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Old September 22nd, 2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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External raid enclosure ideas?

Hi to all,
I'm looking for a way to have about 4 usable TB (so maybe 8 TB in Raid 10) to edit from via an external sata/esata drive.
At present I have 2 x 2 TB of Raid 0 in my tower. The issue is, when it gets busy the onboard 4 TB is close to maxing out, and I have to have it all backed up to various external hard drives and try to keep track of where everything is.
So ideally, (my ideas only, please offer up any other workflows),
You get home late with 4 hours of footage x 4-6 cameras.
Transfer all native files from SD cards etc to a Folder called 'Event name and date', with sub folders for individual cams. Rename all files as you go to get away from similar file names.
So an hour or so later the files are all on the drive and I can start HD Link to transcode to Cineform over night.
In my new ideal world, now all transcoded files are on a Raid 10 volume so barring any natural disasters, I'm protected from hard drive failure and I can overwrite the SD cards the next day.
Questions-
To achieve this, am I better to look at-
A. G-Raid or similar external enclosure.
B. Another cheaper PC that is networked (How? ethernet wouldn't be fast enough to edit Cineform?)
How do they do this in a larger production house where multiple users have to access big files to edit?
Any thoughts, ideas most appreciated.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: External raid enclosure ideas?

Ok then, Did some more reading.
Anybody using a NAS for editing and/or back up?
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Old September 24th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Re: External raid enclosure ideas?

i use a smaller nas for backup of all kinds of files.


i would suggest using gigabit ethernet (1000baseT) which gives you a raw data rate of 1000Mbps, or eSATA (aka SATA 300) at 3000Mbps, or USB3 at 5000Mbps. they're way faster than most wifi (11Mbps for "802.11b", 54Mbps for "g", and 600Mbps for "n"), FireWire (400Mbps), and the older Ethernets (100Mbps or 10Mbps).

for gigabit ethernet, make sure you are hardwired using a cat5 or better cable and that all routers, switches, and hubs also support gigabit; you're data rate is determined by the slowest point in the path.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #4
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Re: External raid enclosure ideas?

Thanks Roberto,
Ive just been down to our local PC shop and the helpful vendor informed me of the information in your post almost word for word.
So it seems I need to -
a. Get an 8 port gigabit switch (existing router only has one gigabit outlet)
b. Get my new NAS, 4bay Qnap seems cost effective. With 4 x WD 2TB I get 8TB in JBOD, or 4 TB in Raid 10.
Should work ok.... I hope :)
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Old September 25th, 2012, 07:13 AM   #5
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Re: External raid enclosure ideas?

i buy almost all my computer gear from newegg.com. your sig says you're in australia; not sure if they ship there, but you could use them for price comparison.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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Re: External raid enclosure ideas?

I am using a Mediasonic (Startech also makes something similar) ProRaid+ HFR2-SU3S2FW enclosure and a Synology DS412+ NAS.

The ProRAID can be used as direct attached storage without worrying about having a port-multiplier capable PC. Any e-SATA will do. These are all made in China so you can probably find another brand from the same OEM. I've got some performance figures on RAID-5 that show it going up to 175MB/sec on sequential read and 140MB/sec sequential write. This is on regular SATA 7200rpm drives.

Primitive But Effective: Mediasonic ProRaid and e-SATA without Port Multiplier

The Synology DS412+ I have running with a GS108T smart switch, this allows me to use both 1GigE connectors (link aggregation). The fastest you can pull is limited by your desktop PC though. On a single 1GigE the max you can go is about 111MB/sec (though I've seen it spike to 115MB/sec on the internal resource monitor). The NAS is more useful when more than 1 person needs access to the same device. I use it to consolidate all my pictures and footage. I've done some simple edits off it and I don't notice much of a difference against running from single disk SATA or USB3 drives. My requirements aren't that high powered anyway. Mostly mov and Cineform from canon 7D. Occasionally some Cineform from a GoPro 3D.

The QNAP you are thinking of is in the same class so the performance should be comparable.

Just for reference, a USB2 drive is able to go 25-35MB/sec tops. And I also to edit off multiple USB2 connected to a laptop PC. Render drive was to a local SATA-II. This is when I'm away from home, it seems good enough for my needs.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 05:53 AM   #7
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Re: External raid enclosure ideas?

Hey Mike, I have a very similar version of that ProRaid box (looks identicle, just has brand name ProBox). It is the non raid version though.
I'm kind of steering away from NAS now, reasons being after doing alot of homework-
A lot of reports on the Qnap forum saying they they only get 15-30Mbps transfer speeds between Nas and desktop.
General opinion is Raid 5 (which is what they advocate using) is,
" safe as houses, but you can't depend on it, so always have a back up".
???? What is that? Either it is safe or its not. I dont know........I'm thinking Raid 1(mirror) or Raid 10(stripe and mirror) is the go for safety anyway.
I get 80Mbps min transfer speeds from one Green esata drive to another anyway, why have Raid (any version) that isn't safe and get 30 or 40Mbps. Can't see the benefit.
So, now I'm leaning towards this-
TowerRAID TR8M+ - 8 Bay eSATA RAID 0/1/10/5/JBOD Performance Tower w/ 6G PCIe Card (Silver)
8 drives
dual esata
Raid 10
250Mbps transfer speeds
what a beast :)
Has anyone got one? Whats it like?
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Old September 30th, 2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: External raid enclosure ideas?

Hi Gerald. I think what they mean by "you can't depend on it" is "RAID is not a backup" ... just because it's in a RAID it's not bulletproof. RAID will protect from a single disk failure, but if it's the interface, housing or power supply that breaks, it's still dead as a doornail.

There is a 3-2-1 rule for data. Keep 3 copies of your important files on 2 different media with 1 copy offsite. My setup is, I have 2 NAS and 2 computers. One NAS is an old archival one with lots of USB2 drives. The newer fast NAS is RAID, and is also backed up to an ioSafe in case of fire/flooding. My primary PC with its edits is backed up to the NAS or has archive copies on slow NAS. In case the PC breaks, all the drives are removable and can be hooked up to my laptop which has the most the same software ... I can always pull files from the LAN. I have my old MiniDV tapes and some burned Blu Ray of footage kept in another location. But I'm also looking into cloud backup for a more current offsite backup. I'm a hobbyist for video, but I work in the IT industry, this setup protects my livelihood as well as irreplaceable home videos.

As for the 15-30MB/sec per file on the QNAP, that does sound pretty slow for a file copy. Just for kicks I did a transcode test from my Synology DS412+ (RAID-5) on a 1GB Canon 7D file with Cineform Neoscene. It took 4 minutes 2 second to transcode that clip (4:02 first try, 4:01 second try). The resource monitor read about 5.1MB/sec utilized from NAS through Cineform to an e-SATA drive.

I then copied the same original clip from the NAS to the same target e-SATA drive. I hit 85-125MB/sec according to windows. It was 11.3 seconds to copy the 1GB file ... so I guess its about 90MB/sec. The speed seems to depend on the kind of operation.

I took the same clip, copied to a SATA drive. Transcoded the same to an e-SATA drive. It was 2 minutes to transcode. Ok, DAS still wins for raw speed. It's probably due to lower latency as opposed to a 1GigE connection. SATA 6G SSD drives are supposed to go 250MB/sec if you want the ultimate speed on DAS. If you can script/batch your extract from SSD and transcode, you might be able to use fast disk for time critical operations like an overnight transcode. Then archive off to a separate SATA or NAS on your original clips. For editing you could use an 8-bay DAS, then back that up to a similar sized device or another NAS.

Personally, I think of storage in the following tiers:

(1) high speed (transcode)
(2) speed + size (editing)
(3) regular speed (backup)
(4) low speed (archive -- old USB2 drives, Blu Ray)

Found some reviews in NewEgg for that Sans Digital TowerRAID

Newegg.com - SANS DIGITAL TowerRAID TR8M-BP RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 5+spare, Spanning and JBOD(via Bundled RR622 RAID Controller Card) 8 x Hot-Swappable 3.5" Drive Bays eSATA (via Port Multiplier)
PCIe 2.0 x1 for RR622 RAID Cont


It also reminds me of the Mediasonic ProBox 8 which has a similar number of bays.

AnandTech - Mediasonic Probox 8-bay 3.5" USB 3.0 / eSATA DAS Review

Newegg.com - Mediasonic H82-SU3S2 3.5" Black USB3.0 & eSATA ProBox 8 Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure

http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-H82-SU3S2-ProBox-External-Enclosure/product-reviews/B005GYDMYG/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
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