MP 7,1 One reason I simply love the MP7,1's new design

bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
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Seattle, WA
Subject: One reason I simply love the MP7,1's new design

As much as we've liked the MP6,1, the one headache and annoyance for us was having to attach external storage along with their big mess/tangle of cables that would at times dislodge themselves from the MP6,1's ports. The Thunderbolt connectors were the most annoying in that a slight movement of the MP6,1 would at times cause external storage device to be disconnected along with alarming screen messages saying "Improper Ejection...". Of course along with all these external storage units were their required power cables and in some cases power-bricks to arrange. Very strict cable management was required to deal with this issue. The worst case scenario was when having to amass all the external storage units and the MP6,1 and transport it all to a client's set/warehouse to perform offsite work.

With the new MP7,1 all of the above is almost completely a non-issue. Why you might ask?

According to my calculations using 16TB HDDs and a few of the likes of Sonnet/Samsung combos for very fast i/o, then some 100 TB of storage can be contained completely inside the MP7,1. That means no mess of cables, no need for power-bricks and power cables for the external storage units, no risk of having storage units suddenly being disconnected, and best of all, the ability to have 6, 8, and even 12 GB/sec of i/o to feed applications thirsty for data resulting in minimizing the plague of the involuntary wait times.

For us, this MP7,1 needs just the power cable and one or two cables for displays. A much cleaner setup compared to our MP6,1 setups. Oh, and moving it to a client's set/warehouse for offsite projects will so much easier. The trumpets will blare out as the MP7,1 makes its entrance as it's rolled onto the set.;););)

In addition, when we rent out the MP7,1 it will be so much easier.

Of course, placing some 6x 16TB HDDs will add considerable weight to the already heavy MP7,1, so the optional wheels are a blessing. 👍,

In many ways, the MP7,1 has the capability for being almost cable-less. Yea :) ...at long last something we've been wishing for, for a long time (6 yrs for us).

In years past, we struggled with the MP4,1 and 5,1 towers to get as much storage inside the cases and this took special surgery in removing the Superdrive units and routing cables around, and hoping the PSU held up.... This new MP7,1 solves this problem completely.
 
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chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
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Berlin
Subject: One reason I simply love the MP7,1's new design

As much as we've liked the MP6,1, the one headache and annoyance for us was having to attach external storage along with their big mess/tangle of cables that would at times dislodge themselves from the MP6,1's ports. The Thunderbolt connectors were the most annoying in that a slight movement of the MP6,1 would at times cause external storage device to be disconnected along with alarming screen messages saying "Improper Ejection...". Of course along with all these external storage units were their required power cables and in some cases power-bricks to arrange. Very strict cable management was required to deal with this issue. The worst case scenario was when having to amass all the external storage units and the MP6,1 and transport it all to a client's set/warehouse to perform offsite work.

With the new MP7,1 all of the above is almost completely a non-issue. Why you might ask?

According to my calculations using 16TB HDDs and a few of the likes of Sonnet/Samsung combos for very fast i/o, then some 100 TB of storage can be contained completely inside the MP7,1. That means no mess of cables, no need for power-bricks and power cables for the external storage units, no risk of having storage units suddenly being disconnected, and best of all, the ability to have 6, 8, and even 12 GB/sec of i/o to feed applications thirsty for data resulting in minimizing the plague of the involuntary wait times.

For us, this MP7,1 needs just the power cable and one or two cables for displays. A much cleaner setup compared to our MP6,1 setups. Oh, and moving it to a client's set/warehouse for offsite projects will so much easier. The trumpets will blare out as the MP7,1 makes its entrance as it's rolled onto the set.;););)

In addition, when we rent out the MP7,1 it will be so much easier.

Of course, placing some 6x 16TB HDDs will add considerable weight to the already heavy MP7,1, so the optional wheels are a blessing. 👍,

In many ways, the MP7,1 has the capability for being almost cable-less. Yea :) ...at long last something we've been wishing for, for a long time (6 yrs for us).

In years past, we struggled with the MP4,1 and 5,1 towers to get as much storage inside the cases and this took special surgery in removing the Superdrive units and routing cables around, and hoping the PSU held up.... This new MP7.1 solves this problem completely.
agree, that’s pretty sweet, you can basically habe a promise Pegasus internally plus another ssd raid. The question is, why would you want to have 100TB internally? What kind of backup plan is behind this?
i feel like when you’re working with masses of data like this, you’re already in s territory where several users will be working on a project and a server with backup would be much more suitable, at least from my experience..
Just curious, what kind of working scenarios are you targeting?
 

bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
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Seattle, WA
My reason for my OP was simply to express the MP7,1 as a 'capability' system as it can be setup to hold a huge amount of storage space without a need for external attachments. This has benefits when the system has to be moved offsite for client projects and when being offered for rental. Our business will rent out our Macs during idle times.

I agree, the more local storage space there is the more one is faced with having to backup. Not all of it, but certainly the data that must be protected. HDDs can be removed and archived offsite in some cases. Local backups can be done using a file sever in the office and offsite backups can be done using a service such as CrashPlan/Code42.

Regardless of storage space being internal or external, both arrangements require a backup strategy.

Today, we run two MP6,1s and an iMac Pro in the office. They are all interconnected using Thunderbolt cables. One of the MP6,1 has a massive amount of storage attached to it (of course all of it is external) and acts as a file server. This external storage takes up room, is noisy, consists of multiple vendors (Promise, LaCie, eSATA Burly, and others) and the cables involved for connecting it all is a nightmare. Much of this physical storage is 'aging' with some having been used for 10 years. It's time to replace some of it.

The Thunderbolt interconnect we use today has proved to be reliable and hugely less expensive than setting up a 10G ethernet LAN. The Thunderbolt cables in total cost less than $150. Consider using a 10G managed switch and using 10G adapters for the MP6,1s; this would be a very costly proposition. The 10G switch itself would be around $1,000. Purchasing a decent reliable dedicated file server would be around $10,000 and using 1G network offers less performance than does the Thunderbolt 'bridging' we're using.

We now will be adding a MP7,1 to our mix, and having the option of it holding a massive amount of data storage is very appealing to us. We believe we can continue to use the Thunderbolt bridges for the MP6,1s to connect to the MP7,1, a 10G connection between the iMac Pro and the MP7,1, thus allowing data to be quickly moved from the MP7,1 to the other machines, all while the MP7,1 being used for useful project workflows. If this works out we can start to 'unload' our aging storage units that are quite likely facing their end-of-life phase.

BTW, from our experimentation we find that the Thunderbolt 'bridge' network can deliver data faster and more consistently than using 10G network. The Thunderbolt 'bridging' is almost a zero cost solution for connecting Macs together for file sharing.
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
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Berlin
My reason for my OP was simply to express the MP7,1 as a 'capability' system as it can be setup to hold a huge amount of storage space without a need for external attachments. This has benefits when the system has to be moved offsite for client projects and when being offered for rental. Our business will rent out our Macs during idle times.

I agree, the more local storage space there is the more one is faced with having to backup. Not all of it, but certainly the data that must be protected. HDDs can be removed and archived offsite in some cases. Local backups can be done using a file sever in the office and offsite backups can be done using a service such as CrashPlan/Code42.

Regardless of storage space being internal or external, both arrangements require a backup strategy.

Today, we run two MP6,1s and an iMac Pro in the office. They are all interconnected using Thunderbolt cables. One of the MP6,1 has a massive amount of storage attached to it (of course all of it is external) and acts as a file server. This external storage takes up room, is noisy, consists of multiple vendors (Promise, LaCie, eSATA Burly, and others) and the cables involved for connecting it all is a nightmare. Much of this physical storage is 'aging' with some having been used for 10 years. It's time to replace some of it.

The Thunderbolt interconnect we use today has proved to be reliable and hugely less expensive than setting up a 10G ethernet LAN. The Thunderbolt cables in total cost less than $150. Consider using a 10G managed switch and using 10G adapters for the MP6,1s; this would be a very costly proposition. The 10G switch itself would be around $1,000. Purchasing a decent reliable dedicated file server would be around $10,000 and using 1G network offers less performance than does the Thunderbolt 'bridging' we're using.

We now will be adding a MP7,1 to our mix, and having the option of it holding a massive amount of data storage is very appealing to us. We believe we can continue to use the Thunderbolt bridges for the MP6,1s to connect to the MP7,1, a 10G connection between the iMac Pro and the MP7,1, thus allowing data to be quickly moved from the MP7,1 to the other machines, all while the MP7,1 being used for useful project workflows. If this works out we can start to 'unload' our aging storage units that are quite likely facing their end-of-life phase.

BTW, from our experimentation we find that the Thunderbolt 'bridge' network can deliver data faster and more consistently than using 10G network. The Thunderbolt 'bridging' is almost a zero cost solution for connecting Macs together for file sharing.
interesting - how does the thunderbolt bridge solution work ecactly?

I was in a company where they had just three trash cans and editors had to work off the same footage and in the same Folder structure. They ended up investing 40.000€ into a real 10 gigabit server and now it’s a pretty smooth solution, but I was always wondering if there ain’t a more simple solution for this, like what you’re describing. They had 2 promise Pegasus attached to two of the machines and had to manually sync them all the time before they had the server..
 

bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
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Seattle, WA
Connect two Macs using a single Thunderbolt cable (let's use for example two Macs having TB2 ports such as the MP6,1). The connections once discovered by the system will have self assigned IPs and the transport protocol will be TCP/IP over Thunderbolt. It is important to ensure this connection is the top of the Service Order list in the Network panel's sidebar, otherwise the lower services will be used for data transfers between the Macs.

The Thunderbolt bridging can be usefully employed but is limited to maybe no more than 3 or 4 Macs due to lack of ports. In our case, we had two MP6,1s and an iMac each connected together with Thunderbolt 2 cables. One of the MP6,1s had all the storage (the file server) and the freelancers using the other client Macs would grab their piece of work from this server and when done deliver results back to the server in a planned manner. This plan obviously has to be discussed ahead of time so everybody knew where to get their data and where to place their results back to. The client Macs had no external storage units. The MP6,1 server was configured as a 12-core with as much RAM as could be installed, and could also perform editing work along with its server responsibilities.

Now, if the business were to grow to have more Macs then the Thunderbolt bridging would break down and an expensive 10G network would need to be deployed with a managed 10G switch to direct traffic to/from an expensive dedicated file server.

In our case our MP6,1 12-core file server was critical for keeping the work flowing smoothly, and if editing work done on it as well as serving the data up to the clients, it was paramount for the MP6,1 12-core system to stay up and not crash. Now and then it did, but was a rare event.

Essentially we built a poor-man's 10G network using inexpensive Thunderbolt cables for no more than $200, and were able to have our most powerful MP6,1 perform double duty (file server and film video editing).

I had several discussions with SmallTree (a vendor for file servers) about using their file servers and they were quite surprised with our Thunderbolt bridging and eventually could not find fault with our approach with both of us acknowledging our Thunderbolt bridging approach was not scalable.
 
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JoeG4

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some 100 TB of storage can be contained completely inside the MP7,1. That means no mess of cables, no need for power-bricks and power cables for the external storage units, no risk of having storage units suddenly being disconnected, and best of all, the ability to have 6, 8, and even 12 GB/sec of i/o to feed applications thirsty for data resulting in minimizing the plague of the involuntary wait times.
This is the reason I really love towers and can't stand using an iMac/Macbook Pro/Mac Mini as a primary machine! I hate boxes and power adapters and dongles!
 
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bxs

macrumors 65816
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This is the reason I really love towers and can't stand using an iMac/Macbook Pro/Mac Mini as a primary machine! I hate boxes and power adapters and dongles!
We are indeed kindred spirits in this regards. :) 👍
 

barmann

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Oct 25, 2010
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In years past, we struggled with the MP4,1 and 5,1 towers to get as much storage inside the cases and this took special surgery in removing the Superdrive units and routing cables around, and hoping the PSU held up.... This new MP7,1 solves this problem completely.
To be fair, the cMPs 4.1 and 5.1 allowed for 4+1 HDDs without any 'surgery' , and the PSU never was an issue in that respect . Without spending a dime, by the way .

What's your point - and have you ever seen a cMP ?
 

chfilm

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Nov 15, 2012
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Connect two Macs using a single Thunderbolt cable (let's use for example two Mac having TB2 ports such as the MP6,1). The connections once discovered by the system will have self assigned IPs and the transport protocol will be TCP/IP over Thunderbolt. It is important to ensure this connection is the top of the Service Order list in the Network panel's sidebar, otherwise the lower services will be used for data transfers between the Macs.

The Thunderbolt bridging can be usefully employed but is limited to maybe no more than 3 or 4 Macs due to lack of ports. In our case, we had two MP6,1s and an iMac each connected together with Thunderbolt 2 cables. One of the MP6,1s had all the storage (the file server) and the freelancers using the other client Macs would grab their piece of work from this server and when done deliver results back to the server in a planned manner. This plan obviously has to be discussed ahead of time so everybody knew where to get their data and where to place their results back to. The client Macs had no external storage units. The MP6,1 server was configured as a 12-core with as much RAM as could be installed, and could also perform editing work along with its server responsibilities.

Now, if the business were to grow to have more Macs then the Thunderbolt bridging would break down and an expensive 10G network would need to be deployed with a managed 10G switch to direct traffic to/from an expensive dedicated file server.

In our case our MP6,1 12-core file server was critical for keeping the work flowing smoothly, and if editing work done on it as well as serving the data up to the clients, it was paramount for the MP6,1 12-core system to stay up and not crash. Now and then it did, but was a rare event.

Essentially we built a poor-man's 10G network using inexpensive Thunderbolt cables for no more than $200, and were able to have our most powerful MP6,1 perform double duty (file server and film video editing).

I had several discussions with SmallTree (a vendor for file servers) about using their file servers and they were quite surprised with our Thunderbolt bridging and eventually could not find fault with our approach with both of us acknowledging our Thunderbolt bridging approach was not scalable.
thanks for clarifying. Very interesting!
 

bxs

macrumors 65816
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Oct 20, 2007
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Seattle, WA
As an aside I will be testing using my late 2016 15" rMBP13,3 (with its 4x USB-C ports) connecting to our MP7,1 for file sharing duties.

I will be attaching a Promise SANLink 3 that uses its USB-C port to connect to the MBP13,3 and then running a Cat 6/6a ethernet cable to connect to the MP7,1's 10G ethernet port. I've already done this using our iMac Pro and find the transfers are good but not as good as a straight Thunderbolt connection.

For our MP6,1's we can use the Sonnet Solo 10G Thunderbolt 2 to 10GBase-T Ethernet adapter for connecting to the MP7,1 and see how that works in terms of data transfers rates.

If all this works it should be possible to use the Sonnet Solo 10G Thunderbolt 2 to 10GBase-T Ethernet adapters for the MP6,1s to hook into a simple 10G switch, and from this switch running Cat 6/6a cables to our iMac Pro and the MP7,1 so that all can share file transfers. It should also be possible to run a ethernet cable from the switch to our office router to gain internet access for all the Macs.

The Sonnet Solo 10G Thunderbolt 2 to 10GBase-T Ethernet adapters cost around $200 each. The Promise SANLink 3 cost around $200 and a similar product OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter cost around $160.

Using these devices requires no additional driver software to be installed. The macOS takes care of everything natively.

If one wishes to improve the 10G connection bandwidth then Twin 10G adapter could be employed to provide the extra bandwidth and failover if one of the connections fail. Twin connections if aggregated can allow writing and reading at same time for the extra bandwidth as well as providing for fail-over in the event one connection fails.
- - Post merged: - -

To be fair, the cMPs 4.1 and 5.1 allowed for 4+1 HDDs without any 'surgery' , and the PSU never was an issue in that respect . Without spending a dime, by the way .

What's your point - and have you ever seen a cMP ?
Of course we've had the older Mac Pro towers and did upgrade their processors as well.

Yes, to be fair as you've posted, the 4,1, 5,1 had the 4 sliding SATA drive trays, and it was possible with some surgery removing the double Superdrive bay to add I believe another 2 HDD, and in the case's base another 3x HDDs as I recall could be added with some surgery along with running cables to a PCIe card for power. So yes, some 9 HDDs could be installed. Thus using 16TB HDDs supposedly it would allow some 144 TB to be inside the tower. I'm not disputing this. I'm simply stating the new MP7,1 offers a similar opportunity for installing a massive amount of internal data storage, along with no surgery being required.

I'm so pleased Apple has returned to us the architecture of the 4,1 & 5,1 towers in a far more modern enclosure not requiring a bunch of added items and cables for allowing extra internal data storage, and of course the extra PCIe slots. Yes, Apple could have lowered the entrance price by designing a cheap looking case, but then that is simply an anathema for Apple's design goals. I'm sure there would be plenty of people screaming at Apple if the MP7,1's casing was a nasty looking beige box as it used to be in many years past. The basic engineer is really only interested in the computers 'innards' and care less about how it's encapsulated, but industrial designers have a completely different opinion and want to present a pleasing looking object to customers.
 
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