20 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2013 7:32 PM by Alex - DV411

    Raid Card, what to look for in a card?

    Ryan McCrae

      Hi guys,

       

      Im looking for help on what to look for in a Raid card. Im new to Raid, but i have read the tweakers pages and it seems like the way forward.

      Im a full time editor working with AVC-Intra footage doing fast cuts. Im about to ditch my 2008 mac pro and build a up to date PC around the i7 4930k. Im planning on running 8x3-4tb drives for footage; raid 5, 3x3tb raid 3 for exports, maybe 2x256 ssd raid 0 for boot, 2x3tb drive for page file and media cache, and maybe 3x3tb for stock footage raid 0.

       

      Im totally lost in what to look for in a Raid card?

       

       

      Cheers Ryan

        • 1. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
          Richard M Knight Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I'm no expert but I have an Adaptec 8 port card  set up as raid 5 which I use for everything except boot drive, I have a SSD for that.

          8 WD2003FYYS-0 2TB raid drives, 7 active and one hot spare. I get about 700MB/S both read and write. Two 4 disc drive cages. All bought from ebay, the drives were new, the card and cages second hand. All work well with Premiere CC but I am only using Sony HD Ex footage so I am not pushing the system too hard.

          • 2. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
            Ryan McCrae Level 1

            Do the number of connectors on a raid card determine how many sets of raid drives can be connected; for example 4x SATA = 4 raid volumes possible?

            Some Raid cards are SATA with multiple ports others are mini-SAS, with one connector. Whats the differnce and benifit of one type of connector over the other?

            • 3. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
              cc_merchant Level 4

              Read Harm's articles on disk setup, raids, balanced systems and much more here: Tweakers Page

              • 4. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                what to look for in a Raid card?

                Mac support would be my first vote. Then - RAID levels, caching, performance, battery backup (on parity RAIDs), etc.

                 

                ATTO R680 and Areca 1882 are two most popular cards for Mac Pros. Don't think Adaptec, LSI, etc. have OSX drivers.

                 

                Not sure about your planned setup (prefer less segregation) but that's another topic.

                • 5. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                  Ryan McCrae Level 1

                  I wont be running it on mac, only the new PC i build. But ive re read the tweakers page, dont know how I missed the particulars about raid. But now ive got a better idea of what i need.

                  Do most people run raid 5 or raid 3 for their media drives?

                   

                  If any one can comment on a better way to configure my drives im all ears.

                  • 6. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                    hbernhard Level 1

                    Different views/suggestions to your 20 drives/50 TB+ system to reduce complexity:

                     

                    * PC workstation with pretested/proven components built by specialized company (ADK)?

                    * Full blown iMac/Mac Pro with 2x Areca 8050 external storage Raid 6 (currently max. 64 TB)?

                    * Backup could be quite demanding --> with LTO 6 tapes?

                     

                    A final comment to Raid: If you think Raid 6 is a luxury ask your friendly IT professional....he will tell you some recovery horror stories for sure.

                    • 7. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                      cc_merchant Level 4

                      About 2/3 down the page, Harm shows his own setup. See Tweakers Page - Disk Setup

                      • 8. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                        hbernhard Level 1

                        thanks for pointing me to Harms updated site!

                        He recommends the Areca ARC-1882-IX/24.

                        If you are ready for a multilevel Raid I still recommend Raid60 (personally run a 24 TB Raid 6 via Thunderbolt with Hitachi raid certified disks - 7x24).

                        good luck!

                        • 9. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                          Alex - DV411 Level 2

                          I wont be running it on mac, only the new PC i build.

                          Sorry, totally misread your post.

                          Do most people run raid 5 or raid 3 for their media drives?

                          Don't know anyone besides Harm who runs RAID3.

                           

                          5, 6, 1, 10, 51, 0, etc. - are popular flavors. On less than 5 drives - 0, 5 or 10. On five or more - I'd look into 6 if its redundancy and resistance to UREs can be a benefit, or 5 with good and frequent backups. I am a big fan of software RAIDs but it's a pipe dream on anything but Linux.

                          If any one can comment on a better way to configure my drives im all ears.

                          Boot drive(s) - RAID1 or no RAID. The rest - RAID5 or 6 possibly with a hot spare.

                           

                          Redundancy is not a substitute for backup.

                          • 10. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                            Raid 6 gives you the best raid volume integrity with parity verification versus raid 5 without losing significant performance. If you have the Disks then Raid 6 is always the suggested level versus 5. The Areca and Atto adapters performance is great but the rebuild performance has not been so good. The Atto raid management is better than Areca however I have seen issues on some raids with their parity verification in the past. Intel/LSI raid controllers have good speed which is close to the Areca but far better rebuild performance. A raid 6 on an Intel/LSI controller with parity verification so far has been near bullet proof on any raid volume corruption especially a full volume corruption. The Raid management so far is also the best I have seen. I would suggest one of those adapters at this point over all. 1 caveat to this is Areca releasing the 2nd Gen SAS raid controllers. Things may have changed with those but I have not tested 1 yet.

                             

                            Eric

                            ADK

                            • 11. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                              Ryan McCrae Level 1

                              Can any one suggest a card? The Areca ARC-1882-IX/24 seems like it might be a bit over kill? And a bit on the expensive side.

                               

                              How many HDDs is it normal to connect to a mini SAS connector?

                              • 12. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                Can any one suggest a card? The Areca ARC-1882-IX/24 seems like it might be a bit over kill? And a bit on the expensive side.

                                How many drives total do you want to connect? Like Eric says, there's a bunch of lower priced controllers from LSI and others for under $600. There's also an option of using software or onboard RAID - I am running two RAID sets (4-drive RAID5 and dual-drive RAID1) off the motherboard with good (but maybe not perfect) results.

                                How many HDDs is it normal to connect to a mini SAS connector?

                                Four w/o SAS expansion. A SAS expander is almost like a separate controller though, $300 and up.

                                • 13. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                  Ryan McCrae Level 1

                                  Im going to be building in the Corsair 900d case, with 13 drive bays available as stock, i plan on filling them up. And in the future i may even buy the optional 3 drive bays, so thats 19 possible, but for now 13.

                                   

                                  Ive been reading more and Raid 6 sounds like the way to go with my media drive. And I will just skip raid on my Boot SSD for now.(The SSD wont be in one of those drive bays, as i can place it else where.)

                                   

                                  So:

                                   

                                  Boot drive: 256gb SSD

                                  Media: 3tbx8 HDD  Harm has his projects, media cache and preview files here, is that recomded if not using raid 10 like him, do anyting need fast write speeds?

                                  Stock footage: 6tb or 9tb Do i need raid for the transfer speeds?

                                  Exports: 1tb? (do people remove their exported videos to another location after exporting?) Raid?

                                   

                                  Harm has a SSD for the windows temp files, does that speed things up much?

                                   

                                  Would the Areca ARC-1880i be a good option?

                                  • 14. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                    cc_merchant Level 4

                                    Ryan,

                                     

                                    I think you need to have a closer look at Harm's disk setup here: Tweakers Page - Disk Setup

                                     

                                    Right under the 'Kiss' and 'Love' setup, he has a screenshot of his own system. I can't find a raid10 on his system, only a single raid30 array.

                                     

                                    I can only guess what Harm's intentions were to put the Windows temp files on a separate volume and that is 'spreading the load' in light of the half-duplex nature of SATA. He has the disks to do that and every bit helps performance, but my guess it is only marginal.

                                     

                                    The 1882 is the successor of the 1880. It has a faster IOP, has faster cache memory and uses PCIe-3.0.

                                    • 15. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                      Ryan McCrae Level 1

                                      Woops I meant to say raid 30.

                                      So have a boot drive and then a lrage raid 6 drive for everything else? Seems simple enough.

                                      But is there a Raid controller more suited to the number of drives i will be using?

                                      • 16. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                        Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                        so thats 19 possible, but for now 13.

                                         

                                        Would the Areca ARC-1880i be a good option?

                                        Areca 1882ix-24 is the one you need to support up to 24 internal drives.

                                        Harm has a SSD for the windows temp files, does that speed things up much?

                                        Not to my knowledge.

                                        • 17. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                          Ryan McCrae Level 1

                                          For 13 drives is there a cheaper option?

                                          • 18. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                            Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                            For 13 drives is there a cheaper option?

                                            Yes, Areca 1882ix-16, 1264IL-16, Intel RS2WG160, LSI 9260-16i - or for that matter, any RAID controller with 13+ internal connections. There are much cheaper controllers from Highpoint and others, as well.

                                             

                                            If your next question is, is it worth it going cheaper? ...Usually not for me personally - at least certainly not with Highpoint or other entry level controllers with subpar support and all kinds of performance and reliability problems. Even Tier 1 controllers aren't exempt from them.

                                             

                                            That said, I am curious about Intel and LSI controllers I listed above. The LSI one especially so given the availability of SSD caching and other neat features.

                                             

                                            Hope this helps.

                                            • 19. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                              Ryan McCrae Level 1

                                              Ok I think il just bite the bullet and buy the 1882ix. What do people think fo the Ultra Star 3tb 7200 drives for raid? Them seem to be alot cheaper than the WD re drives, and have similar specs?

                                              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145476

                                              • 20. Re: Raid Card, what to look for in a card?
                                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                                7K3000 Ultrastars are great. 7K4000 - even better. The best value though are WD SE drives (here is the 2TB on Newegg), especially with RAID6.