17 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2012 10:43 AM by ECBowen RSS

    New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?

    Dan Clark Community Member

      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.

       

      Thanks,

       

      Dan.

        • 1. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
          Bill Gehrke MVP

          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.

          • 2. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
            Dan Clark Community Member

            Bill,

             

            Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of that limitation. Scratch the WD Blacks.  I'll check out some others.

             

            Thanks,

             

            Dan

            • 3. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
              Dan Clark Community Member

              After some sniffing around, it looks like a Seagate or Hitachi SAS might be a better option.

              • 4. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                lasvideo Community Member

                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.

                • 5. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                  Dan Clark Community Member

                  Lasvideo,

                   

                  Thanks for the feedback. That Dulce Pro looks very nice, but a bit pricey for me.

                   

                  I agree about the Areca technology-very nice. From a review on Newegg, there was this comment, "It is also pretty cool that the card can send emails when certain things happen, such as drive failures, etc." Active notification of a failure could be a lifesaver for me.

                   

                  Thanks,

                   

                  Dan.

                  • 6. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                    lasvideo Community Member

                    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.

                    • 7. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                      Dan Clark Community Member

                      Lasvideo,

                       

                      Interesting point about raid and the Mercury Playback Engine.   I assume that applies to any raid. For now, I think I'll go with a DIY, internal solution because my current workstation case has lots of space and power for disks.

                       

                      This morning, I found what appears to be short review of the Areca 1882ix-12 PCIe 3.0 version:

                       

                      http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://akiba-pc.watch.impress.co.jp/ho tline/20120714/ni_carc1882ix12.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3Darc-1882ix-12%2Bpcie%2B3.0%26hl%3De n%26client%3Dsafari%26tbo%3Dd&sa=X&ei=tosWUIzLFIajrQGDlYG4DQ&ved=0CGEQ7gEwAQ 

                       

                      Since my current MOBO is only PCIe 2.0, the new 1882ix 3.0 controller won't perform any better now, but it should when the MOBO/CPU/memory is upgraded. I.e. a better strategic purchase.

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      Dan

                      • 8. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                        Dan Clark Community Member

                        The Google-translate link didn't work. Here's the original Japanese link:  http://akiba-pc.watch.impress.co.jp/hotline/20120714/ni_carc1882ix12.html

                         

                        And Google translate: google.translate.com

                        • 9. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                          lasvideo Community Member

                          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).

                          • 10. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                            ECBowen MVP

                            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.

                             

                            Eric

                            • 11. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                              Dan Clark Community Member

                              This is moving along quickly.   It looks like the best option is just a disk sub-system upgrade.   The best option seems to be:

                               

                              - Areca 1882ix-12 PCIe 3.0 raid controller. (Buy)

                               

                              - 256GB SSD - System and Apps.  (Buy)

                               

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

                               

                              - *Seagate Constellation ES.2 2TB SAS 6Gb/s (x4) for in Raid 5 config for media, projects, and other data.  (Buy)

                               

                              - *WD Blue 2TB in the removable media bay for archiving.  (Current)

                               

                              * Items marked with asterisk would be on Areca raid controller.

                               

                              I decided to go with fewer, larger drives to keep costs down but allow for future expansion.

                               

                              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? 

                               

                              Thanks,

                               

                              Dan.

                              • 12. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                                Dan Clark Community Member

                                Lasvideo,

                                 

                                Good point.   Cooling has been a key issue for my workstation.  Currently, it has water cooling for the CPU with two fans in push/pull config for the radiator.  In addition, there are a total of total of six fans in the box not including the power supply fan (Corsair 850 watt).   There is a system monitor in the front panel that monitors fan speed and temperature including CPU temp - currently they are reading betwen 68 and 74 degrees fahrenheit.   Most of the fans are variable control and are running about 1/2 speed.

                                 

                                Since there are two workstations, a laptop and a small server in the home office, there is a portable air conditioner in the room specifically to keep the systems cool.   To put it mildly, I'm VERY anal retentive about keeping the systems cool.  

                                 

                                Thanks,

                                 

                                Dan.

                                • 13. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                                  Harm Millaard Community Member

                                  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...

                                  • 14. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                                    lasvideo Community Member

                                    Nice Dan!

                                    • 15. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                                      Dan Clark Community Member

                                      Eric,

                                       

                                      Unfortunately my on-board raid controllers are SATA and are maxed out - they won't handle 8 drives, much less future expansion.  

                                       

                                      I'm open to other raid controllers than Areca and would love to hear from any raid controller user, especially about the management features.   One nice feature of the Areca 1882 is that (apparently) it can send you an email in case of a failure.   Since I'm over-the-top busy and not a great admin, I don't watch the system much.   That feature alone is worth its wait in gold to me.  Are you aware of any other controllers with this feature? 

                                       

                                      Regarding the WD Reds, I understand that their fastest spin is 5400 RPMs.  That seems a bit slow.  

                                       

                                      As I posted just above, I'm now considering the Seagate Constellation drives. They are a bit more expensive, but if they are reliable in Raid configurations, they should be worth the extra bucks.

                                       

                                      Thanks and regards,

                                       

                                      Dan.

                                       

                                      p.s. I'm a contract software developer by profession.   For my current customer, I'm building a data load system that runs 24 X 7.    Unfortunately, I have to manage the system too.  One of the designed-in features is proactive status and error notification by email. Not having to constantly monitor the system reduces my stress by about 90%.   So email notification is now a mandatory requirement for my home system's raid controller.

                                      • 16. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                                        Dan Clark Community Member

                                        Harm,

                                         

                                        Thanks for the feedback.  

                                         

                                        Regarding the 1TB vs 2TB drives, while my needs are much more modest than yours, I have the same issue - high cost and not needing the extra space.    OTOH, more drives means more power, cooling, and used system drive slots.   I.e. "Doubts, doubts, and more doubts...". 

                                         

                                        Another nice feature of the Areca controllers is that they have an exposed API.   While nothing is ever guarenteed and I may not have the time, but I might be able to whip a small utility to handle system monitoring if their utilities don't meet my needs.  If I ever did this, I'd be happy to share the source code with anyone who wanted it.   (I'm only a fair photographer and videographer, but a pretty decent software developer.  )

                                         

                                        Regards,

                                         

                                        Dan.

                                        • 17. Re: New Disk Subsystem or Workstation?
                                          ECBowen MVP

                                          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.

                                           

                                          Eric

                                          ADK