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Old January 16th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #1
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Just built my own Mini SAS Raid 5! Test it?

Been seeing a lot of blogs and postings about building your own cheap RAID 5 and basically I now believe. I work at a post facility and of course we can't be seen with a DIY RAID so we always have to spend insane amounts of money on them in which case I was not expecting to top their performance but to come close would put a smile on my face.

Used the Rocketraid 4322, Enhance 8MS, and Samsung F1 1TB's (only drive I could buy 8 of at once from Newegg.com)

Took about a day to get set up and realize what is the correct thing to do in terms of block size, etc as well as get used to a webGUI but it's all worth it.

I attached a picture of the Kona test I just did minutes before this post with the RAID filled to 1.1 TB. I figure this is a good test in that this is an average amount of space a project will take up on my RAID during an online which is what I do. It's been running for 48 hours so I'm thinking it's really consistent due to the fact it's nice and warmed up.

My question to you guys is can you come up with a good test for this RAID? I want to test it for stability, and redundancy. Tomorrow I'll most likely start editing some footage and then yank a drive during a render perhaps?? Not really sure what is fair play on a RAID 5 since, knock on wood, haven't had a RAID 5 go down on me yet. For stability I'm really lost, maybe render 3 days of RED shoots out to DPX onto the RAID?? Also if anyone has a better program than AJA system test or Blackmagic's please post a link.

P.S. I know how hard RAIDs are to engineer and all companies that sell RAIDs go to the ends of the Earth in terms of quality so spare us, please.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 04:23 AM   #2
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Funnily enough I have just built a similiar enclosure recently, except I am using 1.5TB drives (will need to double check the make) in an NS760S enclosure from Netstor and the RR2322

Your speed seems lower than mine on the writes - I'm getting pretty consistent averages of 500MB/S on both read and writes, with a little faster speeds on the reads when looking at larger file sizes/frame sizes.

I take it you have spare drives on hand for your RAID? There really isn't a way to test for redundancy in terms of whether your drives will fail (i.e more than one at once), but you can check it for integrity and rebuild speed by writing data to it, shutting it down, pulling out a drive, booting it back up, checking the audible alarm goes on, and if you have mail forwarding set up that it sends you an email to alert you etc (make sure the firmware settings for your RAID card are set up correctly) putting your spare drive in then seeing how long the RAID takes to rebuild itself (either as a foreground process, meaning you can't use the RAID for that time - mine took 5 hours to build the first time but may be longer once filled up, or as a background process, meaning you can use the RAID but it'll take way longer and you'll have reduced speeds for that time.)

And then you can verify you have not lost any data in the process. (i.e you simulate a drive failing).

For video AJA and Blackmagic tests are pretty good indicators of speed, especially for use with the cards themselves.

What are you using the Raid for? In my case this one was built for a job where we are recording 5 streams of IMX50 directly out of an outside broadcast truck, and then two editors are cutting straight off those 5 streams for highlight packages on Final Cut. They are all connected via gigabit with Jumbo Frames on and in our testing both editors had no issues editing off the live streams as they were coming in. It's going to be in use in the field all this week so I can report back on it's success. I think they are expecting to be laying about 8 terabytes worth of data to it.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #3
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Yeah I was hoping for faster write speeds but in all honesty that is fast enough for my needs so I may take the time and re do the RAID if a big project comes in that needs the speed but at this point now my processors are the slowest part of my system and the read is more than adequate.

I have a FRY's down the street so my spare lives there when I need to buy it, basically no hot spare or anything in the actual enclosure however.

I'm looking for a program, similar to those that DIT's use in the field to transfer cards from cameras, that makes sure byte by byte files are the same to use in a rebuild test. Might be over kill but I couldn't possibly check every bit of every file to make they all work after the rebuild. 3 1/2 hours was about how long it took for me using foreground.

Really this is used for freelance color correction and any edits that come my way. Luckily HD will be the delivery format for awhile so this baby will keep up for a while I think.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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AASync will do checksums for you and is free, you could start with that.

I will advise you to buy one spare drive to have on site now, because the drive needs to be exactly the same make and model to ensure stability and parity. Even a later firmware build of the same model drive could potentially cause trouble so I'd get the back up drive now and put it on the shelf, because if you RAID runs for a couple of years and then loses a drive you may well not be able to get the replacement drive of exactly the same make/model.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #5
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Are any of the pro raid solutions using solid state drives yet? With three times the transfer rate of a platter, a few SSD in a raid should scream.

Although they are neither inexpensive or very expansive :P
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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #6
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There are some raided solid state drive products out there - but I believe they are for very niche uses, such as on camera recording etc. What you would need that much speed for with that little space becomes the question.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 05:59 AM   #7
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Im puzzled about those rates you are posting here. I've had a raid 5 system running for the past 5 years now, and I never reached those high rates.. With my old RocketRaid card I had around 60 MB/s read, and on the Adaptec it caps around 85 MB/s, and thats with 5 enterprise rated Western Digital drives. No clue. I keep browsing the web for info, where there seems to be quite a discusser whether Raid 5 is even capable of such speeds.. Experienced Server admins claim raid 5 is a snail raid and not only in write, while others pull off speed like you, mimicing raid 0 performance.. Perhaps I got something really wrong when setting up the raid...

One of you mentioned it took 5 hours to set up the initial raid.. i dont remember spending time on initializing at all.. Simply clicked BUILD and after 20 seconds it was ready.. I might remember wrong tho, since I both have had raid 1 and raid 5 instances.
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