Trying to Build a RAID for Video/Graphics work

Hi, Im recently new to RAID's and have been researching and learning quite a bit about them for the past couple of weeks. I do video editing with HDSLR video and graphic design, as well as some visual effects and some light 3d rendering.

The applications I use are mainly Adobe production Suite 5.5 (After Effects, Premier, Photoshop, and Illustrator).

I just bought two 1tb Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 HDD's for around $70 and I am wanting to build an external RAID configuration (maybe NAS?). I'm trying to build it inexpensively while still being efficient (I don't want it to be a cheap piece of junk:) ).

What sort of external storage device does anybody recommend for what I will be doing? I don't need anything hardcore at this point as I mostly do this out of hobby (not for a business or anything large like that), I mostly just need the essentials for building my RAID so that I will get satisfying/quick performance out of it.

Do you think I need both RAID 1 and RAID 0 together? or should I just stick with a RAID 0/1?
My main concern is finding out which components that anyone recommends with a low budget such as mine?

Anybody's input would be much appreciated,
thank you!

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  1. Couple of questions just to clarify some items.

    What is the reason you want an external RAID array as opposed to an internal one. You haven't mentioned, but will there be more than one computer accessing this array you are planning on building? Reason I ask, since you already have a computer, setting up these 2 harddrives in a RAID 0 or 1 would require no additional hardware to be purchased.

    You mention that you are looking at both RAID 0/1... but which is it you are actually interested in? I assume you know the differences, very basic: RAID 0 increase in performance, RAID 1 redundant data across both drives. You mention that you are just looking for a performance increase, so I guess just a RAID 0 in your case.

    Are you looking at purchasing additional drives, or just the two that you have already bought? Reason I mention this, if you are interested in a RAID 0+1 or a RAID 1+0, you will need a minimum of four drives.

    If you could answer those questions it would help narrow down a solution for you :). However, it you are just looking for performance and not an external array, it seems you already have everything you need.
  2. Thanks for your reply JordoR!

    Sorry I did not clarify...

    I use both a Windows Desktop computer (with Adobe CS5.5 and games/movies/etc.) and a macbook Pro (with Final Cut Studio). The addition of Adobe suite to my desktop is just recently new. In the past, I've done all of my editing and such on my macbook pro laptop, but I now want to do more visual fx and editing on my desktop because I hate working with high end stuff on a laptop. (and i would have gotten a mac pro desktop, but they're way out of my budget right now, so the PC is a much cheaper alternative :) )

    I would like to use the RAID to be able to switch between both my laptop and desktop for editing and such.

    If I were to stick with the two drives i have now, I would put them in RAID 0 since I'm more interested in performance, rather than safety (aka RAID 1). Considering I am not working on files for important clients or anything, does this option make sense? or is this a bad idea?

    I would be interested in Building a RAID 0+1 combination (4 drives), and like I said in my first post, I am open to suggestions and recommendations on hardware for that.

    The reason I'm looking to set up a RAID is because my 500GB Lacie external drive that I use for media storage just filled up and I don't have any more space. That being the case, I was looking for a new Lacie to purchase but then got into looking at RAID's and thought that maybe ill just set up my own external RAID for, hopefully, around the same price.

    PS what is the difference between RAID 1+0 and RAID 0+1?

  3. You can get an empty box with PSU of 100W to 200W
    Mount up to 5x drives use a drivers-less raid controller SPM393, like I do
    you can set up a raid0/1/3/5/10/BIG/CLONE with installed drives

    for raid3/5/10 you can have a hot spare

    W/R speed would be around 200MB/sec or more for RAID10/5/3
  4. I wouldn't get to hung up on RAID 0. I put Velicoraptors in RAID 0 to use as a Scratch Drive and then discovered that it was rare for my software to write at anything more than 10 MB a second. This is obviously way under what the raptors are capable of. What I suggest you do is run one drive and try editing a file on it. Unless the software is actually hitting speeds of more than 90 MB a second (which I doubt it will) then one drive will more than enough and having two in RAID 0 will give you no real world performance. As you are not interested in RAID 1 for redundancy then all you would need is a single (and cheap) external HDD enclosure which will allow you to hot swap between your computers. Use the other HDD as a back up drive or use it when you run low on space.
  5. Thanks for all your input!

    Ok, so right now I'm leaning more towards a couple of options...

    1st Option:
    One or two HDD's inside of a simple external storage device to use between both my macbook pro and my PC desktop. One of the HDD's will be used for Original/Final Video Storage, while the other will be used for scratch and transcoded HD video files for edits on AE and Premier [and also for Final Cut Pro on my mac]). Applications will be installed on my internal HDD.
    ^ Does this option seem logical?

    2nd Option:
    Run a RAID 5 (with 3 HDD) in an external storage device. My concern with this, however, is that I feel as if this RAID configuration will be even slower than if I just stuck with 1 HDD in an external storage device... ?

    How does a RAID 3 compare to this (performance wise)?

    Also, if I end up doing a RAID 5/3, I will buy another HDD. I would consider RAID 10, but that seems like it's going to get too pricey, and I'm also just not sure that I need something that rugged yet.

    3rd Option:
    NAS set up to use for both my macbook pro and my PC desktop. And inside of this NAS I would run either of these two options ^.

    In addition to these options,
    I am really looking for some good (inexpensive) hardware for whichever of these setups I choose. Please, any suggestions for the following would be of great help:

    -External Storage Devices for single/double HDD

    -External Storage Devices for a RAID configuration (for the type of projects/work I'll be doing - AE, Premier, etc.)

    -Any suggestions on building an inexpensive, but decent for what ill be doing, NAS? Or any inexpensive but efficient NAS system out there?

    PS are these any good?

    For Option 1:
    or (docking bay?)

    For Option 2:
    (can I RAID this?)

    I looked up the RAID controller that you recommended FireWire2. I just don't know exactly to complete the build.

    Here's another RAID option I found,

    For Option 3:
    I found a Netgear Ready NAS but I'm wondering if there's a cheaper alternative.

    Thanks for all your reply's so far, and for any additional help!
  6. Forget RAID 5. RAID 5 relies on a good RAID Controller to perform well. Even if such a Controller is purchased there is a common complaint that the write performance in RAID 5 is severely compromised.

    A NAS is good as a small file server and it can offer RAID 1 (and pointless RAID 0). RAID 1 would be good for redundancy. However it will need to be networked and networked solutions are not really designed for amazingly quick response.

    The ONLY way you can make an informed decision as to whether you require any RAID except RAID 1 is to run a single drive and use performance monitor to see if your software is pushing that single drive beyond its ability to perform. If the software does not (as I suspect it will not) push that drive beyond its limits then the only questions that remain are whether you want redundancy and the best method of connectivity.

    If you want redundancy then RAID 1 is the answer. That can be achieved through purchasing a NAS or a dual drive RAID 1 supported HDD enclosure. Connectivity is answered if both your desktop and laptop support a common technology such as Gigabit LAN or ESATA.
  7. Ok, then lets toss out the RAID 5 idea...

    Any Recommendations for enclosures for a NAS and/or a dual drive with RAID 1 support?
    a storage device/storage dock for singly/dual HDD?

    Thank Wamphryi for your response!
  8. A NAS can be tricky to set up so I would go with a ESATA capable external HDD Dock. Hot swap capable so you can use either of your drives. I use a Nexstar which has proven to be OK.

    Check this out. A later version might be out by now I have had my two a while now.
  9. Thank you for the link!

    Just curious, what is the advantage of having a dock over an enclosed device?

    Please, any more suggestions would be very helpful for making my final decision!
    Thank you!
  10. The advantage is that you can swap out the drives that you want to use where as if you use an enclosure you will have to take it apart to swap the drive in it to use another.
  11. I think I may go with an enclosed device, just so that I don't have to worry about it getting knocked and damaged somehow...

    This dual bay one looked decent, but i wish it had eSATA instead of USB 2.0...

    And so does this single bay...

    What do you think??

  12. Well the single bay one has ESATA which is a good thing. At that price you could buy an enclosure for each HDD you have and still be well under the price of a NAS.
  13. Halleycurtis said:
    Ok, then lets toss out the RAID 5 idea...

    You need to rethink what about raid5...

    Raid5 is fast and reliable - there are 1000's of raid5 in service and it's very fast, high reliable, and high availability, it can transfer more than 1000MB/sec.
    All of fast raid5 uses HARDWARE raid.

    Using mother board's raid feature is asking for headache and trouble. I never for once consider using motherboard's raid feature.

    With your application you need fast data transfer. Hardware raid5 with 3 drives you can get over 200MB/sec and more spindle the faster it gets.

    There are hardware raid5 controller cost in low 100's for you to DIY
    Or you can get eBOX-R5 and set up as:
    3x drives raid5 - transfer rate about 210MB/sec
    2x as JBOD - archived your data
    4x RAID5+Hot spare - more reliable
    1x drive as hot swap drive for data back up

    I have one of this box for personal use, it's VERY flexible and fast.

    I just don't get how come every one keep posting raid5 is slow... of course it slows if you don't use it right...
  14. Thanks for all the clarification on that! Tha was very helpful. I would be looking for an inexpensive diy raid, any recommendations for cards?

    "best answer" coming your way!
  15. Best answer
    Halleycurtis said:
    Thanks for all the clarification on that! Tha was very helpful. I would be looking for an inexpensive diy raid, any recommendations for cards?

    "best answer" coming your way!

    I use quite number of these raid controllers SPM394 and SPM393

    For window and mac i use SPM393 because it has raid manager GUI.
    where FreeNAS, SAMBA, OpenFiler, Linux... I used SPM394 cuz it does not have RAID GUI for these OS. I manage the raid right at the LCD controller.

    Note: If you want to see MORE than one drives from this controller, your SATA port has to support PM ware.
    Most of the motherboard Marvel SATA3 (6Gb) chip set will work
  16. Best answer selected by halleycurtis.
  17. Good luck with using both your laptop and your desktop on those "Internal" RAID Solutions. ;-)
  18. I gave him the best answer for the previous responses he gave, not just this last one.
  19. Wamphryi said:
    Good luck with using both your laptop and your desktop on those "Internal" RAID Solutions. ;-)

    Matter of fact this raid controller can be use in ANY OS, due to DRIVER-LESS.

    For external use
    - Get this SATA to eSATA bracket

    Now you can use it as External

    and use this hardware raid with system that DOES NOT have eSATA / SATA port computer - connect the box to a USB3.0 to eSATA adapter (driver-less)

    Now your raid can be use in eSATA/SATA/USB2.0 and USB3.0 without loading ANY kind of driver or software
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