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dave garcia
Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 3, 2007 at 2:05:55 pm

I've been reading a bunch of threads here about fibre and SATA. My head is kind of spinning. I keep "coming to a decision." then reading another thing that sort of changes my mind. (one of the treads was entitled "is Fibre dead." I just want you all o know I've used the search function.

Our goals are mainly to get into the Uncompressed HD space. We have a Kona 3 arriving soon for our 8 core MacPro. Most of our work thus far has been with DVCPRO HD. We are a Post|Production house in Albuquerque NM. We do alot of 30 sec spots and are currently moving into a higher end space with local agencies that are growing quite fast. There is also a massive amount of film work being done here and we'd like to move into that realm even if we start doing indies. I would like to be able to attain performance speeds between 400MB/S and 600MB/s. We also have two other suites which are G5s one soon to be upgraded to a 4 core mac pro, but I don't think We really need SAN..yet. Dunno...


Option A,B:
On the Fibre end I'm looking at the Ciprico 4210. I can get 5TB for about $9k. It's dual channel. I already have an apple quad 4gb fibre card that we got with the macpro thinking we'd be headed in that direction.

I guess wih ciprico, I just feel like I'm getting something robust which is the industry standard. But I don't want to waste money or invest in a dying architecture.

I'm also seeing the FibreMax from Pro max. This actually seems to be more expensive then the Ciprico for some reason.

Option C,D etc.:

On the other end I'm looking at the CalDigit HDPRO. It seems to be scalable fast and protected. They have a professional looking website and I've heard great things about the SV2r. However, the Caldigit forum seems to be a bit of a ghost town with only a few complaints on it.
Now I'm reading about Dulce which seems a bit slow, and their website seems a little bit clunky (I'm sorry I'm old fashioned in that good design inspires confidence.) Pro..Bob Zelin seem sto like these guys. Then there's all the others.

I'm sorry if this seems long. I'd really appreciate any help. I've read alot of reviews and other threads, but I feel like I'm going in circles. My profuse thanks in advance.

David Garcia






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walter biscardi
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 3, 2007 at 2:18:18 pm

[dave garcia] "On the Fibre end I'm looking at the Ciprico 4210. I can get 5TB for about $9k. It's dual channel. I already have an apple quad 4gb fibre card that we got with the macpro thinking we'd be headed in that direction."

Outstanding unit and if you go with Fibre Channel, this would be my recommendation along with Facilis. Ciprico and Facilis are definitely the leaders when it comes to Fibre Channel. We came very close to putting the 4210 in our shop recently.

[dave garcia] "On the other end I'm looking at the CalDigit HDPRO. It seems to be scalable fast and protected."

I had three very bad experiences with CalDigit and their S2VR HD and Firewire VR units. I won't use their products any longer. In fact they called me repeatedly to ask me to test this very unit you're looking at, but I wouldn't allow it.

We just installed two MaxxDigital Pro 8TB SAS/SATA units here in the shop and are extremely pleased with these. Bob Zelin actually referred me to the company as I had never heard of them. We can get up to 517MB/s on each unit in RAID 5 when they are optimized for Uncompressed HD. We've since re-set them to be optimized more for Compressed HD since we run predominately DVCPro HD and now we're getting about 480MB/s on them. Still plenty of speed for Uncompressed HD.

We also tested Dulce and Sonnet when making our decision and both of those were good as well.

The big difference is that Dulce can build the RAID 5 in about 15 minutes. But what it's doing is writing the parity information as you create each file, so you take a major speed hit down to around 250MB/s vs. the up to 480MB/s on the other units. Our Maxx units took about 6 hours to build the RAID 5, but once they're set, they're good to go.

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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dave garcia
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 3, 2007 at 7:11:35 pm

Thanks for the quick response Walter, and on labor day. You must be a workaholic as well.

This is fairly enlightening. One thing I still don't quite understand is what would be the main reason for going Sata over Fibre or visa versa I'm assuming price.

Another question is this: Did you need to get the two units from Maxxdigital to achieve the speed. From what I'm understanding the speed on SATA theoretically could go up to 2GB/s if you keep adding arrays.

I really enjoyed the blog on having your studio redone by Bob Zelin by the way. It was very enlightening for a studio owner who is on what I would geuss would be a very similar hardware trajectory. Thanks for taking the time to share.

And thanks again for the input.

Dave Garcia
creative director
halflife* digital
Albuquerque, NM
http://www.halflifedigital.com



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walter biscardi
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 3, 2007 at 7:36:53 pm

[dave garcia] "This is fairly enlightening. One thing I still don't quite understand is what would be the main reason for going Sata over Fibre or visa versa I'm assuming price."

Price is really it. We strongly considered Fibre Channel as we have two primary edit suites that I was going to have run off shared storage. So Fibre Channel was the way to go there. But the cost for both the storage and the connectivity for the two systems was far more costly than the SATA options. In short I could get a lot more storage for less money going SATA. This has been a dramatic change over the past few months on how much large SATA arrays have dropped in price.

So I gave up the shared storage idea to save some money and get increased capacity at the same time.

[dave garcia] "Another question is this: Did you need to get the two units from Maxxdigital to achieve the speed. From what I'm understanding the speed on SATA theoretically could go up to 2GB/s if you keep adding arrays."

We have one unit per suite for the two primary suites. My suite has 8TB of storage and the JungleLand suite has 8TB of storage. The speeds that I quoted are for each individual unit. Yes, speeds can increase if you were to stripe multiple units together, but I honestly don't know what the limits are there. You'd have to talk to Atto as they make the Host Bus Adapter and they have a lot of information on the throughput limits.

[dave garcia] "
Thanks for the quick response Walter, and on labor day. You must be a workaholic as well."


Actually cleaning up our home office today, it's a quiet day and I have the laptop open to the COW of course. :-)



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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David Battistella
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 3, 2007 at 8:40:18 pm


I have a 4210. The thing is a tank. It is fast and it is Raid 3. So far I have had to replace three drives in the unit it is still under warranty.

The good news is that I have not had any data loss in that time. The bad news is that a new recent management decision has now prevented them from doing "cross shipment"

This is a giant pain in the but for people like us who can not afford to be down at all.

Back when things were HUGE and not CIPRICO, there was a policy to report a down drive. They then take a credit card imprint and ship you a new drive. This, of course allowed you to work away and wait for your drive. When it arrived you could install it and then run a reconstruct (all the while still working on with the unit) and put the bad drive back in the box and ship it back to CIPRICO.

The system had changed. You now how to ship them your drive and if you want a drive back quickly you have to pay for it on your own ticket, otherwise it's a few days.

A formatted HUGE 4210 is about 2.9TB of safe storage. Backing that up is no easy task. and if you are ever down (even if you have not lost data) it hurts.

I think the new policy will affect my decision when I am looking for more storage. This is my second HUGE product, but with the CIPRICO changes (and frankly, dunce like decisions about changing cross shipping policies with existing customers) I am may to have to look to another manufacturer. SAS raid 6 looks interesting for sure.

I must say that Lance and Gerry and others I have dealt with at HUGE are really helpful and second to none, but sometimes management doesn't respond the way the front liners do.

The drive is great, but when you drop that kind of change you really need to pick a company that is going to stick to the plan that you bought into, rather than evoke new polices to loyal legacy customers.

My two cents.

David

For what it is worth, HUGE are very sticky about the drives that they put into their arrays. I suspect that within about 18 months we will be seeing a lot of failure reporting on there forums of "less expensive" esata solutions. I can assure you that HUGE does put the drive through a very rigourous check and they fail many drives that end up in your firewire enclosures. Data is not to be messed with, it's your whole business.


Peace and Love :)
Read my Blog
http://blogs.creativecow.net/DavidBattistella


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walter biscardi
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 3, 2007 at 8:51:15 pm

[David Battistella] "The bad news is that a new recent management decision has now prevented them from doing "cross shipment""

That's terrible! I can't believe that's their policy now. Obviously a bean counter decision, not an engineering decision.



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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dave garcia
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 3:23:21 am

Thanks again gentleman,

This has been very helpful.

David

David Garcia
creative director
halflife* digital
Albuquerque, NM
http://www.halflifedigital.com



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Don McDonell
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 5:27:32 pm

Hi Walter,

You're a perceptive guy! Please see my response to Dave further down in this thread, where I say, "...we've come to our senses!" The cross ship program for disk drives is alive and well and is an important component of our respected service package.

Take care,
Don


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Lance R. Gropper
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 2:25:33 pm

Hello David:

You requested that we attempt to duplicate the data from the defective drive then return the duplicate. We can't do that if we cross-ship a drive. Cross-shipping a drive was given to you as an option, but you declined it because you needed the data...



Lance Gropper
Ciprico


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David Battistella
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 2:40:36 pm



Lance,

I was refereing to the initial drive which was not cross shipped (due to the policy) not the drive that you shipped me previously that went down during the reconstruct.

For CLarity.

Drive 1 down: You cross ship
Drive 2 down: You cross ship
Drive 3 down: You do not cross ship
Drive 4 down(which is actiually drive 2 replacement): We can't cross ship because I now have two drives down.

The point I was making in my post was about drive 3 not drive 1 or 2 and I hope you noticed that I have no issue with your service, just this policy which to me makes no sense.

David




Peace and Love :)
Read my Blog
http://blogs.creativecow.net/DavidBattistella


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Don McDonell
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 5:22:24 pm

Hello Dave,

I believe you've spoken to our tech support manager who informed you that we did have a brief change in policy with respect to cross shipping parts that has now been rescinded. Our company is growing rapidly and at times this can cause momentary glitches that are sometimes felt by loyal customers, but we came to our senses when we were reminded how much our good service reputation means, not only to our customers but to our company. We will do all we can going forward to ensure you and our other cusotmers are cared for in the manner to which they are accustomed.

Best regards,
Don McDonell
VP Sales and Marketing


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cowcowcow
Bob Zelin
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 7:23:46 pm

Hi David -
Are you confused ? Well so am I. And so was Walter. This business is NUTS. There are always new products coming out, and each one is better than the next, and soon Leopard will be released and nothing will work. If you are using DVCProHD, you can "get away" with a FW800 drive, but of course, for serious work, you something more robust. Choices from Ciprico, Dulce, Sonnet, Cal Digit, ProMax and the ATTO R380 are all excellent modern choices.

I have seen the problems with regular SATA port multipiers that Walter has seen, and this is my response. PRICE IS EVERYTHING. The disappearing port multiplier arrays is probably an issue with the Silicon Image 3124 that is common among all the companies selling port multiplier SATA chassis, but is only happens to about 10% of the owners out there (which is a lot). But you know what - this is STILL the cheapest solution out there for doing almost everything, and to THIS DAY, it is still the most popular solution - even with the "russian roulette" risk of losing your media.

In my opinion, you don't need 500mb/sec if your work is DVCProHD and ProRes422HQ. Just because I wrote a nice article on the Dulce doesn't mean that this is the only product that works - lots of products work.

You know what I DONT LIKE - I don't like the Apple XServe RAID. I just build a new Apple XServe RAID for Fox Sun Sports, and 12 hours into the 30 hour initialization, the piece of crap failed the initialization, and it won't complete. If this happened with Dulce, Cal Digit, Pro Max, Maxx Digital, Sonnet, Ciprico, etc., they would have been on the phone, and sending out a new unit. But Apple - NO WAY - bring it to a Mac genius at the shopping mall.

So, which is the best product - beats me ! One thing for sure, in 3 years, you will regret buying all of these products (and your MAC Pro), becaue something else will be out that is faster/better/cheaper. And so will the
AJA I/O HD 4k. And so will LCD monitors with 4096 resolution.

Bob Zelin




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David Battistella
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 7:47:47 pm

Don,

For the record.

I had a great chat with tech support today. I reiterated that I have no issue with my HUGE 4210 or my experience with the people I have had dealings with in your tech department (the service is always thoughtful and excellent).

My one and only complaint was that the 30day cross shipment policy was not a great idea. I appreciate the efforts to which you and others on your team have responded to my concerns. I was glad to know that HUGE is not being "eaten up" by it's rapid growth and todays response is proof that you put your customers first.

It's good to know that the policy has been returned to normal and that there have been changes made in staffing.

You have impressed me with your excellent level of service and I think that others should understand that you do care about your customers concerns and respond to their needs.

David



Peace and Love :)
Read my Blog
http://blogs.creativecow.net/DavidBattistella


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walter biscardi
Re: Fibre or SATA for Uncompressed
on Sep 4, 2007 at 7:51:49 pm

[Don McDonell] "I believe you've spoken to our tech support manager who informed you that we did have a brief change in policy with respect to cross shipping parts that has now been rescinded."

Thank goodness that was a momentary blip!

[Don McDonell] "Our company is growing rapidly and at times this can cause momentary glitches that are sometimes felt by loyal customers, but we came to our senses when we were reminded how much our good service reputation means, not only to our customers but to our company."

Absolutely, customer service, especially from great folks like you, are what separate you from other guys. It's easy to build a cheap product, it's harder to stand behind it and do what's right for the customer.

[Don McDonell] "We will do all we can going forward to ensure you and our other cusotmers are cared for in the manner to which they are accustomed."

that's the best anyone can ask for!

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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CharlieX
G-Speed?
on Sep 6, 2007 at 5:51:34 pm

Has anyone used the fibre G-Speed arrays? I'm really interested in them for our next studio.... we have the XSAN, but it's too much work when things go awry. I'd rather have a dedicated array for HD work. I know AJA recommends them, and I know some Flame artists who swear by them for their Combustion workstations.


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walter biscardi
Re: G-Speed?
on Sep 6, 2007 at 6:01:35 pm

[CharlieX] "Has anyone used the fibre G-Speed arrays? I"

Gary Adcock uses them so I'm sure he can chime in here. He's honestly the only person I know of who is using them, but he likes them.

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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gary adcock
Re: G-Speed?
on Sep 7, 2007 at 4:47:54 am

[walter biscardi] "He's honestly the only person I know of who is using them, but he likes them."

I do like my 2 units- both of the smaller Units not the larger XL models.
They just work for me, no hassles and a very easy web interface for setup and control.

and com'on they are 4G fibre, I just plugged them into the Switch ( q-logic) and they show up on my network as a new drive.





gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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CharlieX
Re: G-Speed?
on Sep 6, 2007 at 7:46:53 pm

Well the sales rep at Promax gave me a good spiel on their box vs G-Speed....


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