Storage Solution for iMac 5K for Photographer ?

mjoshi123

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
441
3
Okay I've ordered 2015 27 " 5K iMac with 1TB SSD + i7 + 395x and 8GB RAM with upgrade to 32GB.

Primary use Editing Digital Files and Digital Videos.

I need suggestion for what will be best way to go for storage of Data.

My Current setup is
2012 Mac Mini i7 + 16GB + 1.5TB SSD (Samsung EVO)
Most of my Digital editing happens on this box using Lightroom & Photoshop.
I primarily use Proshow Producer to create slideshows on Windows 7 (using Parallels).

Currently I've 12TB NAS in RAID 1 (so actual storage is 6TB) on WesternDigital MyCloud EX2. Personally I'm not happy with the performance of the NAS, unless and untill it is attached to Mac mini directly using Ethernet Cable, it runs slow at almost speed of USB 2.0.

I've WD 3TB external USB3.0 drive that I use as Timemachine attached directly to Macmini.
And there is one more WD 3TB drive that I use to keep some of my media like Music and Completed work.

My current workflow is
1) Shoot an event
2) Download everything from cards into Macmini Internal Drive under MyWorkArea under Event Folder.
3) Upload all RAW Files that were copied onto MyWorkArea also to Amazon Cloud drive.
4) Edit Files and be done with project
5) Upload finished work to my website for clients.
6) Move Event Folder to External NAS as well as to External 3TB drive and to Amazon Cloud Drive.
7) Delete from External 3TB drive the Event Folder after 3 months and leave it on NAS.

Here is what I'm thinking..
My main gripe right now is NAS solution that I've, I hate it because it is slow.
I'm looking at Thunderbolt enclosures and see if I can reuse the 2x6TB Drives that I've from Western Digital NAS Enclosure to new Thunderbolt Enclosure.
Is this good Idea ? Will I gain anything ?
Are there any better ways to handle storage needs that I've ?

Sorry for long post but wanted to give as much information as possible to viewers.
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 6502a
Sep 1, 2007
994
229
Okay I've ordered 2015 27 " 5K iMac with 1TB SSD + i7 + 395x and 8GB RAM with upgrade to 32GB.

Primary use Editing Digital Files and Digital Videos.

I need suggestion for what will be best way to go for storage of Data.

My Current setup is
2012 Mac Mini i7 + 16GB + 1.5TB SSD (Samsung EVO)
Most of my Digital editing happens on this box using Lightroom & Photoshop.
I primarily use Proshow Producer to create slideshows on Windows 7 (using Parallels).

Currently I've 12TB NAS in RAID 1 (so actual storage is 6TB) on WesternDigital MyCloud EX2. Personally I'm not happy with the performance of the NAS, unless and untill it is attached to Mac mini directly using Ethernet Cable, it runs slow at almost speed of USB 2.0.

I've WD 3TB external USB3.0 drive that I use as Timemachine attached directly to Macmini.
And there is one more WD 3TB drive that I use to keep some of my media like Music and Completed work.

My current workflow is
1) Shoot an event
2) Download everything from cards into Macmini Internal Drive under MyWorkArea under Event Folder.
3) Upload all RAW Files that were copied onto MyWorkArea also to Amazon Cloud drive.
4) Edit Files and be done with project
5) Upload finished work to my website for clients.
6) Move Event Folder to External NAS as well as to External 3TB drive and to Amazon Cloud Drive.
7) Delete from External 3TB drive the Event Folder after 3 months and leave it on NAS.

Here is what I'm thinking..
My main gripe right now is NAS solution that I've, I hate it because it is slow.
I'm looking at Thunderbolt enclosures and see if I can reuse the 2x6TB Drives that I've from Western Digital NAS Enclosure to new Thunderbolt Enclosure.
Is this good Idea ? Will I gain anything ?
Are there any better ways to handle storage needs that I've ?

Sorry for long post but wanted to give as much information as possible to viewers.
This is what you want, and very cost effective. http://www.seagate.com/external-hard-drives/portable-hard-drives/performance/backup-plus-fast-hdd/ It is super fast as I edit 4K video off it without a hiccup.

Thunderbolt isn't necessary unless you have RAID stripped SSDs. Since you need massive amounts of fast storage, you need RAID spinners and they can't saturate USB 3.
 
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Dubadai

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2015
155
106
Stockholm, Sweden.
I have things set up like this:

Two Lacie Rugged 2TB disks connected to my iMac. One is general storage and one is only for images.

So on the one for photos, I have my Lightroom catalogs and all my RAW and exports. I sometimes unplug this drive and use it on my laptop. Since everything is one the drive, its plug and play where i left off. Perfect for me.

For backup I have Carbon Copy Cloner backup all new files to a 4TB disk that i plug in once a month. It is turned of and unplugged during all other times.

I also have a second backup for the photos, which is a 2TB drive. I backup to this one as well as the 4TB at the same time.

Therefore I always have my photos etc. on three drives.

I have contemplated a NAS for a long time, but since I never have to access things from outside my home, its much cheaper using regular drives and multiple backups. And also, it is much faster to edit on local drives!

To answer the enclosure question. I would buy one for OWC that has raid, and run raid 1 with the 6TB disks.
 
Last edited:

MrNomNoms

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2011
1,132
249
Wellington, New Zealand
I have a Drobo 5D - let the hardware take care of the RAID details then format it as a giant disk. Throw in the disks then put a mATA card in the bottom and you'll find that once hooked up to the thunderbolt port that things will run fairly smoothly.
 

HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,489
362
One thing about the Drobo 5D is that it takes a while to boot up and configured as raid5 is slower than hardware raid. I see about 253 MB/s write and 428 MB/s read. My Pegasus R6 runs about 633 MB/s write and 631 MB/s read. There is a cost for convenience.

The May Backblaze report had annual Seagate failure rates running from 0 to an astounding 31.8%. The Barracudas line faired the worst of all the disks they reported on, with failure rates (rounded) of 32%, 12%, 0%, 27%, 3%, 5% annually. Western Digital had (rounded) 13%, 9%, 7% failure rates annually. Toshiba had 5.1%, 0%, and 0%. HGST ranged from .39% to a max of 2%.
 

mjoshi123

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
441
3
Thank you all for taking time to answer my question, much appreciated. So far I've not made any choice on which way I want to go. Out of two Thunderbolt port, one is definetly going to my Dell 27" monitor to use it as a second monitor. So I will have one thunderbolt port to work with and 4 USB 3.0.
 

Dariel

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2015
11
2
perhaps the Lacie solutions are something for you, look for the size you need for raid 1 and get the ports you want. They are expensive though last time I checked.
After having seen my OWC raid (2 out of 4 hd done) fail, I went back to the more expensive, very beautiful stuff.
I have a 5big quadra 20tb (someting like that) and since it features 2 TB ports you can use it to daisy chain one additional peripheral, if this is something you might want.
I chained the 27" cinema display for working in lightroom and photoshop, I suppose the latency is bad but I never tested it.
 

iMcLovin

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2009
1,962
897
I have a 1tb SSD on my iMac and an external 8TB Mybook Duo Thunderbolt were I move all finished "old" projects. The 8tb DUO is set to raid, so its essentially just 4gb with added security. ANd I have one other 4tb Thunderbolt drive which only does time capsule backup of my main 1tb SSD in case my OS would crash or I do something stupid. ..Of course all my current work is on Dropbox, so multiple securities and the ability to share work files with clients all the time.

This system works perfectly for me.

Btw, I would stay away from Lacie, I've tried them all. The are noisy!! and gets easily broken if they fall over - and no warranty if that happens. I had a Lacie 2big, it was horrible noisy...switched to the d2 (which only has 1 drive - but even that one is noise despite they brag about it being super silent.... Then I bought a cheaper My Book Duo, because its not the main hard drive I work on, the speed difference is not noticeable (I dont think it would be noticeable regardless). I still have the rugged Lacie thunderbolt as the time capsule backup though, they are decent...but not worth the price unless you drag it around with you.
 
Last edited:

Dariel

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2015
11
2
I'd agree with them being noisy, not horribly but certainly louder than the "near silent" being advertised everywhere. Haven't heard about this lack of coverage by the warranty, but I'll check this for sure, thank you!

Also, this summer the Lacie shut down due to overheating or at least close before that, in the midst of backing up to another raid. RAID was running non stop for about 8-9h?
nothing happened though, the RAID stopped the transfers, kept the fans on for as long as it was hot and then turned off, the HDs being nice and cool.
Could be prone to overheating or could be a safety feature.


http://www.lacie.com/products/thunderbolt/5big-thunderbolt-2/
I remember the 20tb version to be roughly 10% cheaper but that might have been some discount or currency advantages.
looks great.
 

roadkill401

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2015
403
77
I do quite a bit with my iMac depending on what my needs are in that week. I do photography in batches and have a NAS.

You say that the problem with your NAS is that it's too slow unless you hook it up directly to the Mac Mini you are working with now. That to me says the problem is not the NAS at all, but that other piece of hardware that you have between the two devices. Chances are that most people use thier internet home router that comes with 4 additional port hub on the back and don't realize that device is slow as molasses in the north pole. No wonder it's just too slow.

Why go out and spend through the roof to re-invent the wheel and put on some USB3/Thunderbolt drive that will not give you the capacity that your current hardware gives, when the solution to your issue is spending $100 on a proper port forwarding SWITCH that has the bandwidth capability that your NAS and Mac can handle. Take a look at a Cisco SG200-08 (SLM2008T) 8-port Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch as that will give you about 75 MB/s on read/write. Yes you can get more with DAS. My Lacie Thunderbolt drive gives me about 145MB/s and my internal SSD is about 700MB/s.
You didn't give what you are getting from your current NAS right now so I don't know if this will improve you speed, but you did say it's like a USB2 and that generally ran about 30-35MB/s
 

mjoshi123

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
441
3
I do quite a bit with my iMac depending on what my needs are in that week. I do photography in batches and have a NAS.

You say that the problem with your NAS is that it's too slow unless you hook it up directly to the Mac Mini you are working with now. That to me says the problem is not the NAS at all, but that other piece of hardware that you have between the two devices. Chances are that most people use thier internet home router that comes with 4 additional port hub on the back and don't realize that device is slow as molasses in the north pole. No wonder it's just too slow.

Why go out and spend through the roof to re-invent the wheel and put on some USB3/Thunderbolt drive that will not give you the capacity that your current hardware gives, when the solution to your issue is spending $100 on a proper port forwarding SWITCH that has the bandwidth capability that your NAS and Mac can handle. Take a look at a Cisco SG200-08 (SLM2008T) 8-port Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch as that will give you about 75 MB/s on read/write. Yes you can get more with DAS. My Lacie Thunderbolt drive gives me about 145MB/s and my internal SSD is about 700MB/s.
You didn't give what you are getting from your current NAS right now so I don't know if this will improve you speed, but you did say it's like a USB2 and that generally ran about 30-35MB/s
Thank you, now that is interesting proposition. Currently I've my WD EX2 NAS connected directly to Mac Mini using Ethernet port. And WD EX2 contains two 6TB HGST drives with 64MB Cache and 7200 RPM. So I'd assume that maybe I should get atleast 100MBPs speed based upon Ethernet. I'd post the screen grab of what speed I see once I'm back at my computer.
 

mjoshi123

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
441
3
thank you all for your suggestions, I ended-up buying this Akitio Thunder 2 - this is 4-BAY solution (trying to future proof)-
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LMON6Z4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s03

Question ?
Will I need to fill out all four slots in here or I can put two hard drives now and two later ?

Also can you mix and match drives ? I've two 6TB HGST drives for now. Can I add two more WD or other HGST drives for 4TB capacity later ?
 

iemcj

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2015
299
79
If you're running it in raid 1 (which you should) then you cannot mix sizes. And almost everyone I've read reccomend not mixing and matching different harddrives from different brands. Honestly 4 bays is crazy overkill, the odds of one harddrive failing are fairly low, the odds of TWO harddrives failing at the same time? The only way that's going to happen is because of extreme user error, like dropping the whole unit in the tub. There's such thing as being safe and then there's just crazy overkill and your money could be better spent elsewhere (example, instead of getting a 4 drive bay and getting cheapy harddrives, get a 2 drive bay and get some server quality drives. Just makes more sense for you my friend)
 

mjoshi123

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 14, 2010
441
3
If you're running it in raid 1 (which you should) then you cannot mix sizes. And almost everyone I've read reccomend not mixing and matching different harddrives from different brands. Honestly 4 bays is crazy overkill, the odds of one harddrive failing are fairly low, the odds of TWO harddrives failing at the same time? The only way that's going to happen is because of extreme user error, like dropping the whole unit in the tub. There's such thing as being safe and then there's just crazy overkill and your money could be better spent elsewhere (example, instead of getting a 4 drive bay and getting cheapy harddrives, get a 2 drive bay and get some server quality drives. Just makes more sense for you my friend)
thanks for your response. I do have two hard drives right now those are 7200 RPM HGST 6TB drives. I'm planning for atleast 12 TB of storage as currently in RAID 1 I've got 6TB (2x6TB) storage and almost full to 3.9TB, So I was thinking about expanding storage down the road with 2 more HGST drives.