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cbphoto2002
02-14-2008, 04:10 PM
Hey Gurus,

I'm finding myself editing more and more video and am now migrating to HD. The amount of data is almost too much, so I was wondering what recommendations y'all had for external drives/enclosures for video editing.

I'm still running a dual G5 with 4GB RAM and have available all PCI slots except for the video card. Eventually I'll upgrade to an Intel system, so I'm looking for something that can work on this Mac and the next.

Any recommendations?

I'm also considering some form of raw data archiving because I've been getting raw material from a JVC HD Everio, a Panasonic P2 and a Sony EX1, all of which don't use tapes. I've been looking at some form of tape drive/backup only because some models/versions can hold up to 36GB.

Any ideas here?

Thanks!

ricks
02-14-2008, 04:42 PM
The very best Video and bulk storage method (and lowest cost) is Port Multiplier SATA Enclosures (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/BurlyPortMultiEncl.php). Port Multiplier (PM) enclosures allow up to 5 drives per data cable, and a 4 port card can give up to 1GB/sec of possible bandwidth.

A couple important considerations are what format you are working in, which will tell us how fast, in MB/sec, your storage has to be to accomplish the task. When you build a striped RAID with SATA drives you get bigger and faster as you add more drives to the array.

For every data drive you should also plan on getting a second drive for a backup. Duplicate copies of data is the only protection there is from losing it.

Most of our customers today are moving away from tape and towards hard drives for archival storage. Cheap and fast, stacking a bunch of hard drives on a shelf is an easy and efficient way to archive. With tray mounted drive enclosures you can get drives in trays that are pretty well protected form the elements. Beats the heck out of nursing tapes.

Rick

ricks
02-14-2008, 04:46 PM
One other thing, have to know what G5 you have to know what host card you would need. There are three different PCI buses on the different G5s: PCI, PCI-X and PCIe. Each has a different answer on card choice. Here's a list:

- G5 "Dual Core" with PC2-4200 RAM *
Choose - Lycom LYCeSATA-4e PCIe 4 Port SATA Host card (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/LYCeSATA-4e.php)


- PCI-X G5s with 8 RAM Slots and PC3200 RAM *
Choose - Lycom LYCeSATA-4X (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/lycesata4.php)

PCI G5s - those G5s with 4 RAM Slots *
Choose - Sonnet Tempo X4P (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/Tempo-X4P.php)


* Note: You can quickly check your model G5 by using Apple System Profiler and looking in the Memory Section under Hardware. The PC2-4200 speed reading will tell you you have a PCIe Dual Core G5. PC3200 under Speed and 8 total Slots (numbered 0 through 7) indicate you have a PCI-X G5. 4 RAM slot (numbered 0 through 3 in Profiler) indicate you have a PCI G5.

cbphoto2002
02-15-2008, 07:03 AM
Thanks for the response, Rick.

My G5 is PCI-X type with 8 RAM Slots and PC3200 RAM (thanks for that important info, too). I assume that this card would have to stay with this G5 box, and cannot be moved to a newer Intel Mac. Correct?

I now have even more questions:
How does the HD array appear to the end user? Is it a single volume or a set of separate drives? Does this depend on the RAID setup?

You mention having a backup drive for every data drive (I fully agree), so does this mean having a second drive array on a second PCI card? Or simply setting up drives on the array as backup disks?

Lastly, you mention using drives as archival storage. I really like this idea but I thought that, without use, hard drives become unreliable (magnetic bits decay, spindle bearings get stiff, etc.). What method do you use to keep these archival drives ready? Store them in an oil-filled vat? ;)

Thanks again for your input.

ricks
02-15-2008, 10:21 AM
Happy to answer:


How does the HD array appear to the end user? Is it a single volume or a set of separate drives? Does this depend on the RAID setup?

You can mount the drives any way you like. A Burly will arrive with the disks showing up formatted individually and named: Test1, Test2 and so on...

You would then reformat into whatever configuration you desire, that can be all individual, mix of RAID, non-RAID and multiple RAID or all in one RAID volume. Completely up to the user. All of these configurations will be stable and robust.


You mention having a backup drive for every data drive (I fully agree), so does this mean having a second drive array on a second PCI card? Or simply setting up drives on the array as backup disks?

Backups can be on same card and in same enclosure. The key here is the multiple set of data on multiple drives. Don't really care much that they are sharing any other resources since in event of a failure you can always move them to another enclosure/card/computer.

Depending on your data needs the backup may be half the disks in one enclosure or may be all the disks in a separate enclosure or even disks attached via Firewire. Matter not except you want to setup something robust and cost efficient.


Lastly, you mention using drives as archival storage. I really like this idea but I thought that, without use, hard drives become unreliable (magnetic bits decay, spindle bearings get stiff, etc.). What method do you use to keep these archival drives ready? Store them in an oil-filled vat?

Todays drives all have fluid bearings. Unless they leak they will not stick or dry out. Very unusual to have one not spin up.... that used to be common with older ball bearing drives. Almost never on todays fluid dynamic bearing drives.

That said, I have never seen any tests on 'shelved drive life' over significant time spans. Though most of our archival customers are using hard drives now, that doesn't make it a scientific test by any means.

Still in all, it is a great convenient, fast and efficient way to archive data today. It has pretty much pushed all the other ways off the table.

Rick

cbphoto2002
02-17-2008, 10:17 AM
Rick,

Thanks for the great info. I do have another elementary question: What is the benefit to a 5-drive enclosure? Is there some RAID configuration that benefits from 5 drives? I understand 4- or 8-drive rigs, with a RAID 1 setup, or half being used for backup. But 5 drives? I don't get it.

rwm
02-17-2008, 11:58 AM
Rick would really know who does what but....

Often people will use 2 to 4 drives as a RAID and the others as data backup or just plain storage or a emergency OSX. But no it does not mean everyone's RAIDing 5 drives. A mix of it all to meet the users needs. The reason Rick sells different sizes --- different needs.

unclemac
02-17-2008, 06:00 PM
Many ways to configure........so more bays always give more flexability.

Say for example, you wanted 3 drives striped for speed, need a drive for massive storage or a primary backup that was always on line and available, but also wanted a bay for weekly/monthly backups that you ran, and then removed to be taken off site or got locked away in a fire proof safe. That would be 5 bays.

More bays = more options and room for growth. Very often people buy a single external drive for backups. Then at some point they fill it and need a second, then maybe need more live storage space. They end up with multiple single external drives, which is messy, a cabling problem, and likely less reliable compared to a single well built case with room to expand.

Try to think of your needs for the next 3-5 years as you consider how many bays you may need.

Kolya
02-26-2008, 06:46 PM
I'm interested in getting your 6 bay Dual PM Enclosure, partly for its speed, and partly for its flexibility as a back up device. The pattern of usage I envisage might involve several drive swaps per bay, per day. That might amount to, say, 1000 swaps per bay, per year.

Do you think the electrical and mechanical components that are stressed whenever a drive is swapped, can safely endure this level of usage?

BTW, do you sell spare drive trays for the 6 bay enclosures and, if so, how much do they cost?

ricks
02-26-2008, 10:52 PM
The actual connection components used by every tray or backplane method of hotswap manufacturer is the same today. The connector on the hard drive slips into a socket on the backplane. I haven't seen anyone doing it differently in the last year or so.

The trays in the 6 bay are really just guide rails on the side of the drive with a front panel containing air intake slots and a latching mechanism. the latching mechanism is the best I have ever seen. The feel of the drives going in is very solid and straight forward. We were very impressed with the solidity of the setup.

I don't expect more wear and tear on these than any other tray system. Should last a long time through thousands of cycles. The 3 drive cartridges are not cheap, near $100 each. So they are a significant part of the cost of the enclosure. In testing we start out worrying less about the drive connectors having any wear and tear since they are the same as every other in use and don't have issue there, as we do about the rail alignment system being solid with the appearance of an ability to take a LOT of installs. These appear to be capable.

Extra trays are available. We haven't brought any in quite yet since it is a very new product line. We can at any time though, and will. they will run around $24 from what I was told.

One comment about them, they are skeleton trays, meaning they only have three sides. The drive is 100% unprotected when out of the enclosure. Need to be aware of that is all. Our other enclosures use trays that are full aluminum boxes, all you need to stack drives on a shelf and keep them protected.

Rick

Kolya
02-27-2008, 04:49 AM
Thanks for the information about the 6 bay drive trays.

Your warning about the drives being unprotected when out of the enclosure is well taken. The reason I'm exploring that option is that I want to keep one set of backup drives in my fire safe.

Do you think the openness of the 6 bay trays makes that approach unwise?

And, can the loaded trays be safely stacked squarely on top of each other for storage, albeit within the sheltered environment of a fire safe?

Kolya