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Jim Curtis
Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 10, 2020 at 9:00:32 pm

I wrote to support at Enhance Tech, and I guess because I bought so long ago, they don't think my question deserves an answer.

I have an E8 8-SAS / SATA drive enclosure attached to my MacPro via an ATTO R680 RAID adapter. When I bought both, the largest SATA and SAS drives available were 2 TB. So, that's what's in it now. Well, the drives are failing fairly routinely now after all these years. I'm wondering if I can replace them with larger, say 8 or 10 TB SATA drives. SAS drives seem to be on the way out and becoming harder to find.

I could buy one 8 or 10 TB drive and see if it mounts up in the enclosure, but that would be a $275 or $300 experiment if it doesn't work. I sure don't want to buy 8 without knowing they'll work.

Can any RAID gurus here advise me on whether bigger drives would work with this combo of hardware?

Thanks!

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.2


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 11, 2020 at 12:43:16 pm

Hi Jim,

we still run a SAS Sonnet Raid. But we will replace it this year. Up to now it is working.
It is a solid piece of equipment.
Now to your question.
I think the maximum drive size you can use is 4TB.
Which enclosure do you have ?
There is a drive compatibility list. You have to use drives out of this list. All drives must be the same model. Then you can swop your old ones against the new ones.
The question is: Does it makes sense to invest in this old architecture?

cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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Bob Zelin
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 21, 2020 at 6:10:14 pm

No -
of course it does not make sense to invest in old architecture. ProAvio enclosures are completely obsolete now. Sonnet RAID's were made by JMR. They are completely obsolete.
Just buy a modern NAS system, and you are done. You can put in huge 16 TB drives, and have an insane amount of storage at your disposal.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Jim Curtis
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 21, 2020 at 6:39:17 pm

Thank you both for the advice. I've done a fair amount of research, and it's pretty confusing to me, due to the array of variables. I'm getting between 1 to 2 GB/s read and writes, on my current SAS RAID, and I haven't found any 8-drive USB-C or NAS that gets close to 2 GB/s. New SAS drives are available, but they're not huge, and they're not 6 GB/s.

Do I need 2 GB/s? Not yet. I've only gotten one RED RAW 8K source project so far, and even that doesn't need that much io for a single stream. But, I'm trying to get ahead of the technology for a change.

According to this, 2 GB/s or better may be desirable for me in the future.

https://vashivisuals.com/4k-beyond-video-data-rates/

A proxy workflow can address the lack of io.

Doing my research, and please correct me if I'm wrong, a SAN would cap at 10 Gb/s - the speed of 10 Gb ethernet, whereas a SAN using USB-C would allow for a theoretical 40 Gb/s. Right?

What are best options for hardware? I've only found one model with a 5 year warranty, the outrageously priced G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle XL. Most other DIY enclosures I've found have a one or three year warranty. Some are so cheap compared to the G-Speed (not available w/o drives), I wonder how reliable they would be.

Any advice for taking your previous advice, and ditch my old tech for new tech? What's the best value that's also reliable?

I have doubts about HighPointTech.

I'm not afraid of spending $7K, if I have to. Most of my projects coming in now have around a TB of source media.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.2


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Bob Zelin
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 21, 2020 at 11:38:27 pm

Hi Jim -
1 Gb/sec (not GB/sec) is 1073 MB/sec, which is how most people measure video speeds. This is because of video speed test programs, like AJA System Test, Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, and Crystal Mark.

SO - for example - a QNAP TVS-872XT, which is an 8 bay NAS system costs $1800.
https://www.amazon.com/QNAP-TVS-872XT-i5-16G-US-Thunderbolt-10GbE-slots/dp/...

You add eight matching 7200 RPM SATA drives (the smallest drives you can purchase today are
Seagate Ironwolf 4TB drives). This will give you 24 TB of usable storage. Of course, you can purchase today 10TB, 12TB, 14TB and 16TB drives (yes, you need eight matching drives) - and then you will have an enormous amount of storage in this tiny $1800 eight bay box. The drives may cost more than the QNAP.

The QNAP has a built in 10Gbase-T port, that you connect to your computer.
If you have a Windows 10 PC, you get a QNAP QXG-10G1T, which will cost you $89, and you will get about 1000 MB/sec.

Macs will be usually slower. Using a Thunderbolt 3 QNAP QNA-T310G1T which is a thunderbolt 3 to 10G adapter, you will get about 800 - 900 MB/sec from Mac to the QNAP. This adapter will cost you about $185.

If you have an older Thunderbolt 2 computer - you have 2 choices. If you choose the Sonnet Solo 10G T2, this is $199, but you will only get about 400 MB/sec bandwidth to the NAS. IF you choose the more expensive Sonnet Twin 10G, which is $485, you will get about 800 MB/sec to the NAS.

Once you have a NAS product, you can connect to MULTIPLE computers, that can all do 4K editing.
You will also be able to have remote access over the internet to these files - so that freelancers or clients can remote access this media (they will be uploading and downloading to the NAS - you can't edit over the internet).

If you spend the money to get 10TB SATA drives instead of 4TB SATA drives, you will have 60 TB of USABLE storage after RAID 6 in the TVS-872XT. A Seagate Ironwolf 10TB drive is $268, and you would need eight of these. To go all the way to 16TB, those are more expensive - actually, I see now that on Amazon, the Seagate EXOS 16 TB drives are $389 each. After RAID 6 (2 drives can fail) you would have 96TB of usable storage.

So you consider that you are spending $1800 for an 8 bay QNAP, and then you choose your eight drives. IT's up to you.

I build systems like this every day.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Jim Curtis
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 22, 2020 at 8:03:28 pm

Bob, thanks very much for the information.

That enclosure looks amazing, with all that functionality and connectivity, and better than what I've found by googling. The only thing that gives me pause is the two-year warranty. Should I care?

Sounds like you're OK with Seagate Exos drives, too. Do you think the Exos are a better choice than the more expensive Iron Wolf drives? I see they have a three-year warranty, whereas the Exos has 5. I wonder why that is. Do you know?

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.2


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Bob Zelin
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 23, 2020 at 5:16:01 pm

The 2 year warantee - this is what I have found.
QNAP systems never break. With that said (since I have installed over 600 QNAP systems) - QNAP absolutely writes screwed up firmware sometimes. This will cause your QNAP to stop working.
So you find out which firmware releases are stable before you upgrade. The most recent QTS 4.4.1 releases have been stable, but that took a long time. So I kept people on QTS 4.3.6.1070 for a long time (similar to talking about Apple macOS releases that work, or don't work - like Catalina, and all the dot versions). But as far as the QNAP "breaking" - that doesn't happen. Buy a good UPS from Cyberpower or APC, so you don't take power hits that will destroy your power supply.

As for the drives, I started to use Seagate Ironwolf and EXOS drives when Western Digital got rid of the HGST brand. They work great. What you will find today, in 2020 - is that drives that are going to die, will die within the first 48 hours - and then you use your warantee after that to get a replacement. After that, the drives typically keep working, with rare exception (which is why I always create a RAID 6 these days). At some point, you are going to say "ok, I got my money's worth out of these drives" - and in 5 years from now, drives will all be double the size they are today, or they will all be SSD's or NVMe's or whatever comes out 5 years from now - so you won't care.

I believe you said that you had 2TB drives. You can't even get replacement's for 2TB professional drives. The smallest pro 7200 RPM drive now is 4TB. And in February 2020, the largest Seagate drive is 16 TB, and they are completely stable. And they have announced that later this year they will release a 20 TB 7200 RPM SATA drive ! So what value does your 2TB drive have today ?

By the time your drives start to fail, they will be obsolete. Just buy the size that you need and you will be fine. With an 8 bay enclosure and 10TB drives, after RAID 6 you will have 60 TB of usable storage that will be able to do 4K editing.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 24, 2020 at 8:17:01 am

Yes,

I would go for a new 8 bay drive system Raid6 with 10TB drives.

cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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Jim Curtis
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 25, 2020 at 9:10:22 pm

Thanks for your reply, Bob and Ranier.

Bob, after reading your posts, I did a flurry of research, watching videos, and reading reviews that gave the QNAP very high marks and ordered a QNAP TVS-872XT and 10-16 TB Iron Wolf drives (2 for spares). They should arrive tomorrow.

My next question is why you recommend RAID 6. I've had three RAID 5 so far, and while I've lost several drives, I haven't had two fail at once, or have a second one fail while the RAID was rebuilding.

How often, in your experience, a RAID 6 saved the day over a RAID 5?

The closest I've had drives fail is in my Enhance RAID was a week apart, both fairly recently as those drives are getting up in age. You are correct that finding new 2 TB SAS Constellation drives of the same model is becoming impossible. This experience is what had me looking into an upgrade of some kind.

Correction: Iron Wolf and Exos enterprise drives have a 5 year warranty according to the Seagate site.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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Rainer Wirth
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 26, 2020 at 10:53:29 am

Hi Jim,

I have had fails with raid 5 (several ones)
and even one fail with Raid6.
It depends on the working hours of the Raid.
You equipe all drives at a time, and after a period of around 5 years or 50.000 working hours some of the harddiscs are tired (we are talking of 24-7 drives only). So with a raid of 24 drives you have good chances that two drives go bad at the same time.
So that is what we do:
If the Raid system is over 5 years old we change it from a green label as we say, to a yellow label.
Yellow means we use the Raid for non-critical data storage.
After 6 years we replace all drives and use the old drives for extra storage.
After 10 years we replace the raid completely.
The 16-24 bay raids all run with raid6 plus spare.
With this system we have reduced the fails to Zero.

cheers

Rainer

factstory
Rainer Wirth
phone_0049-177-2156086
Mac pro 8core
Adobe,FCP,Avid
several raid systems


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Jim Curtis
Re: Q about Enhance Tech (also called ProAvio) drive tower
on Feb 28, 2020 at 4:19:20 pm

Ranier, I decided to take your and Bob's advice and go with a RAID 6. The rebuild times on a RAID this large are pretty long, and I see the potential for a second drive failure during a rebuild.

Thanks again to both of you for your counsel.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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