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Thread: Video editor 2nd HDD config. question

  1. #1
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    Oct 2003
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    Hi,

    I have a G5 dual 2 with the 160GB sata.

    I mainly will use the mac for video editing both long form and short form.

    I will be operating Final Cut Pro 4.

    What is the best set-up and 2nd HDD option?
    Should I add an internal SATA for media storage and leave FCP?ÄÄand OSX on original drive?
    Can someone tell me about RAID?
    What about external FW drive as an option?

    Techo virgin would appreciate any advice

  2. #2
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    ¬?Glad to see you made it over here. I'm buried in stuff tonight but I'll post the old RAID FAQ here for you to read. Should help you to get an idea and probably lead to a question or two

    Rick

    quote:

    RAID Basics

    RAID is an acronym that refers to "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks," often abbreviated as "an array."

    Using multiple drives, it is possible to create volumes which distribute data across several drives. The reasons for doing so include speed, data security, and data volume capacity.

    While individual mechanisms in an array, meaning individual drives, all hold data from a volume created using one of the forms of RAID, no single drive holds all the data in the volume. Even though you may have up to thirty drives in an array, it is an option to stripe or mirror them into one logical unit, meaning one Macintosh HFS or HFS+ volume, mounting on your desktop. Of course, you can always partition, if multiple volumes are more useful for your particular application.

    As mentioned, arrays are useful for two primary reasons: speed and data redundancy. One other useful aspect of RAID is that it is possible to create very large volumes: we have ourselves built 584GB arrays using eight 73GB LVD Cheetah drives, striped into one logical volume.

    On the Macintosh, arrays are commonly implemented primarily either in software, or in hardware. Both have strengths and weaknesses.

    Software-based RAID commonly take the form of RAID 0 or RAID 1. Assuming mature, sophisticated RAID formatting utilities are used, software-based RAID is fast, simple, robust, reliable, and relatively inexpensive.

    Hardware RAID provides the means to implement RAID 0, RAID 1, or RAID 5 using a hardware abstraction backplane which offloads processor-intensive tasks from the CPU to enhance performance and enable fault-tolerant features which are not feasible using RAID software alone. Appropriate primarily for the enterprise, hardware RAID is relatively expensive, putting it beyond the reach of the average power user and most small businesses.


    Levels of RAID Pertaining to Macintosh

    RAID 0, aka "striping," requires a minimum of two drives used as single or multiple HFS or HFS+ logical volumes, yielding very high performance, but comparatively lower data security. Adding drives in pairs increases logical volume capacity, as well as thruput. RAID 0 scales up nicely, to the limits of PCI bandwidth, the limits of SCSI enclosure technology, and the maximum number of devices permissible on a single bus. Bus duplexing can be used to bond channels, theoretically enabling dual-channel RAID incorporating up to 30 distinct drive mechanisms and over two terabytes (2190GB) in logical volume capacity. Used properly, with high-quality SCSI accelerators, hard drives, and appropriate cabling, RAID 0 can be robust, reliable, and extremely fast.



    RAID 1, aka "mirroring," requires a minimum of two drives containing redundant data, yielding excellent data security, but poorer performance compared to RAID 0, particularly during sustained writes to disk. Sustained reads, conversely, are comparatively fast, making RAID 1 extremely useful for file server applications. Drives must be used in pairs in a "master-slave" paradigm. RAID 1 also scales well, and it is possible to build RAID 1 incorporating 30 drives on dual SCSI buses yielding up to 1095GB in logical volume capacity with current hardware, with the limitation that such a configuration would require 15 separate logical volumes, each including two drives per mirror. Two drives are used to yield the logical volume capacity of one drive, since redundant data is mirrored on two separate devices simultaneously. While literally twice as expensive as RAID 0 when considered in terms of megabyte per dollar, used appropriately, RAID 1 delivers superb data security at a price point far cheaper than hardware RAID.



    RAID 0/1, combining the best features of RAID 0 and RAID 1, involves the mirroring of a striped volume, yielding the best compromise in terms of performance with data redundancy. An example would be 14 drives striped as a single HFS+ RAID 0 volume, then mirrored, requiring a total of 28 drives to yield the capacity of fourteen drives. RAID 0/1 delivers the best combination of performance and data security theoretically attainable. Not yet feasible on the Macintosh using software, but forthcoming from SoftRAID LLC in a future update to SoftRAID.



    RAID 5, requiring a minimum of three drives (four, with a hot-swap spare), involves data striping across multiple drive mechanisms with parity data distributed among drives, enabling background regeneration of absent data. More efficient than RAID 1, three drives in a RAID 5 configuration yield the data capacity of two drives, with one additional drive used as a hot-spare in the event of drive failure. RAID 5 scales nicely, though enclosures with intelligent backplanes are expensive. While software-based RAID 5 implementations exist, RAID 5 can only be implemented reliably on the Macintosh in hardware.


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  3. #3
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    Thanks for that comprehensive and (relatively) easy to understand overview.

    I am probably getting ahead of myself as I am just returning to NLE after a big break. Thought I`d get the G5 because lesser options (G4 dual)were not substantially cheaper and teh G5 represents something ZI can expand for along time to come. Also because I am living in Japan and didn`t want any hassles - so G5 and FCP4 combination appealed to me now and for the future upon my return to Australia.

    Now I have relatively/extremely low demands of the G5 but still want the most efficent set-up.

    Questions

    1. Given that I should keep my OS and SW applications
    on a seperate HDD from my media, it seems a waste to use my 160GB HDD for this. Should I buy a smaller SATA HDD for OSX and FCP etc. and use my existing drive for media?

    2. Maybe more cost effective in long run to buy another 160GB HDD for media and eventually use them in a raid array with a third drive for applications?

    Cheers

  4. #4
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    ¬?Never a waste to have a huge drive that you only currently need a small portion of, especially with FCP!

    ¬?I would install a huge second SATA drive for my data. And I would backup essentials to that 160 gig original drive. Never can have enough backup space.

    ¬?I separate my User Directory to another hard drive from my OS. I then auto backup the User Directory to the unused OS drive three times a day. I use SynchronizeProX to keep a clone of the User Directory at all times so if I screw up or the drive fails I always have a backup. I then auto backup every night to an external Firewire drive so I have an archive.......just in case.

    ¬?My OS drive has a generous 10 GB partition for the OS and its need for swap space. I then do not partition my User drive but let it grow to fill the entire second drive at will. My main reason for such frequent backups is the User drive is also a SATA RAID0 stripe with two identical SATA drives. I don't trust it farther than I can see it. RAID arrays can and do fail for the darndest reasons, one just needs to be careful when you use one.

    ¬?Later on when you are doing FCP rendering you will probably need external drives to speed up your storage. There is where you would implement a RAID system to speed up and enlarge your capacity. FW800 or SCSi is the bus of choice. The more paths your data has to simultaneously access storage the faster your computer will be. That means more buses and more drives. With just the two internal buses the best you can do is separate your data from your apps/OS. You'll find that plenty fast on a G5 and enormously faster than having it all on one drive.

    Rick

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  5. #5
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    Thanks so much.

    In about two to three weeks I will be getting down to business re:set-up.

    I currently have Japanese version of OSX Jaguar(Native is multi-lingual but the Classic component is Japanese) and am waiting for Apple Tokyo to send me the full International English version which they have knidly agreed to do after my reseller offered no choice.

    So I will wait till that arrives to start tinkering. My ADSL connection which gets connected Thursday may, for some reason, require the Japanese OSX that I have or at least the Japanese version of Native.

    Anyway... probably bother you about that later!

    A summary of my understanding..

    1. Buy a second SATA for media storage for now.

    2. Partition original SATA to seperate OS/apps then use remaining space to back up essentials.

    3. Later, go with FW800 or SCSI as storage devices in Raid 0 array.

    I feel a bit guilty asking all these questions now as I haven`t even booted the thing up yet but In japan I have learnt to research first buy later.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    I like the idea of "look before you leap" philosophy, too!

    While researching your upgrade options, RAM has been a challenge for some. Putting faster RAM in the group 1 slots, moving slower RAM (Apple's CAS3) to the end of the line (but don't leave any gaps in RAM groups). Seems the firmware on these things changes weekly at the least. I figure you'll be adding 2GB RAM off the bat, right?

    I'd want to give RAID a shot early on while testing things out. And if you're going to partition your startup drive, that means cloning it to another drive. I like to have a small emergency system volume on another drive, as a minimum, JIC. Whether FireWire or 2nd SATA internal.

    Whether you use RAID on your SATA drives, FireWire, or eventually add SCSI, it is something you have to experiment with and get your hands dirty to see what works best for you.

    With Panther not out yet and probably a month away, I'd plan on using that as a good time to redo the system setup after you've gotten a feel for how it performs. Might want to just RAID your SATA drives and throw everything at it. Meaning, in part, having matched size and models of drives, a pair of 160's. Go for large 250GB+ drives for FW800 cases. I'd guess drives and RAM prices might be lower where you are than in the States, and access to latest models before they get here.

  7. #7
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    ¬?No apologies. Now's the time to figure out your storage, not after you have all your data on it and it's too late to partition.

    ¬?I think you have it figured. Use what you have for now and by the time you need more storage something faster/cheaper/bigger will have arrived for external storage.

    ¬?Hey, good luck at your new place. Feel free to ask away here on anything you need. We'll be shipping international soon as well.

    Rick

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  8. #8
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    Thanks guys.

    I will be back on here in a couple of weeks with a million questions.

    My Japanese mate is coming over tommorrow to load the Japanese OSX and set up internet. Expect FCP from States in about two weeks and full Int. English OXS in about a week.

    Can`t wait to get on Profiler to find out exactly what I have got.

    A quick question. Unfortunately, Australia (where i will be in 18 months) and Japan and US have 3 different DVD codes/formats/thingies.

    I understand i can change my s/drive only about 3-5 times. Any advice.

    Cheers

    Denis

  9. #9
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    In Australia we call women and men "Guys". So TZ, if you are female please don`t jump down the line at me!!!

  10. #10
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    He's not. Good form, though!

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