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Storage setup for heavy writing/reading use

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April 13, 2010 8:34:18 PM

Hey all,

I work in an academic lab and I'll be putting together a tower to control acquisitions on our main microscope. Dozens of gigabytes in image files are taken daily and either moved somewhere else or deleted. Since the university grant is paying for it, teh budget is pretty high(no more than 5G's for the tower lets say).
My thinking was using all three since my budget would allow me to do so and it would give me a 'best of all worlds' setup, in theory. I'd use the SSD to run OS and core apps (esp. the program running the scope/camera) for fast operation. For my daily acquisitions (where lots of shuffling/deleting/reviewing will occur), I was thinking a highRPM HD like VelociRaptor(or two in RAID0 config, if I wanted to get cute), and lastly a large, standard RPM drive for long-term storage.

Does this sound like a feasible (if not totally superfluous) solution to a storage hungry application? Input, and other ideas, would be greatly appreciated.
a c 415 G Storage
April 13, 2010 11:10:34 PM

The idea of using SSD for the OS and HDD for bulk storage is an excellent one.

I'm not convinced you'd need Velociraptors for bulk storage, though. That might be the case if it was a server receiving images from lots of workstations, but if this is the sole control system for one microscope then I assume you're just going to be receiving images one after another and then potentially transferring them somewhere else, again one after another.

Velociraptors have excellent access times, but that mostly benefits random I/O. For the kind of use you're describing, raw transfer rates are probably more important, and standard modern high-capacity drives have pretty decent rates. I'd be surprised if they wouldn't be adequate for handling the images you'll be dealing with.

As a sanity check, how large are the image files produced by the microscope, and at what rate does it produce them?
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