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Thread: Need purchase advice on RAID for video editing

  1. #1
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    Hi new to the forum. Im getting a G5 dual 2 gig for Final Cut Pro, mostly for editing DV, NTSC and occasional HD. Unfortunately it leaves not very much in my budget for a RAID. I dont know many brands but Medea's 240 gb RT something (not the raid 0, which i understand is not safe for lacking redundancy) is about 2,500 bucks.
    My questions are: Is there a cheaper way to go if i build my own raid 5? And will that be reliable?
    The G5's have pci-x now so which Raid controllers will be compatible? Also, is an external SATA Raid a possibility?
    I am quite a newbie at RAIDs and would appreciate any advice.

    Basically if you wanted to make a decent sized raid (200-300 gb?) with redundancy and reliability, how low of a price can u go?

    THANKS IN ADVANCE

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    If you are on a budget, is RAID 5 a must?

    I ask cause, yes, you are probably looking at the $2500 neighborhood (or more) for a RAID 5 box, with ATA drives and SCSI backplane, plus cables and a SCSI PCI card, so maybe even 3 thousand before you are done.

    I looked around quite a bit about a year ago, and found some platform independant RAID 5 controllers, but they were all high end and started at about $2000, so building your own won't beat the "entry level" off-the-shelf RAID boxes.... Someone please tell me I'm wrong!

    How about a big 'ol ATA drive in a FW 800 enclosure? Too slow?

    What about using the second bay with the biggest SATA drive you can get for work space, and FW drives(s) for storage and backup?

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  3. #3
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    ??Hey, Welcome to the FORUMs. (shouldn't say that, I feel like Caesar's arena master welcoming a few Christians to the games )

    ?I will weigh in on this from the same position as Unc, look to Firewire 800 for the near term. Firewire 800 will allow you to add Firewire cards and drives incrementally. Nice when on a budget for a while.

    ?Firewire 800 is faster than the drives. Something not true of Firewire 400. Todays single drives are capable of 60+ MB/sec, more than enough to handle DV. The only real good reason to go with a RAID is for data protection, and you can handle that cheaper through backups than with a RAID5. Actually RAID3 is better for DV, handles large data transfers much better than RAID5 with the exact same fault protection ability.

    ?If you are looking to up your performance through a storage acceleration then separating your data flow to multiple drives on separate channels will do that much better than a single RAID5 doing everything. Having a channel for the OS and applications, another drive on another channel for raw data (and recording) a third for finished data this will be the big one that needs the most backup) and last, a small fast drive or a small very fast RAID for scratch space. This allows the computer to access every data stream at once. Multithreading is more important for speed than the raw speed of your main storage device.

    ?In the short term a couple of 250 gig Firewire800 devices, one on the motherboard FW800 channel and one on a FW800 PCI card will allow you to either RAID them together or keep them separate for different tasks. You can add in a few FW400 Hotswap drives as you need backup and storage space saving a bunch more dollars by using one device for several drives. Great way to have a simple backup storage, hotswap trays cost very little and each can handle a 250 gig drive.

    ?There are some very nice RAID solutions offered like Medea and Arena. They are going to cost like a computer does since they have tons of storage and basically a built in dedicated computer to process the data. That would be great if you can afford the upfront costs, however that would not be as scalable later as the FW800 will be.

    ?YOu can also use a simple Firewire RAID tower. Fairly inexpensive and can be up to 80 MB/sec with two channels of FW hooked to them. You can check out the Granite Digital RAID that the Gurus will be selling the end of the week Firewire RAID

    Rick

    Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?

  4. #4
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    For $300 per drive you can get an ATA Western Digital Caviar Special Edition 250GB drive, or the latest Hitachi, or Maxtor. Then, as Rick suggested, RAID or just use one for backup, one for projects, and run off FireWire. Just add cables and a multi-drive cabinet for 2-4 drives for under $1000.

    White Paper: Video Storage Information on Maxtor's 10K IV which is optimized for use in video-editing and I just love these drives. Solid 70MB/s performance even when 50% full. Use to cost $1000 for 143GB drives, but no longer.

    For $2000 you could have SCSI card, cable + terminator, and a pair of 143GB 10K drives from Maxtor, Hitachi or Seagate, and have a nice 140MB/s RAID0 for video editing. At this point, the Adaptec 39160 is the best choice in SCSI for the G5's at the moment.

    [This message was edited by TZ on Thu September 25, 2003 PT at 7:36.]

  5. #5
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    This is just my opinion, based on my experiences with them, but avoid Micronet and Fantom Drives at all cost. (They're the same company)

    They shipped us a defective unit two years ago and the problem still is not resolved. Now they've stopped returning my calls and e-mail messages.

    It's really great when you recommend this purchase to a department based on past reviews and then get burned.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info JayPee. Have talked to a Mike at Micronet several times, but not that thrilled with them, even just trying get info and a feel for what they offer, recommend, and offer for support.

    Actually, I have not talked to a RAID box vender yet that gave me a warm a fuzzy feeling... too bad the Gurus did'nt handle a RAID 5 box (hint, hint... ) I just figured our requirements at work make us too small a fish for venders too get excited about. Coarse, I have only contacted about a half dozen, and I am sure there are many times that out there.

    I don't do video, but we do have a video guy here in a different department; he agrees that no real need for RAID in your scratch volume. Just multiple secure backups for everything. So why not a stripe for scratch? Too risky? Any special problems related to video?

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  7. #7
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    Hey Unc,

    ?Don't hint, come out and say it. Gurus needs an external RAID 0,1, 0+1,3 and 5 solution. I was just looking at one today that we can easily deliver. Problem is, it uses 40 MB/sec LVD SCSI with ATA drives inside. What the heck good is a max throughput of 40MB/sec. Our single SATA drives are almost double that.

    I WILL find one, or one of you folks will. I am really open to input. I can't just try em all, the only way we can recommend one is to test it and I can't afford to do that with a bunch of loser products over and over again. So if anyone has a informed recommendation, well, bring it on. If nothing else, maybe we'll credit you with the whole idea and you can be famous. After all, the entire Mac world will benefit from your wisdoms.

    ?I might give Maxtronics a look see since Doc has had such reasonable success in his mad scientist laboratory. Need some beastly output though or what's the point?

    Rick

    Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?

  8. #8
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ricks:
    Hey Unc,

    Don't hint, come out and say it. Gurus needs an external RAID 0,1, 0+1,3 and 5 solution. I was just looking at one today that we can easily deliver. Problem is, it uses 40 MB/sec LVD SCSI with ATA drives inside. What the heck good is a max throughput of 40MB/sec. Our single SATA drives are almost double that.

    I WILL find one, or one of you folks will. I am really open to input. I can't just try em all, the only way we can recommend one is to test it and I can't afford to do that with a bunch of loser products over and over again. So if anyone has a informed recommendation, well, bring it on. If nothing else, maybe we'll credit you with the whole idea and you can be famous. After all, the entire Mac world will benefit from your wisdoms.

    I might give Maxtronics a look see since Doc has had such reasonable success in his mad scientist laboratory. Need some beastly output though or what's the point?

    Rick

    _Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?_


    ironCHEF,

    I know these are probably a whole slew of porsche's on a beetle budget, but on behalf of ricks, here's some RAID solutions that I'll never be able to afford, but if I could, would love to get through the Gurus:

    • Studio Network Solutions
    • ADTX
    • Glyph
    • StorCase[/list]

      The SNS, Glyph and Storcase products can be found in many different types of A/V studio's. Hell, many have housed data for recent records (they still actually press those you know ),/CD's video's (VHS)-n-DVD's, tv shows and movies we've recently seen (The Lord Of The Rings trilogy Audio team used the "Fiber" version of SNS's A/V SanPro on location).
      ADTX I don't know much about, but supposedly they offer as solid/reliable a product as all of the above.
      I don't really know exactly what The Gurus are looking for in a RAID, but my best guess is
      quote:
      the best bang for the buck
      .
      OK, I'm lying, I know that's what the Guru's seek for.
      Unfortuantly, for poor people like me, these systems are freakin' EXPENSIVE. However, that of course is relative to whether or not you put any price on your data. As ricks has ingrained into my head, nothing is as good as a strict backup policy. Period. And we all know the problems with RAID' is that they still rely on mechanical devices.

      Sorry I don't know any other 'reputable' RAID manufacturers/vendors ricks, just going by what I've heard in my techno-geek community.

      ironCHEF...
      I know you want a good bang for the buck, so the best advice I can give to you, is heed the suggestions you get from the forum members, gurus and elder's (you know who you are) here. I know I'll never do the math (or get that many of us here to admit to their age for that matter, ), but there's A WHOLE LOT of years in general Mac knowledge conglomerated here that can help you get the most out of what you have and give you info you need when you're ready get more gear.

      ***
      -ricks
      the StorCase and SNS I know about from Mix, ie- my "techno-geek" community. The SNS I read about in the July 2001 and periodicly drool over, but the StorCase is referenced in the "New Produt" section of this months -Zine.
      I own a Glyph CD-R/W. It has been (now one of four) my archival device since '99 (got it with the 9500 I'm writing this on). It still backs up data (albeit slowly, 2x write/rewrite Max LOL), though I have to say that Ricoh (6200s series) deserves some of the credit, since that's the internal mechanism OEM.

      Thought I'd throw this in as my 'reference'. I may not have first hand knowledge through use, but I do have the first two Lord of the Rings!
      -
      Billbo

      [This message was edited by billbo on Thu September 25, 2003 PT at 20:47.]

  9. #9
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    thanks guys for advice, you've been very helpful
    i definitely will look more towards FW800, which seems like a good way for performance and afforability
    Im getting a 250 GB sata drive in my G5 and i think i will get another one as well (just not from apple) so maybe soft raiding that would be something worthwhile.

    i got alot of reading to do

    thanks again

  10. #10
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    Iron,

    ?If you softRAID your SATA drives then you will still need to move your OS and apps to another place. RAID does not belong on your system and apps drive nor on your long term storage. Only thing more fragile than a RAID0 is paper. Never ever trust it for long term of important data (and ain't it all important?) Always treat a striped RAID as capable of dying in the next 37 milliseconds and you'll be fine.

    ?Those SATA drives can be pretty fast all by themselves. Of course, you can move your OS and apps off into an external FW800 drive and then RAID the two SATA internals for speed. You'll still need a backup storage as well since the RAID is, again, not satisfactory even for overnight storage of irreplaceable work.

    ?I would say you are better served using multithreading by separating your data flows to different drives on separate buses/channels than by implementing RAID internally.

    ?Now a $3000 external RAID3 or RAID5 box would be a different story. Medea makes several RAID3 Digital Video towers that might fit your need. They are also scalable as you need more space you can either change the drives size or add a chained second tower. I will be looking into Medea again later this next month. They are single minded in their products being aimed solely at DV and DA RAID implementations but that is OK.

    Bill,

    ?? I was speaking directly towards the ADTX solution you quoted. I have an in with them if we can use their product line. But they are strictly 40 MB/sec delivery and I have issue with that old of a SCSI technology. They should be in at least Ultra160 range today if they are at all interested in performance. At least that is my take. I wouldn't be satisfied with our local network running off a 40 MB/sec file server!

    ?Course, I wouldn't be here if I was

    Rick

    Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?

  11. #11
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ricks:
    ...

    Bill,

    I was speaking directly towards the ADTX solution you quoted. I have an in with them if we can use their product line. But they are strictly 40 MB/sec delivery and I have issue with that old of a SCSI technology. They should be in at least Ultra160 range today if they are at all interested in performance. At least that is my take. I wouldn't be satisfied with our local network running off a 40 MB/sec file server!

    Course, I wouldn't be here if I was

    Rick

    _Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?_


    Had no idea how outdated that was.
    My bad.
    Of course, that SNS "Fiber-SAN" is what instantly piqued my curiosity (I drooled over it when I got the link for my earlier post LOL). One could gloat over owning something like that, at least like I do over being the only Mac owner in a 5 mile radius LOL.

    Seriously though, I apologize for my "loser" link.

    Bill

    "I made a conscience decision in a semi-conscious state"

  12. #12
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    ?????"Seriously though, I apologize for my "loser" link."


    ?Comon now. There ain't no such thing! I am looking hard for that 99.999 percent reliable 600+ MB/sec RAID 1,3,5,10 and 50 Mac supperior unit for under $1500.00.

    ?I am pathetic. One thing I am quickly learning. Speed COSTS. I think we should look at Medea's stuff. They have some nice numbers, over 200 MB/sec on Ultra160 SCSI. www.medea.com I hope I can get some feedback on quality, reliability and real life compatibility with Macs. I met them a year ago and get along with them well.And besides, their stuff even looks FAST! (not that a pretty face ever swayed OUR opinion )

    Rick

    Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?

  13. #13
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    I hope that someday the FAQs will be easy to use and searching of the forums or whatever, I always like to point people to StorageReview Drive Performance database - just click on 'sort' and you'll see list of drives reviewed, be able to read reviews, and compare any models. The reviews are thorough, go into heat, noise, and various tests, though maybe not the ones Mac users would want to see (Photoshop 6/7, Audio, FCP 3/4, etc).

    I'm partial to Hitachi lately, last year's 180GXP proved to be a real performer with SCSI like features that should also start to show up in later SATA drives and the new generation of Hitachi drives should up the ante further. The Gurus performance DB might also help.

  14. #14
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ricks:
    _ "Seriously though, I apologize for my "loser" link."_


    Comon now. There ain't no such thing! I am looking hard for that 99.999 percent reliable 600+ MB/sec RAID 1,3,5,10 and 50 Mac supperior unit for under $1500.00.

    I am pathetic. One thing I am quickly learning. Speed COSTS. I think we should look at Medea's stuff. They have some nice numbers, over 200 MB/sec on Ultra160 SCSI. http://www.medea.com I hope I can get some feedback on quality, reliability and real life compatibility with Macs. I met them a year ago and get along with them well.And besides, their stuff even looks FAST! (not that a pretty face ever swayed OUR opinion )

    Rick

    _Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?_


    I especially liked the Flash film for the video editing array. Complete cheese! I love cheese, (even in the
    quote:
    ...behold the power of cheese
    sense) and that lil' short was hilarious!


    At one time, I think I might have tried searching for "Mac Savvy" (ie- Pre-press, Audio, Video/Film Post, Graphic Art-n-3D rendering etc, etc..) storage + arrays, but mainly just came up with manufacturer and How-To type links. The only thing that I think has come close to a more "realworld/descriptive by application performance is Breeden's DB and that's only if the "reviewer" writes about their application performance.

    Granted, there are a couple of folks using almost exactly the same setup as me, but this, this and this, are not exactly the same as my setup.

    However I loath searching through it on Dial-Up and found that I probably won't be searching the SR-DB during the daytime at the very least.

    Bill

    "I made a conscience decision in a semi-conscious state"

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