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Author Topic: Time to upgrade my hard drive storage - recommendations?  (Read 3924 times)
jonathan.lipkin
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« on: May 15, 2012, 07:03:21 AM »
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As you may have guessed from my earlier post, I've run out of room on my primary storage device, an OWC eSata RAID 5 enclosure, and it's time to upgrade. I will also soon upgrade my Mac to a model that has thunderbolt. Advice? For a while redundancy was important to me, so I used RAID 1, then as I got more concerned with performance, I moved to RAID 5. I may set up an internal RAID 0 for boot and working files, as I'm starting to work on very large (1-3G) files.

So far, I'm considering:
1. Another external eSATA device (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/)
2. An external thunderbolt RAID (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Promise%20Technology/PR402US/)
3. OWC's mini-SAS enclosure, which they claim is faster than Thunderbolt (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/storage/Enterprise/jupiter/mini-SAS)

Probably less likely to get #1. #2 and #3 are priced about the same.

As I went through 3T pretty quickly, I'm going to fill the device with 2T drives, so for RAID 5 that would give me 6T.

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Onslow
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 03:46:12 AM »
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These two units certainly have performance and capacity.....

http://www.techspot.com/review/528-nas-10gbe-performance/

With the occasional file I do hitting just shy of 9Gb, speed and capacity are important to me. I'm toying with the idea of one of these myself...
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Cheers

Onslow
jonathan.lipkin
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 07:55:12 AM »
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The Synology unit was tested at 315MB/sec, or roughly .3G/sec. The Jupiter claims 48G/s and the Thunderbolt 20G/sec.

Seems that they are not in the same league performance-wise. I think that NAS is designed mostly for networked applications where it will be shared by many users.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 09:50:03 AM »
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The OWC is faster in absolute terms than thunderbolt, but the goal is to serve multiple mini-SAS clients which, AFAIK, must be connected with their own cable to an interface card that delivers the "standard" 6 Gb/s to each workstation. For 10 Gb ethernet, there's the very significant cost issues of the switches and cards  (potentially much higher than the storage itself).

Note: let's not mix Giga _Bytes_ per second and Giga _Bits_ per second. A 10 Gb Ethernet connexion has a bit more than a 1 GB/sec speed. 315 MB/Sec is roughly 3 Gb/sec.

Last but not least, don't forget that to reach those maximal speed, BOTH ends need to be fast. If you have an internal SSD capable of roughly 300 MB/Sec that will be the weakest link that sets the limit for large transfers. On single files, for example for opening very large images in RAM, burst might be useful though.
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jonathan.lipkin
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 10:36:12 AM »
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not to mention that 1k used to equal 1024 bytes, and now is equal to 1000 bytes, according to some drive manufacturers and Apple's OSX as of pretty recently.
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 02:14:04 PM »
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Jonathan -
   While not quite as fast as eSATA RAID (faster than any consumer NAS, though) the Drobo units are also worth looking at as bulk storage, because they can take a LOT of drives, set up a wide range of RAID ( actually Drobo pseudo-RAID) levels to let you use mixed drive types, and offer easier setup and management than bigger RAID. I'm actually selling a Drobo Pro - PM me if interested since this isn't the for sale forum.

             -dan
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 04:25:41 AM »
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For what it is worth, my personal strategy is:
1. Fast direct attached storage in Raid 5 for live data. Currently using a Wiebetech SCSI320, hopefully soon on Thunderbolt if Apple decides to upgrade the Mac Pro soon (or on Windows the day I lose patience),
2. NAS in raid6 for back up, currently using a large QNAP nas. Right now mounted using Samba.

Cheers,
Bernard
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chrismurphy
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 02:50:35 PM »
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The detailed info at OWC for the Jupiter product is rather light on details.

a.) 48Gbps SAS is confusing because the present day spec is 6Gbps. The 12Gbps spec is still draft.
b.) You'd need a SAS card in the Mac Pro, more than one to get 48Gbps to a single computer (if that's even possible).
c.) Mac OS X does multipath targets but not LUNs, so the Jupiter product would have to virtualize the storage and present it as a single virtual target, distributed over multiple SAS connections to get the rated performance.

However, in fact, I think this is not designed to be point to point, but rather ensure 30 computers don't end up bottlenecking at either the switch or the SAN.

Whereas with Thunderbolt you have a point to point connection that is 10Gbps (per channel, presently x2 channels). Most solutions are not saturating one of those channels. This notion of 24 Gbps let alone 48 Gbps, is the realm of InfiniBand. It's extreme. I'm willing to bet that the topology the Jupiter product expects is a single mini-SAS 6Gbps connection to each client.

I suggest calling Small Tree, Maxx Digital, and Studio Network Solutions. And see what they suggest you get. I would not piecemeal this kind of storage.
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lfeagan
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 09:28:22 PM »
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I run a similar setup to Bernard's and quite like it.

I use 2x Intel 160GB SSDs in RAID0 for scratch. For larger storage on the desktop I use 6x WD Caviar Black 1TB in RAID6. And for networked/long term storage I use a Synology NAS mounted as an AFP share on Mac, NFS on Linux, and Samba on the sole Windows box in my house. I actually do use Linux for some photo work as I happen to like some features of DigiKam better than LR. Having the photos on the NAS proves handy to share files around readily between OSes.

A Synology NAS is far more than just a NAS. The applications and features are unmatched by rivals in this space. If you are only interested in bulk storage, this is a pricier way to go. The extra features, however, can be quite addictive and it is worth taking a look at. Looking exclusively at the performance of a Synology overlooks the value it is capable of providing. Just read a few reviews/showdowns and you will understand better.

10GbE is a rather expensive way to go. ThunderBolt will be a less expensive option if you only need high-speed access from a single desk. SAS is also a reasonable route to consider.

I would consider something like the Synology DS1812+ a good way to offload files and keep them accessible from a variety of other systems. It also makes a great music and video cataloging and serving system, among many other things (OpenVPN server, Torrent client/server, background file downloads, time machine, client for Windows to do TimeMachine-like backups (which I use for the sole Windows user in the house), and many other goodies).
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
Remo Nonaz
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 12:12:14 PM »
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I just put a post up about Nexenta software, which is offered in a free 'community' version. If you are going to set up a home NAS device, this is software you should consider running. The application is the OS, interface and file system, so you won't need a new Windows license or Ubuntu to run. Nexenta uses the computer RAM as cache, so generally you will want as much of this as possible, though in a home-user environment I'm not sure what difference it would really make.
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I really enjoy using old primes on my m4/3 camera. There's something about having to choose your aperture and actually focusing your camera that makes it so much more like... like... PHOTOGRAPHY!
jonathan.lipkin
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 12:17:13 PM »
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Given the recenent anemic upgrade to the Mac Pro, I'm going to buy an iMac in anticipation of the new mac pros in late 2013 (at least according to the rumors), and get a thunderbolt RAID. Thanks for all the replies.
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lfeagan
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2012, 04:27:08 AM »
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Another alternative, if you are inclined, is a hackintosh. I run a rather beastly hackintosh. The new SuperMicro X9 motherboards line has successfully run Lion. I am actually seriously considering putting together an X9DA7 as another hackintosh system.
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4
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