Port Multiplier esata cards to external 4-5 drive bays? Or isolated raid solutions?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by markm75, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. markm75

    markm75 Gawd

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    I'm having a hard time tracking down a solution for a 4 drive hardware raid solution for my setup. I want something that will at least give me the throughput of a single 7200 rpm sata III drive, but hopefully with added speed and fault tolerance of raid5. This ultimately will be to host about 12TB of storage for Ortho4xp for XP11.. currently just on a single 8TB drive.

    I have a hero maximus X motherboard and already tight on space in my main case.

    I started looking at some standalone (plugs in via esata 6 Gbps max) solutions, but there arent any or many that are raid 5 capable and at least 6 Gbps throughput.. there is one or two that do usb 3.1 at 10 gbps but dont have good reviews at all.

    So i figure maybe a $100 box plus esata card that does multiplying and raid and likely a pciex4 card, to go in the 3rd pciex16 slot on this board (i assume without slowing down the video).

    Originally i was budgeting around $200 for all of this (not counting drives).

    As far as non raid external bay solutions i have found this one for around $99
    There is also this model which supports usb 3.1 10gbps for a little more, however, i assume its jbod, no raid level support especially since usb.


    So far its been slim pickins (especially on a raid card multiplier at a reasonable price and good reviews).. can anyone recommend a solution or two that works and performs well, especially at raid 5?

    Thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  2. markm75

    markm75 Gawd

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    I guess one other option (but with mixed reviews) might be a drobo 5c unit, though a little more costly and proprietary raid.

    Also, maybe a better fit and faster on read rights is this TerraMaster D5-300 For around $250, downside it may be 5 Gbps, lacking usb-c
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
  3. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ Little Bitch

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  4. markm75

    markm75 Gawd

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    Would require twice the amount of disks to achieve the same 12TB size.. i have 4-5, 4TB drives (enterprise on hand), so i'm trying to make best use of them and achieve 12TB with some parity and added speed.
     
  5. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ Little Bitch

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    if you have 5 disks then i would suggest a hardware RAID 6.

    that way if you encounter an URE on a rebuild you won't be completely screwed.
     
  6. Blue Fox

    Blue Fox [H]ardForum Junkie

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    There are very few RAID cards that have hardware acceleration and support port multipliers (I'm only aware of the Areca 1202, but it's EOL). Generally without hardware acceleration, you will not have particularly good performance on any RAID level that involves parity (ie RAID 5).

    If you really want this to be external, you might be better off relying on something that uses multilane ports instead of SATA port multipliers. That will greatly expand the number of inexpensive high performance RAID cards that you can use.
     
  7. markm75

    markm75 Gawd

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    I think the biggest issue is in the actual throughput on loading the ortho4xp.. using monitors it often shows a max of 30 MB/s on loading these files on the single drive.. many small files and bottleneck of the software.. so in the end i dont think the interface will matter much.
     
  8. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge Not the Idiot YOU are Looking for

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    That sounds like you need to figure out an SSD cache of some sort, or just fully switch to SSDs, which would be expensive but doable, and you could use JBOD if necessary.
     
  9. markm75

    markm75 Gawd

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    Update here.. i decided to go with the Terramaster D5-300 unit.. built in Raid.. so far i think its mostly a win. Again my setup is OS on SSD, my Xplane main directory / structure on SSD.. and the Ortho was on 8TB 7200.. which had very good read and writes to begin with (i think my basic windows large file tests were in the 200+ MB/sec range).. despite hwinfo showing Xplane loading the ortho at a max of 30 Mb/sec, i knew what my basic target should be.. actually, i redid some ortho load tests on the old drive using hwinfo and suddenly i did see 200 MB/sec, so maybe not entirely an XP bottleneck on loading.

    At first i had some troubles with the Terramaster.. i used their USB-C to usb 3.0 cable.. tried various ports on the computer.. CrystalDisk Benchmark wasnt showing great numbers.. i at first did a single drive in their unit to get a baseline read/write.. i was getting maybe 150 MB/sec for reads and writes only 34 MB/sec (the drive when tested on sata that is now in the unit was getting more like 217.6 MB/sec read and 214.9 MB/sec.. strangely a few of my 4TB drives were showing DMA errors (check cable etc) via the terramaster.. their reads were more like 170 and 148.. while the other 4TB units in the terramaster were showing lower numbers like 105 and 43 etc.. I thought maybe this was just a crystal benchmark issue.. so i tried some file transfers.. i was getting a max of 40 MB/sec when copying to the terramaster drive or raid5 (5 drives) as well.. in either case.

    I then decided to put the cable into a usb 3.0 to usb-c adapter i have going into my motherboards usb-c connection.. I was using all 5 drives in raid 5 at this point.. tested the file copy process.. it was giving me up to 195 MB/sec.. and when taking the same file From the raid array (reads) it was around 220 MB/sec or better. CrystalDisk Benchmark still shows low Reads (140) and super low writes (40) even via the usb-c, but i get those consistent windows file transfers

    So at this point i've left it at this.. happy with the results.. though i may consider a dedicated usb 3.0/ usb-c pcie card.. either using this usbc adapter or maybe getting a usb c to usb c cable and trying that..

    The reason i'm wondering if maybe i need a dedicated card, is i swear i may be getting some fps fluctuations.. starts off lower for some things then a few minutes in sitting at the same scene jumps up, plus some stuttering.. not sure that its really usb c related (terraraid related) or not.. just a consideration.

    Overall happy so far. In terms of load times in the sim, nothing has changed much.. about the same.. so not as good as having a true blue hardware raid that would really boost the loads but at least as good or slightly better than single disk.

    I have two drives inside my tower that are 8TB.. i may do a storage spaces on them, combining into one big drive.. and use them as a backup for the ~15TB raid ortho data.

    Update: so the issue i thought was just a glitch with the benchmark software isnt that.. at times it does drop to 20-40 MB/sec on the writes on the drive(s).. tried every usb port on the system, updated drivers you name it nothing.. what does fix it (maybe temporarily) is turning the unit off and back on, then its back to 200 MB/sec.. so there is a definite issue going on here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  10. markm75

    markm75 Gawd

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    Well now the terramaster seems to drop the drive regularly.. so i'm moving on to test the Mobius 5 drive 5gbps usb 3.0 solution (also has 3gbs esata).. hoping it will fair better.

    Though the more i look at this the more i think maybe i should go with a NAS solution.. get at least 10gbe ethernet on each end and on a switch.. though 3gbe would probably be enough to keep speeds at least single drive speed i think.. but my NAS media 2016 server is already physically out of space for new drives (using flexraid now).. i'd have to go to a larger case, get a switch that had spf x 4 for these faster gbe modules etc.. could be a tad costly in the short term but a better long term space fix.
     
  11. markm75

    markm75 Gawd

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    Update again.. so i went with the 5 drive mobius esata (6gbps) / firewire / usb 3.0 (5 gbps) solution found here

    Very good results now a few days in.. getting consistent results with crystal benchmarks.. 242 MB/sec on reads and around 200 on writes (for a 2 run 1GB test).. On par or slightly better than the single drive performance test results.. no disconnections or lost drive issues.. i'm also using a startech esta 6 gbps 2 port card (pciex1) and its working great.

    Short term i also need to find a way to combine my two 8tb existing internal drives (storage spaces maybe) into one 16GB unit so i can backup the content of the 16GB mobius array (ortho4xp photoscenery).

    I think down the road ill probably get some sort of NAS solution and wire up fiber runs to a 20+ port gigabit switch which also has 10gbe ports (fiber).. i could either go dual ports on the server i already have in my basement (dual 10gbe) or maybe just 10gbe by itself there and up on my flight sim rig.. tied into the 10gbe capable switch.. this would give me the option of using this type of das solution on my existing media server.. or getting a bigger chassis + bigger raid card in the media server and going with more drives internally.. or just a nas external solution that can hit at least 10gbe.. longer term, but for now this workstation + das external 5 drive bay works..
     
  12. PliotronX

    PliotronX [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've been curious about those Terramaster models, thanks for the info!