6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 8, 2011 4:08 AM by Gazzaspi

    External Raid 5 for media?

    JLN3 Level 1

      Being kind of new to the video game I say thank you to all for sharing your knowledge. If I missed this answer to this sorry but I did look.


      My machine is Win 7. CS5.5. Camera = Canon XF300 (mxf MP2 4.2.2. files 50 mbps)


      Two internal drives (C=1TB,E=1TB) and one external eSATA (F=1TB).


      I’ve been working on small projects and everything works perfectly as I learn CS5.

      My idea was to add an eSATA external Raid 5 (with internal card) for my media.

      I thought it was going to be simple…ie G-Raid/G-Speed 4TB but I’m told that Windows will not take over 2.2TB???? Not sure what that was all about. Is that G-tech specific or Win 7?

      Lacie has a Big4 but after talking to the tech they sounded lost on video editing making me feel a little uncomfortable with the answer…”sure it will work”!

      BTW thanks Harm and others for all your info. A big help as I’m definitely not a tech type person.


      To rephrase this…is there a “best” way (company) to get a raid 5 through my eSATA port for my media or am I barking up the wrong tree?



        • 1. Re: External Raid 5 for media?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          I’m definitely not a tech type person.


          Great, we are both handicapped with the same limitation,


          External raid5 or any other raid format for that matter over eSATA is always slow. Your best performance will be had when using an internal raid controller and a 8088 break-out cable to connect to your external disks. That will be as fast as internal disks. And, importantly, it is only a single cable, so no mess.


          Both G-Raid and La Cie external raid solutions are just band-aids. They are slow, expensive and not overly trustworthy. There is one La Cie Big 2-disk external raid in the PPBM5 benchmark and on the Disk I/O it scores pretty lousy: 229 seconds.


          Your remark about 2 TB support under Windows can be solved here: Adobe Forums: How to access more than 2 TB of disk...


          I would suggest a proper internal raid controller with a multi-lane 8088 connection to connect to up to 4 external SATA disks or even easier, with a 8087 multi-lane connector to connect to up 4 internal SATA disks.

          • 2. Re: External Raid 5 for media?
            JLN3 Level 1


            Hey Harm…thanks so much for the answer. I’m laughing at myself because I have no idea what you are talking about at this time. As I said…I know just enough to get by. To tell you the truth I have no idea if I have room for another card much less what to do with it but I will look into it and learn. I need more of a plug and play setup “for now” I think. I did test a straight 1TB LaCie drive with 4 tracks all PinP and filters over two minutes and it played well. I guess if there is no raid answer by way of eSATA then I’ll just put a simple drive on there without raid and back up on a second drive. My demands are very low but I was looking for the raid 5 backup. I just thought there would be some way to run a raid on there or somebody had tried the LaCie 4Big. My fingers were crossed.




            Thanks for the +2 TB link. I do understand that much.

            • 3. Re: External Raid 5 for media?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Let's start with the basics. Every HDD that is used needs to be connected to either the motherboard or to a raid controller. You can imagine the cable mess if the number of disks grow and the reduced airflow you get when connecting lots of disks. That is why multi-lane connectors were invented. Essentially it is a single cable from the raid controller to connect up to 4 SATA or SAS disks instead of 4 separate cables, thus reducing the complexity of connecting all those disks and reducing the cable mess.


              Imagine a 24-port raid controller, that allows connections to 24 disks. Instead of 24 connectors on the controller, you can now use 6 connectors to use the same number of disks, using only 6 multi-lane cables instead of 24 cables.


              When used for internal use, these multi-lane cables are called SFF-8087 forward breakout cables. When used for external use they are called SFF-8088 forward breakout cables. Effectively they do the same. A single cable from the controller that breaks out, at the end of the cable to four SATA connectors.


              Notice that there are other options, depending on the use of backplanes, but that only complicates the story, so here I will forget about those alternatives.


              Not all raid controllers have a SFF-8088 connector to connect to external disks, so when looking at a raid controller, make sure it has this SFF-8088 connector. Each connector of this type allows 4 external SATA disks to be connected and each disk (port) can run at speeds up to 6 Gb/s and that is a lot faster then the La Cie solution that connects over eSATA, because then all the drives in the La Cie are limited to 6 Gb/s max.


              Basically, 4 disks in a La Cie are limited to 6 Gb/s over eSATA, the same 4 disks connected over SFF-8088 have 6 Gb/s each or 24 Gb/s total.


              Hope this explains it a bit.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: External Raid 5 for media?
                Gazzaspi Level 1

                Hi Harm


                I have an Areca 1880ix16


                Would I be correct in thinking  that somthing like this, could convert internal sas 8087 to external 8088?





                If so, can I have  drives on the 1880ix16 8088 back plate mixed with drives from the internal ports (to the adapter) in the same raid array?


                Hope that makes sense.



                • 5. Re: External Raid 5 for media?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7



                  I never tried it, but it sure looks like it. For that amount I would definitely try it out if you are running out of internal space and have a separate storage tower.

                  • 6. Re: External Raid 5 for media?
                    Gazzaspi Level 1

                    Hi Harm


                    I have just done a bit more research,  and it seems that they are just 'passive pass through' so I could ‘break out’ with one and 'break in' to another (old) Pc case I have that hold 8 drives, thus making a cheap enclosure!


                    Maybe in the future......