Best external RAID system for Windows

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Steve Holmlund

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Best external RAID system for Windows

PostSun Jan 10, 2021 11:30 pm

I'm helping someone with a time-sensitive RFQ for a system built around:

Dell Precision Workstation T7920:
• Dual Intel Xeon Gold 6128: 3.4GHz, 10.4GT/s, 2666MHz memory access
• 128GB, 2666MHz DDR4 memory
• 8 GB NVIDIA® Quadro® Graphical card
• 16 TB (4x4 TB) SAS HDD in RAID 0 for data
• 512GB SSD for operating system and software

I can't seem to find a lot of external RAID systems for Windows. Can someone please recommend?

I'm not sure that RAID is absolutely required but that's what I was asked to investigate. This would be to backup the internal 16TB RAID.

Thanks.
Steve
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Best external RAID system for Windows

PostTue Jan 12, 2021 12:43 am

If you don’t have crazy budget then I would drop those Xeons for AMD probably and add very good GPU.
For Resolve you need very good GPU not crazy CPUs. You may end up with unbalanced system where GPU will be often at 100% and your very expensive Xeons at 20%.
You really have to start with type of media/projects which you are going work on. Then you start planing CPU/GPU and storage keeping in mind that Resolve is mainly about GPU.
You actually have Quadro as well (just noticed)- another waste of money. There is no need for it unless you are trying to build some 30k$ machine for 8K projects.
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Mark Palius

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Re: Best external RAID system for Windows

PostTue Jan 12, 2021 3:59 pm

The old school (i.e. era of small slow spinning hard drives) solution are products such as these:
https://www.atto.com/products/adapters

Why RAID backups--except possibly mirrored for simultaneous multiple copies?

Mr. Kolakowski correctly points out, "For Resolve you need very good GPU not crazy CPUs." however, the OP doesn't specify for what software the system is to be optimized. Fusion & other programs are still primarily CPU crunched.

Also, take a peek at:
https://www.pugetsystems.com/all_articles.php?query=DaVinci+Resolve+Studio
They test performance of different hardware configurations using different software including resolve.

Good luck,
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Steve Holmlund

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Re: Best external RAID system for Windows

PostTue Jan 12, 2021 6:18 pm

Mark, Andrew,
Thanks for your responses. I agree with your observations; the person I'm helping just indicated the workstation spec'd was a given.

That PC's external ports are all either USB 3.1 Gen 1 or USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C, so 5Gbits/sec max, if I understand correctly.

My only concern about a single-drive (as opposed to RAID) backup would be if it was physically not possible time-wise to back up 16TB every day. Of course, I'm not sure where the bottleneck would actually be in the data transfer from the internal SAS array to whatever's connected to the USB 3.1 Gen 1 port.

It does look like Dell offers a Thunderbolt 3 card for that machine but all the Thunderbolt drives or RAIDs I've seen are for Mac.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Steve
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Best external RAID system for Windows

PostTue Jan 12, 2021 8:11 pm

USB 3.1 is probably about 400-500MB/sec in real life, so offloading 16TB is 9h if I'm correct (assuming USB connection as bottleneck).

Not sure why TB3 external box would be Mac only? They are for PC as well.
Areca makes good boxes: https://www.areca.com.tw/products/thund ... 050T3.html
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Steve Holmlund

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Re: Best external RAID system for Windows

PostTue Jan 12, 2021 8:19 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:USB 3.1 is probably about 400-500MB/sec in real life, so offloading 16TB is 9h if I'm correct (assuming USB connection as bottleneck).

Not sure why TB3 external box would be Mac only? They are for PC as well.
Areca makes good boxes: https://www.areca.com.tw/products/thund ... 050T3.html


Andrew,
Thank you! This is exactly the information I haven't been able to find. I thought I had googled thoroughly and even spent a lot of time at B&H, one of their resellers who special orders the Areca products.

Steve
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