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External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)

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Ryan Turner
External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 24, 2012 at 9:22:00 pm

I have been combing through all the posts the past two days looking for answers, but am a bit overwhelmed.
I am looking for an external RAID solution 4 TB - 8 TB. I work mostly in HD within FCP and After Effects so I need something fast enough for playback, but I also need a back up as I am a one man shop. From what I am reading RAID 5 seems to be my best choice.

Any recommendations? G Raid Speed Q or Drobo, any good? Any recommendations / other items I might need is greatly appreciated. I'm losing my marbles looking over all these spec sheets etc....

Thank you!


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Ryan Holmes
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 24, 2012 at 9:47:58 pm

What's your budget and how do you plan on connecting the storage device? What type of HD - uncompressed? ProRes? XDCAM?

RAID 5 will provide speed but no redundancy (i.e. mirroring). But if you're after speed then you're good.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Ryan Turner
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 24, 2012 at 10:18:24 pm

Thanks Ryan
I'm looking in the $1,500 - $2,000 range. I mostly work in Pro Res and some XDCAM. Rarely uncompressed. I will be connecting it via Firewire800 or if I need to add an esata card.

I really need something that has redundancy for back up. I had one drive fail (luckily just started the project) but I don't want that kind of stress again.

Thanks again!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 25, 2012 at 1:26:45 am

Ouch. What you seek is a lot like asking, "I'd like a brand-new Corvette for $20k."

If you can't loosen the purse strings, you're sort of stuck.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Ryan Holmes
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 25, 2012 at 2:08:02 am

Well if you work on ProRes then you may want to connect at more than Firewire 800 speeds. Firewire 800 can easily play 1-2 streams of ProRes, but if you start stacking up multiple layers (or doing multicam stuff) then you'll want a bit more headroom. I would recommend eSata or mini-SAS as an inexpensive alternative (or Thunderbolt if your Mac is so equipped).

As Dave says, building a good quality RAID for $2K is a challenge. It won't be a fibre channel system, but you may be able to find something that works in your environment. Not everybody has the same demands.

You may look at some of the Mecury Elite RAID's by macsales.com:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Mercury-EliteAL-Pro-RAID
or (rack-mountable)
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Rack_Mount/

G-tech makes some as well: http://www.g-technology.com/products/products.cfm

Lacie also makes some larger TB RAID setups: http://www.lacie.com/us/products/range.htm?id=10061

I think Drobo's are excellent, but I'm not sure they're made for video editing. They are more of a data storage and backup system. I don't know how they would hold up to the constant demand of video editing and serving up 24, 30, or 60fps. Someone who has experience with them in this capacity could chime in. If it was my money, Drobo would not be my first choice for a video editing RAID.

My $.02

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Ryan Turner
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 25, 2012 at 2:46:50 am

Thanks Ryan! I'm going to take a closer look at the G Raids and Mercury drives.

Dave and Ryan- what if I had up to $5,000 is there anything out there that might be right for me? I can spend more I just didn't think it would be necessary, but clearly I was mistaken.

Thanks! I know very little about storage and backing up as you can tell.


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Alan Okey
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 25, 2012 at 3:18:57 am

[Ryan Holmes] "Someone who has experience with them in this capacity could chime in. If it was my money, Drobo would not be my first choice for a video editing RAID."

You are correct, Drobos are a poor choice for an editing RAID. There are plenty of older posts on this forum detailing why this is the case.


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Alan Okey
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 25, 2012 at 3:16:36 am

[Ryan Holmes] "RAID 5 will provide speed but no redundancy (i.e. mirroring). "

RAID-5 stripes data and parity across all drives in the set, so it's possible to lose one drive in a RAID-5 volume without data loss. It's not a substitute for real backups, but RAID-5 does provide fault tolerance, unlike RAID-0 which is data striped across all drives in the set with no parity.


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Tom Matthies
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 25, 2012 at 1:20:22 pm

I've been using a 4Tb G-Speed es in a RAID5 configuration for a half hour show I've been editing for two years now. The show is 720p, AVCIntra format. I've had no issues at all. Plenty fast enough for general editing. I can get a season of the show (16 episodes) on the RAID. After that, I archive everything to removable drives, put them on the shelf and start a new season on the G Speed. I run an eSATA card in my MacPro.

E=MC2+/-2db


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Ryan Turner
Re: External RAID solution for HD projects in FCP and After Effect (best for protection / speed)
on May 25, 2012 at 8:40:39 pm

Thanks. I'll look again at the Speed es.


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