Best Raid Card for 5,1 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by applegeek897, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. applegeek897 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    #1
    Hello to all, I am wanting to upgrade the storage in my Mac Pro.

    Currently I run 4x WD VelociRaptors 160GB's in Raid 0 as my boot volume with a 2tb and 1tb in the optical drive bay.

    Now what I would like to do is replace the VelociRaptors with 4x WD Red 4TB's and put it in a Raid 5 config and run 2 Samsung 250GB 840 EVO's in a Syba Dual SSD caddy.

    I don't want to run the WD Red drives off the internal ports because of the lack of Sata 6.0G ports. Now from what I understand the best why going about it would be the get a card with Mini SAS so that I can still use the drive sleds. The card I was looking at with this - http://bit.ly/YSzkiW - The Newer Technology MAXPower RAID mini-SAS 6G 1e1i, this is from OWC and seems to be mac compatible. What I was wondering was, has anyone used this card or do they know of a better card in a similar price range that would do a good job. Having a card that OS X can boot to means nothing as I will be using a separate solution with SSD's for that.

    Thanks. James.
     
  2. VirtualRain, Sep 25, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    My apologies for not being able to help with your question (although make sure its a true HW RAID5 controller not just a software based solution on a chip), but why RAID5? Are you planning to run this without a backup? If yes... bad idea...and if No... bad idea unless minimizing downtime is absolutely critical (but the number of potential issues with a 2nd potential failure or just rebuilding arrays that large make it not worth the risk). RAID10 is simpler, faster, and cheaper... No card required. RAID0 is really even better if you have a decent backup strategy. If you absolutely need parity RAID, you should go RAID6 with an array that large.

    If you want a true RAID card for parity RAID, Areca or Atto are your best choices. Both are proven in the enterprise space (which is the only kind of environment that should be using parity RAID IMHO).
     
  3. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #3
    SATA 3 and SATA 6 has no difference in WD red 4tb drives.
    Anyway, if you want security and redundancy, is better RAID 10.
    Just a comment, you dont make any gain doing raid 0 for boot drives. A good quality SSD is going to be fast enough for your system to run flawlessly. Simpler solutions are always better and more reliable. If you just want to see big numbers, that's another story.

    ----------

    The card you linked works.
    http://blog.macsales.com/12247-upgrade-your-06-08-mac-pro’s-internal-bays-to-sata-3-0
     
  4. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    A400M Base
    #4
    Have a look on this solution..




    Hi there,

    I may know just the thing you need here. Have a look here and here:

    #1

    http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=413&ParentCat=425

    That solves that SAS issue, also available for 8 HD's

    #2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhqExgv0vx8

    http://www.transintl.com/dx4-for-mac-pro-2009-2010-no-drives.html

    see if it fits your fancy..
    (but I am not sure if you can do both at the same time duo space)

    :apple:
     
  5. applegeek897 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    #5
    Well the reason why I wanted to go for Raid 5 is so I don't need a backup. I want to move everything I have on scattered hard drives to one single place, things like my Lightroom Library, video projects and TV shows and Movies. The card that I was looking at does do HW Raid 5. Will it really be that slow?
     
  6. deconstruct60, Sep 25, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #6
    Errrrr, RAID 5 doesn't obviate a back up. Faster recovery from some issues and higher uptimes. But no back-up? Not.

    RAID 5 versus RAID 10 is cost complexity versus more usable space issue in this particular context. RAID 10 means don't have to go through gyrations to implement in the 4 bays in a Mac Pro. No "RAID card" needed.
    If RAID 5 in the Mac Pro drive sleds you have to subvert the drive connection infrastrucuture to re-route the drives output to the card. There are 3rd party doo-dads to add to sled drives that enable this. It is additional stuff to buy on top of the card. You also now have write-hole vulerablities so if your Mac Pro is not on a UPS ( or don't add an expensive battery to the card) you actually have more vulerbilities now. ( in terms of this being the back-up solution .... going in the wrong direction. )


    Unless that stuff is tightly coupled, all you are doing is increasing vulnerabilities. You are makng actually doing a back up harder ( doesn't fix on one large slow disk ). Piling everything into one big giant pile increases coupling.

    Stuff like TV shows and Movies should be dumped somewhere else. There is about zero good reason to RAID-5 that kind of stuff for a single machine with a single user. It is largely a set of write once / mutate never set of media.

    That has very different characteristics than video projects ( mutating over time as work on them before they too go into "Archive and occasionaly retrieve" status also ). There are some archival aspects to Lightroom (but it too has problems over time is just use it as a black hole that consumes everything possible. You can but that too is somewhat easier to manage if there is just one volume that only attempts to hold this one black hole. )


    IMHO I'd do something like (without changing drives )

    Drive bay 1-2 RAID 0 ( 2 x 4TB ) active DB ( Lightroom and working media )
    Drive bay 3 (1 4TB) Movie Archive
    Drive bay 4 (1 4TB ) Old Video Project Archive.

    Use the money would have sunk into a "real RAID 5" card into buying back-up media in external enclosures ( and a eSATA card if want faster back-ups).

    a. If you have been running a 4 stripe RAID 0 going to 2 stripe for Lightroom is actually safer than it was.
    b. If put less than 3TB of data on that RAID 0 stripe can back up to a 4TB external drive.
    c. The other two archive drives are easy to back up by cloning or a more detailed archival method. For "movies/shows" there isn't much difference between straight cloning and fancy back-up software since the files aren't changing. Pragmatically the same thing for "I'm done, not making any more changes video projects. "
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    I think consolidating and simplifying is a great idea, but RAID5 is not the answer. RAID5 or 6 is not simplifying at all... it's not safer... it's only real benefit is reducing the down-time experienced in the event of a drive failure. It doesn't sound to me that any of this stuff is mission critical to your business, so down time in the event of a drive failure is not important. In addition these days, large RAID5 arrays of 10TB+ are incredibly risky. They can take days to rebuild in the event of a drive failure and often fail in rebuilding. Anyone that needs parity protection with large arrays has moved to RAID6 which is just unnecessarily expensive for non mission critical data.

    How much storage do you really need? If you do need 12TB of storage, I would run 3x4TB drives in RAID0 and then decide what data you can afford to lose and which you can't. You'll want to backup your Lightroom Library and maybe your video projects at a minimum. Your movies and TV shows can probably be re-downloaded in the event of a loss, so a backup may not be required. Once you know your backup capacity, you can then get a set of additional drives of appropriate capacity for backups.

    I know it sounds fun to tinker with RAID, but parity RAID is far more trouble than it's worth for home media storage needs.
     
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #8
    They are safer than RAID 0. :) That's the current situation in this context.

    That presumes going to do a back-up. If budget pinched and willing to run at higher risk can punt doing a back-up and just do these. It is running without a back-up and rolling the dice but some folks are OK with that. (may not have a choice if budget is busted from some reason.)

    It isn't 10TB capacity of the RAID 5/6 that is the issue. The problematical issue is using monster large individual capacity drives ( e.g.., 4 TB ) that is the issue. If the RAID 5 array is comprised of eight 1TB drives then the individual drive recovery time is far more reasonable than with three 4TB drives.

    Biggest available capacity drives and RAID 5/6 generally don't mix well.

    Depends upon how big the media storage needs are. If the media library size outstrips current individual drives than parity RAID has merits if not willing to go to cloud for long term archival of media. For media packrats it is a problem they generated which pushes a solution.

    However, the complexity is probably just worth buying an off-the-shelf NAS box to dump all this stuff into. Or a build-it-yourself kit from a more open source and commodity components design that has has a known track record for stability. There are reasonable templates floating around the web. Instead of a remote "cloud" a local network "cloud" for this bulky archival, read-only stuff.
     
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    The OP is talking about a RAID5 array using 4x4TB... From what I've read, thats virtually guaranteed to fail on a rebuild making it no safer than RAID0. But where did I read that?.... Oh yeah... here... :)

    Exactly. He's got 99 solutions to this problem but parity RAID ain't one. :cool:
     
  10. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #10
    For a different drive perhaps? The RED 4TB is rated read fail < 1 in 10^14 ( http://www.storagereview.com/wd_red_4tb_hdd_review_wd40efrx . http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810 ). Take the array off line and do rebuild only would reduce the risk. Online recovery with higher risk? yes. Guaranteed failure is in same boat as guarantee success. [ wiping out 2-3 drives is doable under right conditions. ]

    It is a different dimension on risk that the drive disappearing.
     

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