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Old September 21st, 2007, 08:24 AM   #1
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Computer/Editing station question re: RAID.

I bought a turnkey system w/Adobe CS2 Prod Studio Premium and Aspect HD. It came w/1 system drive and a 1.5 TB RAID, comprised of a number of hard drives. It was set up to access the RAID as my "H" drive.

My question is: when I need to do maintenance, i.e. defrag or any other "system tools stuff", should I treat the RAID like any other single hard drive in my computer? I've been avoiding such maintenance from my lack of knowledge and fear of really hosing my machine, but think I'm about due for some maintenance.

Where can I learn more about what quirks/dangers I might encounter when maintaining a RAID? Any input from experience, or sites where I could learn more, w/b appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 08:35 AM   #2
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FWIW, my desktop "C" drive is a 500gb RAID(0) array that I treat as a normal drive as far as defragging, disk cleanup, chkdsk, etc and I've had no problems.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 09:55 AM   #3
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You treat a raid array as a single drive regardless of how many drives make up the array.

One drawback of RAID is that by incorporating more than one drive into your system you reduce the MTTF (Mean Time To Failure). There is a formula to work it out that you may be able to Google.

Not really something to worry about though aslong as you backup regularly. With video due to the nature of file sizes incremental backups are best. Try a product called Vembu Storegrid.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Robinson View Post
...One drawback of RAID is that by incorporating more than one drive into your system you reduce the MTTF (Mean Time To Failure). ...
Good point - I haven't had any problems traceable to disk utilities but I did have a drive failure just before the first of the year. Had a close call because I didn't have a recent backup but luckily was able to pull one off before the entrire drive went south and only lost a couple of trivial items. But after replacing it I now have Norton Ghost doing an automated incremental backup to an external drive every evening.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #5
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I'd recommend atleast RAID level 5.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #6
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I have a 4 drive RAID 5 1TB NAS box. When one of the 250GB drives fails it is an overnight rebuild. The array is usable during the rebiild. Rebuild time is proportional to the size of the individual drives, and some very high end system users keep the drives much smaller than you might think to minimize rebuild time. As rebuild time increases, your exposure to a second (and fatal) error increases. Recently RAID 6 is gaining in popularity as it would require 3 failures to completely fail the array.

I think RAID 1 is probably the simplest and easiest to implement as you always have two complete copies available. Drawback is that you need 50% extra disk space.

It isn't so popular anymore, but RAID 3 can give exceptional performance. Not sure if any of the commonly available card support it these days but we used to use it for supercomputing systems
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Old September 26th, 2007, 05:15 AM   #7
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I have a 4 drive RAID 5 1TB NAS box. ...
I'm looking into adding a NAS to my network ... what brand are you using?
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #8
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Hi Steve,

I have a Buffalo TeraStore 1TB. It isn't probably that well known in the US but my client in Japan (NEC) uses a bunch of them in their development lab as small workgroup file servers, so I gave it a try. Amazon sells them

My first unit ran fine for almost a year and then one day after what looked like a normal shutdown the controller failed and data was unrecoverable. I had a backup (about 6 weeks old) so I wasn't in too bad a state. The folks at tech support were very elpful and tried a bunch of things but in the end I had to replace the unit. The new one is a later model and in every way seems much more stable than the first one. I've had it runing for a few months now and I've powered it up and down dozens of times and no problems.

The unit has two USB ports in the back and you can hook up a couple of USB drives, and in the newer version they have a backup utility that willperiodically sync the USB drives with the NAS box. I haven't played with it yet, but I think (just THINK) I could set it up to keep two USB backups in sync with the NAS itself.

It will support Raid 1 or Raid 5. It runs on Gigiabit Ethernet and has support for Jumbo frame sizes which really helps large file transfers compared to having touse 1500 byte blocks as per standard ethernet protocol.
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