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Dan Clark
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New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?

Jul 29, 2012 5:46 PM

Tags: #disk #raid #workstation

My editing workstation needs work and I need help.


I have a decent editing system that's about 2-1/2 years old.   (Asus P658D, Core I7/920 OC'd to 3.8Ghz, and 12 GB fast memory.)   I use it for editing stills and video, and a few other things.  Until last week, all was well.  Then one of the two disks in my Raid 0 data drive failed partially.   With about 10 hours work, I was able to copy most of my media over to another drive.  


Rather than spend the money to create a robust disk subsystem with multiple drives and a nice raid card, I opted go cheap and build my data subsystem using two drives in Raid 0 and use a backup utility to copy the media to a separate backup drive.   This worked reasonably well for a while, but some time in the past the backup utility failed.   So my media was living "on the edge".   And I lost some of it when one drive partially failed.


This has to be remedied.  The options are:


1.  Replace the bad drive and configure as before.


2. Update the disk subsystem for better performance and safety.


3. Upgrade the entire workstation with new mobo,cpu, disks, etc.


Option 1 is too limiting and unsafe, so it's option 2 or 3.


For option 2, my current disks available are:


- MOBO disk controllers (2) - Marvel used for Raid.


- WD Velociraptor 300 GB (x2) - Currently one each for system disk and media cache/page file disk.


- WD Black 2TB (x1) - Was part of Raid 0.  Now just sitting there.


- WD Blue 2TB (x1) - Backup disk.


- Old WD 500GB (x1) - Currently in removable bay for archiving.


New disk sub-system configuration (one alternative):


- Areca 1882ix raid controller (maybe PCIe 3.0) for current and future needs.


- 256GB SSD - System and Apps.  (New)


- WD Velociraptors (x2) in Raid 0 config for media cache and page file.  (Current)


- WD Black 1TB (x6) in Raid 5 config for media, projects, and other data.  (New)


I'm not sure about backup and arhiving.  Maybe repurpose WD Blue 2TB and old 500GB disk in the removable media bay? 


Does this look like a reasonable disk config?   Better options in general?  Better options for backup and archiving?  Bigger disks for Raid 5 (for future expandability)?  


Option 3 - Rebuilding the entire system is certainly an option, but I think it would be a lot more work.  I know that I'll need to do that in the future, but I'm wondering if it's good enough for now.  This is a tough question.


I'd appreciate any help.





  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2012 7:07 PM   in reply to Dan Clark

    WD Blacks are not suitable for parity RAID 3, 5, 6, etc. because of timeout problems.  They have come out with a new series of RED drives to overcome this problem but I do not know if anyyone has tried them yet.  When Harm comes along he can suggest a better solution.

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    Jul 29, 2012 9:11 PM   in reply to Dan Clark

    I recently had to purchase a  raid array for my new HP Z820 system.


    I ended up with a Dulce Pro DQg2 16 TB system. Its performance with the HP is amazing. I am getting read/write speed of 1100/1000 for 1080 HD 8 bit media. I initially got the Caldigit Pro HD 2  with did not have such good speeds and had a very noisy fan.


    I am quite impressed with their technology. They are using a  modified Areca card as part of the raid controller system.

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    Jul 30, 2012 6:17 AM   in reply to Dan Clark

    Your welcome. They also make a 8TB model which might be a better price point for you.  I bought it because raid performance plays such an important role in the operation of the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine.

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    Jul 30, 2012 7:46 AM   in reply to Dan Clark

    One think to keep in mind with DIY internal raid is an awareness of the added heat it will add to the internal of your chasis. That of course will depend one what other stuff you alos have in there (CPUs / GPU).

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    Jul 30, 2012 7:56 AM   in reply to Dan Clark

    If your budget is limited then I would suggest getting the Enterprise drives first and run a Raid 10 on the onboard controller. Then get the raid controller later. The WD Red Drives look like they will be variable spin rate drives so I am not sure what the performance will be on those. I am still waiting for them to arrive at Disti. If you have the budget for other Raid controllers, then there are cheaper 8 Port SAS options versus the Areca which also have better management utilities such as the Intel raid cards. The Areca cards have great performance but their utility is average at best and their rebuild times were really long last I checked which could cause schedule issues if dealing with drive failure. I suggest asking one of the forum members here with a current Areca card to test that if they have the opportunity.



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    Jul 30, 2012 8:24 AM   in reply to Dan Clark

    According to the Areca specs, it looks like you can create multiple raids from the single controller.  For current Areca users, are there any limitations with this?


    Not that I'm aware of. I have also been looking at the Constellation ES drives, but the cost is a major hurdle to take. I just got a quote for 24 x 2 TB and that adds up nicely to € 4K but since I don't need all that space I am contemplating 1 TB drives instead to get the cost down to around € 1500. Doubts, doubts, and more doubts...

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    Jul 30, 2012 8:25 AM   in reply to Dan Clark

    Nice Dan!

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2012 10:43 AM   in reply to Dan Clark

    Anymore the Email notification is standard to most of the Management software options with the raid cards today. I don't think you will have a problem with that.




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