Infiniband, or SAN systems vs NAS on nMP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by miatadan, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. miatadan macrumors member

    miatadan

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Sudbury,ON , Canada
    #1
    I been using Netgear NAS for a few years for external storage and it seems fast enough that all bluray movies uncompressed play perfectly using PowerDVD 13 ultra on desktop pc (windows 8.1, intel ssd ) and MacBook Air 11" using macgo bluray player as all files are iso.

    What advantage is there Infiniband or SAN systems for storage...

    only way to learn is ask questions

    Dan
     
  2. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #2
    None if you aren't working from the drives, and only using them for media storage.

    The problem with gigabit is that it's limited to about 120MB/s throughput, which is a lot slower than an internal drive.
     
  3. AidenShaw, Dec 29, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #3
    One big issue with NAS is that many cheap GbE NICs are CPU hogs - in addition to the hard limit of ~115 MB/sec on throughput.

    Newegg sells $30 Intel GbE NICs, and $120 GbE "Server" NICs (single port). The extra $90 buys processing power in the NIC that offloads the CPU from much of the TCP/IP protocol overhead. You need those "Server" NICs in both the client and the NAS box - but many of the cheaper NAS boxes have cheap NICs and can't even come close to 115 MB/s.

    Of course, "uncompressed" BD movies are only about 50 Mbps, so virtually any NAS solution will be fine if ripped BD movies are what you need.

    Current Infiniband cards are 40 Gbps, so forget about using them with the new Mini Pro. Fibre Channel is 8 Gbps and 16 Gbps (in common use), so they are a very expensive possibility. 10 Gbps iSCSI is another expensive alternative SAN. (These are expensive on the clients, and often very expensive on the server. I just bought a couple of 20 TB 16 Gbps arrays for about $20K each - had to spend that December quarter budget!)

    Probably the biggest advantage of NAS is that it's shareable - any computer on your network has read/write access since the filesystem is owned by the NAS. SAN is not shareable without special cluster software (like the dearly departed XSAN) - SAN disks (LUNs) appear as local devices to the clients.

    One disadvantage of NAS is that since the server is exporting its private filesystem using (usually) CIFS or NFS - you're limited to the capabilities of whatever filesystem the NAS box is using. I tried using a nice Linux-based NAS box for my CD collection. Unfortunately, all of my music files had Unicode filenames - and the Linux in the NAS box was smashing the filenames to 8-bit ASCII. Horrible. And, of course, there's the issue of 32-bit filesystems that won't do files larger than 2 GiB or 4 GiB or 2 TiB.

    There's no right answer to the SAN vs NAS question - it depends on what you're doing. I find that iSCSI is usually the best solution for me for external "local" storage for a workstation. The iSCSI link is usually a separate 1 GbE server NIC unless the iSCSI is for backups or archiving only. In a few cases it's 10 GbE if the system has serious IO needs.

    For shared storage, a NAS running the same OS as the clients is fine. At both work and home that's a Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 server (that's Win7 server) running server NICs.
     
  4. miatadan thread starter macrumors member

    miatadan

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Sudbury,ON , Canada
    #4
    So from my understanding from what you are saying...media storage will not exceed more than maybe 50-60mbs per second in actual use and therefore there is no speed benefit in using ssds in my Netgear Ultra 2 Nas drive.

    But for reading and writing than a dock like the RocketStor 5212 thunderbolt dock will make use of max speed of my Intel ssds. I could see why the Promise Pegasus2 be attractive option for those wanting highest read and write speeds.

    Some time in 2014, I plan on purchasing the new Mac Pro, base model as it uses PCIe based flash storage and unlike all current Mac laptops memory not soldered in and I plan on using a Dell 4K monitor the current Asus PB278Q 2560 x1440 monitor.
     
  5. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #5
    Yes - music is extremely low bandwidth, and native bitrates on BD disks are in the 50 Mbps (50,000,000 bits per second) range. DVDs around 8 Mbps. I have about 6 TB of ISO rips of BD and DVD disks (bit-for-bit rips to .ISO images) on my home server, and have no problems. (The server has a "server NIC" because it's doing lots of other file serving, but the HTPC client is using the Intel chipset GbE NIC.)


    Seriously look at the difference between "wanting" and "needing" the highest speed disk access.

    You don't need speed to copy a BD to an ISO file - a single 5400 RPM hard drive is faster than the BD drive.

    If your workflow is creating dozens or hundreds of GB-sized intermediate files - fast storage may be huge for you.
     
  6. miatadan thread starter macrumors member

    miatadan

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Sudbury,ON , Canada
    #6
    My BD rips and cd rips are ISO (bit-for-bit rips to .ISO images) as I play music though Naim ND5 XS network streamer with highest quality dac section.

    I appreciate your help, thanks

    Dan
     
  7. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #7
    Same here - my CD/DVD/BD rips are all bit-for-bit ISO images with decryption. No issues with GbE bandwidth. (Although, my house is wired Cat6 GbE throughout - no WiFi here.)
     
  8. miatadan thread starter macrumors member

    miatadan

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Sudbury,ON , Canada
    #8
    I did the same thing for wiring))) and every room in my home has Cat6 GBE , WiFi for only using ipad and iphone
     
  9. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #9
    The maximum that a Blu-ray disc will use is about 50Mb/s - I think it might actually be lower than this. (I'd have to ask my friend that handles Blu-ray mastering)

    But most discs are nowhere near this bitrate, so the requirements will be much lower than that.
     
  10. toothbrush macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    #10
    I also use a standard Western Digital 1TB NAS for my music collection, but ripping via the PC is a pain, needing to power up when a friend drops by with a CD I'd like to rip - I've considered the Naim Unitiserve NAS/ ripper, but the price is a bit off putting. Any alternatives ?:)
     
  11. rpseguin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    #11
    One advantage of SAN (expensive) over NAS (cheap) is data volume.
    We have rooms full of spinning disks that are all available as large volumes.
    Can be nightmarish when things go wrong though...

     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #12
    FYI it's not soldered on the laptops either.
     
  13. miatadan, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    miatadan thread starter macrumors member

    miatadan

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Sudbury,ON , Canada
    #13
    I use dbpoweramp on my pc to rip cds to my Netgear NAS. I am using a Naim ND5XS to play my music from the NAS.

    The UnitiServe is just too expensive for me. I have had the same issue, friends come over with a cd, than I have to power up pc just to rip... been considering cd transport connected to my ND5XS to be able to just play cds on the go when friends drop by. Looking for cd player with digital out connection. Thinking of getting the Rega Apollo R as it is made in England & I like the top loading design.
     

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