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Jbod enclosures w/ 6+ bays & Thunderbolt or USB3 ports

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November 28, 2012 2:02:03 PM

Hello,
I have approx 36TBs of media on 22 - 2Tb bare Gdrives.
They hold the DPX source media for a movie I just shot.
I'd like to get them all inserted into a JBOD enclosure (either 3- 12TBs or 2 - 18TBs) and daisy chain them together so I can set up a conform for color grading and make a DI.

Does anyone know of a JBOD enclosure that would work for this purpose?
Or perhaps there's a company that has the iron to do this for me?
Please advise ASAP and thanks in advance for your help.
Gary
a b G Storage
November 28, 2012 3:22:51 PM

I've never heard of JBOD enclosures that big. You'll probably have better luck with something like a RAID controller card that has a ton of SATA ports on it, then just connect all the drives to your computer. Here's what I'd do.

1. Get a RAID controller card with enough ports for all your disks and support for JBOD.
2. If your PSU can't handle all the drives, get a second power supply and wire the green pin on the ATX connector (the big, 24 pin thing) to one of the black pins. This will cause the power supply to turn on whenever you flip the switch on its back, instead of when the computer's power button is pressed (because this won't be wired to the power button).
3. Get a bunch of SATA power cable splitters and connect all your drives to the RAID card.
4. If using two PSUs, you need to flip the switch on the second PSU first (so the drives are powered when the motherboard expects them to be) then hit the computer's power button.
5. The computer should work as normal from here on out.

You're going to be looking at a few hundred dollars in hardware here, because good RAID controller cards with dozens of ports aren't cheap. If you need a second PSU, any small one should do. Figure 15 watts per drive, 22 drives, so at least 330W on the 12v rail is required. Any decent 450W+ PSU can handle that. If you're going to drive the rest of the system on the same power supply, though, you'll probably want 750W-850W.
November 28, 2012 5:15:08 PM

Wow, Willard. Thanks for your very detailed reply. Much appreciated, but that's a lot more hardware tinkering than I trust myself with. I'll have to get some tech friends in on it. BTW, this is a lot of data to handle.... what sort of throughput can I expect to get from this arrangement. Can it also be done via eSATa or USB 3.0 to help speed things up?
Thanks,
Gary


willard said:
I've never heard of JBOD enclosures that big. You'll probably have better luck with something like a RAID controller card that has a ton of SATA ports on it, then just connect all the drives to your computer. Here's what I'd do.

1. Get a RAID controller card with enough ports for all your disks and support for JBOD.
2. If your PSU can't handle all the drives, get a second power supply and wire the green pin on the ATX connector (the big, 24 pin thing) to one of the black pins. This will cause the power supply to turn on whenever you flip the switch on its back, instead of when the computer's power button is pressed (because this won't be wired to the power button).
3. Get a bunch of SATA power cable splitters and connect all your drives to the RAID card.
4. If using two PSUs, you need to flip the switch on the second PSU first (so the drives are powered when the motherboard expects them to be) then hit the computer's power button.
5. The computer should work as normal from here on out.

You're going to be looking at a few hundred dollars in hardware here, because good RAID controller cards with dozens of ports aren't cheap. If you need a second PSU, any small one should do. Figure 15 watts per drive, 22 drives, so at least 330W on the 12v rail is required. Any decent 450W+ PSU can handle that. If you're going to drive the rest of the system on the same power supply, though, you'll probably want 750W-850W.


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a b G Storage
November 28, 2012 6:13:59 PM

Throughput should be the same as a single drive, since JBOD doesn't give you any extra throughput. At this point it's too late to use RAID to increase throughput, because the data is already on the drives.

As far as Thunderbolt, eSATA or USB 3.0 to try to speed things up, that's one of the best things about this kind of approach. You bypass the need for them entirely, and the disks talk directly to the controller. A direct connection to the controller will always be as fast or faster than using an external interface like USB. You should actually get better performance than plugging directly into your motherboard when you use a RAID controller card, because it has its own processor dedicated to handling the storage tasks.

Really though, if you need a fast working drive, you should get an SSD. If your working sets are small enough (say, <200GB) then a cheap consumer SSD would be perfect. If you need several hundred GB on your working drive at a time, then you'll probably want to consider a PCIe SSD. Expect to spend around $1k for these, but their performance is literally several times faster than the best consumer SSD on the market.
a b G Storage
November 28, 2012 6:21:52 PM

Went and found an example RAID card for you. It's a bit pricey, you can probably find them considerably cheaper. I'd guess $600-$1k would be a good price for a high end card like this.

http://www.amazon.com/Areca-ARC-1280ML-Port-PCIe-Contro...

What you're looking for is 22+ internal SATA II or SATA III ports. SAS won't cut it for you, those are different (and more expensive) drives. You'll also need something that supports JBOD (obviously) and that's on a PCIe x8 or higher interface (that many drives need a lot of bandwidth).
!