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Old August 1st, 2005, 04:59 AM   #1
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Large internal storage?

Hi

I'm considering a hard disk purchase. I would probably start with a single work disk and upgrade it later (this fall) to raid5 for larger storage. If I need more performance, I'll add one single disk as a destination disk for rendering. Now I'm not quite sure how to implement that internal large storage... I have 480GB (40x40min) of data that I would like to process during this fall, but the largest single project is only 8 hrs or 150GB. I would prefer a cost effective solution (=SATA) because this is for fun, not for work. So...

- Are you using raid5 to store dv25 footage? Any problems?

- What kind of drives are you using? Would it be clever to use some 7k rpm 400GB Hitachi desktop sata drives in a raid array? Will desktop sata drives cause problems? Should one look at the Western Digital raid edition sata drives instead?
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Old August 1st, 2005, 06:26 AM   #2
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Ralf,

It may not fit your situation, but in a similar circumstance, I'm looking at installing a hot-swappable, removeable tray for exchanging hard drives.

I have a Lian Li V1000 case and even though it has the ability to mount several more drive internally, the mobo won't support it. IDE drives are cheap (I've used my two SATA controllers already), and a removeable tray configuration will permit me to buy inexpensive 120 or 160gig IDE drives and a tray for them in order to be able to swap.

Unless I can find a SAN for less, I'm probably headed this direction.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 12:22 PM   #3
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If you want to go RAID5, you'll need to get a hardware RAID controller. The higher-priced ones typically perform better. I don't know if they would make a big difference for DV. RAID 5 is pricier than just a bunch of disks (not in a RAID). One cost is that you lose a drive's worth of capacity (so a 5X400GB RAID5 array holds 1600GB).
Brent Marks on this forum reported problems with his RAID5 setup. I don't know if he managed to solve his problem.

If you want to archive projects onto hard drive, then the tray idea is a good one (but won't work for RAID5, unless you swap out the entire RAID5 set).

If you want access to all your footage, then you can install all the drives internally. You can add a SATA controller card if your motherboard doesn't have any SATA controllers left.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 01:04 PM   #4
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Glenn,

I can install a SATA controller card and then add more drives internally?

Power supply has plenty of power margin and case ventilation with the Lian Li V1000 is not a problem. That would be great.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 01:07 PM   #5
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Patrick:

Quote:
I can install a SATA controller card and then add more drives internally?
Yes, that's what SATA controller cards are designed to do. In my experience, Promise PATA controller cards didn't quite work (was trying to setup a PC to duplicate lots of CDs). Never really tried troubleshooting that, so I don't know what the deal with that was.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 03:52 PM   #6
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The hot swappable disk tray sounds interesting. Who produces such a thing (besides IBM/Compaq)? Are there any specific products suitable for archiving purposes (as opposed to hotswap raid trays)? I could use it for backups, at least. An external FireWire800 disk might be even better, though (more portable).

I have three cold swappable drive bays now. The swap is quick. Only a reboot is needed, but one needs to label them and keep track of their contents. There's always the risk of dropping the drive. It takes up disk space, and they are searchable only one in a time. Also, what if I need to access data from two of those? Start copying to a third disk?

I would like to have something that lets me keep all the data easily accessible in one place with some protection and with easy expansion and disk management without that annoying backup & repartition & reinstall & restore & pray (licences, you see) procedure. I want that abstraction layer between the hw and the sw. That's where a raid adapter like the Areca comes into play... The real solution would, of course, be logical volume management (AIX, Linux,...). But, well, I guess such a thing is not available or affordable in XP pro? Basically I would be willing to pay for that extra ease of use...
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Old August 1st, 2005, 04:21 PM   #7
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if it is just for fun, you probably do not want to go raid5 because the price.
on the other hand, if you need to make sure you will not loose your data because a bad disk, you can try mirroring.
you purchase 2x 400gig drives and set them in mirror.
if one fails, no problem you can continue to work and no data is lost.
if you need to store more on-line data, you can have 2 pairs (4 disks) , but then it start to be more interesting with raid5, because the ratio between space usable and number of disk will be better for raid 5.
(5 disks will give you 4 disk capacity, then you can use cheaper, smaller disks to get the same capacity you would with mirroring)
best guess in raid 5 would be 5x160gig or 5x200
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the parts becomes obsolete so fast that it is very fast difficult to find models that were easy to buy even only 6 months later.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 04:55 PM   #8
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It's true that hard drives become obsolete fast. If I only get a few hundred GB extra now then with good luck the 1TB drives will become available (and affordable) before I manage to fill all that existing space.

I probably should have told this before:

I'm planning this purchase because my system is not capable of editing video yet. Thus the emphasis on video, but I have 5000 digital photos (6Mpix), lot's of digital video, games too... I'm also putting all my music there... 400GB is not a lot for all of that. And if I install that digital tv card... I guess something in the 800GB range would be enough.

But what if I decide to implement raid 1 (motherboard), or even a 3-disk raid5 with some basic controller? Are the 400GB desktop sata drives ok to use, then? Any experience?
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Old August 1st, 2005, 08:48 PM   #9
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400GB drives should work in a RAID configuration. Of course, computer stuff doesn't always work like it's supposed to. But most of the time it'll work... there's nothing especially tricky with RAIDing hard drives the way you want.

If you'd like to do some research to see if your planned configuration will work, you can try Google and the forums at storagereview.com. You can also try forums on computer enthusiast sites like arstechnica.com.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 09:10 AM   #10
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for a hot swappable drive solution I use one of these. http://www.ratocsystems.com/english/products/case.html

I'm on a Mac and it works fine for me, the guy who does our after effects stuff is on a windows machine, he and I swap the drives to each with no problems. Need more drives then just buy more hard drive cases and pop in a 250 gig or more hard drive.

this model is USB 2.0 but they also have a firewire model, I have two USB and one firewire model.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:46 PM   #11
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We implement RAID 5 in almost 50% of our systems, including DV25 workstations. For four disk arrays, we are typically using a Promise SX4 card or even the onboard RAID on the new Intel ICH7 southbridges. Both work well, but for higher end arrays, 3Ware 9000 series is recommended. We almost never do RAID 1 for video drives, and almost never do any RAID 0 arrays over 2 drives.

Another point is that many times with these arrays you can add disks as you go... I would have to check specifically in those controllers' documentation, but it could be as easy as plugging it in and telling it what you're doing.

As far as the drive models themselves, either the Western Digital or Seagate 400GB drives are both just fine. I would however take a closer look at the WD drive, as I think it is cheaper right now, AND it has 16MB cache - which is definitely a better drive.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralf Strandell
The hot swappable disk tray sounds interesting. Who produces such a thing (besides IBM/Compaq)?

The hot-swap nature comes from the bus, not necessarily the enclosure product. You need to be on a hot-swappable bus (SATA or SCSI), and the controller that you are plugged into has to be hot-swap ready. Anyone considering that should make sure they check the controller.
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