View Full Version : Firevue raid card?

03-11-2002, 04:38 AM
Has anyone used this granite card? I've seen it mentioned on barefeats but thats about it. Does anyone else make a firewire card with more than one channel?

I'm looking for a faster way to back up my raid. Its a bit of a monster - 2 atto ul3ds with 30 10kii drives each - 4+ TBs. I'm backing up on to WD 100gb ide drives - it was the best cost/speed compromise I could come up with. I built a bunch of cases w/ removable trays and firewire bridges.

Works great but still slow.

So I'm thinking stripe 4 drives across 4 firewire buses to speed things up.

The other option is to go with a magma pci bus expander and put it in a 20bay server case with several ata raid cards. But I'm worried about PCI weirdness and I doubt its 24" or less to make it from the pci cards to all the bays.

03-11-2002, 09:12 AM
On any raid 0 stripe if you lose a drive you lose it all. maybe backing up to single drives is worth it even though it's slow.

Chances are you would NOT lose both the scsi stripe and the backup firewire stripe at the same time though.

Striping ATA drives will almost double the speed of a single ATA drive (about 70MB a sec) but I do not know if you can get anymore than that on a firewire stripe. On an ATA hardraid card you can only stripe 2 drives together. Using a software raid on a firewire bus you should be able to stripe all four but I have heard that the perofrmance doesn't go up for every drive you add like it does with scsi. Still though 70MB a sec is a lot faster than the 38-39MB you are getting now http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I have not personally used the card you are asking about, I can only offer this: Granite is a high quality company and makes great stuff. If you are going to try this use the Granite card & cables

03-11-2002, 01:30 PM

You need some serious capacity. My problem with the Firewire solution is the top out on a FW bus of less than 50MB/sec. Even with several buses it's quite limited.

You might look at fantomdrives.com. They make some stand alone raid boxes that use hotswap IDE drives. They might have the capacity you need.

Be interesting if you could get the controller and the enclosures and supply your own mongo big drives to make it big enough. If your storing DV you might consider RAID3 as the large stripe blocks works well with big files. (terrible performance with small file transfers though) Easy to just keep adding drives as you need more storage.

Just my musings, I've never worked with anything near that big.


03-12-2002, 09:32 AM
Take a look at OSOpinion (http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/16720.html) which has an article today on Inito's plans for high-end FW:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Ultra-Fast FireWire Card in the Works

While Initio's first product to be released will operate at 800 Mbps, the 1394 Trade Association's roadmap calls for eventual speeds of 3.2 gigabits per second.

"... [we] will bolster application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) research and development on SCSI -- including the emerging Ultra320 SCSI (320MB/sec) interface -- and new IEEE 1394 devices," Initio officials said in a statement.

While Initio's first product to support 1394B will operate at 800 megabits per second, the 1394 Trade Association's roadmap calls for speeds of 1.6 gigabits per second and, eventually, 3.2 gigabits per second over copper wire. Working at distances of up to 100 feet, the ultra-fast 3.2 gigabit-per-second version will require more expensive multimode glass optical fiber wiring.

IEEE 1394B includes a new connector with better shielding and signal isolation. The new connector promises to be more compact than earlier versions as well.

Who's the BOSS?

IEEE 1394b sports a new function called BOSS (Bus Owner Supervisor Selector), which implements overlapped, pipelined arbitration, so the arbitration protocol runs in parallel with data transmissions.


The old FireWire arbitration scheme also is not scalable, meaning that bottlenecks become increasingly constrictive at higher speeds. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sounds like Inito has found a new nitch - perfect for this type of application (can SCSI keep up even with Ultra320 around the corner?)


03-12-2002, 06:04 PM
A very rough guess on 3.2 giga bits is about 370MB a sec They say that "Eventually" we will see 3.2gigabits which means 2-3 years and U320 is here NOW where will scsi be in 2-3 years? Ultra 1280?

Isn't Firewire a part of the scsi spec?


(oops got a bit fanatical there for a moment, didn't I?.....)

[This message has been edited by Damien (edited 12 March 2002).]

03-12-2002, 10:06 PM
A few deep breaths Damien. Burly brain, that's what you have. (from too many Cheetahs in a Burly) An easy cure is to operate a winders machine for 20 or 30 seconds, takes the giddyness right out of a guy.

That's better.


03-13-2002, 09:40 PM
Yeah tell me about it...

I just got home from work where I have a Compaq iPaq. Not only does it run at 2 mhz but it has a 14 inch screen and runs Win98 I have hit the BSOD just trying to boot the thing. Luckily I only really need to use it for email....

The biggest stress reliever in my life is my Macs startup chime!