How to configure 2 Mac Pros to share external eSATA drives

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SnapperUK, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. SnapperUK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #1
    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?
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    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).
     
  3. PaulD-UK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #3
    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.
     
  4. SnapperUK thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #4
    What is port replication?
     
  5. rtrt, Dec 9, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  6. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    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.
     
  7. rtrt, Dec 9, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  8. PaulD-UK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #9
    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.
     
  9. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    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.
     
  10. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #11
    Ditto on my machine(sig), but I dunno about the PCI-X ones, either.
     

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