Hi, again. I am so thankful to have this forum with such helpful people like you. I read almost everything written here but rarely have anything to say. I am completely self taught and didn't begin my new full-time career in video production (documentary style videos for foreign missionaries) until I was retirement age. So thank you for being so helpful!
I am blessed to have a new 10 core iMac Pro and several good hard drives. My question is about a new ThunderBay 6 (24TB, ThunderBolt 3) which is currently configured as RAID 5. It is sitting next to a G-Speed Shuttle XL (24TB, Thunderbolt 2). I want to use one of them as my media drive and the other as a backup of all that same media. I put all the media on both drives to do a "real life" test with Black Magic Disc Speed.
The 8 bay Shuttle XL averages read/write at 599/623 MB/s .
The 6 bay ThunderBay averages 436/754. MB/s.
Shall I leave them at current configuration, using the Shuttle as the main media drive (because it is faster) and the ThunderBay as backup? - OR - Would the ThunderBay, re-configured as RAID 0 be faster than the Shuttle (which is hardware RAID and can't be changed)? I don't want to have to do another "real life" test if I can avoid it (i.e., if you can answer this for me).
We currently shoot in 10bit 4K on GH5 cameras, deliver in 1080p but that will probably change in the not-too-distant future.
Thank you so much for reading all this from a relative novice. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
But... I think I have hidden my real question amongst too many words. Sorry! I should have made this more clear.
Assuming that both drives contain the same media:
1) Would a Thunderbay 6 drive (thunderbolt 3, RAID ZERO) be faster for editing than a Shuttle XL 8 drive (thunderbolt 2, RAID 5)?
2) Or should I just leave them as is (both RAID 5) and use the faster 8 drive Shuttle XL to edit?
I work with ThunderBay RAIDs which are configured as RAID 5, (I have two connected, daisy chained together) and there is no issue with performance of editing. We exclusively use 4K footage, often multi-cam and all is well. Every once in a while there is a shutter at the top of a piece when I hit the space bar if it's a particularly complex project but just hit the space bar twice and it runs perfectly.
I think you're probably going to be safest with RAID5 on both and not really notice any real work difference when you're in the edit.
Agreed. I think RAID 0 on either would not give any realistic benefit that would out weigh the safety of redundancy. I’d rather a drive go bad, and have a valid backup, than a whole RAID go bad and have a backup. With redundancy, I lose no time working. And I lose no data on either drive. And no performance sacrifice ever, realistically.
RAID 0 benefits dual drive configurations mostly. Stick with what you have now.
FCPX.guru wrote: Agreed. I think RAID 0 on either would not give any realistic benefit that would out weigh the safety of redundancy. I’d rather a drive go bad, and have a valid backup, than a whole RAID go bad and have a backup. With redundancy, I lose no time working. And I lose no data on either drive. And no performance sacrifice ever, realistically....
This is a valid viewpoint, a common operational practice, and what I formerly did for years. I no longer do that but use RAID 0 for everything, even on four-drive arrays. Reasons:
1 - RAID isn't a backup so you must have separate backup anyway
2 - Recovery time for some RAID 5 implementations can be very slow. IOW it tolerates a drive failure but the auto-rebuild can take a long time, during which performance may be so degraded it's not usable.
I expect this has been improved since then, and I likewise suspect SoftRAID on a OWC Thunderbay 4 handles this much better, but I haven't tested it.
The bottom line is if your business depends on it, don't just use RAID 5 or any other redundant RAID and merely hope for the best. Allocate time to force a failure, pull a drive, install a blank one, let it rebuild while you (a) time the process and (b) do performance tests to measure performance degradation during the rebuild phase.
4 - When working with A/V media, oftentimes that doesn't change frequently during a project. This will vary based on workgroup and workflow. But IF your media doesn't change much, you may not need the up-to-the-minute recoverability that RAID-5 or Time Machine provides. It might be better to make a nightly Carbon Copy update to an identical cloned RAID-0 array. You also gain the safety factor of the backup array being off line most of the time so it's not as susceptible to filesystem corruption, human error, etc. This procedure could also work with two RAID-5 arrays. Running four drives in RAID-0 is a big leap. I once said I'd never do that but I do it frequently now.
It's about safety and piece of mind. I'd rather have a RAID allow me to replace a drive and be slow for a day, than lose everything and I have to rely on my backup alone. I can use my backup while the working RAID is rebuilding, and lose no time at all.
BUT in broadcast, we plow through a ton of work every day, and nightly backups are good, but not always the answer to a disaster.
About two years ago, TV station RAID had a bad drive, took a full day for it to come back up to speed once the bad drive was reapplied. Went to use the backup doing that time, found our automated backups were not good and we would have lost a ton of work.
RAID redundancy is a minor, preliminary buffer between having vital media and not. I'll stick with it. I don't see it as useless.