in this forum, but it just seems like this could be a great way to extend the life of our ageing Classic Mac Pros.

Just a few other notes:
I'm aware I could go down the traditional SAS RAID route, but the NAS route does seem to offer a financially competitive and potentially faster option.
I've had a few people suggest I look at the QNAP options that also offer Thunderbolt for future upgrade potential. It's certainly something I would consider down the track, but at the moment I'm just trying to see if I can get the system to work at a minimal cost (the Thunderbolt NAS solutions with 10GbE seem to be about three times the price).

Thanks in advance to all for advice and suggestions.

Adrian

contact@adrianprice.net.au
http://www.adrianprice.net.au


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Classic Mac Pro and 10GbE Connected RAID
on Jul 1, 2017 at 12:27:00 pm

The QNAP unit you've mentioned has two SFP ports, so the Sonnet with SFP (Presto 10GbE SFP+) will work and the other one with RJ45 won't. You'll also need LC fibre cables to hook up the MacPros to the QNAP.

I'm not sure a 5-bay RAID will have a throughput sufficient for 4k playback unless its very compressed. You should look at something 8-bay, preferably with 10GigE RJ-45 instead of SFP.

Also, if you're going to connect the QNAP to only one machine, then why do you need a NAS?
Why not a SAS RAID hooked up with a SAS card inside the MacPro.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Bob Zelin
Re: Classic Mac Pro and 10GbE Connected RAID
on Jul 4, 2017 at 3:24:38 pm

so the bottom line here is -
you already know that if you purchased a SAS RAID card and a 8 bay drive array, this whole process would be easy.
A nice G-Tech, Lacie, etc. would work just fine, but it's too much money.

So you are looking at the QNAP's - not because you need shared storage, but because they will ultimately cost less money than a conventional pre raided SATA array for your older Mac Pro.

Here is the bottom line. If you go to a value added reseller in your area that knows how to configure the QNAP for you, this will work fine. The tech will help you install the card, load the drivers, set the IP addresses, and of course build the QNAP for you, and it will work. And I am SURE that your value added reseller will CHARGE YOU MONEY for this service, just like the folks that make the pre configured RAIDs that just plug into your system charge "more money" - because all the work is done for you.

But if you think that you are going to order a QNAP TS531X or a TS831X, pop some drives in there, and it's just going to work, you are in for a big disappointment. Now, you can certainly sit there and try to figure out how to do it, but most people fail at this, which is why you should use a qualified reseller or freelance tech that can do this for you.

In the end, there is no cheap way. You pay one way (the more expensive preconfigured product), or you get the cheap stuff, and can't figure it out, and then have to hire someone to help you. Just like installing a toilet - not expensive to buy, but not easy to install.

The QNAP is an excellent product, and very fast, and will work very well with your older Mac Pro with the right 10G card like the Sonnet. I agree with Neil that you should consider the 8 bay and not a 4 or 5 bay. When you work in 4K, you eat up drive space like crazy, and 8 drives will give you much greater performance than 4 drives.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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