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RAID setup for 4k editing- Advice sought!

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Varun Trikha
RAID setup for 4k editing- Advice sought!
on Jul 27, 2019 at 8:31:19 am

Hello,

Can the kind editing porofessionals help me out with their valuable feedback and advice here, please.

I have been working on a documentary as a director for 5 years and now we are entering the editing stage. The total footage is around 9 tb, mostly 4k. I'll use FCP X for the edit. I have three 3tb USB-3 Lacie hard drives (these ones- https://www.amazon.in/LaCie-FireWire800-External-301549U-Aluminum/dp/B0050S.... So total 9 tb. I am wondering if I somehow get all my footage on these three drives and buy one G-Tech G-RAID 12 tb drive as an edit drive (this one-https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07DLGRGZS/?coliid=I1P3IPHV1LOTJ4&colid=XCUN8EK2HE..., does it sound like a good setup? I have never used RAID before, so I'm totally clueless. Can you please help me out. I have the following doubts to start with- 1) G-Tech supports thunderbolt but my Lacie drives are not thunderbolt drives (where I will have all my footage during editing), I am wondering if this will have a big impact on the speed etc ? 2) My iMac supports Thunderbolt 2, so I guess with an adapter I can connect it to the thunderbolt-3 G-tech drive. Should be ok, right? 3) Though I have four USB slots on my 2014 iMac, I believe it will be easier to get the four drives daisy chained?- Again something that I have never done before but I guess it shouldn't be too complicated.

The big Raid systems are quite expensive. If I buy it, it will go straight from my pocket. So I'm wondering if the above setup will work out just fine and is not a cheap hack which will eventually make life more difficult. Hoping to hear from you, kind people!

Thank you.

Warmly,
Varun Trikha


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Robert Withers
Re: RAID setup for 4k editing- Advice sought!
on Jul 28, 2019 at 3:51:25 pm

Hi Varun,
This is a partial answer because I haven't used RAIDs either.
I can't tell from your description exactly how you plan to use a new RAID drive and the 3 external drives.

Keep the 3 external drives as a source for footage and use the RAID drive for new projects and caches?
Editing speed would be dependent on speed of access to those drives.
Transfer all the footage to the RAID drive and keep your external drives as backup?
That would be the fastest option for editing, using a Tbolt connection.

My opinion is that it's good to buy into the highest speed connections possible so get a RAID with Tbolt connection.

You can use adapters and hubs to access legacy drives.
I do have experience daisy-chaining G-tech drives with Firewire 800. Access gets slow the farther out on the daisy chain you go.

Right now I keep a vintage MB Pro to work with vintage NLEs, using Firewire 800. With my new MB Air, I use a hub to connect my Tbolt machine to daisy-chained Gtech drives. I
Or USB 3 directly to the macbook air.

I'll have to get a new macbookpro before long, will gradually switch to Tbolt drives for editing and keep the old Gtech drives for backup.

You must need a lot of backup space for your doc.

Best,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Robert Olding
Re: RAID setup for 4k editing- Advice sought!
on Jul 29, 2019 at 3:38:50 pm

Hi Varun,

Using a RAID on a Mac is simple and easy to do. I doubt you'll have any issue setting it up.

I'd put all your footage on the 12TB RAID, use one of the LaCie drives for your FCPX Library and project files, use another one of the LaCie drives for the FCPX Cache. While editing, be sure to make proxies from your footage. This setup will certainly help with speed and allow for easier editing of 4K footage.

That leaves you with one LaCie drive free to do what you wish with.

You don't mention how you plan to backing everything up, especially the footage.


Here's the way we setup the drives for our main editing station. All of our external drives are connected via ThunderBolt 2.

1. 24TB RAID made from four 6TB disks. It is set to RAID 1+0. Our Mac sees this as a two disk 12TB RAID as the other two disks are 12TB mirrors. That way if one of the drives fail, the RAID continues to function and we don't have to stop work.

2. 2TB RAID made from two 1TB SSD disks. This is only for the cache files created by the various applications used during post.

3. 24TB RAID made from four 4TB disks. It is set to RAID 0. This is set up as a Time Machine backup for our entire system excluding the drive used for cache files.

4. As extra precaution, our entire system excluding the drives used for the cache files and Time Machine get backed up to a server every night via Retrospect over an Ethernet connection. Once a week the files on the server are backed up to a Tape drive and the tapes our stored off site.

Robert Olding

Studio Eight | Director of Photography
http://www.studioeightmn.com
Minneapolis, MN


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