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Warren
RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 5:20:19 am

Anyone using RAID 5? I was thinking of getting a box with a SAS expander to use with the ATTO R380 and doing RAID 5.

Suggestions.

Warren


Warren Eig

O 310-470-0905

C 310-560-6245


email: warren@babyboompictures.com

website: http://www.babyboompictures.com


http://www.atomfilms.com/af/content/knitwits

http://www.atomfilms.com/film/family_xmas.jsp



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Bob Zelin
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 1:10:57 pm

There are at least 4 companies selling RAID 5 protected SATA (or SAS) solutions. The ATTO R380 may be the fastest RAID 5 card on the market, but like the Highpoint, the card does not offer an alarm (audio or popup window) to indicate a drive failure. ATTO is working on this right now. Currently the Dulce Systems card does have a drive failure indication, and the rebuild of the RAID 5 group is very very easy (not a manual user interaction process - pop in the new drive, and it rebuilds). I am awaiting the HD Pro from Cal Digit to see how their product works, but I understand it is similar to the Dulce. The ATTO R380 is significantly faster than the Dulce, but since the Dulce still operates at speeds fast enough for uncompressed HD, I really don't care at this moment. If ATTO gets their "s#$%" together, they will have the best card on the market. But for right this second (until I test the Cal Digit), I am sticking with the Dulce.

bob Zelin


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JeremyG
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 27, 2007 at 2:28:44 pm

[Bob Zelin] "the card does not offer an alarm (audio or popup window) to indicate a drive failure."

Check attotech.com. While there's no audible alarm, the latest version of the drivers (just came out two weeks ago) provide an email alert when a drive goes down and a visual. I think the version is 1.10. ATTO config v3.12

Jeremy






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walter biscardi
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 1:37:51 pm

[Warren] "Anyone using RAID 5? I was thinking of getting a box with a SAS expander to use with the ATTO R380 and doing RAID 5."

We just purchased two of the MaxxDigital Pro 8TB SAS/SATA array with the Atto R380 host adapters for our two suites. Over 500MB/s in RAID 5 for strictly uncompressed work and about 480MB/s in RAID 5 for a mix of compressed / uncompressed work so that's how we run it.

We tested the Dulce 8TB unit and the Sonnet 4TB unit before making our decision. Dulce built the RAID 5 in about 15 minutes, which was far quicker than the others, but this is because it writes the parity information as you capture each clip. Consequently the Read / Write speeds were much slower than the other two. The Sonnet was slower than the Maxx. Prices being somewhat close between the three, I wanted the largest capacity with the fastest speeds.

So we went with the Maxx units for the best combination of speed and price. Takes about 6 hours to build the RAID 5 initially, but then I get the 480MB/s speeds, so I'm really happy with that. On the Mac Pro everything went perfectly from day one. On our G5 Quad we had a few hiccups, but it looks like it was a bad R380 card which Atto promptly replaced.

As Bob notes, there is no alarm system on the Atto card yet, but I had a long talk with them before making the purchase and they assured me the alarm system is in the works and will be out soon as a software update. In the meantime, we are simply checking the Atto configuration tool each Monday to ensure that all the drives are still good. So for my money, the Maxx was the way to go. If you look at the article in my blog about Bob Zelin re-working my suites, you can see the units sitting above the two computers in the right hand rack.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Danrnw
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 3:35:30 pm

I got the Sonnet D800 8TB unit on Friday. With the AJA speed tester it shows
500 MB/s uncompressed and lower with DVCPRO HD. I wanted to ask someone
like you guys if I should worry about the spikes I see on the testing chart
that show some very low speeds for a frame or two, then it's back up at the
high speed again. Is this something that's normal? Do you see similar
charts with your Maxx unit?

Thanks,
Dan



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Piper
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 3:50:29 pm

Dan,

I had a similar experience, different RAID setup, but this might help. I have two, 5 bay e-sata drive boxes, controlled by a CalDigit Fasta-X port multiplier card, RAID 0. G-5, dual 2.7, 8 gig ram, FCS2. Working in 1080i uncompressed 10 bit.

Same thing: when I ran the AJA speed test, I'd get an average of 380 or so read and write, but occasional spikes down to as low as 25-50; not every time, just maybe once out of every 7-10 tests. However, in actual capturing or playback, it never dropped a frame; I'm assuming buffers somewhere smooth out the actual flow of data to and from the drives.

But I found an interesting thing: when first starting up the system, as well as the first AJA test after start-up, the first quarter or so of the test was nothing but low spikes on the graph; similarilily, FCP would report dropped frames the first time it accessed the RAID. But only once, the first time; after that, no problem. So now, I run the AJA test once after start-up or RAID initialization, before starting FCP, and have not had a single dropped frame in the last 2 months.

I have no idea why this works; Go figure eh?

Good luck,

Gary
SaltAire Cinema Productions


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walter biscardi
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 4:04:58 pm

[Danrnw] "I got the Sonnet D800 8TB unit on Friday. With the AJA speed tester it shows
500 MB/s uncompressed and lower with DVCPRO HD."


Check your interleave setting. At 256, that unit would be maximized for use with Uncompressed HD. We get 518MB/s with a 256 interleave setting running the 1920 10bit RGB test, but only around 100MB/s running the 1920 DVCPro HD test.

It is recommended the interleave be set at 64 for compressed editing, like DVCPro HD. We get 486MB/s for uncompressed and 420MB/s for compressed with the units set at 64 so that's what we run on both our units.

I have seen the spikes on every single unit we've ever tested or run here. They have never been an issue with any hard drive unit in my experience.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Danrnw
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 5:06:35 pm

Thanks very much for the feedback.
Very good news about the speed tester spikes.
And I'll try the setting change you mentioned Walter, because we won't be
doing much uncompressed HD I don't think. Probably DVCPRO HD and
Pro Res. But I haven't editing ANYTHING in HD yet, so I don't know for sure.
Right now, our first project on the new system will be an SD show
with SD footage. Of course THAT show will use uncompressed, but
10 bit SD, not HD.

Dan



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walter biscardi
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 5:15:54 pm

[Danrnw] "Of course THAT show will use uncompressed, but
10 bit SD, not HD."


I would make the change before you do anything if the unit is empty. 10bit SD is much lower data rates than uncompressed HD.

Of course, it's a long rebuild for RAID 5 (5 hours on our machine) so if you've already started the project, finish it and then make the change.

Like I said, the beauty of the 64 setting is the nice balance of high speed for uncompressed and compressed footage. I got that information directly from Atto and 64 is also what Dulce recommends.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Danrnw
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 6:01:04 pm

Walter,
I'm having trouble finding the setting you mentioned.
I don't see it in the ATTO Configuration Tool.
Where is it?

And you say if I change it, I have to do a rebuild of the RAID?

Thanks,
Dan


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walter biscardi
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 6:04:43 pm

[Danrnw] "Walter,
I'm having trouble finding the setting you mentioned.
I don't see it in the ATTO Configuration Tool.
Where is it?"


I'm not at the office to look at it, but open the ATTO config tool and go through the tabs across the top and look at each window. At some point, you'll see a box titled "Interleave." The number next to that should be 64. If you want to wait until tomorrow, I'll look it up for you when I get to the office.


[Danrnw] "And you say if I change it, I have to do a rebuild of the RAID?"

Yes, so only do it if you have plenty of time to allow that to happen. What you will need to do is delete your RAID first, then Build a New Raid with the new setting.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Danrnw
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 6:32:23 pm

I got the book out (yeah I should have earlier) and saw what you are talking about.
I didn't configure the RAID or install the card myself, my VAR did, so I wasn't
as familiar with it's operation as I should have been.

OT for you Walter... the fans on this D800 unit, while not bad, are louder
than I expected. I want to do what you did with your new install and put
the RAID and the Mac Pro outside my edit room. I'll need to run computer
monitor and mouse controls into the room and was wondering what you used
to do that? Did you use Gefen for that?

Thanks again,
Dan



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walter biscardi
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 7:07:49 pm

[Danrnw] "I got the book out (yeah I should have earlier) and saw what you are talking about."

Yeek! You got out the manual! Wow, and you admit that in a public forum. You're a stronger man than I. :-)



[Danrnw] "I'll need to run computer
monitor and mouse controls into the room and was wondering what you used
to do that? Did you use Gefen for that?"


How are away are you going? I was able to get some very high quality (i.e. expensive) DVI cables from Markertek that are either 25 or 35' long. I also have a USB "Active Extension" cable for the which connects to my Dell monitor. My tablet, keyboard, mouse are connected to the Dell. This works just fine for my room as the computer is approx. 15' away from me.

The computer for JungleLand is connected via a Gefen system as that computer is approx. 65' from the edit suite.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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weevie833
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 7:36:38 pm

Walter took the high road as far as extending kybd control to a machine room, though there are less expensive ways that will do as well.

I setup my 2 VGA monitors with 2 high quality VGA extender cables and the results were satisfactory. I would not say that the image quality was 100% perfect, but since I was not doing print production or color correction on either monitor -- used only for FCP windows and Finder windows -- I was OK with not spending the THOUSANDS of dollars for a 35' DVI extender.

But again, I say, you must get THE HIGHEST QUALITY VGA cable money can buy, or else the images will simply smear on your monitor.

Also, Walter mentions Active Extension USB cables. They are also sometimes referred to as USB Repeater Cable, and you must check that the cable type is compatible with Mac. I made the mistake of buying a set of extenders only to find out, incredibly, that they were supposedly only Sun compatible., according to the documentation. turns out they worked anyway, though I have had complete USB dropout i.e. no kybd control, serial adapter deck control, USB audio conversion, UPS monitor, etc. maybe 3-4 times a year -- with no apparent explanation. I cannot say if it had anything to do specifically with the brand of USB extender, and the fix was as simple as pulling all USB connections, restarting, then putting in the keybd/mouse USB in first, confirming functionality, then plugging in everything else.

Regular USB extender cable will not work beyond a few meters.

steve covello


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walter biscardi
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 26, 2007 at 9:23:19 pm

[weevie833] "I was OK with not spending the THOUSANDS of dollars for a 35' DVI extender."

Thousands? Try about $350.

The Gefen was about $1,500, but the cables were under $400.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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JeremyG
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 27, 2007 at 2:38:03 pm

[Danrnw] "the fans on this D800 unit, while not bad, are louder
than I expected."


You're kidding right? Mine's silent.

Jeremy



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Danrnw
Re: RAID 5
on Aug 28, 2007 at 12:26:17 am

You must be kidding.
It's not silent at all.

This unit sits right next to the new Mac Pro which,
except for start up and heavy processor use, (and fans running
faster) is very quiet. But not the D800.
Like I said, it's not like a DigiBeta deck or something,
but it's noticeable and noise I don't want in the suite.

Dan



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