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Author Topic: RAID 5 NAS for Mac OS X for photos  (Read 28996 times)
Concorde-SST
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« on: November 24, 2006, 11:13:42 AM »
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Hello,

Im an user of a Mac with OS X (Dual 2 GHz PowerMac).

I use several LaCie external HDDs for storing my digital
archive, but frequently run into the limits of their space.

Now Im looking for a RAID 5 NAS-System to store and
work with my archive. It should be ready to have at least
3,5 TB of memory, preferrably 4-5 TB.

Does anyone of you have a solution? Anyone with experience?

I know of Apples Xserve RAID, theyre just way too ex-
pensive, so I look for a more affordable solution.

Thanks!
+ happy belated Thanksgiving to all who reside in North America,

Andreas.
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2006, 11:30:25 AM »
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Quote
Hello,

Im an user of a Mac with OS X (Dual 2 GHz PowerMac).

I use several LaCie external HDDs for storing my digital
archive, but frequently run into the limits of their space.

Now Im looking for a RAID 5 NAS-System to store and
work with my archive. It should be ready to have at least
3,5 TB of memory, preferrably 4-5 TB.

Does anyone of you have a solution? Anyone with experience?

I know of Apples Xserve RAID, theyre just way too ex-
pensive, so I look for a more affordable solution.

Thanks!
+ happy belated Thanksgiving to all who reside in North America,

Andreas.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Andreas,
Although I have no first-hand experience with [a href=\"http://www.infrant.com/products/products_details.php?name=ReadyNAS%20NVPlus]ReadyNas NV+[/url], I've heard good things about them. We've been using Xserve RAIDs but as you say they're very expensive and hard to justify for just one or two users. There's a long discussion on Macintouch website about different NAS systems, you can find it here.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2006, 11:33:01 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
Greg_E
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2006, 01:01:19 PM »
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You might be able to build your own, but it is still going to be slightly expensive.

I suggest 3ware controller cards for the drives, I've had good luck with their previous models in a couple of computers running raid arrays. The biggest I have at work is 2.8TB running 16 PATA drives and old 3ware 7500-8 controllers. It's used for a video storage device running software from Avid Technologies for use with their video editing applications.

The newer 3ware cards seem to be real performers, with the speed finally up to what a SCSI array can give for sustained reads and writes. I have no idea how well the run on Mac OS, everything I've done with them has been through Windows. They do come with driver for Linux, which might be the most cost effective solution.
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Gabe
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2006, 01:49:11 PM »
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Andreas,

If you're not afraid of the DIY route, you might want to look into FreeNAS -- I've not used it myself, but  I know a couple of folks who do, and they have nothing but good things to say.

If you've got some old hardware lying around, it would certainly be simple enough to give it a test just to see if it fits your needs, as you really can't beat the price  

http://www.freenas.org/

Quote
FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, RSYNC protocols, local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.

FreeNAS support in the current release:

Filesystem: UFS, FAT32, EXT2/EXT3, NTFS (limited read-only)
Protocol: CIFS (samba) , FTP, NFS, SSH, RSYNC and AFP
Hard drive: ATA/SATA, SCSI, USB and Firewire
GPT/EFI partitionning for hard drive bigger than 2TB
Networks cards: All supported by FreeBSD 6 (including wireless card!)
Boot from USB key
Hardware RAID cards: All supported by FreeBSD 6
Software RAID 0, 1 and 5
Management of the groups and the users (Local User authentication and Microsoft Domain)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2006, 01:53:33 PM by Gabe » Logged
skibum187
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2006, 02:32:43 PM »
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I would reccomend building your own. Any pre-built RAID system of that size is going to cost quite a bit more money than bulding it yourself (which will still be expensive). I would talk to the guys at MacGurus.com and ask them to help you out with building one (that's where I got my RAID system anyway).

HOWEVER, here's the problem... There is no company on the market right now (to my knowledge anyway, and believe me, I've looked) that is making a TRUE hardwear RAID card (HighPoints RocketRAIDs are NOT true hardwear RAIDs) that is both Mac OSX compatible AND fits a PCI Express slot. There is one company that I read about that is about to introduce one (can't remember the name) but the card itself is $1100. So, you're pretty much locked into using one of HighPoints cards (which I've heard absolutely nothing good about) OR using a software RAID  (such as the proprietary OSX RAID controller) with a SATA card and sacrificing some speed, atleast until someone comes out with a real hardwear RAID card for your (and my) machine.
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jani
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2006, 04:07:07 PM »
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HOWEVER, here's the problem... There is no company on the market right now (to my knowledge anyway, and believe me, I've looked) that is making a TRUE hardwear RAID card (HighPoints RocketRAIDs are NOT true hardwear RAIDs) that is both Mac OSX compatible AND fits a PCI Express slot. There is one company that I read about that is about to introduce one (can't remember the name) but the card itself is $1100. So, you're pretty much locked into using one of HighPoints cards (which I've heard absolutely nothing good about) OR using a software RAID  (such as the proprietary OSX RAID controller) with a SATA card and sacrificing some speed, atleast until someone comes out with a real hardwear RAID card for your (and my) machine.
He's specifically asking for NAS.

NAS is "network attached storage", so he won't be building the RAID inside his Mac.

This means he's free to build e.g. a FreeBSD or Linux system, both of which should support the more recent 9550 SX series of RAID controllers from 3ware (the current 2.6 series kernels have the most recent stable drivers bundled thanks to 3ware's excellent open source policy).

We're using these at work both for internal and NFS, and we're reasonably happy.

The 12-port SATA-II compatible version seems to be what the OP wants. Stuff it with Seagate 500 GB or 750 GB drives, depending on need and system.

But do make sure that the box that you use for the drives is extremely well ventilated. Bad ventilation will kill your drives fast, and such big drives produce a lot of heat.
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Jan
Graham Welland
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2006, 07:33:08 AM »
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I can recommend the 3Ware Sidecar RAID 5 solution. I got one of these a month or so ago and run one maxed out with 4x750GB SATA drives to give me 2TB at Raid 5 using a single PCI Express card in my Quad G5. For the size of store that you are looking at you could put 2xPCI Express cards into your G5 and run 2 enclosures at Raid 5. This was the only game in town for my box.

Price was pretty reasonable considering the size and disk costs. NAS has traditionally been a poor solution for me as the access speeds and off the shelf hardware solutions have been poor. If you didn't want to host the storage off of your current G5 you could put together a 2nd G5 box relatively inexpensively and use this as a NAS device using standard OS X file sharing across a GB lan.

Here's a link to the 3Ware solution.
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Graham
boku
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2006, 07:43:44 AM »
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I know this sounds nutty, but after having lived with a now-stable NAS solution (Buffalo Terastation) for about 6-months, I would state that the preferred solution for network storage should be a true dedicated server with a raid array. This probably adds $500 to the initial investment, but the flexibility, performance, and duarability is, to me, worth it. That will be my future architecture.

I am starting to come around to what everyone has been telling me - the commercial pre-packaged solutions make too many compromizes versus what you can build "roll your own" for the same money.

Especially if you have a team of skilled network engineers (like I do) at work that can help you set everything up. On the downside, these folks are trying to talk me into a SAN because "it rocks." They are used to spending other people's money.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2006, 07:45:37 AM by boku » Logged

Bob Kulon

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Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Graham Welland
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2006, 07:44:56 AM »
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I would reccomend building your own.  .....

HOWEVER, here's the problem... There is no company on the market right now (to my knowledge anyway, and believe me, I've looked) that is making a TRUE hardwear RAID card (HighPoints RocketRAIDs are NOT true hardwear RAIDs) that is both Mac OSX compatible AND fits a PCI Express slot. There is one company that I read about that is about to introduce one (can't remember the name) but the card itself is $1100. So, you're pretty much locked into using one of HighPoints cards (which I've heard absolutely nothing good about) OR using a software RAID  (such as the proprietary OSX RAID controller) with a SATA card and sacrificing some speed, atleast until someone comes out with a real hardwear RAID card for your (and my) machine.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I use a [a href=\"http://www.3ware.com/products/Ext_serial_ata2-9000.asp]3Ware Sidecar[/url] and it most certainly is (1) Hardware RAID, (2) PCI Express, (3) for MAC OS X. It's for G5 machines only with PCI Express which is precisely why I bought it. With 4x750GB SATA II drives inside it screams. The card supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD. The enclosure was about $1100 with the card. Obviously the drives were (significantly) extra. I got mine from my local Mac specialist store but I believe they are in the channel now with the large Mac vendors like CDW or Mac Warehouse - do a google and you'll find someone.
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Graham
Graham Welland
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2006, 07:54:07 AM »
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I know this sounds nutty, but after having lived with a now-stable NAS solution (Buffalo Terastation) for about 6-months, I would state that the preferred solution for network storage should be a true dedicated server with a raid array. This probably adds $500 to the initial investment, but the flexibility, performance, and duarability is, to me, worth it. That will be my future architecture.

I am starting to come around to what everyone has been telling me - the commercial pre-packaged solutions make too many compromizes versus what you can build "roll your own" for the same money.

Especially if you have a team of skilled network engineers (like I do) at work that can help you set everything up. On the downside, these folks are trying to talk me into a SAN because "it rocks." They are used to spending other people's money.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86972\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bob,

That's not nutty at all. One of the grips I've had with non-roll your own solutions is that you don't have visibility of what's inside the box. I have a pile of Lacie drives that actually consist of 2xdrive Raid 0 inside a single box which makes for an inherently vulnerable solution if a single drive fails (and they have, twice, which lead me down the path to hardware Raid 5). The Terastation falls into the same category - big storage using a number of internal drives but not in a fault tolerant or redundant configuration. (I don't mean to scare you ...).

Building your own storage server is relatively cheap and more manageable these days. The PC/Mac component of it is actually pretty inexpensive and you don't need a hugely powerful box to provide a NAS type of solution.
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Graham
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2006, 08:13:22 AM »
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I have a Buffalo TeraStation, and it is perfectly capable of hardware RAID5, which is how mine is configured. It's not flashy, but it is stable and offers good value for the money (~$750 for ~750GB of RAID5 storage). And it supports gigabit ethernet.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2006, 08:55:39 AM »
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Speaking of which, yesterday's crop of spam brought this from techonweb.com (a good vendor from whom I bought my NEC 2090uxi monitor) the Buffalo TeraStation Pro 1.6TB-NAS for $884.

Nill
~~
www.toulme.net
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Concorde-SST
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2006, 02:45:53 PM »
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To All,

Thank you very much for your valuable input! Ill talk
with my computer guru about it :-)

all the best,

Andreas.
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2006, 06:03:17 PM »
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I have a Buffalo TeraStation, and it is perfectly capable of hardware RAID5, which is how mine is configured. It's not flashy, but it is stable and offers good value for the money (~$750 for ~750GB of RAID5 storage). And it supports gigabit ethernet.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86983\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You're right - my bad. I was confusing this box with something else ... seem like some killer deals out there for it at the moment too.
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Graham
skibum187
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2006, 11:11:22 AM »
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I use a 3Ware Sidecar and it most certainly is (1) Hardware RAID, (2) PCI Express, (3) for MAC OS X. It's for G5 machines only with PCI Express which is precisely why I bought it. With 4x750GB SATA II drives inside it screams. The card supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD. The enclosure was about $1100 with the card. Obviously the drives were (significantly) extra. I got mine from my local Mac specialist store but I believe they are in the channel now with the large Mac vendors like CDW or Mac Warehouse - do a google and you'll find someone.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86973\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Interresting... Can you buy the card without the enclosure though? Or is it the same as their stand alone cards just with an enclosure attached?
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jani
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2006, 12:43:09 PM »
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Interresting... Can you buy the card without the enclosure though? Or is it the same as their stand alone cards just with an enclosure attached?
As far as I've been able to determine, only the Sidecar for the Mac has external multi-lane connectors. The controller's name is 9590SE-4ME, though, so maybe you can find it as a stand-alone product.

I'm a bit miffed that the Sidecar is PowerMac G5/Mac Pro + Mac OS X only, I think it would be a pretty easy sale for Wintel or Unix/Linux users on other hardware, too.
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Jan
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2006, 12:58:28 PM »
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http://www.cooldrives.com/hardware-raid-sata.html

The same site has other similar units avaialble too, so spend some time looking.  You'll need two units to get 4TB, but they are FireWire 800 and you should be able to daisychain them to your Mac.

But in the end, I think Bob's advice is the best -- get a real RAID server.  Dell has some great buys on refurbished units.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2006, 01:08:55 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2006, 01:56:38 AM »
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Stupid question, but why do you need this to be a network appliance?

You should get significantly faster access if you pick a USB2 or better yet eSATA unit.

Buffalo has just announced a USB2/eSATA version of their Terastations. Their support center is telling me that only the USB2 connection can be used with Macs, but I believe that the eSATA connection should work with the new Mac Pro (to be tested obviously).

They claim read/write transfer rates to be 5 times faster than their NAS.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2006, 03:59:43 AM »
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Stupid question, but why do you need this to be a network appliance?

Gigabit ethernet (which all of the TeraStations support) is faster than any flavor of USB or firewire, and is much more conducive to simultaneous connections to multiple machines.
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Concorde-SST
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2006, 04:04:09 AM »
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Yeah thats correct.

Gigabit Ethernet is about 125 MB/s (theoretical) and the fastest
FireWire I know of is FW 800 and this is "just" 100 MB/s. USB
is much slower and more cumbersome.

However for striping fast SCSI drives it may be too slow, one
can use multiple GB Ethernet ports or use fibre channel.

ciao,

Concorde-SST
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