10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2013 5:42 AM by Steve736

    Advice on an external RAID enclorure....


      Hi all,


      I'd like to set up an external RAID array for video editing. I have done some searching, but remain a little confused.


      I currently have 4 ea. Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM SATA III 6Gb/s drives w/64MB cache to install in the array.


      My workstaion:

      asRock X79 Extreme6 MB with eSATA III 6Gb/s port

      i7 3930K six core

      32 GB 1600 RAM (4x8GB)

      2 ea 256 GB Samsung 830 pro SSD's

      Asus nVidia gtx660ti  graphics card


      I am looking for a good enclosure w/both eSata and USB 3.0 connectivity. I would like to run eSATA at home and use the USB 3.0 if I need to transport data or if I choose to use it w/my late 2013 MacBook Pro retina, i7 4960HQ, 16GB, 1TB ssd. Most of the 4-bay RAID enclosures I have looked at, while supporting sata III 6 Gb/s drives internally only have SATA II 3Gb/s eSATA ports which at average sustained hd speeds (1030 Mb/s) would be under, but close to saturating the RAID array back panel.


      Does anyone know of a 4bay RAID enclosure with USB 3.0 and eSata 6Gb/s?


      Also, should I configure in RAID 3 or 5 for best performance?


      Is there any tremendous advatage to going with internal RAID?


      Any advice is appreciated.



        • 2. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
          Alex - DV411 Level 2

          Is there any tremendous advatage to going with internal RAID?

          Faster. Direct SATA ports to each drive. Just set up a RAID5 for a client on four internal 2TB Black Caviars (3G SATA, about 4 years old) with an LSI 9260-8i controller. Getting 350MB/s reads and 280MB/s writes - something I haven't seen with 4-bay eSATA / USB 3.0 boxes. Those are likelier to do around 150-200MB/s. (Granted, the controller here is $600, and a BBU - another $200, and it's way underutilized here.)


          2013-12-15 LSI 9260-8i 4x2TB RAID5.png

          The numbers will likely be faster with today's drives.

          • 4. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
            JEShort01 Level 4



            Hmmm... Sounds like you want:

            - redundancy - so you will not lose data

            - speed - your workstation build looks pretty fast; let's get a big array that is balanced for the rest of the system

            - flexibility - it would be really nice to be able to move this array around and use it with USB 3.0 for my Macbook Pro too!


            However, you must consider what you can buy now:

            - various RAID 5 4x drive enclosures with VERY questionable quality (BYTECC, Sans Digital, AMS, etc. all make them and they sound so sweet). I tried a similar solution from Buffalo years ago myself. However, read up on Newegg reviews for this whole class of device and you may realize that just because it is RAID 5, it does not insure you will not lose data ("bad connections", power supply failures, etc.)

            - affordable RAID 5 external enclosures also tend to be VERY slow; the best of these would probably serve up to about 200 MB/s, or about half of what you would get with a solid hardware RAID card and SATA cables to all 4 drives using a RAID 5. (Alex's numbers sound reasonable to me)

            - very expensive, high quality external RAID solutions (Sans Digital $$$ line, Areca, etc.) are available but they are very indeed very expensive


            So, what is a good solution to what I think that you want?

            I would suggest:

            - do a 2 or 3 drive RAID 0 in your workstation using the on-board controller SATA ports - fast, fast, fast (don't even think about a motherboard RAID 5)

            - take the other 1 or 2 drives and put them in a single drive ext. enclosure (i.e. macally G-S350SU3B2 USB 3.0 + 1394b + eSATA 6.0 single drive enclosure, $77 at Newegg) or a dual-drive RAID 0 enclosure (i.e. ICY DOCK MB662U3-2S USB 3.0 enclosure, $120 at Newegg)

            - do routine backups from important data files from your workstation to the portable enclosure drive (or RAID 0 array) and do routine backups from whatever work you do on the portable enclosure back to your workstation to address "redundancy" and prevent data loss





            • 5. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
              glasswave Level 1

              Thanks to all for the replies. Especially JE Short.


              Yes, Jim you are right about my needs:


              1. redundency -- I was hoping to automate my back-ups quite a bit. The 9TB array (built with 4ea 3TB drives) that I had hoped for, would also be the depository for all my other data (right now lurking about 3TB, but could be cleaned down quite a bit). It will also be an entertainment streaming media drive, that'll set up to play thru my livingroom stereo and HDTV (thru wired my desktop) and wireless to my Macbook pro around the house. I'll convert my existing 3TB eSATA/USB 3 external to an off site personal/work data drive.


              2. Flexibility -- I want to be able to taske the drive to work for rendering big video projects (or 3d rendered frames on our render farm, but this could happen with a smaller drive). I also want to be able to take it around to clients or to share data and work with friends in the industry and to use with my Macbook Pro.


              3. Speed -- Obviously, I'd like to get as must speed as possible, but not at the expense of being able to transport my data.


              I suppose that Jim's suggestion of a 6GByte (2 drive) internal RAID along with a  6GByte (2 drive) external RAID would be OK. I have to do the back ups myself (maybe syncing sw could help), which I had hoped to automate and I'll still be lucky to get 200 MD/sec out of each one. At that point wouldn't I be better off with a RAID 3 or 5 eSATA/USB 3.0 enclosure?


              Is there anything on the Thunderbolt front that could help me out? It is beginning to seem somewhat depressing that with all these hig speed connectivity options that there is no real way to take advantage of them.



              • 6. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
                glasswave Level 1

                What about this? Sans Digital has a new product that is a HW RAID enclosure that is 6Gb SATA III throughout. They claim that they are getting 300GB/s write and read in a 4 drive RAID 5 array.


                http://www.sansdigital.com/performance-comparison/towerraid-6g-esata-port-multiplier-perfo rmance.html


                Then perhaps, I could achive  USB 3.0 connectivity with this product?


                http://www.siig.com/it-products/controllers-storage/hard-drive-storage/drive-converters/us b-3-0-to-esata-6gb-s-adapter-cable.html


                Probaly just wishful thinking.

                • 7. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
                  glasswave Level 1

                  BTW, I also have a 1.5TB USB 3.0 2.5 inch portable (seagate goflex), a 1TB and a 300 GB USB 2.0 3.5" externals, a 650GB 5400 RPM 2.5", a 500GB Seagate Hybrid (4GB SSD cache) drive that I planned to put into my aging Dell i7 2 core, 8GB laptop and 2 ea 250GB 2.5" laptop drives if they could have a hand in solving  my dilema.

                  • 8. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
                    Steve736 Level 1

                    Interesting thread this....I am having all sorts of hassle with Premiere Pro CS5 at the mo... and the issue that causes me the most angst is the demand for hi speed transfer... Why is this needed?  Here is the root of my confusion:


                    I can record 113 minutes of 1920 x 1080 imagery at 25fps on a single 32GB Secure Digital card.. this represents a transfer rate of less than less than 5MB per sec.. So why can't my external G-Speed 4-drive bay (using a pair of drives in RAID 0) push data into Premiere Pro fast enough over a single 3Gb e-sata link fast enough to prevent choppy video??


                    Sound is fine... even the frame counter changes smoothly but not the video...


                    What am Imissing here??

                    • 9. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
                      JEShort01 Level 4



                      I suggest you start a new thread. The original post here is from a user that has a beefy 6-core system and is asking about what ext. enclosure to get for his existing drives. In your case it seems that you have an excellent ext. device already (I like G-RAID stuff anyway) and your system is not keeping up for what sounds like a pretty easy workflow.


                      Premere Pro is amazing in the way it can utilize many hardware components simultaneously to do some serious work.


                      Now, put another way, Premere Pro requires balance. All components in the chain need to be up to your media and workflow needs. You must have enough "power" in all of your system's component areas (cpu, gpu, RAM, drives) and there cannot be any bottlenecks that would limit any of the component areas. Bottlenecks could include: configuration settings, port speed, driver compatibility, and more!


                      You need to determine what is the "limit" in your system so that you can address what options you have at that point.


                      Here is some good reading:


                      Check out Video Codecs:



                      and "Balanced Systems":



                      You could test your system if it is a PC (see www.ppbm5.com and www.ppbm7.com).


                      You could report your full detailed hardware list back here. (or in a new thread!?)





                      • 10. Re: Advice on an external RAID enclorure....
                        Steve736 Level 1

                        Jim, THANK YOU for your links.... I hope the benchmarking tools you have pointed me to will tell me where the bottleneck is.. I will do as you suggest and post results in a new thread ... and apologies if I hijacked this one...