Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MP 7,1 Rackmount Mac Pro + Storage NAS idea?

sn1p3r845

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 9, 2012
145
48
Vancouver, BC
Hey everyone,

I'm starting to think about pricing out and how I would configure a new Mac Pro setup. Right now I have G-Speed 4 bay raid and 2013 Mac Pro, which is obviously out of date so I need to look into new solutions.

I was thinking how a rackmount setup would be that would sit under my desk which houses the computer and a good raid/nas together. Would it be too noisy? I haven't had a nas before, but the reason why I would look into it is because sometimes I'm away from my workstation and access files via my macbook to work remotely. Lately I've just been using Dropbox and dumping the entire project folder there and working on it. After the project is done I move it to my archive drives.

Is Nas still relevant these days, or am I better off just sticking with a good raid system for local work only?
 

AdamSeen

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2013
178
145
The answer should really be determined by your tolerance to noise. Inside the computer will likely be the fastest, but I’d never go for a bunch of spinning disk inside a machine so quiet. I’d get an optical thunderbolt cable or 10gb NAS and move it away. What would you prefer?
 
Comment

Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
585
Hey everyone,

I'm starting to think about pricing out and how I would configure a new Mac Pro setup. Right now I have G-Speed 4 bay raid and 2013 Mac Pro, which is obviously out of date so I need to look into new solutions.

I was thinking how a rackmount setup would be that would sit under my desk which houses the computer and a good raid/nas together. Would it be too noisy? I haven't had a nas before, but the reason why I would look into it is because sometimes I'm away from my workstation and access files via my macbook to work remotely. Lately I've just been using Dropbox and dumping the entire project folder there and working on it. After the project is done I move it to my archive drives.

Is Nas still relevant these days, or am I better off just sticking with a good raid system for local work only?

What kind of capacities are we talking about ? We should be close to the point where we can install 16TB ( 4 x 4TB ) of brand name , quality and relatively inexpensive NVMe M.2s on a single flash RAID card . Something from the Intel 660p or HP EX950 series .
 
Comment

sn1p3r845

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 9, 2012
145
48
Vancouver, BC
The answer should really be determined by your tolerance to noise. Inside the computer will likely be the fastest, but I’d never go for a bunch of spinning disk inside a machine so quiet. I’d get an optical thunderbolt cable or 10gb NAS and move it away. What would you prefer?

Well, I'm a video editor and noise is obviously a bit of an issue since I need to hear what I'm doing. I use studio monitors and never headphones. My issue is I lease an enclosed 1 person office in a shared area, so I can't just put it in another room and run cables.

What kind of capacities are we talking about ? We should be close to the point where we can install 16TB ( 4 x 4TB ) of brand name , quality and relatively inexpensive NVMe M.2s on a single flash RAID card . Something from the Intel 660p or HP EX950 series .

Right now my G-Speed 4 Bay TB2 has 4x 10tb drives in Raid 5, so 32tb usable space. I'd want minimum 40tb and up to 90tb of space total for the new setup. My workflow is using the raid for current projects, then after they're done I offload them onto archive drives and store them.
 
Comment

Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
585
Well, I'm a video editor and noise is obviously a bit of an issue since I need to hear what I'm doing. I use studio monitors and never headphones. My issue is I lease an enclosed 1 person office in a shared area, so I can't just put it in another room and run cables.



Right now my G-Speed 4 Bay TB2 has 4x 10tb drives in Raid 5, so 32tb usable space. I'd want minimum 40tb and up to 90tb of space total for the new setup. My workflow is using the raid for current projects, then after they're done I offload them onto archive drives and store them.

If you are careful how you configure , you can get four 16 Lane Electrical PCIe Rev 3 Slots populated with flash RAID Cards in a MP7,1 . That should provide 64 TB of raw flash storage ( much faster than mechanical ) that you can use to configure some sort of RAID array , when those 4TB drives become available .

You'll have to get creative with where you install the UI graphics card ...

Either that , or utilize the MP7,1's TB3 port(s) with another external mechanical drive RAID chassis .
 
Comment

edgerider

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2018
262
138
I have a 16 core rackmount 7,1 and do video production. since 1998 I guess you could say I have tryied almost anything from 100mb ZIP drive, to fancy nas, to real stuff....
the bottom line at the end of the day is : cheap/silent/fast/reliable
choose 3 of four...

in a very big picture :

ssd are cool but were never designed to serve as cold data storage unit, therefore they are fast, silent, expensive but not designed for advanced parity raid calculations.
They wear out fast in raid 5/6/50/50 array, and you need to be very rich to built a decent size volume that can be used for large sequencial R/W of more than 10/12 Tb.... and if you just raid 0 them, if one goes bad , all goes bad...
with 0 chance of recovery...

thunderbolt or usbc consumer jbod with software raid array such as ocw gdrive or whatever 2/4/5/8 drive enclosure with no hardware raid , is totally unreliable if you use consumer sata drive over 2tb. I dont want to dig too deep into that but this setup if used with a powerful machine, and a prograde editing software is 100% sure to end up with a failed drive and a failed reconstruction if you use drive bigger that 2tb.... at any given crash of the editing software. A power outage while in use will 100% of the time result in a corrupted volume.

then you have consumer/prosumer nas from thecus/synology/qnap... you are basically paying someone to slap together crapy hardware with proprietary software based on open source code.... you can do better with any 1000€ PC and freenas...
yes they advertise super fast transfer, but reality is they are unusable for anything better than 720p25 in a true production environment...

prosumer t2/3 hardware raid array with raid 6 ability offer a good compromise of price/cost/silence/performance...
If you are smart enough to use good nas drive, and do a backup of the volume before attempting a reconstruction in case of a drive failure,
you are very unlikely to loose data.
It is quite fast but a 6x8tb volume in raid 6 will only give you a 32 tb usable volume and you are looking at 3/4000€
a power outage or a bad power chute on the wall socket can and will leave the array in a unsafe status.
once the volume is full it slows down to a point where it is almost unusable for anything else than copying files. once full you have to get another one ...
If you shoot or deal with large 4k/6/8k project it will run out of space quite fast and you will end up stacking them...

finally there is entreprise servergrade systems either fiber chanel or true 10gbe connections... such as promise vtrak
usually there is a “head unit” and you can expand up by adding jbod sas shelves of the same brand.
they are basically the same thing as your prosumer/consumer nas, but with much, much more powerful and reliable hardware.If you know what you are doing, they will absolutely annihilate anything else performance wise. They are insanely loud, I mean think of an industrial hoover but twice as loud. They are very power hungry, bulking and the usually cost the price of a nice car, and finally you need to learn how to manage them... BUT because there is a BUT.... you can get them used for dirt cheap, because once a data center upgrade his hardware, all this very very expensive hardware is decommissioned and basically a waste for them... with that said, for the price of a consumer grade usb3 - 4 drive software raid array, you can buy of ebay a complete true 24/7 servergrade storage system that you tuck in your garage , that is ultra reliable, ultra fast, and infinityvelly expandable...

this is my “data vault” setup:

one maxed out 3.1 xserve with a supermicro sc846 24 bay pcie expansion chassis running 2 areca 1880 raid card, one 24 port, one 12 port with external sas expension port.
a atto nt12 network card and a sm951 ssd boot drive. that expension module have 16 4tb drive in raid 6 and 8 empty slot for hotplug outside drives.
attached to that i have 3 netapp 24 bay disk shelve filed with 2tb drive, in a raid 60 array ...
you know how much this cost me to buy? less than 3500€ and any time i need more space, i just buy a 24 bay 2tb netapp disk shelf for 500€ and i get an additional 48tb of raw, 1200mb/s reliable storage in matter of 10 minutes....

a used dual cpu xserve 3.1 can be bought for 150€ on ebay.
If you upgrade it to dual xeon x5580 and 192 gb of ram, a pcie ssd and a true dual 10gbe network card, believe me it would absolutely smoke any nas on the planet, nothing from qnap/synology/thecus can even come close. this upgrade will cost you less than 500€
areca raid card can be bought for 150/200€
the supermicro sc846 can be found for 4-500€ and the trickiest part is to found a cyclone microsytem pcie expender.
a good cheap alternative is the netstor 12/16/24 bay pcie enclusure , i had one it was top notch!
you need a pcie expender with the xserve because it only have 2 pcie slot and you absolutely need 4:
1 slot x4 for the pcie ssd
1slot x8 for the internal raid car
1slot x8 for the external expension raid card
1slot x8 for the dual 10gbe card.

if I were you , i would start with a maxed out xserve 3.1, and a netstor (dynapower in usa ) 16 bay pcie enclosure and a areca 1880xi 16
that offer both 16 sas lane for the netstor drive and one external sas port to future sas expension disk shelf.

you could even start with only the 16 bay netstor enclosure directly atached to your 7,1.
the netstor enclosure are reasonably loud, and if you swap the fans for silent ones, it is totally acceptable noise wise.

but trust me anything else will be more of a chore on the long run....

you also can find promise vtrak jx30 jbod disk shelves for basically nothing on ebay... slap an areca 1880ix in your 7.1 , connect a sas cable and enjoy 36 tb of 1600mb/s drive goodness...
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.