HDD array enclosure advice needed!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Dr.Pants, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #1
    Alright, so, in a month or so I will be purchasing a G5 as a holdover until I can justify the price of a MacPro (a year, basically) - however, for the work that I want to do (FCP), I also want to record live HD - easier said then done. If I can remember, I need a throughput around 200 mb/s, and due to that, I thought four SATA drives in RAID-0 could do the trick.

    However, looking around at RAID cards and external enclosures really is starting to grind. So, I decided to ask - Who is a good seller for storage options?

    Just to add - I am trying to make as much of the equipment I'm buying
    'forwards-computable" with the MacPro when I can buy it; shows you where I'm coming from, here. I'm willing to shell out the money for quality, but I don't exactly have a ton of it, either.
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Vancouver, BC
    #2
  3. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    Could you give more details, such as method of connection?

    There's different products connection wise. Anything from FW400/800, USB, eSATA, and individual drives. Then you get into true RAID enclosures that use Multilane or MiniSAS connections (one cable handles 4 separate ports).

    The simplest way to get you you're desired throughput would to use a single eSATA connection with a 4 drive PM (Port Multiplier) enclosure. It tops out at 250MB/s, and is fairly inexpensive. You'd also need a PCIe eSATA card which isn't expensive either.
    It looks to be a decent 4 drive eSATA PM enclosure, but I've not used it. :)

    Perhaps another member can chime in on this one. ;)
     
  5. Dr.Pants thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #5
    Personal expirience was kinda what I was looking for. So, I have a reccomendation for G-Tech and another suggestion for an enclosure that looks good - but in the meantime, are there any vendors that perform well that I should be looking into? Any that I should not be looking into? I know about LaCie and Caldigit....

    eSATA would be my method of choice - however, I'm not disinclined from using a Firewire 800 port, either (if it supports the throughput, which I think it should).
     
  6. yomibro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #6
    This unit seems like the Galaxy Metal Gear available from Newegg, probably be cheaper if you purchase your own drives.

    Link

    There is also a NAS version of this unit that is available at other retailers such as TigerDirect, my preference would be the NAS version that way I can share it with other machines on my network.

    Link
     
  7. Dr.Pants thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #7
    I would like NAS. Hell, I would love NAS, but I always had the idea that it was not for performance. Maybe I could be dissuaded :D I know that Ethernet has the bandwidth, but maybe I've been looking at the bottom of the barrel for NAS devices.

    NAS would be nice to put render projects onto another machine while I was still able to work with the G5 (although not record, as there would be I/O from Machine Number 2). The Galaxy Yomibro mentioned can do RAID 0... Should there be any performance drop?

    I guess that's the thing. Maybe if there were more storage device reveiws.... *facedesk* I'm out of it, sorry.

    EDIT - BTW, yes, I did have the idea it would be cheaper to buy the enclosure and populate it with my own drives.
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #8
    Take a look at Enhance Technology E4 PM (4 drive eSATA PM model), and you add you're own drives. Works well, as does their other products. They can get a little noisy with stock fans, but is easily remedied with 3rd party replacements. ;)
    Take a look at AoE and iSCSI. It uses Ethernet cables, but is a different protocol. Faster. ;)
     
  9. Dr.Pants thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #9
    I'm not so sure on iSCSI... But AoE sounds interesting.

    However, AoE is good alternative when I just have a spare box, not doing much lying around with an arseload of SATA ports that I can do a software RAID on? (and who can't foget the Gigabyte LAN port?)
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #10
    Ideally, you use 2 1Gb/s LAN connections (port teaming). In an older system, you may be able to add internal SATA ports and an additional LAN card if needed. The RAID can be software or hardware, and ZFS/RAID-Z/RAID-Z2 (software RAID under Linux distros or Solaris), is something to consider. Fairly inexpensive, and fast. :D
     
  11. Dr.Pants thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #11
    CRAP! I knew I shouldn't have sold off both my boxes. The one from 2002 could have found some use here.... And even though I would highly benefiet, I doubt my "Retro Gaming Box" (Complete with 3Dfx graphics card) would be up to the task of RAID as I'm not sure how long it will last yet, anyways. I'm talking 1995 vintage!

    Anyways, I'll look into scooping up a relativly cheap box. I've always wanted an excuse to use OpenSolaris, so now I have the chance. However, one last question about software RAID under any circumstance (Windows, OSX, Solaris, Linux, etc). Could I recover the array should another component besides the hard disc fail with the same OS on a different computer? Such as just moving the discs physically from one box to the next?
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    :eek: Oops. That's gotta hurt. :rolleyes:

    Even the 2002 would be limited though. I would be capable of working, but the throughput would be limited due to PCI.

    Starting from scratch might not be a bad idea though. At least you can get onboard SATA and PCIe slots for expansion. Possibly even 2 Giga LAN ports (though this one might be tough on an inexpensive board). At least the second NIC wouldn't be expensive. Just get one that has 2 ports for compatibility for teaming, should you choose to do this.

    As for swapping a software RAID between systems, it's possible. :) But you can run into problems with drivers for the board, so it does depend on specifics.
     
  13. Dr.Pants thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #13
    Well, fortunatly the ONE peice of hardware I saved (because I never really had a use for it) was a PCI card with a 1 GB LAN connection on it, I think I'm good in that respect. Then I have a random P4 processor hanging around, I don't know if it still works, though... worth a gamble. There's a mobo (only one) on the Egg that might work. Add a SATA card and everything's right as rain!

    However, limitations due to PCI? Do tell.... I thought PCI vanilla would be fine.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    No, due to it's throughput of 133MB/s (1.064Gb/s). It's enough for a single Gigabit NIC port, but not a dual, and certainly not a SATA controller (3.0Gb/s for each port). This would procuce a substantial bottleneck, and elliminate the throughput gains RAID or port teaming (NIC) can provide. :(

    So you'd really need to go with PCIe for SATA, and for a dual port NIC card as well. With a new board, you may be able to get it with dual Gigabit LAN directly on the board. (Plenty available, but would depend on budget).

    Also, with port teaming, you want the NIC chips to be identical. Mixing two different manufacturers may not work. Either one of them may not be capable of it, or the drivers won't be compatible. (Check the specs on a card if you go with a single port NIC, as not all will support it). Duals typically do. ;)
     
  15. Dr.Pants thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #15
    Alright, thanks for the help everybody. If I can assemble a machine from the Egg for less the $250 (not counting RAID'ed drives), I'll have an AoE machine.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    Do you have anything that might be recycleable, such as PSU or a case that you can spare?

    It would help keep you within budget. ;)
     

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