31 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2013 5:47 PM by getho

    raid controllers

    getho Level 2

      Just been looking at ppbm5 benchmarks http://ppbm5.com/DB-PPBM5-2.php

      My core i7 920 system is feeling slow and buggy and works like a dog with lightroom - where I spend a lot of my time as well as in PP6

       

      I was thinking of a few stop-gap upgrades before going all in and getting a x79 motherboard (probably the GA-x79-UD5 for its hackintosh possibilities)

      AN obvious one is a raid controller. the board I've got (p6td deluxe) has onboard raid, but after loosing 4tb of stuff from a raid10 and dealing with constant drive dropouts and rebuilds, its put me off them - possibly for good.

       

      Have things improved in the last 3 years or should I still avoid the onboard controllers (like are there any motherboards that stand out in this regard)

       

      Went slackjawed at the price over here of the LSI boards like

      LSI MegaRAID External SAS 9285-8e

       

      So are there any $300-$400 4+ port boards that are worth getting?

       

      thanks


        • 1. Re: raid controllers
          Jeff Bellune Level 6

          [moved to hardware forum]

          • 2. Re: raid controllers
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            You get what you pay for. In this case an 8-port external (2 x SFF-8088) card with 1 GB DDR3 cache. There must be a reason you are looking for a card with only external ports, because when you look at cards with the combination of SFF-8087 and 8088, the price drops, if the cache is limited to 512 MB, the price drops.

            • 3. Re: raid controllers
              getho Level 2

              HArm, there is no reason

              I just pulled that card of the benchmark tables - dont know anything about it other than somebody is using it in a high specced system and that it costs over $1000.   I dont care what the card is - the drives will most likely be internal sata3 probably wd blacks or similar, and most likely raid 10.  I cant even compare the specs of cards because I dont knwo whats important, and I dont know at what pricepoint you ditch performance and reliability to the point you may as well just use th onboard raid.

              • 4. Re: raid controllers
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                Let's take a step back. Your i7-920 system is slowing you down, even with LR. That is not a good sign. A properly configured 920 can still come along fine with many newer systems. As an example, my old system with an i7-920 still ranks # 41 in the PPBM5 benchmark results. If you do the same test and submit your results, it is easier to suggest possible improvements and to discern where your problems really are.

                 

                As to a raid controller and which kind of raid array you may want, look at To RAID or not to RAID, that is the question...

                A raid10 is a very expensive solution in that it requires a multiple of 4 disks but giving you only the speed of 2 disks and the storage capacity of 2 disks. Also have a look at Raid Performance and Rebuild Issues.

                • 5. Re: raid controllers
                  getho Level 2

                  Righto Harm, I just did that (gethsi920). I daresay the 15 disks in that system probably helped though

                  • 6. Re: raid controllers
                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                    The issue with onboard Raid controllers prematurely dropping drives in a redundant raid is still highly prevalent with desktop drive. Dedicated Raid cards have greater ability to adjust the timeout period and deal with the drives not responding. Also Enterprise drives have the timeout feature in the firmware. If you want a redundant raid then you really should get enterprise drives at the least and a dedicated raid card. LSI chip raid controllers are the most common for the higher end cards so an LSI card would be a good option in the lower price range for raid cards.

                     

                    Eric

                    ADK

                    • 7. Re: raid controllers
                      getho Level 2

                      Righto. I notice the WD RE4 drives have come down in price. THe 2TB drives are vaguely affordable.

                      It seems from reading around that my raid 10 was not a good choice - and exactly what is described in this thread (by you Eric!) http://forums.adobe.com/thread/740341

                      happened to me - corruption of one disk was copied across the others.  CAn you check the integrity of the array in raid three as you described in raid 5/6?

                       

                      So are my ~35mb raw files too small for raid 3? (bearing in mind I have mixed video and stills workflow).  I'll put my image cache and library on an SSD.

                      • 8. Re: raid controllers
                        getho Level 2

                        Also raid 3: 2tb drives x4 would give me 6tb array? 

                         

                        Wondering how the performance would compare to a single SSD?

                        • 9. Re: raid controllers
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          About equal with many times more storage than SSD. Both (depending on the SSD and in 'stable state') around 300 MB/s transfer rates. The raid3 has 6 TB and a similar costing SSD around 256 or 512 GB.  HDD's have at least 12 times the storage capacity of SSD's for the same or better price. The raid3 has a failure safe mechanism, the SSD doesn't.

                          • 10. Re: raid controllers
                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                            Yes Raid 3 is a parity raid level just like raid 5/6. The only difference is Raid 3 has all of the parity information on 1 drive. Raid 5/6 spread the parity info across all of the drives. I would suggest a raid 5 with the 4 drives and the size of the files you plan on working with. I have always preferred Raid 5. Harm prefers raid 3. An SSD drive would be faster than a 4 Drive raid. Size would be your only concern then.

                             

                            Eric

                            ADK

                            • 11. Re: raid controllers
                              getho Level 2

                              thanks harm and Eric, Harm I notice highpoint offer raid 3 on some boards. Is there anything I should look out for and avoid? Eric I like the potential slight gain in raid 3 speed with video (which is where I spend half my time), and actually with stills only half that time is spent on raw files - my photoshop files are often into the GB's

                               

                              any reccomendations?

                              • 13. Re: raid controllers
                                JEShort01 Level 4

                                The Areca would be a fine choice. And that is about the first entry price point I would consider for a controller card; Areca makes 4 channel boards too, but 8 gives you a lot more flexibility. Highpoint is not a good choice.

                                 

                                Put a 4 or more drive RAID 5 array on that and then overclock your 920 a bit (with a decent cooler) and you will be amazed how much better things will be with your photo editing of large files.

                                 

                                Regards,

                                 

                                Jim

                                • 14. Re: raid controllers
                                  getho Level 2

                                  ok so areca> intel (the 2nd link above)?

                                   

                                  How mental would it be to start of using 6 wd 2tb reds?

                                  • 15. Re: raid controllers
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    Very.

                                     

                                    Parity raids are best used with enterprise disks, like WD RE4, HGST Ultrastar or Seagate Constellation disks. Some consumer disks like the HGST Deskstar and Samsung F1/F3 are known to work pretty good as well, but WD Color disks (black, red, green, etc.) are well known for their TLER problems and are not suitable for parity raids.

                                    • 16. Re: raid controllers
                                      getho Level 2

                                      I know first hand about using WD greens and blacks in raids . But the reds are actually designed for NAS raid use.  THey have a mtbf of 1M hours, as opposed to 1.2M for the WD RE4's.  (vs 2M for the hitachi 7k3000 ultrastars).  Having said that I've had hitachis before and was underwhelmed wheras my WD blacks are quiet, cool and - touch wood - so far reliable.

                                       

                                      I've been reading about LSI megaraid controllers. Seeing as I think raid 5 is actually the way for me to go, would one of the intel controllers be a better option? (they are rebranded LSI from what I read - and seem more available in Australia).. Like this: http://www.globalgroup.com.au/gloshop/customer/product.php?productid=42134&cat=1188&page=2

                                      its a rebranded LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-8i

                                       

                                      EDIT: what about this ? http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/darch/components/areca-arc-1680-ix-16-raid-card-with-2gb-ca che/1007215448

                                      • 17. Re: raid controllers
                                        Alan Craven Level 4

                                        One problem with the WD REDS for video editing is that they are 5400 rpm only.

                                         

                                        I hope Harm is wrong in condemning them as unsuitable for parity RAID, as I am about to upgrade my NAS to a set of these as I need increased capacity.  Slow speed does not matter so much with NAS.

                                        • 18. Re: raid controllers
                                          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                          The Intel cards though come with the Intel raid management which is far better than LSI's current that I have seen. That is why I would suggest one of the Intel cards.

                                           

                                          Eric

                                          ADK

                                          • 19. Re: raid controllers
                                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                            http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810

                                             

                                            "

                                            Intelligent error recovery

                                            With built in intelligent error recovery controls, NASware also prevents hard drives from being dropped off the RAID due to extended error recovery. This provides more availability and less down time rebuilding the RAID.

                                            "

                                             

                                            Basically red drives have the same timeout function the enterprise drives do with a different name.

                                             

                                            Eric

                                            ADK

                                            • 20. Re: raid controllers
                                              Alan Craven Level 4

                                              Thanks, Eric, for the confirmation. 

                                               

                                              I was finding it hard to believe that WD were promoting these as suitable for NAS if they were going to give problems with parity RAID.

                                              • 21. Re: raid controllers
                                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                                How mental would it be to start of using 6 wd 2tb reds?

                                                Perhaps this will put it in perspective:

                                                 

                                                (12 WD Red 3TB drives on Areca 1882x, PCIe 1.0 slot, RAID6. With later tests in PCIe 2.0, speeds went above 1GB/s.)

                                                 

                                                • 22. Re: raid controllers
                                                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                  Makes sense in comparison to my figures, 2484 W and 2248 R.

                                                   

                                                  Per net disk this amounts to 88W/96R for WD Reds versus 138W/125R for Constellation ES, disregarding overhead.

                                                  • 23. Re: raid controllers
                                                    getho Level 2

                                                    Well thats healthy  

                                                     

                                                    I wonder then if I could get 400 mb/s out of a 6 drive raid 5?

                                                    • 24. Re: raid controllers
                                                      Alan Craven Level 4

                                                      Note that WD recommend RED drives for arrays of no more than 5 drives for reliability to be maintained.

                                                      • 25. Re: raid controllers
                                                        JEShort01 Level 4

                                                        Getho,

                                                         

                                                        Remember too that the speed on hard drive based arrays perform at a bit more than half the performance level when 80% full. So, if you truly want to build something with 400 MB/s (megabytes, not mb/s which denotes megabits), then you will want to shoot for a much higher performance level as tested when new and empty.

                                                         

                                                        Cheers,

                                                         

                                                        Jim

                                                        • 26. Re: raid controllers
                                                          Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                                          I wonder then if I could get 400 mb/s out of a 6 drive raid 5?

                                                          You'll likely get closer to 500MB/s on a decent controller - and like Jim said, it'll go down to half that rate when full.  This isn't linear though - the drives maintain about 90% of their "empty" performance when 50% full.  So one of the ways not to slow them down is to not fill them too much.

                                                          • 27. Re: raid controllers
                                                            Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                                            Alan Craven wrote:

                                                             

                                                            Note that WD recommend RED drives for arrays of no more than 5 drives for reliability to be maintained.

                                                            Indeed; looks like a marketing nod towards their RE series though, i.e. they don't want IT shops to start mass-replacing their RE drives for Reds.  We won't know for sure if Reds are as reliable as WD enterprise drives for some time probably, but it's a safe bet they're better suited for parity RAIDs than desktop drives - technically speaking.  From MFR support and warranty standpoint, it's best not to exceed the five drives limit, indeed.

                                                            • 28. Re: raid controllers
                                                              getho Level 2

                                                              one more possibly silly question then:

                                                              which is faster raid5:

                                                              6x5400rpm drives

                                                              or 4x7200rpm enterprise drives

                                                              • 29. Re: raid controllers
                                                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                                Probably the 6 disk version, because of the number of disks. As a rough calculation, think of:

                                                                 

                                                                6 - 1 = 5 disks @ 100 MB/s transfer rate = 500 MB/s minus the overhead of say 15% = 425 MB/s

                                                                 

                                                                4 - 1 = 3 disks @ 150 MB/s transfer rate = 450 MB/s minus the overhead of say 15% = 383 MB/s

                                                                • 30. Re: raid controllers
                                                                  getho Level 2

                                                                  wow thanks everyone for all the help.

                                                                  looks like this will be my setup:

                                                                  Areca ARC-1223-8i 8

                                                                  5x Ultrastar 7k3000 2tb enterprise drives

                                                                  • 31. Re: raid controllers
                                                                    getho Level 2

                                                                    hi folks,m sorry to dredge up old thread, but just setting up for the first time, followed a youtube vid for the setup.

                                                                    It got to creating the array (I chose foreground), and got a message "no disk space available"

                                                                    I'm guessing this is normal (its saying initialise: 4% completed ATM) but just wanted to double check.

                                                                     

                                                                    Oh and that will be 5 hours to initialise 8tb, can I boot into windows (or should I havev chosen background for that??)