View Full Version : G5 eSata and internal Sata questions...

04-22-2007, 03:26 PM
G5, 2.5 dual processor box. (PCI-X slots) Looking to add both additional backup capability, storage and performance. Basically had a disk problem and had to recover from tape (AIT2) and Retrospect. Good news is the backup worked flawlessly, the bad news is it took around 14 hours to reload 98G of data. I'm thinking a Firmtek Seritek/1VE4 for a four bay external and a Firmtek Seritek/1S2 internal with a Raptor as the boot drive.
Any issues with using both host cards? Would the CalDigit 4 port be a better choice as I am moving to video work in addition to a lot of photo work. Seem like it might provide more flexibility for future configs with the port multiplier capability. Again any issue with using the internal and external host cards?
I'm also assuming I can concatenate two pairs of drives on the four bay, one pair for backup use, one for additional data. (pairs of 500GB Hatachi drives for the four bay). For backups I want to use the esata as primary 1TB backup storage and AIT2 tape as secondary sources. (The tape is easy to save in a media vault and move off site.)
Comments or suggestions?

04-22-2007, 10:27 PM
Good machine with lots of room for performance enhancements... Hmm. As far as adding external storage, I think I would go with the Sonnet X4P (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/Tempo-X4P.php).

I would attach a Port Multiplier enclosure (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/BurlyPortMultiEncl.php) to one channel of the Sonnet, and a 2 bay SATAKit (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/satakits.php) with a couple of 74 GB Raptors to two more ports on the Sonnet card for your scratch RAID. I use a couple Raptors like that in the second 2 mounts in my MacPro, that is a killer dedicated scratch. The reason for the SATAKit, with separate wires, is better latency. Better to say lower latency. Having the drives each on their own channel, with no component between the drives and the host card, will give the absolute lowest possible latency. The more electronics between host and drives, the more those components add time to the transfer. Even though port multiplier boards are pretty simple and don't effect the transfer time much. A little is too much if you are looking to get the 'mostest' from those Raptors.

The Port Multiplier enclosure becomes the data file location, and probably backup. Your first priority is planning the live backup, the automatic one that happens whether someone has the time or not. Most customers just use some scale of PM enclosure like a 4 bay, 2 drives for data, identical 2 more drives for backup. Some are getting such large databases that they run a 4 or 5 bay RAID0 for the data base and a second identical 4 or 5 bay in a RAID0 for the backup. This setup also has a huge speed advantage when you are saving work files, opening new work files. Especially for those who like lots of layers and history files.

I personally like using a big drive for my OS drive. And I stick with 7200 RPM, fastest I can get. I feel I get a better system with 2 identical 500 GB drives internally. Drive one is the OS, drive 2 is the Applications and User directory. I set up partitions for backup. Set up like this:

Drive 1
-100GB --------------------400GB
Partition 1 -------------- Partition 2
---OS -------------------Backup Drive2

Drive 2
- 400 GB ---------------------- 100GB
Partition 1 ------------------- Partition 2
Users+Applications --------Backup Drive 1

This setup gives me twice the drive access capability of a single combined OS - applications drive. It allows me to backup everything. Lose any drive or corrupt any drive and I still have everything. I get simultaneous access of the Applications on drive 2 - PLUS, because the apps are on a separate drive I don't have to reinstall them if the OS gets corrupted and needs replacing. I install ALL user applications on drive 2, at least those applications not installed by the OS, leave those on the default OS drive because every upgrade you do will look there to upgrade the apps as well. They are not used during photo processing anyway.

There is no perfect setup. WAY way way too many variables in how photographers use their system and way too many configurations to pick a perfect one for all users, or even for most users. This is how I do it and it works well and fast for me. Modifying it so you get the fastest possible workflow for you is the key. And we are all happy to discuss the wherefors and whys of each type of upgrade, configuration, hardware change.


04-22-2007, 10:40 PM
Oh, a couple other things.

RAID by itself never = backup. RAID only protects from a drive failure, lots and lots of other things can happen to lose data. Even a mirror, where two sets of drives automatically duplicate one to the other, is only good for a drive failure. Biggest problem is instantness. Any damage done the main database is instantly copied to the mirror.

At MacGurus we use SyncronizeProX (www.qdea.com) to maintain our backups. Not quite as safe as an incremental, like Retrospect. But in the event of a failure, it take a few seconds to be back up and running. Backup software like SyncPro or ChronoSync keeps an automatic copy of your data. Set it up on any schedule, and it makes your backup drive match your main drive(s) The weakness of this is that if you damage the files, even something as simple as an accidental erasure, and you let the backup run, it may copy the damage to the backup. As long as you work within that weakness they are great tools that take almost no admin time to setup and run.

Retrospect is the gold standard of incremental backups. These are THE safest way to maintain a backup. However, they take a load of administrative time. Personally I can't afford the time so I run multiple hard drives on different schedules with backup software.


04-23-2007, 07:18 AM
A recent IT article talked about the demise of tape in favor of SATA. And with 500 and 1TB drives, makes sense. You could dump to a pair of 1TB drives concurrently for each backup set (that was what we did at work for all our tape backups of critical files).

04-26-2007, 12:19 AM
I use SyncPro for all my copies. It always gets the permissions correct.

Short version:

Create an Empty Users folder on the second drive. Use SyncronizeProX to copy your original Users folder to new Users Folder.

Go into NetInfoManager and click the lock to make changes. Then go to Users, and highlight your name. scroll down until you see the path, it will look like: /Users/rob

Click on it to edit it, change it to: /Volumes/insert*/Users/Rob

* being the name of the hard drive that the new USers is on. Don't use any spaces on your drive names, that makes it really hard to type the path it.

That is it basically.

Damien posted a long version of this in the Tech Guides, called Guide to Move Users (http://www.macmeisters.com/~damien/moveusers/) It uses CCC for the process. ANd there are some other steps that can make it more trouble free, like being logged in as root when you change the path. Other than that, after you do this a couple of times, you will find it very straight forward.