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Thread: Raid Dilemma

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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Raid Dilemma

    Hi

    Don't know if this belongs here but.. if not I apologize. I have a Drobro S with sata connection to Windows -- had it almost 4 years, five 2 T drives. Its almost full. I need another one.

    Before I had a Lacie, which is now off site, don't know why I sorta like the Dobro better.

    What to get? Dobro has been good, but should anything go wrong they leave you out in the cold - not a good place to be with a RAID backup. I just called them not a happy affair.

    Is there anything safer? Or stick with Drobo and their asinine policies.

    Would you go NAS I have wireless router for the internet. Or stick to sata or usb 3?

    I have been using Western Digital Black drives, so far so good.

    Thanks so much

    Phil
    Last edited by alajuela; 18th September 2013 at 09:40.

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    a raid such as Drobo isn't designed as a backup or data protection device, it's really more of a production protection device because even if one drive dies you can still access the data while it rebuilds the info on the dead drive. While this does provide decent protection, there are certainly things that can kill the whole device. I think it was Seth Resnick on the LuLa video that talked about a major disaster with a series of drobos. I also have heard others complain about experiencing major problems with their drobo.

    The problem with NAS is access speed, you are now working at the speed of your network which is substantially slower than eSata, USB 3, or Thunderbolt. If the NAS allows the drive to be native to one workstation (and I think Drobo's NAS does) then it might be a nice option.

    My personal set up is pretty over the top according to some, but it's a 4 2 gig 7200 rpm disk internal raid, partitioned and all setup on Raid 0 for maximum speed. Each partition is cloned over to a prebuilt eSata raid 5 each night around 3:00 am (cheaper just to buy a full hardware raid than to pay for an empty drobo and put in drives). That entire raid is then cloned over to another raid every few days which is stored in a fireproof vault in the fruit room under my front porch. I replace the raids every two years (why wait for a hard drive to die?). Currently I am using the ones from OWC, but I think I'm going to switch to ones made by Pegasus running thunderbolt as soon as Apple releases it's new MacPro.
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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    I would call it common sense...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    My personal set up is pretty over the top according to some
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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    a raid such as Drobo isn't designed as a backup or data protection device, it's really more of a production protection device because even if one drive dies you can still access the data while it rebuilds the info on the dead drive. While this does provide decent protection, there are certainly things that can kill the whole device. I think it was Seth Resnick on the LuLa video that talked about a major disaster with a series of drobos. I also have heard others complain about experiencing major problems with their drobo.

    The problem with NAS is access speed, you are now working at the speed of your network which is substantially slower than eSata, USB 3, or Thunderbolt. If the NAS allows the drive to be native to one workstation (and I think Drobo's NAS does) then it might be a nice option.

    My personal set up is pretty over the top according to some, but it's a 4 2 gig 7200 rpm disk internal raid, partitioned and all setup on Raid 0 for maximum speed. Each partition is cloned over to a prebuilt eSata raid 5 each night around 3:00 am (cheaper just to buy a full hardware raid than to pay for an empty drobo and put in drives). That entire raid is then cloned over to another raid every few days which is stored in a fireproof vault in the fruit room under my front porch. I replace the raids every two years (why wait for a hard drive to die?). Currently I am using the ones from OWC, but I think I'm going to switch to ones made by Pegasus running thunderbolt as soon as Apple releases it's new MacPro.
    Thanks Wayne

    I will look into OWC and Pegasus.

    Right now I work like this

    I have a velociraptor in my desktop case which only is the photos from this year, only has photos
    Also in the case is another velociraptor which is only used for the HD cache when RAM (24G) runs out.

    After a working session I back up to the Drobo which has a sata connection.

    About every 7 - 10 days back up to little 2.5 hard drives - which then I take to my office where there is a collectiion of old raids and external hard drives to back up to.

    I am using the term back up - when really I am syncing the drives using Vice - Versa Pro software.

    Soooo as crazy the above sounds, end of day I - I never work off the drobo. Is just for storage.

    I'll check out the two brands you mention, I am pissed that I called Drobo up to ask a question, - they tell me the unit is out of warranty (I registered with them when I bought it) I told them I just need verbal assistance - basically they said tough sh*t.

    Thanks

    Phil
    Last edited by alajuela; 18th September 2013 at 20:42.

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Drobo is the Japanese word for thief.

    I have a LaCie 2 Big Quadra with three 3TB drives. One drive is kept in a different location and updated every month. The LaCie RAIDs can be daisy chained.

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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Drobo is the Japanese word for thief.

    I have a LaCie 2 Big Quadra with three 3TB drives. One drive is kept in a different location and updated every month. The LaCie RAIDs can be daisy chained.
    Thanks Will
    You see the movie Argo? Alan Arkins famous line? That's what Drobo can do
    but
    I had a Lacie once - at least they were human.
    Phil

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by alajuela View Post
    Hi

    Don't know if this belongs here but.. if not I apologize. I have a Drobro S with sata connection to Windows -- had it almost 4 years, five 2 T drives. Its almost full. I need another one.

    Before I had a Lacie, which is now off site, don't know why I sorta like the Dobro better.

    What to get? Dobro has been good, but should anything go wrong they leave you out in the cold - not a good place to be with a RAID backup. I just called them not a happy affair.

    Is there anything safer? Or stick with Drobo and their asinine policies.

    Would you go NAS I have wireless router for the internet. Or stick to sata or usb 3?

    I have been using Western Digital Black drives, so far so good.

    Thanks so much

    Phil
    Hi, my drobo is about 5 years old. I used the chat on the drobo page and they did not ask me anything, not the serial number nor about the guaranty, they just responded. Maybe you got a bad representative or I got lucky.

    As you probably know you don't need a new drobo. Just buy say (3) 3TB drives and replace the 2tb ones on by one. It's take a lot of time. You have to wait for rebuild to be completed (the drobo should be on during all the process but you don't need to have your computer on). I performed this this year with my firewire second generation drobo and it was easy. The representative on chat will guide you.

    I agree with the other forum members that performance of the drobos is not the best, and that the Pegasus will run circles around it (when almost empty) Even around the 5D. Also Pegasus comes from Promise technology an enterprise focus RAID company. The 5D is not slow (Larry Jordan - Product Review: Drobo 5D | Final Cut Pro Training & Classes) but the Pegasus is faster.

    An other option is going with the 5D and the ssd option (useful for multitasking). You can ask in the chat how to move your disk pack from the drobo S to the 5D. The 5D comes with the thunderbolt cable. The 5D also has a battery backup and dual drive redundancy protection.
    http://www.drobo.com/products/capacity-calculator/

    IF you buy the 5D it seems that using more than 64GB of msata will not help that much.

    Some links:

    Genug Speicherplatz für Fotografen – DROBO 5D Performance Test | Elmar Weiss Photography Blog
    (scroll down for english)

    I’m Done with drobo | Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider

    Fortysomething Geek: Drobo 5D USB 3 and Thunderbolt Review

    This is what i mean by multitasking, is and ADD, not objective my a long shoot.Also is against the R4, but it illustrate the msata SSD use. The ssd can help when disk drives start to fill to mitigate performance lost.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH2FrB8a7S0

    Here is how to move your pack:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EymUe5nNQo

    Backup is better of site, for that nothing like tape or the cloud. I hope it hepls
    Best regards,
    Jduncan

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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by jduncan View Post
    Hi, my drobo is about 5 years old. I used the chat on the drobo page and they did not ask me anything, not the serial number nor about the guaranty, they just responded. Maybe you got a bad representative or I got lucky.

    As you probably know you don't need a new drobo. Just buy say (3) 3TB drives and replace the 2tb ones on by one. It's take a lot of time. You have to wait for rebuild to be completed (the drobo should be on during all the process but you don't need to have your computer on). I performed this this year with my firewire second generation drobo and it was easy. The representative on chat will guide you.

    I agree with the other forum members that performance of the drobos is not the best, and that the Pegasus will run circles around it (when almost empty) Even around the 5D. Also Pegasus comes from Promise technology an enterprise focus RAID company. The 5D is not slow (Larry Jordan - Product Review: Drobo 5D | Final Cut Pro Training & Classes) but the Pegasus is faster.

    An other option is going with the 5D and the ssd option (useful for multitasking). You can ask in the chat how to move your disk pack from the drobo S to the 5D. The 5D comes with the thunderbolt cable. The 5D also has a battery backup and dual drive redundancy protection.
    Capacity Calculator | Products | Drobo

    IF you buy the 5D it seems that using more than 64GB of msata will not help that much.

    Some links:

    Genug Speicherplatz für Fotografen – DROBO 5D Performance Test | Elmar Weiss Photography Blog
    (scroll down for english)

    I’m Done with drobo | Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider

    Fortysomething Geek: Drobo 5D USB 3 and Thunderbolt Review

    This is what i mean by multitasking, is and ADD, not objective my a long shoot.Also is against the R4, but it illustrate the msata SSD use. The ssd can help when disk drives start to fill to mitigate performance lost.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH2FrB8a7S0

    Here is how to move your pack:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EymUe5nNQo

    Backup is better of site, for that nothing like tape or the cloud. I hope it hepls
    Best regards,
    Jduncan
    Thanks Jduncan

    Allot of details, I appreciate it. I will give chat a try, I really did not want this problem, I was planning to get a second unit, the NAS, in November on a trip back to the States. I dont work off the Drobo only archive so the speed is not such a consideration. I have had Raid 5 - but I like the Drobo better. Hopefully this will work out. But their customer appreciation sucks.

    Now on the second day of reconstructing after I added a new HD. Says 45 more hours

    I will look into alternatives

    Thanks

    Phil

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    There are a LOT of creative professionals out there that have had issues with Drobo, so I'd move away from them.

    I've heard of a lot of people having really slow read/write speeds with NAS over wireless.

    I'm also rather over the top....I personally have a Promise Pegasus R4 (thunderbolt) in RAID 5 that I back up to a Sans Digital esata enclosure w/ WD Red drives in RAID 1+0. I then back up my catalog to a large non-RAID drive with USB 3.0 and put it in a different physical location. Current jobs I keep on my local hard drive and memory cards until I've completed my backup process. 3 different backups + 3 different drive manufacturers/models + 3 different interface types + 3 different storage layouts + 2 diff physical locations and now I feel relatively safe.
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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    I've been looking at new RAID systems myself and in particular to pair with the my iMac or a new MacPro which is on the horizon. My key qualifiers where number of drives, RAID flexibility, on-board controller speed (mem / cache) and reliability. After reading the reviews and checking out tons of enclosures I think I've nailed it down to the areca ARC-8050 RAID enclosure. It's not inexpensive but, from all the reviews and specs the performance is there and has all the RAID features. In particular 2 setups I have been debating about RAID-6 and RAID-10. Here is some info:

    Blackmagic Benchmark video: Areca ARC-8050 16TB ThunderBolt Raid Box with 5G Bolck Speed Test - YouTube
    Barefeats Review: Areca Thunderbolt 8-bay enclosure
    NewEgg: areca ARC-8050 RAID 0/1/1E/3/5/6/10/30&#47 ;50/60/Single Disk or JBOD 8 x 6Gb/s 3.5" Drive Bays Two Thunderbolt Channels 8-Bay Thunderbolt to 6Gb/s SAS RAID Storage w/ LCD - Newegg.com

    She doesn't look sexy but, it's all about the day to day work. Pair this with 6 RAIDed WD 3TB or 4TB RED drives for data and add in 2 SSD paired in RAID-0 as scratch, its good to go! Just thought I'd share with you my search and where it landed me, hope to add this puppy to my collection in the next couple of months.

    Note: As others have noted RAID is never truly a backup but the job of any RAID system is in its data handling performance and ability to mitigate production downtime.

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Qamaro View Post
    It's not inexpensive but, from all the reviews and specs the performance is there and has all the RAID features. In particular 2 setups I have been debating about RAID-6 and RAID-10.[/url]
    thanks for pointing out the cabinet. I'm going to switch to TB cabinets soon and that looks good and definitely worth considering. I'm hoping that a reputable vendor such this one or Promise (who makes pegasus cabinets) will update to the newer higher speed TB when the Mac pro is announced.

    Regarding raid 10 (also referred to as raid 1+0), it's basically 2 set of drives setup as mirrored raids that are striped to each other. Yes, the best for performance and data protection but it's the least efficient as far as storage ... you get 1/2 total storage of all the drives added together. Also a problem with raid 1 configurations is it is possible to get a corruption caused by something non related to the drives and that corruption might get mirrored, toasting the backup. That's one reason I switched to having to two separate raids, and then nightly cloning one raid to the other one (automatic with Carbon Copy Cloner). So I have sort of a raid 50 ... it's just not mirrored in real time and there is some risk I could lose a few hours of work. (although as I mentioned I'm not actually working off either raid, I work off of a raid 0 which is cloned to a raid 5 which is then cloned to another raid 5 ... I guess it's my own version of a raid 0+50)

    I don't know which is better speed wise,using Blackmagic, I get a check box in all but the very maximum video measurement but that may be due to eSata vs Thunderbolt throughput. Raid 5 is much more efficient in overall available storage because it uses parity as a means to backup and rebuild the data vs straight 100% data mirroring, the more drives the more efficient.
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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    FWIW speed-wise with my setup, I get around 500mb/s read/write with the Promise R4 RAID 5 and 200mb/s read/write with the Sans Digital RAID 1+0 eSATA (through an express card thunderbolt adaptor) according to the Blackmagic test
    Todd

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Personally I would go with a self built RAID. A lot of these pre built ones don't offer a lot of expandibility or flexibilty, even more frustrating they're making up they're own non standard RAID terms for marketing or whatever. Really annoys me since I work in IT and people ask me about these things, I have to give blank stares till I figure they're talking about some stupid term some company made up to replace a simple RAID 5.

    So, I built my own NAS out of $150 worth of brand new PC parts, CPU, motherboard, ram, tower and power supply, with six 2tb drives in a RAID 0(the drives obviously cost more than that). Which is all the drives stripped for those that may not be familiar with the terms. Using FreeNAS, which uses zfs(FreeNAS and zfs offer better benefits to data retention than other file systems), I can do CIF and AFP shares to every pc or Mac in my house. I then use alway sync to sync everything on it to my desktop, which is also in a RAID 0. From there alway sync copies all the data to an external hard drive and carbonite backs it up online for me. The PC box offers me plenty of flexibility to expand, or add a whole new raid array if I wanted.

    As for network speed, you have the ability to add in a second network card and FreeNAS will load balance, but gigabit Ethernet is plenty fast. I can load 1.4 gig files into photoshop no problem. I can't imagine a situation where you would need much faster from a NAS unless you had over ten people constantly editing, loading and saving files to and from the NAS.

    I would definitely recommend using a RAID 5 or RAID 10 in case you lose a drive you still have parity.


    Edit, typos from an iPad.
    Last edited by wryphotography; 21st September 2013 at 12:04.
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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Qamaro View Post
    I've been looking at new RAID systems myself and in particular to pair with the my iMac or a new MacPro which is on the horizon. My key qualifiers where number of drives, RAID flexibility, on-board controller speed (mem / cache) and reliability. After reading the reviews and checking out tons of enclosures I think I've nailed it down to the areca ARC-8050 RAID enclosure. It's not inexpensive but, from all the reviews and specs the performance is there and has all the RAID features. In particular 2 setups I have been debating about RAID-6 and RAID-10. Here is some info:

    Blackmagic Benchmark video: Areca ARC-8050 16TB ThunderBolt Raid Box with 5G Bolck Speed Test - YouTube
    Barefeats Review: Areca Thunderbolt 8-bay enclosure
    NewEgg: areca ARC-8050 RAID 0/1/1E/3/5/6/10/30&#47 ;50/60/Single Disk or JBOD 8 x 6Gb/s 3.5" Drive Bays Two Thunderbolt Channels 8-Bay Thunderbolt to 6Gb/s SAS RAID Storage w/ LCD - Newegg.com

    She doesn't look sexy but, it's all about the day to day work. Pair this with 6 RAIDed WD 3TB or 4TB RED drives for data and add in 2 SSD paired in RAID-0 as scratch, its good to go! Just thought I'd share with you my search and where it landed me, hope to add this puppy to my collection in the next couple of months.

    Note: As others have noted RAID is never truly a backup but the job of any RAID system is in its data handling performance and ability to mitigate production downtime.

    I've been using Areca raid systems for 8 years now. Great stuff - internal or external boxes (I have both). They are in a completely different league to Drobo or home/domestic stuff like that. Seriously, you cannot really mention them in the same breath.

    If you want an external box, get the 8 bay one and fill it with 3tb Drives in Raid 5 or 6. Like ARC-8050 if you have thunderbolt, ARC-8040 if not.

    If you want internal and have a case that can handle multiple drives (ie not Apple) then try an ARC-1222. Here is mine working at 650Mb/sec, with regular 3Tb drives. Great for handling a large image library.

    Last edited by narikin; 23rd September 2013 at 06:38.

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Years ago I had used a LaCie however found it to be very unreliable and moved to a Buffalo system which worked well for a while before switching to a Drobo system. I used 2-Drobo boxes for close to 2-years before switching again to G-Technology. I've been using a 16TB G-Speed as my primary for close to 2-years and am very happy; I also have a 2-TB G-Safe which I use both in the studio as well as a portable device while on the road (fits snuggly into its own Pelican case). Of all of them, I've found the G-Tech to be reliable, durable and fast enough to edit video when needed. The individual drives can also be switch out if needed without major concerns.

    Just my experience.

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by narikin View Post
    I've been using Areca raid systems for 8 years now. Great stuff - internal or external boxes (I have both). They are in a completely different league to Drobo or home/domestic stuff like that. Seriously, you cannot really mention them in the same breath.

    If you want an external box, get the 8 bay one and fill it with 3tb Drives in Raid 5 or 6. Like ARC-8050 if you have thunderbolt, ARC-8040 if not.

    If you want internal and have a case that can handle multiple drives (ie not Apple) then try an ARC-1222. Here is mine working at 650Mb/sec, with regular 3Tb drives. Great for handling a large image library.

    Hi,

    A compact external has it advantages. Including in case of earthquake {in Costa Rica, tremors are like rain in NY).

    Seriously; the Areca seems interesting. IF your test is comparable to the AJA performance test, It's faster than the Pegasus (http://barefeats.com/hard167.html).

    I have few questions:

    Does the Areca support expansion? in other words if I need to go from 2TB hard drives to 4TB will I be able to do it?

    Does it has a battery for saving data in transition like some enterprise solutions and the drobo?

    The box you tested is it the thunderbolt one or is a iSCSI or similar?

    Finally it looks like a good option. What about noise and power usage? Some of that boxes are designed for a data center and they pretty loud.


    I use and old battery that support my mac for few hours. It also supports my drobo and few other stuff.

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    Re: Raid Dilemma

    The test results I posted here were for an internal Areca array , but a thunderbolt external one should be similar.

    Yes you can of course expand arrays, say you had just 5 x3tb at first, then you can add extra drives for more capacity. I have both the thunderbolt external and eSATA versions. And the internal 1220.

    Noise is hard to evaluate. An internal one can be almost silent, any external one will be somewhat noisier, but very manageable. You can always swap fans for super quiet ones too, if this is your bug-bear.

    The internal cards certainly have a backup battery module. I don't know about the externals, but expect so.

    Good luck.
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