setting up SCSI RAID or server question...

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setting up SCSI RAID or server question...

hey there everyone. i have a quick question and in need of advice of anyone wtih experience in these matters. i currently have 3 500mhz sawtooth G4's (2 have new OWC 1.8 Ghz upgrade procs in them, the other is the orig. 500mhz). me and my wife use the 2 fast machines to do all our video/2d/3d work. the 3rd machine is just used for an extra render node for maya,shake,compressor,etc. i would like to set up a more efficient pipeline that has all of our footage files and backups of other stuff like project files stored in one place that we can both access at the same time. we usually work in SD & HD, but always edit in FCP5 & Shake 4 at DV proxies, then only access the hi-res files during rendering. so we only need about 30 to 50 MB/sec bandwidth each simultaniously. what is the CHEAPEST way to achieve this type of thing? we already have 2 Glyph external firewire 400 drives, but only one person can mount and access them at a time. i'm guessing scsi is the best way to do this stuff, but i never learned much about it. i'd like to use the extra g4 in this config if it'll help any. both our fast g4s have the adaptec 2930CU in them, but i'm guessing that isn't fast enough since it's only rated at 20-30 MB/sec.. and what other equipt. do i need?? remember, cheap is a necessity. but i do have a great computer swap meet near me once a month where i can get scsi drives dirt cheap. any input???

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scsi

scsi would do very nicely for you

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thanks, but i need more detai

thanks, but i need more details of the base things needed to achieve this. please supply some details and if possible model no.s thanks in advance! cheers!!!

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No specific suggestions, however...

I have to note that your stated need for a total of 60-100MB/sec shared bandwidth is going to be hard if not impossible to achieve with anything "cheap". (Are you intending to capture streams directly to network storage?) That's getting into the territory of fiber channel SANS. Hard disk performance aside most Gig-E network adapters can't sustain transfer rates that high. (Unless you're using oversize packets, which requires a Good ethernet switch, and even then I seriously doubt that OS X's TCP stack would be capable of streaming data that fast on "Sawtooth" hardware, CPU upgrade or no. Maybe an Xserve could do it.)

--Peace

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SATA

you can use Serial ATA (SATA) For the drive and maybe gigabit ethernet to access them from the network. also, they have External SATA on some cards and those can be used for HDD's in external boxes. SATA hits 150MB's and can be transferred from one machine to the other in RAID fashion. I'm not sure how much it will cost. What is the Minimum HD size that you need?
If you are gonna get 2x or 4x SCSI at 20-50GBs then you are gonna want SATA as it would be a waste to spend that much money on a card (the card you have does 20-30MB's tops for all devices combined) and the drives. You can also go the cheap route and just get some ATA/133 and HDD's and throw them into a FW800 box and get a Card for each of the machines.

For what you are trying to achieve, you are gonna spend quite a bit of $. Building an internal RAID is one thing, But when you are trying to hit those speeds in a portable box, it's more expensive.
At any rate, if you go for this and am gonna spend the $, you might as well go SATA and RAID the drive, or just get another G4 (or B&W G3) and throw some FW cards into the machine and do networking with FW400 to the other box containing the RAID

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not possible on the cheap

Quote:
so we only need about 30 to 50 MB/sec bandwidth each simultaniously.
Forget about simultaneous access at that sort of data rate, it's not achievable on your low budget. Continue to use those FW drives and devise a workflow to minimize the inconveniences inherent in non-shared data.

My question is do you really need that kind of data rate for shared non-media project files? EDLs (or whatever) are tiny, maybe sharing just that sort of thing would cover most of your bases?

dan k

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thnaks for all the input so f

thnaks for all the input so far. so assuming i forget about the hi-res stuff. what about just say a couple of streams (layers) of DV codec proxies per machine simultaniously??? all the project files we tend to keep and work off of locally on each machine's internal drives. so how about just the DV proxie footage shared?? the priority here is for both machines to be able to access the same stuff at the same time. i know all the formats (FW400,SATA, and our current SCSI cards and their perspective drives) tend to work with the DV footages with no hiccups. but how do i setup up accessing it simultaniously?? i have my two Glyph X-Project FW400 drives striped w/ SoftRAID at RAID 0, but can only access them by one machine at a time. even though they are connected to both machines, one machine must (eject) the mounted device before the other G4 can mount it. how is simultanious access achieved? that's where i thought i had to use SCSI?? thanks for the help so far.

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storage interface irrelevant, you need a faster network

SCSI won't solve your problem, you need a network solution. SCSI or FireWire or whatever are all way faster than your current network. You need to bump up your network capabilities first.

How about adding gigE NICs to all three Macs, plus a gigE switch to connect them all? Then you can share your working files from the server 'spare' Sawtooth. Heck, IIRC under OSX* you could even add 2 gigE NICs to the server and individually dedicate/connect them directly to each workstation. That'd eliminate the need for a gigE switch too.

Now if you had later model G4s with gigE built-in, you wouldn't have to 'waste' PCI slots on the faster NICs . . .

* IIRC, OSX has builtin TCP/IP multicasting abilities - anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Acute

Edit: Ooooh, oooh!! OS X can do TCP/IP over FireWire . . . Hey!! How about connecting to the server (network - TCP/IP-over-FW!!) over individual dedicated FW wires? Hoo boy, that's a winner if I do say so myself!! Might have to add PCI FW adapters, but those are cheap! :coolmac:

dan k

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How do you enable that? A fr

How do you enable that? A friend and I were going to try hooking his new Compaq lappy to my iBook over FW, but I had no clue how to enable IP over FW under 10.2.8. I guess Google works, but the discussion should bring it up anyway...

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Firewire network

Seems to me you just go into your network preferences and make sure FW is set up as an active network port. In my experience FW networks are not as fast as target disc mode and are a good deal slower than gigabit ethernet.

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oh yeah...

I bet the hitch in the gitalong in this scenario would be getting the PC to talk to another computer over the firewire cable. I also can't remember when Mac added firewire network support. It was definitely there by 10.3; I just can't remember 10.2.8 having it. Man, that was ages ago!

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so what is faster? FW400/800

so what is faster? FW400/800 or GigE? i think i'll either build a external sata setup like shown at macguru's site ( i cn build one for a third of their cost w/ same quality). or creat an internal raid on my 3rd sawtooth and use that as my file server SAN and shre it w/ both machines over GigE. really, thaks for all the help so far.

BTW:for those who asked- FW networking is simple in osx 1-3. and it's completely automatic in tiger. just google "firewire network", you will get several detailed osx instruction pages.

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FW or gigE - which is faster?

I'm curious to know. By my way of (off-the-cuff) thinking, in actual practice if you use a separate PCI adapter for each connection FW ought to be faster than gigE. The downside of FW is it's got distance limits gigE ain't got. Not an issue though if you can keep the workstations and server close to each other.

In any case thetatorment could try basic IP-over-FW for free, whereas gigE takes $$ and PCI slots.

re: IP-over-FW - 10.3 is the first to support it out of the box, but it can be added to 10.2.8 using the IP-over-FW devkit.

dan k

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Dang! An add on. I thought

Dang! An add on. I thought it had to be some sort of non-default software. Thanks!

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well, i initially used the un

well, i initially used the unibrain firenet soft addon in 10.2 . but since 10.3,10.4 it just asks and then connects them automatically. and as for the pending GigE vs. FW network speed question: GigE pci cards can be purchased for under $20 each. that's getting off pretty cheap if it would end up being faster than transfers over FW. i just didn't really think i'd be able to set up a DV stream bandwidth SAN for under $200- or $300 . and truthfully, i'm fine paying that to get it running efficiently. considering the cheapest prebuilt firewire SAN solutions are about $1500-$2000, it's a good deal!

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where the heck've I been?

$20 for Mac OS X compatible gigE cards? Dang, last I looked they still cost over $100 each . . . guess I haven't been paying attention. Blum 3 The biggest issue then is how many free PCI slots you've got?

I wonder how fast gigE really is though. Is it 10 x as fast as 100BT? I figger max speed over 100BT around 3MB/s, can gigE really get near 30MB/s? I know local FW400 transfers can do better than that. As a network transfer though is FW gonna be that fast?

I really ought to test this stuff to see for myself I guess. Too bad I haven't any cat6 cables.

BTW thetatorment, are these network accesses/transfers/whatever done using the Finder and Mac file sharing? Or some other way?

dan k

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fw networking is done via net

fw networking is done via network pref panel just like any other. and ther's a list of gigE cards that work on os x for under 20 bucks on xlr8 your mac site.

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