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MisterS
08-19-2012, 12:51 AM
I've just bought 3x SSDs and 2xHDDs as I think it's time to upgrade my system, back everything up properly and I'm also building a render node so can use my existing drives too.

I planned to run 1xSSD for the OS

Run 2xSSD in mirrored RAID (forgot which that is) for my working files, my documents etc.

run 2x 2TB HDD also in mirrored RAID for archiving files, tutorials and any others that don't need the speed of the SSD.

Maybe also 1 old HDD for any non critial stuff that doesn't matter if it goes.

Does that sound like a good setup? It was only this morning that I read an artical suggesting raid wasn't a good backup solution. Understandably it suggests this doesn't protect for viruses etc.

sentry66
08-19-2012, 02:45 AM
RAID isn't a backup solution, it's a hardware failure solution to minimize unpredictable downtime

A backup solution isn't going to be something that mirrors data in realtime. If you discover a problem with a corrupt file, that corruption will instantly be mirrored. A backup would be from an earlier time before it became corrupt.

A backup software like Retrospect can back things up across a network or locally as often as you like with a million options on what and how you want it backed up. The default setting it uses is it only copies the data that has changed, which helps keep it efficient.

IMO RAID mirroring is a pain. You usually can't just take out your drive and put it in another machine and expect to recover data.

MisterS
08-19-2012, 03:11 AM
Hmmm, bugger! Could prob have saved a couple hundred with some more thorough research.

With the above drives, and a backup solution like Retrospect. Would you still use the same setup as above but rather than mirror using RAID, use the backup software to backup and create restore points or whatever stuff it does? How would you configure your drives?

Is one of those SSDs a bit of a waste? Maybe I can stick it in my render node which probably won't require any backup. Or stick it in the other half's laptop.

sentry66
08-19-2012, 07:13 AM
you could maybe put the two SSD's into a striped RAID 0 to get better performance and have the whole thing backed up onto the hard drives. Or maybe there's a way you could divide up your files between the two? Like 3d software files on one and rendered frames on the other?

MisterS
08-19-2012, 07:29 AM
Ok, cheers for the advice, might just ditch the RAID altogether as two SSDs will already be a shed load faster than my full to the brim C drive at the moment.

tswalk
08-20-2012, 08:50 AM
sentry is right, but its' not as much of a problem as it use to be.. the only hook is usually the controller used to create it.

if you move a mirrored drive to an identical controller, no problem. but moving it to a different one will not work like you may expect, you will not be able to rebuild the array.

MisterS
02-20-2013, 02:00 AM
To re-kindle this thread - is this a good setup for rendering (ignoring backup at this stage)?

In Workstation:

SSD for OS
Mirrored SSDs for working files/footage ( and these are set to be shared on wired network using Win7 homegroup)
HDD for archive

In node:

HDD for OS
connection to SSDs in workstation using wired homegroup.

tswalk
02-20-2013, 05:01 AM
i'll be honest, mirroring the SSDs is a total waste.

if it were me, I would break the raid and use one as a cache.. move all system, scratch, and other temp file things to it (page files, photoshop scratch disk, etc...) and use the hell out of it for just that.. cache and working data.

make daily/hourly backup schedule of those working files to your HD array (which was mirrored?) just to keep a local copy safe... like projects, or whatever your working on from cache and other not so "immediate" data needs (videos, assets, ...)

you'ld have an extra SSD for your use.. a spare? or for your render node OS (backburner setup?).. then take the HD you have in the node and turn it into a file server/share/ or backup storage array.

this way, your render "node" can double as an actual backup to your main workstation HD array (just share a resource folder and let your backup software store to it over the network).

this would be a 50% solution to a nice backup and make best use of your SSD setup for both your workstation and server node.

the other 50% would come from an offsite storage routine... which I for one am also lacking, but this setup you have would be very similar to what I'm currently doing.

MisterS
02-20-2013, 05:33 AM
But doesn't the mirrored setup of the SSDs (those containing my working files/footage) benefit the fact that both PCs on the network are reading/writing to those?

A downside I guess in this arrangement is that I could at times be leaving the node reading/writing from the same SSDs that I'm working on on my workstation.... but then there are two..!?

And for information - those SSDs are set to backup to my HDDs which are also mirrored. And my workstation OS/software SSD isn't going to be backed up.

That's a good suggestion regarding backing up onto another disk within the node - I have a spare 1.5TB HDD but that brings me to another newbie - network speed. This is the first home network I've ever setup - and I've literally just plugged both PCs into the router that came with the internet. Would this be sufficient for rendering, and backup simultaneously?

olson
02-20-2013, 10:38 AM
But doesn't the mirrored setup of the SSDs (those containing my working files/footage) benefit the fact that both PCs on the network are reading/writing to those?

Mirroring disks doesn't improve performance (RAID 1). The point or mirroring is to allow for a hard disk failure and still be able to continue work/serving/whatever. Mirroring disks is also not backup, nothing about RAID is backup.


A downside I guess in this arrangement is that I could at times be leaving the node reading/writing from the same SSDs that I'm working on on my workstation.... but then there are two..!?


In the ideal situation there would be a dedicated file server that you would work from which the render nodes would also work from. If that isn't possible then having a render node connect to the workstation for files will get the job done. It doesn't matter if you have a hard disk, a solid state disk, multiple of either in RAID, or even a optical drive, the render node will still be able to connect and get the files. The faster the better but my guess is you probably won't ever notice any performance hits with just one render node.


And for information - those SSDs are set to backup to my HDDs which are also mirrored. And my workstation OS/software SSD isn't going to be backed up.


You might want to backup your home folder as well (My Documents on Windows). That has application settings that might be useful later on.


That's a good suggestion regarding backing up onto another disk within the node - I have a spare 1.5TB HDD but that brings me to another newbie - network speed. This is the first home network I've ever setup - and I've literally just plugged both PCs into the router that came with the internet. Would this be sufficient for rendering, and backup simultaneously?

If the router has gigabit Ethernet (1,000 Mbps) it would probably be fine, if it doesn't and has only 100 Mbps the network would be a bottleneck. In that case you could get a gigabit switch and just plug everything into that and then plug the switch into the router.

MisterS
02-20-2013, 11:11 AM
Olson - cheers for the lengthy reply - fortunately everything is backed up, finally, apart from a few recent test scenes. I gradually swapped out the old HDDs for the solid states and new HDDs and copied the files over. But you're right I should get a decent working backup solution sorted.

tswalk - thanks also for your reply - I'll try using one of the mirrored SSDs as a scratch disk - bloody expensive 256GB scratch disk, lol, wish I did some better research now! I don't think I really need one in the node.

imashination
02-20-2013, 02:59 PM
Mirroring disks doesn't improve performance (RAID 1).

With the right controller card, RAID 1 can have the same read performance as RAID 0.

olson
02-21-2013, 06:46 AM
With the right controller card, RAID 1 can have the same read performance as RAID 0.

Good point. Write performance won't be affected though. :thumbsup:

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