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Old May 12th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #16
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I just overhauled my set up when my new 8-core Mac pro arrived. I did not have a lot of money left, so this is the best configuration for the bucks:
I went with eSata in a port multiplier enclosure - five 1Tb drives in a Raid 5. I installed the RocketRaid four port card into my Mac - this will run up to 20 hard drives. I paid $89ea for the 1Tb drives and $200 for the PCI Raid card. So I can 3 more enclosures in the future which each hold 5 hard drives. The enclosure cost about $300 and is hot swoppable with the drives in trays. This is the cheapest solution I could find that will still work well.
Inside the Mac I have three extra hard drives that hold the XDCAM folders. The Raid is my scratch disk. This seems to be fast enough for editing HD. I just started using this 2 days ago - but all seems great so far. Compressor and Motion are blazing fast.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #17
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Nicholas,

Looking at the specs of the Drobo, I see one giant disadvantage of their BeyondRaid capability. If you have for instance 2 x 250, 2 x 500 and 2 x 1 TB disks, the two largest disks will be used for their form of redundancy.

Your other argument against the Thecus NAS, it's difficulty in expanding volumes is a non-issue IMO, because one would only buy a populated NAS and then expanding is not applicable. A third argument that rebuilding or expanding is done in the background also applies to good raid controllers. So that is another non-issue.

I would be interested to see performance benchmarks, let's say with 12 x 1 TB disks and compare the results with a good raid 5/6/30. HDTach 3.04 with the long test gives a burst transfer of 1158 MB/s and an average read transfer of 802 MB/s when using a 12 disk raid30 on an Areca ARC-1680iX-12 with 2 GB cache. Can you find comparable results with the Drobo?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #18
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Never understood why port multipliers and similar enclosures were so expensive...

While my setup isn't as ellegant I guess you could say... I paid about $200 for case/psu/motherboard/memory etc. not including HDDs (Paid about $80 Ea for Seagate 1TB's w/5Yr warrantys... 11 of them)

Running WHS (Windows Home Server, which is basically Server 2003) on 1 of the 1TB drives, I have an Adaptec 31605 16-Port RAID5/6 card, this I just added recently and it ran me about $300...

I have 1 x 7TB Raid5 array, and a 1 x 3TB Raid5 array (added to the WHS storage pool) not amazing speeds, but I get about 280MB/s reads off the big raid, 200MB/s off the smaller one, which is more than enough to saturate Gigabit connections

Then 2 IntelPRO Gigabit cards, 1 for the workstation and 1 for the server, those were about $40 each. I consistently see 100MB/s transferring between them... with Onboard "Realtek" gigabit I saw about half that... with the same gigabit switch, cat6 cables, and HDD's

Then on the workstation, 3 x 640GB drives in a short-stroked 300GB RAID-0 then a 1.5TB Raid-5 (Not hardware, just using an Intel ICH9R, so it uses CPU for parity calculations, little bit slower) but the RAID0 setup was about $60 per drive, and matches the 280MB/s reads of the 7 x 1TB Raid5... and has <9ms access times... same cost as a 300GB Raptor for a lot more performance

Sort of rambling on.. this server costs me less than a Drobo/NAS and has more functionality/expandability... downside is the case I bought is a full-tower and weighs quite a bit with 11HDD's in it :) But it was a $200 LianLi Aluminum case onsale for $48 at Bestbuy...

I'm a budget kind of guy though...

Oh and Harm... those are pretty expensive cards ;) I think this Adaptec is a little bit slower... limited to 300MB/s I'm thinking because I ran HD-Tach and it was a flat-line right at 300MB/s (Like you see with SSD's benchmarks) Oh well, for $300 and 16 ports I'm not really complaining :)
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Old May 12th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Busch View Post
Oh and Harm... those are pretty expensive cards ;) I think this Adaptec is a little bit slower... limited to 300MB/s I'm thinking because I ran HD-Tach and it was a flat-line right at 300MB/s (Like you see with SSD's benchmarks) Oh well, for $300 and 16 ports I'm not really complaining :)
They are, but it is like comparing a Fiat Punto to a Brawn Formula 1. The price difference is incomparable, but so is the speed. In my case the line was flat also, but I have to admit that expanding the raid from 10 to 12 disks did not add any performance. It is now limited by the bus.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #20
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Yea, since I was only going over gigabit I only needed 200MB/s at most... then lots of ports, redundancy, quality brand, and a cheap price :D

So I was happy, I was having issues using JBOD with WHS, the single drives weren't fast enough so I needed some form of RAID but had a lot of drives.

I tried a Dell Perc5i (~$100 on Ebay) and is 8port, but not compatible with every motherboard chipset, even though LSI made the card, and I flashed the BIOS to the LSI version.. ended up losing a 4TB array about 9 months down the road... quickly sold it and moved to a simpler WHS setup, then realized that wasn't gonna work either... was able to build a small 3TB array and had barely enough space to transfer all the data over... then wiped all the leftover drivers and made the 7TB array, moved everything back...

Anyways, it all depends on the application and price-range I think... :)
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Old May 12th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Nicholas,

Looking at the specs of the Drobo, I see one giant disadvantage of their BeyondRaid capability. If you have for instance 2 x 250, 2 x 500 and 2 x 1 TB disks, the two largest disks will be used for their form of redundancy.

Your other argument against the Thecus NAS, it's difficulty in expanding volumes is a non-issue IMO, because one would only buy a populated NAS and then expanding is not applicable. A third argument that rebuilding or expanding is done in the background also applies to good raid controllers. So that is another non-issue.
Harm I'm in agreement with you on everything, any solution can work. I've been using DIY's till now when I have some cash laying around again (won't be soon) I'd like to get a dedicated system, the DroboPro looks like a decent system to me, however cost analysis vs usefulness is always a key factor in my decisions.
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