I have been getting several eMails asking about storage solutions, especially for the video work that we have been doing, so I thought I would share some of the simple technology we are using in the studio.

3Ware RAID

3Ware RAID

For my personal workstation, I use an 8 Core Power PC with a Mac hardware RAID.  The Mac has space for 4 internal drives, and we use 1TB drives in each bay.

The down side of the new macs is that out of the 4, one has to be reserved for the start up.  This leaves only 3 for the internal RAID, and when you configure for RAID 5, you basically net just under a 2TB volume.  In a nutshell, you have two drives for storage, and one parity drive.  (Wikipedia has a good explanation on RAIDS if you are lost)

With respect to our video editing suites, we are running two mac towers.  One is a G5 Quadcore, and the other is a 8 Core Power PC.  For all our primary editing work the data is stored on internal Mac RAID 5 array exactly like my personal workstation.  This is the fastest and most reliable way to work.  As I said above, the main problem is that the Mac internal RAID configuration is very limited on size, and is only about 2TB of space.

Since our film projects can range from 400gig-1TB per job, we quickly run out of space inside the tower.  This leaves us little choice but to add additional RAID arrays.

We have experimented with all sorts of different solutions, but there is one that we have been very happy with, and thats the Sidecar RAID from 3Ware.  Basically, it works as an external RAID array that communicates via an eSATA cable and RAID controller.

It is a pretty easy setup to get going, and has been very reliable.  We use one array for each of the editing bays, and have had pretty much no problems.

Hope this helps…