How to configure 2 Mac Pros to share external eSATA drives

SnapperUK

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2007
81
9
London
I am thinking that I need to ditch my G5 and get another Mac Pro. The G5 hasn't got enough grunt to do serious photoshop work let alone edit HD Video in FCP which is becoming, (rather annoyingly), a larger part of my business. My key Mac Pro is well upto the job at the moment (2x3.2 GHZ Quad Core Xeon with 32GB RAM) and I am thinking of getting something similar when the 2010 Gulftowns come out. At the moment my assistant and I can't really both work at full capacity because of the weakness of the G5.
However I wonder whether I need to go back to the drawing board with how the machines will be networked and share files.
At the moment I have a Weibetech eSata stack that houses 4 x 1.5 TB drives storing my digital picture archive. This is connected to the Mac Pro which in turn is connected to the G5 with an ethernet cable.
Is there a better way of sharing these drives? Or of accessing files across machines?
What benefits would a server provide? What about a raid card or fibre channel card? I really don't understand what benefits these could offer me.
Any thoughts?
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
I think there are basically three ways to share files between multiple computers...

1. Attach the storage to one machine and use file sharing to access it from other Mac's on the network.

2. Add the storage as an independent NAS.

3. Attach the storage to a server.

The difference between them is minimal... in all cases, the host has to be on or wake from sleep on demand to allow client access to the storage system. Unless you really need the capabilities of Snow Leopard Server, your present configuration seems like the path of least resistance to me.

Now as far as performance of the storage goes, that's a separate issue. Running eSATA with port replication is good but you can always improve your performance if you can run the drives in a RAID array (assuming your enclosure supports it).
 
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PaulD-UK

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2009
106
8
Hi
Ethernet between two Mac Pros can be tweaked to be faster than between a G5 and a Mac Pro - using Jumbo Frames (and possibly Link Aggregation).
But that's a black art - the like of which hasn't been seen since SCSI died the death in Macland ;)

Actually some video professionals regard HD video shot on DSLRs as the work of the devil – its not without its problems (especially AVCHD), without trying to do it over low-cost shared storage.
 
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SnapperUK

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2007
81
9
London
Now as far as performance of the storage goes, that's a separate issue. Running eSATA with port replication is good but you can always improve your performance if you can run the drives in a RAID array (assuming your enclosure supports it).
What is port replication?
 
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Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
Am interested in how you configure the interface for jumbo frames?
System Preferences -> Network -> Ethernet (your wired connection) -> Advanced... -> Ethernet

Select to manually configure the settings and select Jumbo (9000) from the last Combobox (MTU).

Edit:
That works by the way not only on Mac Pros. Every Mac with a Gigabit ethernet should support that.
 
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PaulD-UK

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2009
106
8
Hi
I don't think G5s (certainly of the PCI-X era) support gigbit Jumbo frames with the inbuilt ethernet port.
But OS X will work with an Intel MT1000 or GT1000 gigabit ethernet PCI-X card which does.
 
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Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
At least the late 2005 machines (Dual/Quad Core with PCIe) support Jumbo frames. I tried it once on my machine and it works flawlessly.
 
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