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Ben Pridmore
storage/server fresh setup
on Feb 17, 2014 at 1:20:36 am

Hi there.

Im looking for some advice about setup for a small company (10 users, 4 who are video editing).

My background is in network/server management, not so much in storage. Let me give you some of the current setup.

. all mac environment (10.9)
. 2010 mac server (using this as a 22tb file server using sas mini)
. 1gb unmanaged switch.

Im wanting to update this system. Can anyone suggest the best method to share a lot of data over a LAN?

Requirements:
. Able to easily edit folder/file permissions
. Increase disk size to 32tb
. Of course speed and stability is essential

Would it be best to use a DAS (Mac Mini server, new Mac Pro- using lags & 20gb thunderbolt ports) or network attached storage (iscsi/san)?

Any advice would be appreciated.
Ben


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Eric Hansen
Re: storage/server fresh setup
on Feb 17, 2014 at 4:25:13 pm

How much speed do you need? What parts of your system aren't currently working or not working as well as you'd like?

Most of the shared storage systems I've built have been a version of what you already have: Mac Pro with OS X Server, SAS storage, Link Agg to 1GbE switch (or 10GbE). What SAS storage do you currently have? I would say add another SAS RAID, maybe switch to 10Gb Ethernet and keep the same Mac Pro server and storage you already have (assuming everything is working fine).

I've put together a few Mac Mini/Thunderbolt RAID/10GbE systems already for clients that need something brand new. But if you have a working Mac Pro Tower and already invested in SAS, I would definitely stick with that. SAS is much more mature than Thunderbolt with higher bandwidth and lower latency.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Ben Pridmore
Re: storage/server fresh setup
on Feb 18, 2014 at 2:25:20 am

Thanks for your reply Eric.

Speed is fairly important. Some transcoding is done over the network but this will be changing soon to be done locally. Everything is working fine at the moment. We just need to add a lot more space.

The current setup is a Mac Pro 5.1 (file server) & Axus Y3-12S6ES6-D 22tb raid.

New Mac's have lost the ability to use sas (apart from using a thunderbolt/sas converter from sonnet which isnt something i really want to use). This is why i'd like to move away from using sas.

A solution is to keep the current sas raid to house our originals video files on (15tb) and move the rest to a Mac mini file server (since there's only one thunderbolt & Ethernet port i wont be able to use a lag- it might be possible to use thunderbolt hub though).

Another solution is to buy another sas raid, but this is become redundant once the server is upgraded.

Ben


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Daniel Levy
Re: storage/server fresh setup
on Feb 18, 2014 at 1:49:05 pm

HI Ben,

There are a few options that might help.

Netstor have a Thunderbolt Rack-mount in a 16 or 24 setup. The 24 Bay allows a Mac mini to be integrated into the back panel and utilises it as a SAN device.
Both Setups are currently TB1 but will be fully upgradeable to TB2 using a newer interface card and a firmware update.
The Areca Raid card used in the Netstor device allows SAS Expansion.

There are also a few devices on the market that allow Thunderbolt to PCIE Expansion allowing older storage devices to be connected to the Macs Thunderbolt inputs.

If you feel any of the above to be relevant or want to discuss it further I'm happy to talk you through some options.


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Eric Hansen
Re: storage/server fresh setup
on Feb 18, 2014 at 3:39:14 pm

If by "Thunderbolt Hub" you mean a box with 1 Thunderbolt IN and multiple Thunderbolts OUT, that does not exist at this time. To do Link Agg 1GbE or 10GbE with a Mac Mini, you will need either a TB to PCIe box with the correct ethernet card, or a TB to 10GbE box like the ATTO NT 1102.

I would say, if you want 10GbE on multiple edit stations, to stick with the 2010 Mac Pro server and SAS. If you're going with 1GbE to the editors, then the Mac Mini will work. With 10Gb Thunderbolt, you will run out of bandwidth. Just because new Macs can't use SAS without adapters doesn't mean you should ditch SAS on the server end. If maintained well, that 2010 server will last for years.

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Bob Zelin
Re: storage/server fresh setup
on Feb 18, 2014 at 6:33:43 pm

Hi Ben -
you are not going to get 10 people to play video back over a Mac Mini server. End of story. You can use an older Mac Pro as your server, and a big fast drive array. A standard 1GbE network with an Office Depot 1GbE switch ain't gonna cut it either.

There are lots of companies that make products like this, to do exactly want you want, and most of them appear right here on Creative Cow, with their own forums. You can do it yourself, but it's gonna take some work.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Ben Pridmore
Re: storage/server fresh setup
on Feb 20, 2014 at 3:07:59 am

Thank you all for your advice.

After spending a while reading around this subject its no way as simple as i originally thought.

Apple doesn't seem to make a product to meet my requirements. I'm tempted to go down the iscsi route & get a company in.

Thanks again guys.
Ben


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