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Brian Peterson
04-05-2003, 01:34 PM
Okay, it's time to add another raid to my computer. Which 3ware Escalade controller should I get: The 3Ware 7500-4 Escalade storage controller or the 3Ware 7500-4LP Escalade storage controller

Thanks!

sbrandt
04-08-2003, 01:29 PM
...on the kind of Case you use.
I THINK all "LP" means is "Low Profile".

vip3dran
04-09-2003, 11:41 AM
Brian,

We're using the Escalade 7850 with great success. This one allows you to connect up to 8 drives. Also, it is a 64-bit card, so if your mobo has any 64-bit pci slots, it will see higher thruput speeds.

I believe the 7500 -4 only accomodates 4 drives.

Gordon
04-11-2003, 06:53 PM
Also the Escalade 8500 Serial ATA cards work quite well. The 8500-8 seems to top out at 156MB in my tests. And that is after the conversion hit you get when you convert a drive from Parallel ATA to Serial ATA. This is at least as good as SCSI U160.

(Update: Although the disk test shows some impressive results this doesn't translate as well to video streams. Seagate SATA drives seem to be especially poor performers with multiple streams in VT-Edit. I was only getting about 3 streams with 4 x Seagate SATA and four streams with 4 x IBM PATA and six streams with 4 x Seagate U320 SCSI on a Supermicro X5DA8 - all using Windows to stripe the drives into one RAID.)

djlithium
04-13-2003, 07:27 AM
Hmmm..
IDE still seems to be getting some interest on this board huh??

I have to say DON'T DO IT!


K.

Brian Peterson
04-13-2003, 08:31 AM
Well lithium, that is about as well a reasoned explenation as to why IDE is not a viable solution I've ever seen. BTW I'm already runing an IDE raid and it is a viable, functional, trouble free, inexpensive solution.

And your reasoning would be?

djlithium
04-13-2003, 09:59 AM
IDE is doable... but I still don't recommend it.

There are a few reasons to avoid them.

Perhaps in terms of initial investment yes it is not as expensive as SCSI RAIDs but that depends on where you place value. Your components or your projects... and more importantly, time.

Don't get me wrong. Might work for some people. I love the idea of building a nice fat raid 0 that will do 3-4 streams of uncompressed (safely?) for under 1200 bucks canadian, but at the same time I have reservations about IDE drives in RAIDs for use in professional editing systems.

I have had two RAID's in the past year both doing heavy duty editing work -blow apart- because of drive problems (bad run of IBM Deskstar 60GB drives in one case). Of course always at the worst time. Right in the middle of a show.

Many of the IDE drives we see out there on the market today are not intended for this kind of use. They are nice and fat semi-speedy consumer level components. Their specifications may read out for performance levels that one would get the impression that you can have these kinds of raids pull off the streams of uncompressed video for half the price of a smaller SCSI based solution, but at the end of the day if you burn out the drives, what does that get you?? Lots of very heavy coasters, and hours of reloading video into your system.

Failure rates for IDE drives are much higher than for SCSI and the warranties are less than friendly. Even Seagate has changed its warranty policy recently on all IDE drives from 3 years to 1 year and companies like Maxtor followed. Some SCSI drives retain the 3 year warranty. Hell, I remember when it was 5 years from most manufacturers. Point is that as drives get bigger and less expensive on the IDE end of things they usually become more disposable. This has happened with motherboards in recent years with certain manufacturers producing units that "get you by" for general home/office use. IDE and SCSI storage solutions are intended for different uses completely. Medea seems to be the only company out there that is able to produce a IDE based RAID 0 or RAID 5 system that lasts more then a couple of years. So when people suggest a home built IDE RAID for doing uncompressed video in broadcast environments?? hmmmmm....

Is anyone here using an IDE RAID Toaster2 based system for broadcast video production? (ie TV Station work) Or for television episodic production?

I would like to hear success stories of IDE RAIDs in use, but I would also like to hear about the environments these systems are operating in.

Gordon
04-14-2003, 12:52 PM
The IDE vs SCSI debate.

First of all, although warranties for many IDE drives were dropped from 3 to 1 year, TTBOMK, all the 8MB cache drives from IBM, Seagate and Maxtor continue to have 3 year warranties.

In my experience SCSI drives fail as often as the best IDE drives given the same environment, because they come from the same factory with the same platters, bearings and motors. I'm not convinced that they use lesser parts in IDE drives than SCSI. The only difference is the controller card attached to the bottom of the drive. True, you will more often see IDE drives stuck in a cheaper computer case with lesser cooling which will shorten the life of the drive. When someone forks out the big bucks for a SCSI solution the money is also available for a better case with better cooling. Generally drives, (bearings specifically), fail because of heat and head crashes can be caused by moving the case with the power turned on. Otherwise, the rated life expectancy is about the same.

The Seagate drives with the fluid bearings look to hold the most promise for reliability. They are quiet, don't heat up as much and at 7,200 rpm vs 10,000 or 15,000 rpm should outlast the SCSI equivalent! In fact it is illogical that a 10,000/15,000 rpm drive that runs at 50% higher temperature will even last as long as an IDE at 7,200 rpm based on the assumption that they will be in the same environment and using the same highly touted new bearings.

So quiet, cool, 8MB cache, good bearings, large capacity, highly reliable, (equal or better than a faster SCSI), and cheap. There really is no reason to not go IDE RAID.

Well okay, with the faster rotation times comes faster data access times for SCSI drives, dropping from an average of 12ms to around 8ms.

Also the SCSI controllers are more intelligent in the way they make use of the drives availabe cache with associative look-ahead algorithms that will use intellegent sector pre-fetching to anticipate needed data.

Both faster access and a more intelligent controller are designed for an application like a database server. However, it may also be significant for a video editing application where you may be cutting from one video to other clips in rapid success where it can't get to the next clip in time. This is a rare occurance that can easily be accomodated with the 'Force Render' effect.

SBowie
04-14-2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Gordon

So quiet, cool, 8MB cache, good bearings, large capacity, highly reliable, (equal or better than a faster SCSI), and cheap. There really is no reason to not go IDE RAID.
Although, throughout this never-ending debate and apart from other issues, Andrew has continued to assert that IDE places more demand on the cpu than does SCSI. I don't know that anyone has ever attempted to quantize this, though, and clearly there are happy IDE users.

djlithium
04-14-2003, 02:04 PM
I can see how SCSI can be less demanding on the CPU overall and that factors heavily into performance with these kinds of systems especially the Toaster where you need that CPU power for more useful things. Like toasting video! :)

A lot of box builders that I have worked with in the past think "raid controller" when I talk about video raids to them, but they don't understand that the performance need is not for burtable speed, but sustained speed. People will look at IDE drives I think in much the same way. How long can you keep that X MB/s up across the board??

Getting back to IDE, the Promise fastrak cards had settings for "video editing raid" which oddly would not produce speeds across 4 drives to do more then 1 - 2 stream of uncompressed with any degree of reliability.
With the "black magic" of escalade 3ware cards that can get up to 4 streams sure... but I don't buy into Gordon's comments that SCSI drives "come out of the same factory" with the same parts as their IDE brothers or manufactured as such. The quality assurance end of things is NOT the same. If it was, then the drive types would be very close to being the same if not exactly identical for price. Sure, market share for IDE vs. SCSI factors into this as does anything with supply and demand, but SCSI has been around for a long long time, and manufacturers of SCSI drive systems, cards and components don't just slap the stuff together with the intention of selling it to the same market as the IDE units have(general computing), only to put a higher price tag on it because it's "for special purposes". There is a reason! And it's called reliability.
I have had Seagate Barracuda SCSI 2 drives with my old PVR system put into situations that I don't even what to talk about here (don't want to share any nightmares with you :P ) that have performed and performed again when IDE drives from the same era or newer have blown out in less then a year under less stressful situations. Heat??? You don't want to get me on the topic of heat and drives.
The drives in the IDE based units that sI spoke in a previous post and went on to self-destruct; were treated like babies in nice cool Aluminum cases with fan sets on each drive. Almost in series, each drive failed one after the other. All the same make, all the same brand. IBM.
Later on in another system in another application (multitracking audio) I had to replace a pair of IDE ATA 133 19GB 7200rpm Maxtor drives less then a year after they went into the box. IBM was a pain in the ***, but it turned out to be a flaw in their design and eventually that model was pulled. The reason I got from one of their techs was that this model of drive had developed problems when being used in situations where the drives were either 1. Left on all the times like in a server, or 2. used in high performance applications like RAID arrays. Hmm...
Doesn't sound like a quality choice in comparision to a SCSI drive set even from the same manufacturer. I later learned that a lot of these drives in that series came out of one of the Fujitsu plants and were rebranded as being IBM. I should have guessed. I have blown out more Fujitsu drives then any other brand over the past 10 years. Others who I know have also had probelms with Fujitsu drives both SCSI and IDE not exactly performing as advertised.

The people at Maxtor had replacements for me soon, but not fast enough. I had to go out and by replacements to get the work done. Again, SCSI = $ = Time you save in screwing around when something goes wrong which will probably save you money in the end.
Still, walking down to your local London Drugs and building a RAID for less the 1200 bucks that has half a TB in size is a very nice idea. IF its disposible... go hard (with IDE)... if its not... go SCSI. :)


So again, I ask.... Can anyone give me some realworld T2/3 systems being used in broadcast production environments that are equiped with IDE based drives sets for the video?

I would like to hear about these peoples experiences with IDE raids, positive and negative.

SBowie
04-14-2003, 02:48 PM
Gee, someone with longer posts than mine ... never thought I'd see the day. Anyhow, here are my short comments:


HD Brands

Maxtor = yuck, except the re-badged Quantum Atlas stuff.
Seagate = top notch across the board


EIDE vs. SCSI

Performance -- SCSI, especially 64bit SCSI on the mobo, is better -- but EIDE can do the job adequately.

Reliability -- I've seen both die too many times, roughly equally in my memory ... and I've known Gordon far too long to quibble with him :)

djlithium
04-14-2003, 03:03 PM
Hah!
You think my posts are long... wait until you see my articles.


:)

The virdict is still out here I think. But I do know that in systems with on-board SCSI 160 and 320 controllers that the through put is much better then with say an adaptec add in card.

Again I have to ask.... anyone out there USING IDE based raid toasters in broadcast production environments or post??

Success stories, bad trips... I want to hear them all.

SBowie
04-14-2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by djlithium

The virdict is still out here I think. But I do know that in systems with on-board SCSI 160 and 320 controllers that the through put is much better then with say an adaptec add in card.
Yes, of course. Moving the SCSI throughput off the PCI bus which the Toaster card is on has a large impact, to the tune of about 2 uncompressed streams.

djlithium
04-14-2003, 03:56 PM
So further to the point... onboard SCSI controlers with 10K drives will beat out any IDE based raid using the escalade approach in terms of speed.

Okay... enough said... :)


I also agree... the new Quantum Altas drives are still very nice even if they have maxtor stamped on them.
I have had so so luck with off the shelf Maxtor drives. Some fail some don't. I have 3 in a machine right now that are part of a radio station that I run online and its been on solid for close to 4 years. Different sizes and models... happy as a kitten.


K.

Gordon
04-14-2003, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by SBowie
Yes, of course. Moving the SCSI throughput off the PCI bus which the Toaster card is on has a large impact, to the tune of about 2 uncompressed streams.

That's the really nice thing about the Escalade controllers and the new motherboards. With the two Escalades installed on the PCI-X slots and the Toaster on the separate PCI slot, there was no penalty in uncompressed steams. With the Toaster running and using the Toaster's autoconfig, it reported that the video raid was getting a whooping 246MB/sec. It also mentioned that the results would be better if the WinRTME.exe task was ended.

This is quite a bit better than U160 SCSI but I will admit that with U320 SCSI and 15 hard drives that you would probably get very close to 300 MB/sec. Of couse this is also true with the Escalade. Populating both Escalades with twice the number of hard drives, (16 total), would also give us about 312MB/sec according to my tests, (each card topped out at 156MB/sec). With them being on a separate data path, (PCI-X instead of PCI), it doesn't affect the Toaster at all.

Also with the Escalade being an intelligent controller, the tax on the CPUs was only about 2% - not an issue in a dual Xeon 4.8 Ghz system.

(Update: Although the auto config drive speed test shows some impressive results this doesn't translate as well to video streams. Seagate SATA drives seem to be especially poor performers with multiple streams in VT-Edit. I was only getting about 3 streams with 4 x Seagate SATA and four streams with 4 x IBM PATA and six streams with 4 x Seagate U320 SCSI on a Supermicro X5DA8 - all using Windows to stripe the drives into one RAID.)

Still, at 1/3 the cost per MB compared to SCSI, and able to get four real time streams, it is no wonder why it works so well for many people.

mgrusin
04-14-2003, 10:44 PM
Again I have to ask.... anyone out there USING IDE based raid toasters in broadcast production environments or post??
I was going to stay out of this, but since you asked...

Not exactly broadcast, but as far as post, I've been editing 4-8H a day (with the system powered 24/7) for about a year now on a pair of WD 120GB "specials" with almost zero problems. I get about 60MB/s on my MB's built-in RAID 0. Certainly nothing spectacular (I hope to upgrade to an Escalade controller and another two drives soon), but before you 200MB/s folks ROFL, it's apparently more than enough to capture, edit, and output a handful of DV streams extremely smoothly. Plus I have enough room (240GB) to do the long-format (up to 6H) productions that pay the bills. I could have never afforded that kind of acreage in SCSI when I was setting up this system, but (here's the point), I could probably afford it NOW because of all the jobs we've completed together. :D

My conclusion: IDE is clearly inferior to SCSI in every technical measure except one: cost. But that one's a doozy, because it allows you to leverage commodity hardware to do things that couldn't be done before (much like the Toaster itself). Setting up a monster IDE array is currently dirt cheap, approaching $1/GB. Soon it will be just as cheap to do the same thing even with redundancy (dumb ol' RAID 0+1, or hopefully RAID 3 if the firmware appears), which should help with any lingering reliability issues. Is it cheaper to replace a dead IDE drive periodically, or to invest in the potentially more reliable SCSI array? I don't know, but I do know that cost vs. capacity is constantly dropping, but gets frozen once you sign the credit card receipt. If you can increase your capacity more often because you can afford to, so much the better for your product and/or business.

AGAIN, before you get your flame on, I run an admittedly low-end system. If you really need 4 times the above performance (some people do, especially for live work), AND/OR you're running a TV station or other mission-critical job where you need maximum reliability, AND you have the budget to do so, by all means go with SCSI (if more people bought SCSI, the price would drop ;)). Everyone else, especially those putting together T[X] systems on a budget, I encourage you to give IDE a try. You might be surprised by what it can do, especially for your profit margin. (And if it doesn't work out, you can always use the hardware for backup drives or your MP3 collection).

-MG

irfan
04-15-2003, 07:55 PM
So, does anyone know of a PCI-based RAID-3 solution right now?

i.e. not an external independent chassis but rather a PCI card that will do RAID-3? IDE or SCSI.

Thanks in advance,

Irfan

Paul Lara
04-15-2003, 08:47 PM
You can check out offerings from MEDEA (http://www.medea.com/products/go.cfm?Prod=VideoRaidRTR) or from Rorke Data (http://www.rorke.com/av/galaxyiav.html)

mlowes
04-21-2003, 06:07 PM
I have to say that I agree completely with djlithium on the IDE vs SCSI issue.

I presently have an IDE raid set up with 4 seagate 80 GB HDD's on an escalade controller, and have ALMOST gotten it working smoothly with 2 uncompressed streams of video - AFTER PROBABLY MORE THAN 40 HOURS OF TWEAKING SETTINGS AND HARDWARE!

I can spend these hours tweaking happily at home as I'm not dependant on the toaster professionally, (I work as a game developer at present). Actually, my daily tweaking reminds me of my dad tweaking his old cafe racer. If I was using the toaster professionally, I'd be in serious trouble though.

When I worked as an editor my time was charged out at 40 dollars an hour, and this really quickly makes the cost difference between scsi and IDE to be peanuts. If the system goes down for 1 day on two occasions, you've made the difference. Besides, you'll be more productive, with more streams, which if you're good, will make you more money and pay for your SCSI :)

I'm aware there are perfectly happy IDE users out there, and congratulations. But on my end it just feels really glitchy the harder you push it. I'm used to very solid Media 100's, and I don't like the feeling of glitchy video one bit. Recommend stay away from IDE if the toaster is used to make you money. How much is your time, and even more importantly your reputation worth ?

Imagine becoming suscpicious of your system, carefully having to watch the entire project printing to tape checking for video glitches before you send it off to the station...
Toaster doesn't always tell you when it's dropping frames on playback, can't trust that green light 100 percent.

Anyone who wants to help troubleshoot my evil array, join me in the troubleshooting forum :)

djlithium
04-21-2003, 06:53 PM
Aye!
My point exactly, but in terms only some users will get knowing both sides of the fence when it comes to production vs home work.

Thanks for making it so clear again to everyone out there.


Cheers! :)

(Game dev huh?? whatcha working on and for who and how do I get in? :) )

mlowes
04-21-2003, 07:28 PM
As always, NDA's of course.
Sigh, I don't like them, but I always honor them. They're just so damn unfun. I work all day with lightwave, and can't talk or show anything to anyone...
I work for Furious Entertainment, game is still un-announced.

Yeah, production work is definitely quite the beast, and broadcast is a beast unto itself. I'm still a little scared of station video engineers :) I can't imagine the pressure of some of the toaster users out there that are working live !

djlithium
04-21-2003, 07:44 PM
HAHH
Furious huh?

I applied for a job there at one point... But for the other end of the company I think... more feature then game... weird.

Hmmm maybe I am confused.
Well anyone getting paid to do LW work in Vancouver on games has my support (max-nazi's in vancouver- grrrrrrr) so go hard.
If you ever need help ;)


Cheers.

gstonebank
04-23-2003, 02:03 AM
I do post for broadcast on an IDE system.

I own a VT[2] running an Escalade with 4 x Seagate 80Gb disks & I get about 70Mb/sec (on same PCI bus as VT card) - works fine for post except when the drives start to get full.

I also reglarly edit on 2 other VT[2] systems, both running SCSI RAID (Hardware - Mylex Acceleraid 170) and they get about 80Mb/sec (also on same PCI bus as VT card) off 8 x SCSI160 10K drives. I will soon be upgrading these systems to 7505 based boards with multiple PCI busses.

In my experience the SCSI systems are just that little bit quicker and feel more solid when editing. I would recommend the SCSI for a facility type environment where you may have clients sitting with you and the escalade for an environment where you are doing your own work.

Of course my opinions may change once I have upgraded those systems.....

Cheers
Graeme

mlowes
04-23-2003, 12:46 PM
How many streams are you able to get reliably out of the 4 seagate drives Gstonebank ?
Seems you have the exact RAID setup I do.
I can't seem to quite get 2 uncompressed reliably...

What are the system details of the machine you're running this on. Perhaps you could give me some tips on my troubleshooting thread on my IDE RAID. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

SBowie
04-23-2003, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by mlowes
I have to say that I agree completely with djlithium on the IDE vs SCSI issue.

I presently have an IDE raid set up with 4 seagate 80 GB HDD's on an escalade controller, and have ALMOST gotten it working smoothly with 2 uncompressed streams of video - AFTER PROBABLY MORE THAN 40 HOURS OF TWEAKING SETTINGS AND HARDWARE! I used to agree, but there has been some modification of my position over the last 6 months. In witness of that, I've got two WDJB1200's striped - without a RAID controller -- that by themselves play back 2 streams of uncompressed flawlessly -- with background rendering turned completely off (which is where I always leave it.)

I also have a SCSI array, but if you can do this with 2 good IDE's, I don't doubt the claims I've seen elsewhere for more. Reliability may be a factor, but it's not like I've never seen good quality SCSI drives going back on RMAs either. I'd still rather have SCSI, but I'm less rabid...

p.s. - I suspect the Seagates are your problem. Their current IDE's just don't cut it by all accounts.

mlowes
04-23-2003, 02:50 PM
are these drives new SATA drives ?

SBowie
04-23-2003, 03:06 PM
Nope - the difference between the JB series WD's and the rest of the pack is the 8 meg cache. (They also still come with a 3 year warranty, unlike most others.) They're big, fast and cheap .... hard to beat.

mlowes
04-23-2003, 04:49 PM
I don't really understand how the cache would come into play for the random access nature of editing.

SBowie
04-23-2003, 04:56 PM
I expect it has a lot more to do with the ability to playback multiple streams at 21 megs per second a pop without faltering than with access speeds. The SCSI drives with large cache are also notably faster.

gstonebank
04-24-2003, 04:38 AM
Originally posted by mlowes
How many streams are you able to get reliably out of the 4 seagate drives Gstonebank ?
...What are the system details of the machine you're running this on. Perhaps you could give me some tips on my troubleshooting thread on my IDE RAID. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I get 2 most of the time & have seen 3 but I think that depends on where the files are on the disk and how long the clips are. It can also be difficult to see due to the background rendering. Recording I get only 1 stream and definitely no playback and record at the same time but even the SCSI systems wont do that as they stand.

Systems spec:

AMD Athlon 1700+
Gigabyte GA-7DX+ Mboard (AMD chipset)
256Mb RAM
Escalade 7504 (I think...)
4 x Seagate 80Gb 7200rpm

The problems I had were:

1. originally tried a VIA chipset (KT266) motherboard and had no luck (1 stream playback, barely 1 stream record) I think this is due to the way that chipset uses the PCI bus.
2. Latest version VT software, the older versions didn't perform quite as well
3. Try turning the write caches on and off. I can't remember whether the Escalade improved when I did this but the SCSI RAIDs want it to be off.
4. I remember experimenting with cluster size when formatting the drives but I would have to check what I ended up with (watch out as if you have a non standard cluster size you cannot defrag using windows built in tool)
5. Try using the built in windows software RAID as an alternative to the Escalade hardware RAID. I saw little difference but you may.
6. Watch out for network cards, I had problems with Realtek based cards (also a bus usage issue I guess)

Hope some of this helps!

Cheers
Graeme

djlithium
04-24-2003, 07:56 AM
Recording I get only 1 stream and definitely no playback and record at the same time but even the SCSI systems wont do that as they stand.

I beg to differ....

I have had ALL of our T2 systems built and made capable of recording while playing back at least 2 streams of video while mixing in a DSK from another source either it being Ted a ddr or Aura. In some cases I have had two streams of video being recorded (main and PGM out) while playing back two streams mixed with the switcher.

This is off dual AMD Athalon MP2000 or dual Intel Xeon 2.2 based systems with on-baord scsi ultra 160 running seagate cheeta 36GB 10K drives (4 in a stripe) with 1GB of ram.


As it stands, SCSI systems will do this.

gstonebank
04-24-2003, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by djlithium
I beg to differ....

I have had ALL of our T2 systems built and made capable of recording while playing back at least 2 streams of video while mixing in a DSK from another source either it being Ted a ddr or Aura. In some cases I have had two streams of video being recorded (main and PGM out) while playing back two streams mixed with the switcher.

This is off dual AMD Athalon MP2000 or dual Intel Xeon 2.2 based systems with on-baord scsi ultra 160 running seagate cheeta 36GB 10K drives (4 in a stripe) with 1GB of ram.


As it stands, SCSI systems will do this.

Sorry, I was not clear enough....

I meant that the 2 SCSI systems that I referred to in my original post cannot do that. This is probably due to them a) running single Athlon 1800+ chips on single bus boards & b) running single channel SCSI RAID cards.

I am due to upgrade those systems to Dual Xeons on 7505 chipsets, then hopefully I should see a significant speed (& throughput) increase.