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Massive RAID Storage and Archive System Issues

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John Rolf
Massive RAID Storage and Archive System Issues
on Mar 6, 2015 at 6:16:12 pm

Hi All,
I'm new to the forum and will kick things off with a massive issue that I need help on. I recently took a new media director position in PA and inherited quite a systems mess that I'm sorting through. I need recommendations on how to move forward.

Here's the gear rundown that's in play:
Early 2009 Xserve 2x2.26GHz Quad Core / 12GB memory
ATTO R680 Express SAS Controller
pc-pitstop SATA enclosures (2) 24 bays (2) 16 bays (1) 12 bay
92 3.5TB drives total (all seagate st3000DM001)

The drives are divided into 7 RAID5 groups and pooled together using Clustore by tiger technologies. In all, I have 237TB of storage.

On top of this storage system, we are using CatDV Enterprise server and BruPE from Tolis for LTO5 backup.

Here are the issues:
Due to drive timeout being set too low, there have been multiple RAID failures. One entire RAID 5 was lost right before I got here. I adjusted the timeout settings and all has stabilized over the last few months.
The Clustore software expired before I arrived as well and all hell broke loose. So now, I'm dealing with 7 severely disorganized RAIDs. All cataloged info in CatDV is useless at this point since the file paths were all lost.
The video librarian "the only person who really new what was going on with the system" quit a couple of months before I got here.

I'm at the point of needing to start over! My predecessor piece milled this whole thing together and it's just hasn't been reliable.

I have about $20,000 to work with this year. I don't have the budget to completely start over, so I'm going to have to work with some of what's here.

My greatest needs are..
1. Reliable storage (I can't afford to invest organizational time into CatDV to have it all lost to drive or timeout failure)
2. Large amounts of online storage. We are generating approx 7TB/mo of new content.
3. I need a better way than CluStore to pool multiple RAIDs into one mountable "drive"
4. Better integration between CatDV and BRU tape backup (it's all manual at this point)

My IT director has been talking to me about ZFS and ZRAID (FreeNAS). I have zero experience with that, but it sounds intriguing. I just don't know anyone who has used this in the video arena.

Given my current gear and budget for improvements, what would you do? All recommendations and ideas are welcome as I'm in a jam and have to make some major decisions quickly.

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Bob Zelin
Re: Massive RAID Storage and Archive System Issues
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:10:11 pm

Hi John -
#1. Read Creative Cow, and look at the banner ads
#2. Tell your IT Director to NEVER EVER walk into your office ever again. How your IT Director allowed for such catastrophic drive failure without backup shows me that he is completely incompetent, and uninvolved with your department. He should be left out of all decisions from this moment on. Who is the idiot making this statement - me - Bob Zelin - have him look me up.

I don't know what you are going to do with $20,000. If you want ZFS, there are two main players - Small Tree Communications, and LumaForge. If you want a working system, there are countless people to choose from, including Studio Network Solutions, Facilis, Maxx Digital, EditShare, ProMax, Archion, Apace, AVID, and others that you will find, as you research the banner ads here on creative cow and the SAN networks forum. And Tiger Techologies can help you too. They are a wonderful company. Hopefully you have been using (or someone has been using ) CatDV and your Tolis BRU LTO backup system, so that you are not totally screwed, and that you have backups of your media - somewhere.

So I have just given you tons of companies to call who are reliable. The #1 piece of advice that I can give you is to STOP TAKING ANY ADVICE from your IT director, as he obviously has no clue as to what is going on. Call any of these companies (all who know BRU, CatDV, and shared storage for video), and you will get proper advice on your situation.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.

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