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OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!

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Kevin Wild
OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 18, 2007 at 6:22:46 pm

Just thought some might be interested in this. After saving a lot of money by building 3 of my own Raids with the Sonnet Tech Fusion 500P boxes, I called today and they said they are now only selling them populated with drives. Argh! It's too bad...it instantly added $500 to the price now that I can't get cheaper drives elsewhere.

Interestingly, B&H says they are still accepting orders for the box only for $499. I ordered one but I'm wondering if it will even go through. Per the Sonnet guy I talked with, he says he doubts it unless they have them in stock.

Just an fyi for the diy's.

Kevin


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JeremyG
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 18, 2007 at 7:17:52 pm

Yeah, but have you looked at their new ones? AN ATTO infiniband card that supports all kinds of raid on it.


It looks sweet and it's still priced right. Can't wait to check it out.


Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 18, 2007 at 10:24:39 pm

Kevin -
do you know why this happens ? Because someone not as qualified as you buys drives from "Joes discount SATA drives" which are some Fujitsu weird model, they stick them in, nothing works, and they call up Sonnet and say "hey, your box isn't working", and keep their tech support on the phone for 4 hours. "I gave you guys $499, and nothing is working". That is why they don't want to sell empty boxes. This is the reason Cal Digit, and G-Tech don't sell empty boxes either. If these companies make $75 profit from selling an empty box, should they sit on the phone with you for 2 hours, trying to get your box to work ?

bob Zelin



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Kevin Wild
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 18, 2007 at 11:13:04 pm

Oh, I know why it happens and it's unfortunate for those of us who (almost) know what we're doing. :-)

Okay, Bob. Sign me up for your army in the battle against the inexperienced hacks!

Seriously, it's too bad. This Sonnet solution was the most affordable way in before. I may now go with one of the other suppliers like Cal Digit if I can't buy the box without the drives.

KW


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Hector
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 18, 2007 at 11:18:41 pm

Hmmm.... saw this coming. I personaly know lots of "qualified" people, myself included, who had lots of problems with the Sonnet arrays. All of which could have been easily avoided if Sonnet would have listed "approved drives" to use with their boxes. They should have never sold boxes that claim to use standard SATA 3.0 drives if they had no faith these boxes would be compatible.

Basically they should have started selling them populated from the start, if they were not willing to SUPPORT their CUSTOMERS using empty cases.

Are we now supposed to buy our memory, displays, SATA cards, etc from say . . Apple? To avoid any problems? Fooey

I totally support your right to build/expand/modify your own computer system, as many of us do. I can't imagine how lame (and expensive) my street modified auto and Harley would be if i were to let the factory build it for me?


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JeremyG
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 19, 2007 at 12:23:55 am

[Hector] " I totally support your right to build/expand/modify your own computer system, as many of us do"

No one is forcing you to buy a Sonnet, get some other cheap enclosure.


There are plenty.



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Kevin Wild
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 19, 2007 at 2:34:38 am

I'm fully aware no one is forcing me to buy anything. This string was started to make people aware of the change at Sonnet.

If you have a suggestion for another durable, solid, empty box that will work with Sonnet's Tempo SATA E4P, it would be helpful.

FWIW, I have 3 edit suites and try to keep all equipment redundant. I have the same mixers, same Kona's, etc. I would RATHER get another Fusion 500. We'll see if B&H has them, like my original post said.


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Hector
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 19, 2007 at 2:41:17 am

FYI you may want to try

http://www.thenerds.net/SONNET_TECHNOLOGIES_FUSION_500P_5BAY_SATA_ENCLOSURE...


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JeremyG
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 19, 2007 at 2:49:27 am

Sorry, Kevin i was responding to Hector more than you. Please accept my apologies.

Try these:

http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/BurlyPortMultiEncl.php

http://www.usb-ware.com/5-bay-esata-port-multiplier-enclosure.htm

http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-2eEN4/

The Google search goes on and on....

Jeremy


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Kevin Wild
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 19, 2007 at 3:00:11 am

No problem. I (for some crazy reason) trust the people here to give good suggestions. Much better than searches where everyone has the greatest product...:-)

Hector, thanks for that. I should've looked around more to see who carries the empty boxes still. I have one on order from B&H, but might cancel it as it says "available" but not in stock.

Thanks again, guys. Onward!

Kw


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 19, 2007 at 1:34:32 pm

this is a response to Kevin and Hector. I get my boxes from Maxx Digital in California. They carry all the brands, including the "no names". I always use Hitachi or Seagate SATA drives. When Seagate released the original 7200.9 series SATA drives, there were ALL KINDS of problems due to SSA. I was VERY angry at this time, as everything that I had been doing, stopped working. This change that Seagate made is NOT Sonnet's responsibility, nor is it Cal Digit's responsibility, nor is it Firmtek's responsibility to tell you (and post on their web site) - "hey everyone, Seagate's new SATA drives have a new feature that is screwing up our product, so make sure not to use it".

At that time, I got the initial information from Firmtek engineering (even thought I was using a Sonnet product), and then (after yelling at Ron at Maxx Digital), got a direct engineering contact at Seagate, where I got to yell at them. At the time, they sent me a utility to turn off SSA (which wound up not working all the time), and said that the new 7200.10 (which is what is being sold today) does not have this issue.

Does this mean that Sonnet arrays suck ? ABSOLUTELY NOT. This is the aggrivation that EVERYONE IN THE BUSINESS has to go thru. This is an AJA forum, and Leopard is coming. The new Kona 4 drivers just came out. Will there be problems ? ABSOLUTELY. Does AJA suck ? ABSOLULELY NOT. This is the crap that we have to go thru - its easier now than ever before (with SCSI and Fibre). Suffering with technology is an integral part of what we do for a living. Convincing manufacturers that "we are not the only one with the problem" is part of the game.

With that said, Sonnet is a fine manufacturer, and makes great products that I have installed all over the place, that work very reliability. I switched over to Cal Digit for clients that require greater performance, but there is nothing wrong with Sonnet boxes. If you run into a bad batch of drives - that's life - deal with it, or buy your drive boxes pre-loaded with drives.

You ain't gonna get rock bottom prices, with killer free support.

Bob Zelin


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Joe Murray
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 19, 2007 at 10:03:35 pm

Bob,

Since your a Caldigit fan, have you had a chance to work with the HDPro yet? Or which Caldigit unit are you installing these days?

Joe Murray


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 20, 2007 at 12:44:29 pm

the HD Pro is not out yet. I use S2VR's. Even when I don't use Cal Digit drive boxes, I almost always use Fasta 4x and Fasta 4e cards as the SATA host.

I am a big fan of SATA in general, not just Cal Digit, but they are a teriffic company.

Bob Zelin


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Lance Bachelder
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 22, 2007 at 1:59:28 pm

I have 4 of the Sonnett's with "approved" WD drives. Not a fan of the box at all.

The eSATA cables they give you are total garbage and ALL had to be replaced. If you power them down they rarely come back up without some replugging, new ports etc. Mac or XP, they are very finicky and I don't recommend them. They also have a "ramp up" before they reach speed.

They are good for local raids that don't get turned off or moved - EVER - and may be a solution for ProRES projects.

If I have to buy them pre-built, I'll go with someone like CalDigit next time.

Lance Bachelder
Southern California



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Bob Zelin
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 23, 2007 at 2:13:42 am

Lance writes -
The eSATA cables they give you are total garbage and ALL had to be replaced. If you power them down they rarely come back up without some replugging, new ports etc. Mac or XP, they are very finicky and I don't recommend them. They also have a "ramp up" before they reach speed.

REPLY -
many people are used to letting their SCSI or Fibre channel drives spin up, and then launching their PC or MAC. This is not the way the Silicon Image port multiplier chipset works. On all of these chassis, there are LED's which cycle or "ramp up" ONE AT A TIME. When all 5 are lit, your drive array mounts. You restart (or boot up) your computer, and you see no drives. Each drive mounts (10 seconds per drive), and when all 5 drive LED's are lit (one at a time), the drive array mounts. This is how they work - this is not a problem. If you boot up, and you dont' see your drives, and get impatient, when you "unplug and replug" your cables, you are going thru the same process of having the drives mount.

What can I say. Perhaps you would be happier with a Ciprico Fibre array .

Bob Zelin


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Lance Bachelder
Re: OT: Sonnet Fusion Boxes-No build your own anymore!
on May 24, 2007 at 2:44:51 pm

Sometimes the drives cycle through and viola! The raid mounts - other times no dice - cycles properly and nothing! Seems a tad better on the Mac. I've been dealing with this for months Bob - it's not a patience thing.

The ramp up I'm talking about is when editing - they raids take a bit to get up to full framerate playback - not a lot but there is a noticeable delay.

YES! I would prefer a 4GB fibre array!

We did have the Sonnet's on our MetaSan system as off-line network drives - not enough horsepower for more than one user. We are now using them as local drives for ProRES HD finishing on our current series.

We moved our off-line networked projects to a large Isilon system - very expensive but it works!

Lance Bachelder
Southern California



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