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Thread: RAID Card Suggestions?

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    2nd Scoring Line EDITMAN2411's Avatar




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    Default RAID Card Suggestions?

    So Im a freelance Editor/Motion Graphics guy with no real understanding of RAID Controller Cards, or how they work.

    As of right now I have three 1TB drives RAIDed together (stripe 0) using the OS inside my Mac Pro. No Raid card.

    The drives are all 7200rpm from varying manufacturers. (not sure if this matters.)

    My questions is, is it beneficial for me to get a RAID card to control these drives vs. leaving it to the OS to handle? Any suggestions for me?

    Thanks.

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    Here's your simple answer:

    RAID 0 - Faster
    RAID 1 - Fault Tolerance
    RAID 5 - Faster & Fault Tolerance (costs disks tho)
    RAID 10 - Faster & Fault Tolerance (costs even more disks tho)
    ---------

    The only time I run RAID is on my servers where I cannot afford a disk failure and I need to squeeze as much speed as possible(think SQL). If you cannot lose the data on your disk, or you cannot handle a days downtime to restore from a backup, then you should probably 1) backup your data and 2) get a RAID card and RAID 5/10 setup. Just remember, it's going to cost more in disks, but HDs are cheap.

    From my understanding, the big graphics firms send their art to a processing server(which is decked out like a proper server) and then they view/play with the output on their desktops/laptops.

    More importantly, are you HD bound or processor bound? If speed is all you care about, IE: you have disk queuing(the processor is waiting on the HD to return data), then a RAID solution might allieviate that and create a faster system. If you are processor bound, your disks are faster than your processor and you need a faster computer. I doubt the latter is the case, but it's sometimes possible, especially if the box is doing a lot of things.

    In the end, if you go into RAID, you'll want to have the same sku disks, but from different batches(so you don't get the same batch of lemons Night Shift Sally QA'd), and more HDs. I'd suggest RAID 5, but I'd hate to suggest you stick another $250 into your computer for HD speed if you can upgrade the RAM and processor for the same price: faster computer overall, as opposed to faster HD controller.

    good luck

    -_Sf

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    Winning is habitual. Len-Det64's Avatar




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    I assume that you are using your raid 0 for editing purposes and video capter. You are not using the raid as your primary drive? As far as using a raid controller card, I would say no. If you have enough power and SATA hook ups it is better to use the motherboard for controlling your raid array. I use a 0 + 1 raid array for my main drive and it has saved me on several occasions. I also do some video capture and editing in my spare time which lately has not been to much. I bought a Black Magic Intensity Pro to capture the HD content off of the TV but I found that my drives were not fast enough to capture the uncompressed video stream of the black magic card. I did not have any extra hook ups from my motherboard to be able to create a raid 0 array so I had to purchase a SATA Raid controller. I also purchased 3 Western Digital 300GB 10,000 rpm HDD's to make sure that it would be fast enough for capture purposes.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Len-Det64 View Post
    I use a 0 + 1 raid array for my main drive and it has saved me on several occasions.
    RAID 01 or RAID 10? Why would you ever use RAID 0+1 ?!!!!!?!!?!!

    -_Sf

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    Winning is habitual. Len-Det64's Avatar




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    A raid 0 + 1 is a nested array with a minimal 4 drives needed. It gives me the speed of a raid 0 with the safety of redundancy. I can loose up to two drives and still be able to rebuild the array.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Len-Det64 View Post
    A raid 0 + 1 is a nested array with a minimal 4 drives needed. It gives me the speed of a raid 0 with the safety of redundancy. I can loose up to two drives and still be able to rebuild the array.
    Right, but RAID 10 gets you that too, and is faster than RAID 01...

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    The gates have opened RoyalPain's Avatar




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    Since you only have 3 drives your best bet if you store data on these drives is RAID5 RAID0 really shouldn't be considered RAID only because if you are running a system on a RAID0 and you lose a drive you lose everything and there is no recovery of it. once the RAID is broken you are screwed. just keep that in mind for how you use RAID0 RAID1 is nice but you lose valuable space RAID5 you will lose 1 drive but have secure data. The downside is speed, although this has been re-engineered to speed up the process, so not as slow as it used to be. RAID5 so technically RAID5 is great for data storage servers.


    RAID10 is great your best bet if you had one more drive.

    Easy way to look at it
    RAID0 = minimum 2 disks but space is mulpiplied by number of drives (ie 1TB + 1TB =2TB) lose 1 drive = Screwed

    RAID1 = Minimum 2 disks but space is equal to the size of the drive (ie 1TB + 1TB = 1TB) lose 1 drive and you slap another 1 drive and all is good.

    RAID5 = Minimum 3 drives Secured data can lose 1 drive and no performance issues (1TB + 1TB +1TB = 2TB add one more 1TB and you have 3TB)

    As far as whether you should buy a raid card or let the OS control it as far as which one is better all depends on how much CPU you are using. Software RAID (AKA OS Handling) will work just fine but will tax your CPU usage but only a very little bit but doing graphics and lots of rendering you are better off getting a RAID card and letting the Card do all the work.

    If you can get another 1TB drive go with a RAID10

    IMO and experience RAID0 = Pointless, RAID1 = space hog, RAID5 +Solid but slow, RAID10 = good all around.

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    I would only consider running RAID0 if I was running solid state drives. It absolutely flies under RAID0. Other then that, RAID1/RAID5/RAID10 are probably your best bet.
    And thats how you get ants!

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    2nd Scoring Line EDITMAN2411's Avatar




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    Yeah I've been beating my head against a wall with OWC and NEW EGG trying to figure this out.

    I have a 500GB Boot drive. Independent and happy.

    The 3 1TB HDD's that are also inside the MAC are Enterprise drives RAID 0 as it is just used as my working RAID and I want to maximize speed. (everything is already backed up externally...I don't need redundancy...which I forgot to mention earlier...which is important to know...dumb)

    This 3.5TB total of Internal storage is backed up by an external 4TB Time Machine enclosure (2drives) - hooked up via 2 eSATA cables. This is RAID 0 as well only because I do not have bigger drives at the moment and need the total HDD space to cover the Internal work drives. Again this is just for backup not work.

    Im basically gambling that I won't lose both my INTERNAL RAID 0 and my EXTERNAL RAID 0 at the same time.

    My concern though is, with ALL this being OS controlled I have GOT to be sacrificing processing power that is better served calculating animations in After Effects, pushing HD footage in FCP etc.

    I assume I should get hardware for this (the controller card) but which one? My budget is really no more than $600 max.
    Last edited by EDITMAN2411; April 27th, 2011 at 05:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyalPain View Post

    As far as whether you should buy a raid card or let the OS control it as far as which one is better all depends on how much CPU you are using. Software RAID (AKA OS Handling) will work just fine but will tax your CPU usage but only a very little bit but doing graphics and lots of rendering you are better off getting a RAID card and letting the Card do all the work.
    Kinda where I find myself. Except I have zero understanding of controller cards. lol I don't know why.

    Any suggestions?

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