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What Thunderbolt 2 RAID External Hard drive/s are using for 4k

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Ray Sherman
What Thunderbolt 2 RAID External Hard drive/s are using for 4k
on Jan 31, 2016 at 5:19:57 pm

I've been on the edge of purchasing a maxed out 27" iMac with Retina 5K display for the past year. I held off due to wanting to see what the (late 2015) iMac would bring. So far, I like what it has to offer. I would like to know what Thunderbolt 2 RAID external hard drive/s you are using for 4k video editing? Throughout this past year some of you have replied to some post's that I have made in regards to which RAID to use. RAID 5 seems to be the most popular due to its good throughput and redundancy. I really like the 24TB Pegasus2 R8 from Promise Technology, but it may be a bit overkill for my needs. I do understand that the more drives you have, the faster the throughput will be.
I do like using some effects, chroma keying, transitions, photos, music. My final event edits range from 10 minutes to an hour. I do realize, with the iMac you suffer from fast rendering due to the lack of cores that are found in the Mac Pro's. Rendering times are not important to me simply due to no real deadlines. I normally render overnight.
I realize that RAID 0 shouldn't be an option, but since I always do a backup of the project I'm working on "daily" on another external hard drive, would it make sense to step down for example to a 18TB Pegasus2 R6 in RAID 0 and receive approx. the same speed/throughput? I'd like to add; I want a good workflow without any hiccups/lagging while working on multiple timelines during my editing.
Please give me your thoughts along with what your setup is or may be for 4K video editing with the iMac?
"As always, Thank You in advance for your help and time." Ray


Equipment and formats used:
Sony XDCAM PXW-X70
4K - 60 Mbp/s (30p/25p/24p) Note: There are rumors of an 100 Mbp/s update coming soon.
XAVC L (GOP)
Go Pro Hero 2 (1080p)

Software:
FCPX
Motion
Compressor
LightRoom
Plugins


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Michael Carter
Re: What Thunderbolt 2 RAID External Hard drive/s are using for 4k
on Jan 31, 2016 at 5:38:41 pm

One strategy is to use a raid setup that's non-redundant (fewer drives dedicated to the same data) and have a big external drive (non raid) that automatically backs up the raid every night, since unattended backups don't usually need maximum speed. A plus to that strategy is your backup is a completely different physical machine than the raid, and you can even work directly from it if your raid dies and you're in a pinch. And you're not spending money for backup speed, just for working speed.

One thing to remember is though you would only lose one day's work this way (with a raid failure before the nightly backup), you need to safeguard irreplacable data before backup - mainly don't wipe your media cards until you know the backup has run. If you have a shoot day, load your footage and start trimming/editing, and your raid dies before the backup, you'll still have the footage on the cards.

4K files are exponentially bigger than 1080; chances are, whatever you've considered a useful storage space for "live" jobs that haven't been moved to an archive - triple or quadruple that. I was happily running a 2TB Raid and a 3TB backup; I ran out of room very quickly when I started shooting 4K...


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David Roth Weiss
Re: What Thunderbolt 2 RAID External Hard drive/s are using for 4k
on Jan 31, 2016 at 6:39:22 pm

Don't skimp by buying a 6-drive T-bolt enclosure vs the 8-drive enclosure, you will need the extra 25% throughout for your 4K workflows. A 25% boost in performance is well worth the extra 10 or 12% you'll pay for the 8-drive RAID. And, stick with RAID5 just as it comes configured from the factory, but backup everything too. Resist the temptation to opt for those things that are "false economy," a RAID with additional overhead and RAID5 protection is a RAID you don't have to worry about, and you day to day editing experience will be happy time, not frustration time.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Ray Sherman
Re: What Thunderbolt 2 RAID External Hard drive/s are using for 4k
on Feb 1, 2016 at 4:31:05 pm

Thanks for the great replies.... Backups are a must and I usually backup my raw video as well. I'm convinced that RAID 5 would be the best redundancy in my case. I'm sure that if I don't go for the 24TB Pegasus2 R8 as you suggested, I would regret it. Thanks again for all your help. Ray


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