xRAID Updates?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Does anyone have any inside info or educated guesses as to when we might see an update to the xRAID? Based on some of the drive capacities of today's SATA drives, Apple could very easily maxout the xRAID at 4.2TB (14 x 300GB).



I don't want to plunk down $10K only to have the overall capacity change soon. Can the internal SATA drives be swapped out manually?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    If they update the XRaid perhaps they can make it so I can run RAID 5 across the entire 14 disks instead of only 7.

    False advertising from Apple as it cannot give me a single 3TB partition which is what you would expect from a RAID device with 3TB.



    Dobby.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Whew. You have enough data to fill a current xraid relatively soon? That's some serious usage for someone asking for advice in these fora. Must be a cool job.



    I'm doubtfull that Apple's customer base is large enough to support a major revision to this product right now. (IMHO) For most xraid sites, it is likely to be more economical to wait and upgrade later. The cost of that additional storage at a later date is likely to be lower than the cost associated with a new, redesigned product right now.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Well, I'm going to be doing an offline/online FCP edit of an HD feature film soon. Of course one xRAID is plenty big enough to be working at offline quality (1080p via Photo-JPEG). But we want to do the online and color correction as well. The current xRAID is just barely big enough to hold all the raw footage and associated files to online the feature. But I'd rather have a little more headroom and don't want to invest in two xRAIDs.



    (For those wondering, the costs of doing the online assembly and color correction via a post house is roughly the same as the cost of a new G5 and one xRAID).
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dobby

    If they update the XRaid perhaps they can make it so I can run RAID 5 across the entire 14 disks instead of only 7.

    False advertising from Apple as it cannot give me a single 3TB partition which is what you would expect from a RAID device with 3TB.



    Dobby.




    I don't see them making a true 14-drive RAID anytime soon; that really would be a from-the-ground-up re-engineering. I am kind of surprised that we haven't seen 300GB drives yet, though; it should just be a matter of, well, using some 300GB drives.



    BTW, the xServe RAID uses regular Ultra ATA drives, not SATA. Which is fine, really.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dobby

    If they update the XRaid perhaps they can make it so I can run RAID 5 across the entire 14 disks instead of only 7.

    False advertising from Apple as it cannot give me a single 3TB partition which is what you would expect from a RAID device with 3TB.



    Dobby.




    You can't do this fully in hardware, but there is nothing stopping your from creating a RAID 50 array and having one large volume.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nothing

    You can't do this fully in hardware, but there is nothing stopping your from creating a RAID 50 array and having one large volume.



    More to the point, you can only get 12 drives' worth of data that way, whereas a real 14-drive RAID5 would get you 13 drives' worth of data.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Can anyone clearly explain the split of the drives to 7 & 7? My company is seriously considering one of these machines but I'd like to be more informed about its limitations so we're not surprised after a purchase.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    (reply to previous poster)



    I'm sure part of it had to do with using off-the-shelf parts that could be modified to fit the purpose... but redundancy also plays in here.



    While the controllers are the only non-redundant part when it comes to controlling the RAID and serving data over fibre, the ethernet connection IS redundant. This means that you can have 2 ethernet cables connected to the unit for monitoring purposes, and if one dies, the other can alert of the other's failure.



    The processor requirements are probably also much lower on a 7 drive array, vs. 14. Another aspect - like a previous poster mentioned... he would rather have a 14 drive array, and only waste 1 drive's space worth of data.



    I personally would not have a 14 drive RAID 5 without at least 1 hot spare. WIth 2 7 drive arrays, I could probably live without a hot spare, since you can suffer 1 failure per 7 drive set without data loss.



    There are SOME technical considerations that make it a sound choice, but I'm sure the practical (as in $$$) helped make those decisions as well. It is one of the cheapest large volume storage devices anywhere.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Cheap is what got us looking, but I don't want to recommend a product without knowing all of its shortcomings. So with 2 7 drive arrays, what are the possible configurations? I mean, can you have one 3 Terabyte drive? Or will it automatically be at least 2 drives?
  • Reply 10 of 17
    A loaded 14 drive Xserve RAID will be seen, by default, as 2 1.4 terabyte arrays. If you wanted it to be seen as one large volume, then you would create a software stripe of the arrays to yield one large volume - you get 2.8 terabytes.



    This is the RAID 50 config - RAID 5 + RAID 0. It's supposed to be faster than plain RAID 5, but I haven't done any testing.



    I think it's a very cheap solution. It is cheap enough that I would highly recommend either buying the spare parts kit or stocking an extra drive or 2... that way when a drive fails, you can replace it IMMEDIATELY and then request a new one under warranty (as long as it is under warranty). 'Coz under RAID 5 even, if 2 drives fail, the whole thing is toast. That's why under a 14 drive RAID 5, I would always use a hot spare.





    Also.. always remember... RAID is protection from hardware failure, and is NOT a backup strategy. You still need a backup solution in place if your data is valuable to you.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Ok - a revision....



    Thinking about it - I would only recommend RAID 50 for video production... in other words, data that can be worked with and moved off-line relatively quickly. It's fast, but for high availability - it's not so good, because if 1 controller fails, then you have lost half of a RAID 0 array. You know what happens when you lose half a RAID 0, right? It all goes south.



    If you had a good backup solution and high availability wasn't the most critical aspect, then I would still think it was good. Otherwise, I would stick with separate RAID 5's.



    Pricing stuff, though.. the Xserve RAID is hard to beat. The nearest think I found was a Snap 3 TB NAS with 12 drives for $14,000 (thats 3TB at RAID 0).... that's the cost of a 14 drive Xserve RAID and an Xserve (which can definitely handle more than just NAS tasks).



    well... I s'pose I know this product... if you need more info, just ask
  • Reply 12 of 17
    haraldharald Posts: 2,152member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nothing



    well... I s'pose I know this product... if you need more info, just ask




    Forgive the off-topic, but if you know the product ...



    Do you know if I can bung a 3rd-party fiber channel card in an Xserve and have it work?



    xxx



    wub you
  • Reply 13 of 17
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    Why stop at 300GB? Hitachi has 400GB drives now.



    If you want a single large array, there are plenty of 15- and 16-drive SATA RAIDs on the market. Some of them even let you use your own drives instead of Apple Drive Modules.



    Apple's Fibre Channel HBA is the cheapest on the market; why buy something else?
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nothing

    Thinking about it - I would only recommend RAID 50 for video production... in other words, data that can be worked with and moved off-line relatively quickly. It's fast, but for high availability - it's not so good, because if 1 controller fails, then you have lost half of a RAID 0 array. You know what happens when you lose half a RAID 0, right? It all goes south.



    This is incorrect, or at least misleading.



    If you have an xServe RAID configured as one large RAID 50, the RAID will obviously go offline, but the data on the drives is not lost. Replace the controller, and you'll be back in business.



    Also, assuming non-contrived access patterns, a RAID 50 composed of 2 7-drive RAID 5s cannot be faster than a properly implemented 14-drive RAID 5. At best, they would be the same speed.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Head spinning...too...much...information...



    Can someone put all this into street terms as to how this directly affects video production? I will be using the xRAID strictly for HD video editing.



    Which is better? Raid 50 or Raid O? Why?



    What is the actual volume of a fully loaded raid? 2.8TB?
  • Reply 16 of 17
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    With RAID 0, when you lose a drive you lose all your data. With RAID 50, when you lose a drive you're fine. If you want to survive a disk or controller failure with no downtime, you'll need RAID 10.



    The capacity depends on the RAID level:

    RAID 0: 3.5TB

    RAID 50: 3.0TB

    RAID 10: 1.8TB
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally posted by wmf

    With RAID 0, when you lose a drive you lose all your data. With RAID 50, when you lose a drive you're fine. If you want to survive a disk or controller failure with no downtime, you'll need RAID 10.



    The capacity depends on the RAID level:

    RAID 0: 3.5TB

    RAID 50: 3.0TB

    RAID 10: 1.8TB




    Is there a performance hit with RAID 50 with regards to total throughput? In other words, will RAID 50 affect the performance of uncompressed RGB HD at approximately 130MB per second?
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