klink

Building 3TB Video Editing Workstation

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I'm building worksations for video editing.

Requirements:

- Two disk arrays 1.5TB each (read from one - process - write to another);

- Read/Write speed 192MBps (desired);

- Reasonable price.

One idea is to use motherboard with build-in RAID controllers (i.e. ASUS P5AD2 - it has three 4-port RAID controllers on board). Problem is that for 4-port controllers I have to use 400GB hard drives that are pretty expensive.

I would prefer to use 6 250GB drives in each RAID0 array as it's significantly cheaper and theoretically gives better read/write speed.

Any suggestions on configuration (RAID controllers, Motherboards) ?

Thanks,

klink

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Motherboards are a dime a dozen. The real heart of your system is the RAID controller. Use either something from Promise or 3ware (better performance vs. promise, also more $$$). Get all of the drives in Serial ATA, and make sure you buy motherboard's with lots of FAST ram.

Also, you will not get 192 MBps with ATA. Not even SCSI can reach those speeds (and if they do it is rare). You'd better have lots of processor if you want to achieve lots of READ / Write speeds

Just my two cents

SCSA

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Even 12 channel 3ware controllers have trouble hitting 200MBps with any useful level of RAID. You are asking a lot of commodity hardware.

Oh, and we have that ASUS board here at work in a whitebox system that we just picked up. It has a four channel silicon image raid controller, and then the intel four channel ICH RAID, then it has two channel IDE RAID as well. So while you can have three arrays of four drives, the IDE drives won't perform well at all as you are sharing master/slave for RAID (not generally a good idea).

If you want over 100MBps sustained you should consider a board with PCI-X slots. They have the muscle to move a crapload of data. My home fileserver has a pair of 3ware controllers in it running on PCI-X slots and I can sustain about 140MBps from one array to the other (that's the average speed over the whole 1.7TB)

Michael

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For RAID0 you may use software striping and save some $$.

Double-check that there are no hidden bandwith bottlenecks on your mobo / controllers - PCI-X 100/133 is almost a requirement.

And don't forget that almost no (S)ATA drive is designed for 'heavy duty' use.

--

Single-user RAID, 1.6 TB, STR 680 MB/s (for dual channel Film2K RGB 10 bit non-linear editing).

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The only affordable system that comes close is a PCI 66Mhz mainboard with two SiI 3114 4-port SATA boards - Xbit Labs.

That will give you 210MB/s read, or 100MB/s copy. Anything more requires a PCI-X board and hardware RAID cards.

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At work for mass storage we use six 250GB Maxtors in RAID 5, giving 1.25TB of useable space. Of course they are sitting on a Promiseless SX6000, so performance is not stellar. However it's plenty to feed multiple GbE connections.

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The server that pulls off the mighty I/O is a Dual Xeon 3.06/512 system with 2GB RAM. It's an Intel 7505VB2 motherboard with a 3Ware Escalade 8506-12 and an 8506-8 controller. I/O from a single controller seems to max out at about 202MBps write and about 270 read for the 12 port and about 165 write/209 read for the 8 port. This is a linux system running Gentoo. This is much faster than I used to get for speed, thanks to the folks at 2CPU who told me to get off of the 2.4 kernel. What a performance difference!

FYI I rebuilt the array last night and played with software RAID (ie using the 3Ware card as a simple SATA adapter). No difference in performance, so I assume that my 3Ware cards or linux kernel are limiting my speed. I have a bit of a mix of drives, Maxtor and Seagate which may not be helping things.

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I'm building worksations for video editing.

Requirements:

- Two disk arrays 1.5TB each (read from one - process - write to another);

- Read/Write speed 192MBps (desired);

- Reasonable price.

One idea is to use motherboard with build-in RAID controllers (i.e. ASUS P5AD2 - it has three 4-port RAID controllers on board). Problem is that for 4-port controllers I have to use 400GB hard drives that are pretty expensive.

I would prefer to use 6 250GB drives in each RAID0 array as it's significantly cheaper and theoretically gives better read/write speed.

Any suggestions on configuration (RAID controllers, Motherboards) ?

Thanks,

klink

two words for you: fibre channel

at 192 MB/s you'd need at least a 2 Gbps full-duplex FC-AL to be able to reach that speeds.

SCSIs CAN do it, but the drives is going to cost you SOO much and on top of that, in a FC system, multiple systems can access different points of the storage array while with SCSI...it can't, and results in something akin to token-ring network topology.

Cost: depends on the enclosures that you pick.

My friend has 4 TB of FC-AL storage at home and he says that it was around like $40,000 with a LOT of shopping around done.

So, for a 3 TB system, it would be between $20,000-30,000 for it.

(His also a 1 Gbps twice full-duplex (i.e. 1 Gbps * 2 * 2) for a total of 4 Gbps)

That would pretty much be what you're looking at. If you also look at any of the OEM builders, that a comparible system would cost you anywhere between $60,000 upwards to $100,000.

"reasonable price"? yea...pretty much. If that's your performance specifications.

Also note: at that point, it's just a NAS. (Or at least I think it is) rather than having a separate system. We were actually talking about the differences between FC and iSCSI yesterday and that while iSCSI is "decent" for implementation, there is so much software overhead that it really drops the performance down.

The other thing that I've noticed with the performance claims that I've seen so far from other people is that I believe that they're single stream. i.e. that if you start doing more than 1 operation, it'll basically half that...IF not less.

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two words for you: fibre channel

at 192 MB/s you'd need at least a 2 Gbps full-duplex FC-AL to be able to reach that speeds.

SCSIs CAN do it, but the drives is going to cost you SOO much and on top of that, in a FC system, multiple systems can access different points of the storage array while with SCSI...it can't, and results in something akin to token-ring network topology.

Cost: depends on the enclosures that you pick.

My friend has 4 TB of FC-AL storage at home and he says that it was around like $40,000 with a LOT of shopping around done.

So, for a 3 TB system, it would be between $20,000-30,000 for it.

(His also a 1 Gbps twice full-duplex (i.e. 1 Gbps * 2 * 2) for a total of 4 Gbps)

That would pretty much be what you're looking at. If you also look at any of the OEM builders, that a comparible system would cost you anywhere between $60,000 upwards to $100,000.

First, Fibre Channel is SCSI-3 but it costs more. I can't believe anyone uses SCSI for video anymore, it cost 5X IDE and has few advantages.

However, I did see a pallet of ST118202FC drives on ebay once.

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3TB isnt that much space anymore...

just get a 3ware 8506-12 with 12 maxtor's new maxline iii 300GB monster drives setup raid 5, you have 3 TB with 1 hotspare...

Its a big computer for sure... but not unmanageble.

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3 TB on a 3ware 8506-12 ?? The max unit size is 2 TB, you'll have to make 2 arrays of 1.5TB each and get teh OS to span them into a large logical volume!!!

Otherwise the 3ware 9500 serie can make >2 TB unit...

Can yoiur OS support > 2TB drives ? Windows cannot yet, only FreeBSD 5.x and linux kernel 2.6 that I know of can...

Good luck !

MEJV

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