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  #1  
Old August 4th, 2007, 05:11 PM
Jon Mark Jon Mark is offline
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Default RAID Question

So I've burned through my 160GB HD with RAW images in about 3 months.

I was looking into possible alternatives and wanted some input from others here.

I have a MBP 2.4 with 4GB RAM and its attached to an EIZO monitor. Lightroom and Photoshop work very well. I just need more space. I've already used a 300GB external drive with photo back ups for the last 7 years.

Here's my proposed solution
1. WiebeTech has a Silver SATA II where I can RAID 1 two 500GB drives (1TB total).
2. Connect the RAID to the MBP from the Express Card slot (essentially an eSATA RAID)

My question
1. Can I boot my MBP from the eSATA via the Express 34 slot?
2. Can I run Lightroom and PS from here without performance issues?
3. Anyone with concerns or alterative solutions?

Asher, you mentioned previously that you had connected 2 500 drives from OWC as a SATA via Express to your 17in MBP. Do you boot into it or just use it as a back up solution?

Regards,
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  #2  
Old August 4th, 2007, 06:07 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mark View Post
So I've burned through my 160GB HD with RAW images in about 3 months.

I was looking into possible alternatives and wanted some input from others here.

I have a MBP 2.4 with 4GB RAM and its attached to an EIZO monitor. Lightroom and Photoshop work very well. I just need more space. I've already used a 300GB external drive with photo back ups for the last 7 years.

Here's my proposed solution
1. WiebeTech has a Silver SATA II where I can RAID 1 two 500GB drives (1TB total).
2. Connect the RAID to the MBP from the Express Card slot (essentially an eSATA RAID)
Yes you can do that. There are two SATA ports, so you can raid them. But for what purpose speed or security? With your rate of filling up the drives I'd have one for incremental backup each night until the 9 months time when you will buy another case with two 750 GB drives.
Each case will have the back up of one drive on the second.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mark View Post
My question
1. Can I boot my MBP from the eSATA via the Express 34 slot?
No, unfortunately not! However, the boot function can be covered by a small firewire 800 drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mark View Post

2. Can I run Lightroom and PS from here without performance issues?
The MBP is crippled in its roadways. It is not as fast therefore as the Towers. However it will run. The real slowness will appear in using Aperture which neeeds a great video card and large batches pf processing of anything.

For individual PS work on an image, the PBP is a speed demon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mark View Post
3. Anyone with concerns or alterative solutions?
My solution is to have 3 computers running. One older G4 (Digital Audio) for internet and general stuff, one 17" MBP for indexing files in a catalog while I use the dual G5 2.3 GHZ for most photoshop work.

It's so easy to move from my white mouse (for my G5) to the black mouse (for the G4) or the touch pad of the MBP.

The truth is that we are ten times off what would be ideal for image work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Mark View Post
Asher, you mentioned previously that you had connected 2 500 drives from OWC as a SATA via Express to your 17in MBP. Do you boot into it or just use it as a back up solution?
The dual SATA drives are especially useful for travelling. (There's no reason not to use the firewire 800 or USB2 ports!) At home I'd use the MBP for working or else in my studio for batch work or indexing an iview catalog of a large section of a drive and that's that. The MBP is very well behaved at cataloging! It's very well behaved at everything!

I have rows of the OWC black SATA drives that I selectively boot. I don't RAID them.

When I've fully reorganized my files, I'll have some RAID setups for speeding up scratch disk work.

Hope this helps,

Asher
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  #3  
Old August 5th, 2007, 11:28 PM
Jon Mark Jon Mark is offline
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Thanks for the input Asher!

Is there any alternative solution to booting into a RAID from the Express slot? Can therefore the internal HD be a potential "scratch disk?" Still learning about all these things, and am asking the members here if I am in left field. Just trying to maximize with what I have right now.

Found a 4 bay RAID (FirmTek SeriTek/2eEN4) which supposedly allows bootability.
http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/am...firmtek/2eEN4/

I've contacted Wiebetech and others for potential solutions. I'll let you know what else I learn. Thanks again.

Jon
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  #4  
Old August 6th, 2007, 06:12 AM
Andrew Rodney Andrew Rodney is offline
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I have a similar setup with a MBP, external display etc. I'm using the Sonnet Fusion 500P 5BAY Sata Enclosure (5 bays) and their Sata EXPRESS34 card. Works like a charm. 2 of the bays have 300 gig Segatge drives mirrored for my Lightroom catalogs. A third is just a 160 Segate that backsup the Macbook every night automatically using SuperDuper. Note that you cannot boot from this backup! Something to do with a Sata card or Raid but not a big deal, I have a secondary external firewire drive I use IF I need to boot elsewhere.

Whatever unit you get, I had to search for one that could do RAID and JBOD since I wanted to have multiple options. The Sonnet allows this. The case is small, pretty quiet, well made. I do ALL my Lightroom work from the Raid 1 which is fast (certainly a lot faster than the internal HD). Two bays for other catalogs of future needs.
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  #5  
Old August 6th, 2007, 09:48 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Hi Andrew,

Glad you are using the Sonnet 5 bay SATA enclosure. Good to know your positive experience. I like your set up with the back up drive there too. Do you do incremental back ups? Else a corrupt whole Mirrored system would be simply backed up. Also do you have a spare drives for the total back up and to alternate?


Jon,

The important thing about it is that it takes advantage of the Sonnet Express SATA card's ability to act either as a simple SATA port, or with the right card and firmware in the box, as the Sonnet enclosure has, port multiplier capability. The latter allows a maximum of 5 SATA drives. The speed of the data transfer is fine with several drives but will be slower using all bays. Still, it is very useful, especially for the single express slot of the Macbook Pro. So one card can service up to 10 drives using a port multiplier eclosure, of which there are a number to choose from.

Here's an important fact. It seems that there's one company making the dual SATA Express card. You can buy the Sonnet card for over $100 or you can spend about $35 and get the same card elsewhere!

I'll look that up later!

As we pointed out, a simple firewire drive can be used tyo boot the MBPro. This, BTW can hold all your disk repair and optimization tools, just in case!

Asher
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  #6  
Old August 6th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Andrew Rodney Andrew Rodney is offline
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SuperDuper does a clone each night of the boot drive, only backing up changes. I have a 2nd backup (done maybe twice a month) on a FireWire drive in Fire proof safe. That's what I use to boot if necessary.

The Raid is protecting the data well but I have two additional clones of these catalogs. One is for travel, one is for moving about to other machines that need access to the photo's. Eventually when one set of drives fills up, I'll pop them into the Fire Proof safe I guess.

What I really wanted and isn't possible is the ability to build a two disk mirror, then pop one in the safe, keep the other out, to use when inserted into the Sonnet but alas, that's not possible (I'd need to insert both drives). But its nice knowing I can always just pop in two more drives and start a new set of catalog storage sets.
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  #7  
Old August 6th, 2007, 11:07 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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"Lycom makes this fine Silicon Image based SATAII host card for all Express34 or Express54 equipped computers. Runs in Windows or MacOSX. Fully supports Port Multiplication, the dominating technology on the market today. With better than 200 MB/sec capability and up to 10 drives mounted.This is an entirely new power realm for notebook computing. Fully compatible with MacBookPro running OSX or Windows Laptops with Express34 or Express54 slot.
$49.00" Source

This can work as plain 3Gb/sec SATA, (that's gigabits per second not GBytes/second!) one for each connection, so the limit is either two SATA drives, or else 5 per connection with any of the many port multiplication boxes.

You can, BTW, have a 4 or 5 bay SATA port multiplication box going to one of the cards connectors and a single drive to the other!

Asher
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