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COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD

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Kevin Wild
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 17, 2007 at 7:29:32 pm

Great review and some interesting stuff. Bob, are you saying we should always change the block size to 256? Why would they default it to 32 if it isn't optimal?

Thanks. Good stuff...

Kevin


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weevie833
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 17, 2007 at 9:24:28 pm

Excellent review.

Thought it is worth mentioning that neither Sonnet nor CalDigit's RAIDs are intended to have the RAID 5 capability that an XServe RAID has built-in as a hardware controller. [Technically, XServe RAID is RAID 50 -- each of 7 drives in an array combined to RAID 5, then each array RAID'd together at RAID 0].

This means that a drive failure on either Sonnet or CalDigit's boxes would be catastrophic, while the XSeerve RAID could continue to function. This doesn't diminish the value of each product, expecially since Avid's media drives have been essentially RAID 0 since day one anyway. It's just that mentioning the cost comparison to an XServe RAID is somewhat incongruous when what you are paying for with XServe RAID is the continuation of service.

Although Apple definitely prices things on the high side, if you were to add up the hours of repair and recapture from having lost several TB of captured media versus the extra cost of XServe RAID, you could reach a comparable point of comparison between the two, without a compromise in performance.

Believe me, I'm a big fan of inexpensive alternatives, so don't get me wrong here. I 'discovered' the CalDigit stuff a while ago and already presented it to my partner. I only think Bob's review should have mentioned the XServe' RAID's technical advantage over software RAIDs.

If I am incorrect here, please help set the record straight.

Steve Covello
double wide post


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JeremyG
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 17, 2007 at 10:55:17 pm

[weevie833] "you could reach a comparable point of comparison between the two, without a compromise in performance."


That's exactly why these things scare me. If they don't offer Raid 3 or 5, I'm out.

Nice article though.


Jeremy


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walter biscardi
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 17, 2007 at 11:04:33 pm

[JeremyG] "That's exactly why these things scare me. If they don't offer Raid 3 or 5, I'm out."

They do offer some RAID protection, I can't remember the exact level. We just run JBOD to get the full speed of the unit and have put a 2TB LaCie Bigger Disk FW800 unit as the backup device. Still ends up being much cheaper than the comparable RAID 3 or 5 Fibre Channel array for the same amount of storage.

We're looking right now to transition our entire shop over to CalDigit by the end of 2007.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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JeremyG
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 17, 2007 at 11:22:53 pm

I think it's Raid1, which is parity, which means by the time you are done making pairs, you have halved your storage and have one drive left over for nothing. Raid 1 is not for editing.

There would be nothing that' I'd like more than fast, cheap, affordable RAID 3, but it's just not here.

Jeremy


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walter biscardi
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 18, 2007 at 12:34:13 am

[JeremyG] "There would be nothing that' I'd like more than fast, cheap, affordable RAID 3, but it's just not here."

I used to think I could only run RAID 3, but now I'm feeling just fine in JBOD with backup devices. Never thought I would switch, but here I am.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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JeremyG
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 18, 2007 at 1:02:09 am

...and Godspeed to you kind sir. How often do you back up? Daily/Nightly/Hourly?


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walter biscardi
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 18, 2007 at 1:37:33 am

[JeremyG] "
...and Godspeed to you kind sir. How often do you back up? Daily/Nightly/Hourly?"


Nightly, sometimes at lunch and nightly. After capturing all the footage, really the only thing that I would lose at that point are renders.

If I do an After Effects animation I back it up immediately.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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walter biscardi
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD
on Jan 17, 2007 at 11:07:32 pm

[weevie833] "If I am incorrect here, please help set the record straight."

You are correct which is why it is up to the user to prepare a backup plan. As I noted in aother post, we have set up a 2TB LaCie Biggest Disk unit as our backup device for our CalDigit S2VR 3.7TB array. We run a daily backup and sometimes even backup at lunch time so we're in good shape if something should happen to the CalDigit.

Even with this extra backup unit (about $900) we're still saving a lot of money over comparable Fibre Storage. But yes, you're right, you're not getting the same Raid 3 or 5 protection that Apple and Ciprico offer with their units.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Bob Zelin
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 18, 2007 at 3:16:59 am

Well, well, well -
I have mentioned that SATA is EXTREMLY reliable. How reliable you ask? I have not seen ONE SATA drive die since April 2005 (I have seen chassis die). But this is not the point of my silly post here.

TWO DAYS AGO, my customer Disney Public Relations, had a wonderful StorCase DS-570 RAID 5 SCSI to ATA 8 drive array on their AVID system. It's RAID 5, but THE RAID CONTROLLER DIED (and StorCase just went out of business). So you know what I did - I found another customer of mine with the same StorCase, I moved the drives into their box temporarily, and transfered ALL this client critical media to SATA. TODAY, I put in a second SATA array, as a backup (all RAID 0) in case the main one fails.

I have learned a big lesson about RAID 5 arrays - from StorCase, Dell, Apple, etc. If you don't have TRUE REDUNDANCY - this means EVERYTHING - power supplies, RAID controllers, cases, etc. YOU WILL ONE DAY GET SCREWED. This is why "real" Apple XSan and AVID Unity systems are so expensive, and there is no such thing as a "bare bones" SAN shared storage system. If you dont' have redundancy in your RAID 3 or RAID 5 system, IT MEANS NOTHING. A protected drive means nothing when your RAID controller card dies.

Both ATTO Technologies and Highpoint Technologies have new RAID 5 SAS (serial attached storage) to SATA II
host cards. They DO NOT support port multiplication (so no fancy Cal Digit or Sonnet drive chassis). The world is changing, and as we all know by now, 3 years from now, we will wonder how we were even working with these "primitive" SATA arrays that we use today.

Bob Zelin


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JeremyG
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 18, 2007 at 4:14:43 am

Sorry for being bullheaded and playing devils advocate, but even when the controller died, Bob, you still managed to move the drives and get the data off to another array, and then moved that data to a backup array. Reliability of drives today across the board are pretty good. It's not that issue I am concerned about, it's just when it fails (even if it's 2-3 years from now) it's a lot of work to get it all back. If a drive fails in RAID 0, there no amount of drive moving that can be done. By the time you have the two arrays, one master and one backup, you could buy yourself a 4105 with RAID 3 that will do 1080i with 5 drives in redundant mode. No?

I really want to buy cheap RAIDs, really. I just can't psych myself up to do so.

Jeremy


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nikolas t
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 18, 2007 at 6:39:14 am

I have both Caldigit S2VR HD and HUGE U320. And I think both HUGE and Caldigit are excellent storage.

Caldigit has RAID 0,1, JBOD only. And HUGE 4105 or U320R has RAID3. But in order to capture and edit 10 bit uncompressed HD with data protection, you have to set it to RAID 3 TURBO which lose 60% of capacity. Say, if your HUGE 4105 is 2.5TB, you'll get only 1TB in RAID 3 Turbo. And you have to spend $7,500 for the 4105 itself and ATTO FC card.

I believe you can capture and edit 10 bit 1080/59.94i in RAID10 mode by striping two S2VR HD. Even you lose 60% of disk space by doing so, but you only spend less than $6,000 for 2TB usable capacity.


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Shane Ross
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 18, 2007 at 10:16:42 am

I am in Walter's court. I use RAID 0 on my editing arrays, and back up the footage to a cheaper SATA unit I happen to have (the one I built intending to use for editing). This way, if the raid fails, I only have to spend a day (or overnight) copying the footage back to the main unit once it is up and running.

But I can see you wanting that protection. I myself am skeptical of that type of Raid. How can 1 drive maintain the media info from the other 4, and recover the footage once a replacment is had? Never had a failure, but I wouldn't want to test it.

But that is me. I like the CalDigit units a lot, and I still want to get use out of the old SATA case I had, so it is the elegant solution for me. And Walter apparently.


Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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JeremyG
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 18, 2007 at 3:39:24 pm

Nioklas, thanks for the math break down. It helps, but as has been mentioned before, the time lost in 'down time' could be the deal breaker. It's hard to calculate because you can't buy it off of a shelf.

Although, you guys are ever more convincing about RAID 0. I have a couple of over night render war stories with RAID 0 setups that aren't for the meek.

Shane, Raid3 is quite logical once you know how it works. As with most things in computers it's all ones and zeros:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/146/855135?

I hope I am not coming across as flippant, I am just trying to gather opinions and push for cheaper RAID 3 is all.

Jeremy



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walter biscardi
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 18, 2007 at 3:47:06 pm

[JeremyG] "Although, you guys are ever more convincing about RAID 0. I have a couple of over night render war stories with RAID 0 setups that aren't for the meek."

Keep in mind that all of my work is in DVCPro HD at the moment so having a FW800 RAID backup device means I will have zero downtime in the event of a failure of the CalDigit SATA array. If that drive goes down, I won't even need to copy the footage over, just keep editing if I don't have the time.

I could even have two CalDigits mirroring each other and I believe that would still come in cheaper than same priced RAID 3 arrays.

Not trying to convince you Jeremy because RAID 3 is a definite advantage and comfort factor for a lot of people. Just trying to tell you how my mentality has definitely changed over the past 6 months or so. Heck 12 months ago I didn't even believe in SATA period and was advocating Fibre as the only way to do HD. things are changing rapidly in the storage world, just look at the new HD 4:4:4 from CalDigit. Stripe two of those together for around 900MB/s.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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JeremyG
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 18, 2007 at 4:59:47 pm

Cool, thanks Walter.


Jeremy


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ken hon
Re: COW Reviews: CalDigit: S2VR HD-update
on Jan 19, 2007 at 2:39:37 am

Aloha Jeremy,

I built 2 Sonnet 4.5 TB 10 drive systems and one is the backup for the other. I'm using Retrospect to do an incremental backup of files and wrote a script to do it. You can schedule it or just click on it and it'll back up anything new. We backup at the end of the day or during breaks in editing. And the back up doesn't take so long cause the 2 RAIDS are fast. That way, we have zero down time if something goes bad. I've also got a 2 spare SATA drives of the same vintage to swap in case of a failure and a 1 TB firewire backup for doubling critical work along with 3 firewire drives that I rotate the system drive on using CarbonCopy. We've also got a 200 GB tape drive, but don't use that so much except to archive some finished projects. Anyway, you can be ultra paranoid and still work on the cheaper end of things.

Aloha,

Ken




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