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Old 11-03-2007, 09:45 PM   #1
Sheeba
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Default Raid VS Big hard drives

Hi ....

Looking for opinions here. (I'm no tech whiz-I write, shoot & edit) I have a
1 and a half year old Flex-I workstation with 800 GB expanded raid drive.
(I bought it under the assumption Canopus knew what was needed for Edius and this would be turn-key with no future problems.) I've probably spent three months total full-time editing on the system and have had at most 250 GB on the Raid drive. In other words, this system has NOT been taxed.

Since buying it, I've had to replace the DVD drive and the power supply.....and now it looks like the Raid drive is going belly up. It's now in a repair shop because.....it's out of warranty.

Here's the question. My computer repair guy says raid drives are over-rated...that he likes to use large removable hard drives (3) that can be switched as needed. Comments?

Just looking for reliability


Sheeba
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:45 PM   #2
andrewwhiteley
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Firstly, an appropriate RAID solution is by far the best solution for a serious edit station. However, there are several different RAID configurations and not all are appropriate. RAID 5 for instance gives redundancy, but unless you run at least 6 discs in the array, you will be no faster than a single sata 2 drive and I would recommend at least 8 sata 2 drives if you're going with RAID 5!

For video editing a striped RAID (RAID 0), will give performance way faster than a single drive so it works far better with HD and multi layer edits than a single drive. Trouble is that there is no redundancy so if anything goes wrong with one of the drives, you can all too easily loose everything on all drives in the array.

RAID 10 however gives you the same speed as RAID 0 but also a mirrored backup as well so that if any drive in the array fails, you can rebuild and will loose no media. The thing is that with RAID 10, you need a minimum of 4 drives and the array can only give you the capacity of half of them for editing.

In short, it is really horses for courses. If you are serious about multi layer HD editing (or uncompressed sd editing for that matter) then a decent RAID is the way to go. If you can not afford to loose your work, then a RAID with some redundancy built in is the way to go (I would suggest RAID 10).

I have worked on machines with single disc media drives for relatively simple DV projects and had great results, but I would suggest that if you have a decent RAID controller in your turnkey machine that you take it to someone who actually knows what they are doing rather than chuck out the baby with the bathwater! - believe me decent RAID's are NOT over-rated!!
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:46 PM   #3
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I tend to agree provided you know how you arrange the drives. Small Boot drive with backup image on another drive, temp/render drive, then as many drives as you think you need( I have three more drives for video storage, and some external drives I only fire up when I need to back up something). A test of throughput on a single file will show a RAID as being faster. However multi track playback of several tracks at once, from a two hard drive RAID, may not be as fast as separate tracks on separate drives and there is the problem that with a drive failure you will lose everything on a RAID 0. All my drives can sustain better than 50Gbps even with intermediate files needing 3 or 4 times the 3.5Gbps of HDV or DV that is still easy for a single drive. IF you are running uncompressed and don't want to think about file allocation then a RAID has some value. I ran RAID when my three drive array was needed to store an hour of DV!!!!!(three 9G drives) Since drives of over 100G have been available I haven't bothered with RAID and have no problem editing 4 camera shoots in DV or two cam HDV ( makes no difference its the CPU that has the problem).
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. Turns out my computer fixer looked over how the workstation was built and said it was built the way he likes to build them. (striped, not mirrored)
He says my file allocation table broke down and he's going to rebuild the raid.

My only problem is I'm loosing everything that I didn't back up. I had backed up most critical stuff...but BACK UP ALL YOUR STUFF!! is my new matra.

regards Sheeba
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:42 AM   #5
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Ron is quite right, you can indeed do 4 layers of dv or 2 of hdv with a single drive. However, as I said previously, it really is a matter of horses for courses - i.e. the sort of work you are likely to be doing.

If your work is more compex than a couple of layers of HDV without filters or effects and/or it is mission critical and you can not afford to lose work, then some RAID options (RAID 10 for instance) are highly advantageous.

I find external firewire drives are extremely useful but am cautious as they are prone to human error causing the dreaded 'Windows delayed write failure' - this will cause you to lose the media (and everything else on the disc). This typically happens if you accidentally disconnect a firewire drive without making sure that it has stopped what it is doing.
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:17 AM   #6
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if you wish to export a 60min DV timeline to a new DV avi file in 4 minutes, then I recommend my SCSI raid 0 setup consisting of 4 x 146 GB Seagate 15000 rpm drives
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:28 AM   #7
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Your giving it away? :)
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:46 AM   #8
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Actually Anton is quite right as long as you back up each project. The best is SCSI or SAS drives in RAID, 4 15000 drives in RAID 0 is very quick and because they are enterprise drives they are less prone to failure. But technically if you had the money 8 SAS 15000 drives in RAID 5 on a hardware RAID card would be awesome, pretty expensive though. The latest Seagate 300 GB SAS drive is the fastest single drive on the market, a few of them would do the trick.
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Old 11-04-2007, 02:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheeba View Post
Hi ....

Looking for opinions here. (I'm no tech whiz-I write, shoot & edit) I have a
1 and a half year old Flex-I workstation with 800 GB expanded raid drive.
(I bought it under the assumption Canopus knew what was needed for Edius and this would be turn-key with no future problems.) I've probably spent three months total full-time editing on the system and have had at most 250 GB on the Raid drive. In other words, this system has NOT been taxed.

Since buying it, I've had to replace the DVD drive and the power supply.....and now it looks like the Raid drive is going belly up. It's now in a repair shop because.....it's out of warranty.

Here's the question. My computer repair guy says raid drives are over-rated...that he likes to use large removable hard drives (3) that can be switched as needed. Comments?

Just looking for reliability


Sheeba
I setup a RAID twice in new builds and both times I ended up undoing the RAID and running standalone. I edit Canopus HQ files and do 3 camera edits easily off a single SATA HD. I have a bunch of eSATA external enclosures that give me portability with desktop speed and I can work on my laptop or my desktop if needed. External eSATA does the job for me. I use multicam for my 3 cam edits and have the settings to skip 5 frames on playback so it plays smooth and have no problem editing 3 cam shoots. That is as complex as I get.

Both times I had RAIDS I started hearing a click occasionally and decided not to risk it anymore. Since then none of those drives that were RAIDed have cause me problems.

If you do RAID 0 make sure to backup. I always have a back up of every project. My current workflow for typical HD wedding edit is one external eSATA 500gb drive for the edit and one to back it up to. My goal is to have 5 of these setups. I just formatted my 4th setup today I did have one setup in a RAID1 but even in RAID one you are at the mercy of your controller keeping things running correctly.

If your projects don't call for boatloads of layers of HD files then a single big SATA drive will be enough.
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Your giving it away? :)
no way Jose
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