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Help explaining and/or choosing between two different solutions?
posted by Greg Whynott  on March 4, 2015, 9:40 a.m. (5 years, 4 months, 30 days ago)
11 Responses     0 Plus One's     0 Comments  
for the capacity requirements you have stated, I'd be looking to purchase a Supermicro (or if you have the money go with a higher tier vendor and better support such as Dell/HP) box with a built in array. This way you could use ZFS for your storage requirements and enjoy all that a unix box brings, such as FTP.

The device you are looking at I personally would never even consider for a centric to the business use scenario, especially if support is via email only. walk away from that. looks nice for home use or on an editors desk maybe...

The Supermicro/Dell solutions may be more expensive but you have to sell them on the 'instant support', ask them how much money they would lose if you had to wait for a day to get to support and if they are ok with that. One or two incidents would likely cost way more than the difference between an enterprise solution and that which they are considering.

To reduce costs you likely do not need 2 CPUs. Start out with one but have the option to install a second one. If you choose to use ZFS, the more DRAM memory you can afford the better. Your users will love it as some of their requests will be served from memory as opposed to going to disk. If you add a cheap SSD or two, you can have quite a large read cache which will make people happy too. You could further reduce costs by going with a bonded 2,4 or 8 1 gigabit connections to your switch instead of a 10 gig connection, if your requirements allow for that.

-g







On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 9:16 AM, Ken Spickler <ken.spickler@gmail.com> wrote:
Synology is cheap, and the support level matches that. It's virtually all email-based and response times are often many hours long. If you have a failed drive, that must be dealt with by the drive vendor, not Synology (therefore avoid drives with a 1-year warranty). We use it for a sort-of tier 2-1/2 (files we're finished with, pending deletion within 30-60 days).
We do not have that exact model, but we do have a few 36-drive units with 10GbE and 4TB enterprise-grade WD drives. There's no way they will do 900MB/s. The fastest I've seen is less than 500MB/s. If your vendor is claiming 900MB/s, tell him to prove it with real-word work and not a graph on a PowerPoint.
Go with the Dell for something that would be so critical. Their support is much better, and in many cases they'll send a tech onsite. Have a look at the Dell Outlet website for refurbished equipment, too. It might save you even more money while still getting the same support.

Ken SpicklerSent from iPhone. Srry for tpos.
On Mar 4, 2015, at 2:13 AM, Gustaf Larm <content@studiosysadmins.com> wrote:

Hi everyone!

I've been trying to get my current workplace to upgrade their storage and network, and now I got a Go for doing something. I'm trying to help them choose, but without much success.
We've got several offers, that they shut down because money-reasons, but somehow got one they like.

Recently they got an suggestion (from someone else) that's based on synology hardware. It's an DS2015xs (https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS2015xs#spec), offered to run with 8 WD RED at 4 TB with synologys hybrid raid 2 (raid 6 equivalent).
They loved it, since they can run an FTPserver on it, a DNSserver, synologys cloudstorage (like dropbox) and a few other mobile services.
All in all, it will cost about $3k plus installation. They love it because the cloudstorage stuff, and the pricepoint, and the guy said the performance should be around 900MB/s (read).

Another solution that they shut down before, is a Dell Poweredge R720 (2x Xeon E5-2630v2,128 GB RAM, 4 x 480 GB SSD, 2x146 15Krpm SAS drives, 2x 10gbe) and a powerVault MD1200 with 12x4TB Nearline SAS. Would run Windows storage spaces, with the SSD's as cache and a Raid 10. A total of $17k with installation and support. Would go down in cost since I see no need too have that much ram or even two cpu's, so I'm thinking it will end around $10-12k

Short about us (or them, I've put in my notice to quit and my last day is in 3 weeks), it's 11 employees, 3 administrative, 6 2d/3d-vfx artists, 1 editors and 1 colorist. Sometimes up to 6 freelancers doing vfx-work.
Working mostly with Maya, Adobe CC, Final Cut and Resolve. Pretty standard workflow, mostly DPX's, TIFs and ProRes. They also want to be able to edit directly on the storage. A small renderfarm with 10 nodes, soon-to-be 20, rendering 75% of the time. (75% windows, 25% osx)

I've been trying to explain the differences between th e DELL solution and Synology, why there's a price difference, about redundancy etc, but always get stuck on first step since the spec on paper looks the same,
24TB usable space, 10GBe connection, around 900MB/s from synology, 1200MB/s from the DELL (according to a real-world test our vendor did inhouse). My concerns are more about redundancy, rebuild-times, type of drives, the CPU of synology, support etc.

Do any of you have any experience with either solution, or can see a problem with either one? maybe something positive? Or what they should get? They do have a trust-issue with me, and whatever I think, they won't really listen to me, unless someone externally can confirm my thoughts.

I have no real experience with synology except their home-consumer stuff, which I like, but don't really know what I'm thinking about the DS2015xs. And I can't get the decision-makers to understand why there is a price-difference like that between this synology an d every other solution they've got. They are people who never invested in IT at all during their 7 running a company.

P.S. Our current solutions is an Yotta SAN, connected with Fiber to a PC running Nas4Free and shared out with 1 Gbit ethernet connection (the only upgrade I got to do, from the old crappy Hackintosh solutions they used).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and or questions.

//Gustaf

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Response from Ben De Luca @ March 7, 2015, 3:25 a.m.
LaCiE , QNAP NAS, Synology are you into self harm? tell me it not primary storage? On Sat, Mar 7, 2015 at 5:07 AM, James Bourne wrote: > Disagree with pain tolerance and reliability on Synology. Sounds like the > old "I experienced it once and hence all must be bad". By way of comparison > I've been through hell with BlueArc/HDS (total failure of Mercury heads, > data loss in EVS during firmware upgrades ... oh and did I mention the > firmware bugs? etc. etc.). Nothing is immune and hence all must be bad > right? > > Synology are SMB/SOHO devices. Ours are faultless and you can configure them > to mitigate failure (eg. schedule individual drive tests weekly, scrubbing > etc. etc.). As previously mentioned: 3 units, 100TB online, 60 spindles. One > primary unit with the other two acting as rsync targets. > > I've also got LaCiE and QNAP NAS in the mix too ... all work fine ... > > j. > > On 7 March 2015 at 01:56, Ken Spickler wrote: >> >> Gustaf, >> We have a single 10GbE port active on the unit, and have only seen 1/2 >> utilization on that port on any of the units (RS3614xs+). I don't recall the >> advertised speeds, but I wasn't looking for a speed demon. The 1900MB/s >> number you quote was likely using all SSD or purely theoretical. >> >> "with DELL and broken drives, it takes several days sometimes just for a >> drive-replacement, but with synology they can replace your whole NAS in less >> than 5 days" >> Sounds like FUD, and don't believe the "whole NAS" statement. Synology >> doesn't sell disks so those wouldn't be handled by them. We're a Dell shop >> and typically get drives replaced the next day (next business day). >> >> Synology is a consumer solution, or a small business with a high degree of >> pain tolerance. I would own one for use at my house, but wouldn't likely buy >> another for work unless they tackled the reliability and support response >> issues. >> >> Ken Spickler >> Sent from iPhone. Srry for tpos. >> >> > On Mar 4, 2015, at 9:46 AM, Gustaf Larm wrote: >> > >> > Unsure if my last message got posted or not. So resending. >> > ------------ >> > >> > Hi, thanks for the answers so far. >> > >> > Ken, do you mind telling what kind of raid and how many 10GbE ports >> > you're using? I do like the idea of using it as some sort of tier 2 storage, >> > or temporary backup maybe. But 500MB/s sounds to bad. Do you know what >> > synology advertised the speed on your devices? The DS2015xs graphs says >> > 1900MB/s which sounds like impossible dream numbers, or they are using only >> > SSD drives maybe. >> > >> > >> > I've actually specced a supermicro, one month ago, pretty much like >> > Saker's suggestion, but was to expensive, since it arrived at $8k (was 48TB >> > usable storage). Didn't even get to have a discussion about cutting down >> > cost or anything for it. >> > >> > The support aspect is one I find important, but some guy told them that >> > with DELL and broken drives, it takes several days sometimes just for a >> > drive-replacement, but with synology they can replace your whole NAS in less >> > than 5 days. I'll remember to press more about support, since after I leave, >> > they'll only have one IT-guy coming in for general maintaince/support once a >> > week. They haven't really wanted to talk about a DR plan, or even backup (or >> > let me fix stuff). So if something crashes today, it's pretty much go >> > bankcrupt.. >> > >> > While I did touch upon the users, workflow etc. I can also expand a bit. >> > The renderfarm only renders Maya-stuff, either in TIF or EXR's and it's >> > rendering 75% of the year. >> > Our AE guys, are mostly working with DPXs or ProRes 4444 as >> > plate-format, and whatever the format the assets are. I've noticed some AE >> > renders take twice as long, depending on how many people are working at the >> > same time. a Normal Day 4 people are working in AE, 2 just with >> > motiongraphic, the rest with compositing. 4 people with 3d >> > (lighting/rendering everyday atleast). the rest are also reviewing lots of >> > big files, clients download several tens of GB's per day from the FTP. >> > Mostly everything is in HD, but sometimes the compers work in 4K. >> > Our shop also does some commercial-shooting and title-sequences, so very >> > often they need to copy stuff to the storage, conform it, etc. >> > >> > Thanks James, The RS10613+ sounds more interesting. >> > Good to know about the DNS/FTP stuff. You're right, it's SATA drives, WD >> > RED 4TB. The orginal offer came with WD GREEN drives, because they were >> > cheaper.. >> > >> > We have no backup at all at the moment, been nagging about it for 3 >> > years as of today. but backup will be fixed when they decide what kind of >> > storage they want and how big etc. Have a temporary backup at the moment >> > with mostly project files and PSD's. >> > >> > The next guy, is hired more for general support and maintenance. He can >> > probably fix this stuff, but at the moment he doesn't have knowledge about >> > how they work, and their needs so good and will only be working 1 day a >> > week. >> > So i'm trying to get them to make a plan, preferably let them get a >> > vendor to do everything, and let the new guy do the maintance/backup stuff >> > more than getting a new system up and running. >> > >> > >> > >> > To unsubscribe from the list send a blank e-mail to >> > mailto:studiosysadmins-discuss-request@studiosysadmins.com?subject=unsubscribe >> To unsubscribe from the list send a blank e-mail to >> mailto:studiosysadmins-discuss-request@studiosysadmins.com?subject=unsubscribe > > > > To unsubscribe from the list send a blank e-mail to > mailto:studiosysadmins-discuss-request@studiosysadmins.com?subject=unsubscribe To unsubscribe from the list send a blank e-mail to mailto:studiosysadmins-discuss-request@studiosysadmins.com?subject=unsubscribe

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Response from Gustaf Larm @ March 6, 2015, 8:05 a.m.
Unsure if my last message got posted or not. So resending.
------------

Hi, thanks for the answers so far.

Ken, do you mind telling what kind of raid and how many 10GbE ports you're using? I do like the idea of using it as some sort of tier 2 storage, or temporary backup maybe. But 500MB/s sounds to bad. Do you know what synology advertised the speed on your devices? The DS2015xs graphs says 1900MB/s which sounds like impossible dream numbers, or they are using only SSD drives maybe.


I've actually specced a supermicro, one month ago, pretty much like Saker's suggestion, but was to expensive, since it arrived at $8k (was 48TB usable storage). Didn't even get to have a discussion about cutting down cost or anything for it.

The support aspect is one I find important, but some guy told them that with DELL and broken drives, it takes several days sometimes just for a drive-replacement, but with synology they can replace your whole NAS in less than 5 days. I'll remember to press more about support, since after I leave, they'll only have one IT-guy coming in for general maintaince/support once a week. They haven't really wanted to talk about a DR plan, or even backup (or let me fix stuff). So if something crashes today, it's pretty much go bankcrupt..

While I did touch upon the users, workflow etc. I can also expand a bit.
The renderfarm only renders Maya-stuff, either in TIF or EXR's and it's rendering 75% of the year.
Our AE guys, are mostly working with DPXs or ProRes 4444 as plate-format, and whatever the format the assets are. I've noticed some AE renders take twice as long, depending on how many people are working at the same time. a Normal Day 4 people are working in AE, 2 just with motiongraphic, the rest with compositing. 4 people with 3d (lighting/rendering everyday atleast). the rest are also reviewing lots of big files, clients download several tens of GB's per day from the FTP.
Mostly everything is in HD, but sometimes the compers work in 4K.
Our shop also does some commercial-shooting and title-sequences, so very often they need to copy stuff to the storage, conform it, etc.

Thanks James, The RS10613+ sounds more interesting.
Good to know about the DNS/FTP stuff. You're right, it's SATA drives, WD RED 4TB. The orginal offer came with WD GREEN drives, because they were cheaper..

We have no backup at all at the moment, been nagging about it for 3 years as of today. but backup will be fixed when they decide what kind of storage they want and how big etc. Have a temporary backup at the moment with mostly project files and PSD's.

The next guy, is hired more for general support and maintenance. He can probably fix this stuff, but at the moment he doesn't have knowledge about how they work, and their needs so good and will only be working 1 day a week.
So i'm trying to get them to make a plan, preferably let them get a vendor to do everything, and let the new guy do the maintance/backup stuff more than getting a new system up and running.




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Response from Jeremy Webber @ March 5, 2015, 10:50 p.m.
Hi James,
That was within the last 3 months.
One was killed by a software upgrade. There was no warning prior to the upgrade that it was going to die and there was no hardware fault. I do not recall anything about scrubbing the file system (which brand of scourer do you recommend?)
Only a few weeks later the other one died. In this case there was no software upgrade. A single disk failed (it was configured RAID-6), the RAID rebuild did not progress, and the system failed after being rebooted (at the request of Synology support).
I wasnt involved in the purchase so I cant vouch for the drives, but as far as I know the units were purchased populated, so I hope the drives were certified.
Regards,  Jeremy

On 5 Mar 2015, at 6:03 pm, James Bourne <james.bourne@zspace.com.au> wrote:
@Jeremy ... dunno how you managed to kill two of 'em ;) And how recent was that experience? I've done 100+ firmware updates across three units in 2+ years and never seen a failure. Did you read the release notes as some of the upgrades do require file system scrubbing. Were you using certified drives?

-- 
Jeremy Webber
Senior Systems Engineer
Animal Logic Pty Ltd
T: +61 2 8310 3577
M: +61 2 9383 4800
F: +61 2 9383 4801



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Response from Gustaf Larm @ March 5, 2015, 4:45 a.m.

Somehow Idon't think my replies has been successfull, so I'm trying again. Sorry for possible double/tripple-posts.

---------

Hi, thanks for the answers so far.

Ken, do you mind telling what kind of raid and how many 10GbE ports you're using? I do like the idea of using it as some sort of tier 2 storage, or temporary backup maybe. But 500MB/s sounds to bad. Do you know what synology advertised the speed on your devices? The DS2015xs graphs says 1900MB/s which sounds like impossible dream numbers, or they are using only SSD drives maybe.


I've actually specced a supermicro, one month ago, pretty much like Saker's suggestion, but was to expensive, since it arrived at $8k (was 48TB usable storage). Didn't even get to have a discussion about cutting down cost or anything for it.

The support aspect is one I find important, but some guy (synology-guy) told them that with DELL and broken drives, it takes several days sometimes just for a drive-replacement, but with synology they can replace your whole NAS in less than 5 days. I'll remember to press more about support, since after I leave, they'll only have one IT-guy coming in for general maintaince/support once a week.

While I did touch upon the users, workflow etc. I can also expand a bit.
The renderfarm only renders Maya-stuff, either in TIF or EXR's and it's rendering 75% of the year.
Our AE guys, are mostly working with DPXs or ProRes 4444 as plate-format, and whatever the format the assets are. I've noticed some AE renders take twice as long, depending on how many people are working at the same time. a Normal Day 4 people are working in AE, 2 just with motiongraphic, the rest with compositing. 4 people with 3d (lighting/rendering everyday atleast). the rest are also reviewing lots of big files, clients download several tens of GB's per day from the FTP.
Mostly everything is in HD, but sometimes the compers work in 4K.
Our shop also does some commercial-shooting and title-sequences, so very often they need to copy stuff to the storage, conform it, etc.

Thanks James, The RS10613+ sounds more interesting.
Good to know about the DNS/FTP stuff. You're right, it's SATA drives, WD RED 4TB. The orginal offer came with WD GREEN drives, because they were cheaper..

We have no backup at all at the moment, been nagging about it for 3 years as of today. but backup will be fixed when they decide what kind of storage they want and how big etc. Have a temporary (and secret) backup at the moment with most of the on-going projects (only projectfiles).

The next guy, is hired more for general support and maintenance. He can probably fix this stuff, but at the moment he doesn't have knowledge about how they work, and their needs and goals for the future and will only be working 1 day a week, and I'm not sure about how knowledgeable he is with this kind of stuff yet, he said some things that raised my eyebrows when we met.
So i'm trying to make a plan, preferably let them get a vendor to do everything, and let the new guy do the maintance/backup stuff more than getting a new system up and running. But I'm in contact with the new guy about everything that I'm thinking off, and don't buy anything unless he agrees, since it will be his headache later on. More of trying to get the groundwork done, and talk about it with him and let them get a vendor when he begins to fix the heavystuff (which I hope he agree's too), since he wont be here fulltime and the company may benefit from 24/7 support from a vendor in this case. But it's still a discussion I'm trying to have with him.

    
You hit most of my concernpoints. Good points about IO also. Seems a SSD read/write cache may help with the IO stuff.

12k, is also 1% of revenue/turnover per year here. So it's not that much of money in reality.


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Response from Michael Oliver @ March 4, 2015, 6:05 p.m.
Synology's own performance webpage shows only a max of 220MB/sec of link ag.  The 10Gb test utilize arrays with SSD's.https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/performance#xs_series


I'm with Saker and the other folks here in recommending something more beefier for a team of that size and especially for a your company's main storage solution.  
However for much much smaller teams (ie 2-4 people) that get deployed offsite I am thinking about testing a qnap TVS-871 w/ ssd cache and 10Gbe.  Those things looks like a pretty good combo of speed and storage.
On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:21 PM, Joe Chonacky <joec@bentimagelab.com> wrote:

 

 

<responding>

 

At first I thought they got 900MB/sec simply by multiplying (8 disks) x (c. 110MB/sec max for a 7200RPM drive).  But those are WD Reds, whose rotational speed is “Intellipower” (so, 5400 RPM + cache + secret sauce).  So no way, never, no how, even at maximum spin with no seeking or other overhead.  This number is pure fantasy, or horrible naivet.

 

Plus, RAID 6.  Spitting sound.

 

--Joe

<connection terminated> 

 

Joe Chonacky

IT Manager / BENT Image Lab

joec@bentimagelab.com

503.228.6206 

 


From: studiosysadmins-discuss-bounces@studiosysadmins.com [mailto:studiosysadmins-discuss-bounces@studiosysadmins.com] On Behalf Of Will Rosecrans
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 12:03 PM
To: studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com
Subject: Re: [SSA-Discuss] Help explaining and/or choosing between two different solutions?

 

Yeah, 8 spindles was the first thing I saw.  With ~ 18 clients accessing it (10 farm nodes, plus 8 artists) that's less than 0.5 spindles / client.  Think of how bad the performance of a single drive in a PC is when you are trying to do stuff while a copy is happening.  It is constantly seeking back and forth trying to service all the concurrent operations, and you wind up seeing 5 MB/sec in practice from the drive under realistic heavy load.  I'd be genuinely shocked if you actually got 900 MB/sec in real life with clients all doing different things with different workloads.  2D and 3D might muddle through (Nuke has good local caching to deal with this) but editor and colorist will have your head on a pike for trying to serve that load with 8 spindles.  In my experience, farms tend to be surprisingly IO bound.  Often even more than CPU bound.  People see the storage is rated for "900 MB/sec" and see that the farm isn't pulling anywhere near that much, so they assume that there is excess IO capacity available.  Which seems reasonable, but often isn't the case.

Yeah, stuffing that SuperMicro full of drives sounds pretty much ideal.  According to my calculations, 72 > 8.

 

On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 8:21 AM, Saker Klippsten <sakerk@gmail.com> wrote:

He did. Read first post.

 

8 spindles not enough for what they want to do +users +render farm expansion and editing off storage. 

 

Dell is a waste of money and spencer wrong.

 

 

Get a supermicro box, single 8 core processor 2.x ghz / 64 gb ram, LSI raid card , 4 Samsung SSD's for cache via LSI  and some  3/4TB drives . Fill this chassis up. Install widows 2012 or Linux. But sounds like they need windows as no one there Prob knows Linux after you leave. 2012 has snapshots and all the fancy stuff.. Easy to manage. DNS , ftp etc... 

 

http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/6047/SSG-6047R-E1R72L.cfm


Also do they even backup?

 

 

 

 


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mcoliver@gmail.com
858.336.1438

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Response from Will Rosecrans @ March 4, 2015, 5:55 p.m.
Apparently the 4 TB Red can do well over 110 MB/sec. Density is high enough that even at "Intellipower" rotational speeds, it can manage reasonable transfer rates under absolutely perfect conditions.

http://www.storagereview.com/wd_red_4tb_hdd_review_wd40efrx

So, 900 MB/sec is actually a bit shy of the simple "add up the theoretical peak of all the dirves." But you'll still never actually see it in the real world. I concur with your spitting sound.


On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:21 PM, Joe Chonacky <joec@bentimagelab.com> wrote:

<responding>

At first I thought they got 900MB/sec simply by multiplying (8 disks) x (c. 110MB/sec max for a 7200RPM drive). But those are WD Reds, whose rotational speed is Intellipower (so, 5400 RPM + cache + secret sauce). So no way, never, no how, even at maximum spin with no seeking or other overhead. This number is pure fantasy, or horrible naivet.

Plus, RAID 6. Spitting sound.

--Joe

<connection terminated>

Joe Chonacky

IT Manager / BENT Image Lab

joec@bentimagelab.com

503.228.6206


From: studiosysadmins-discuss-bounces@studiosysadmins.com [mailto:studiosysadmins-discuss-bounces@studiosysadmins.com] On Behalf Of Will Rosecrans
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 12:03 PM
To: studiosysadmins-discuss@studiosysadmins.com
Subject: Re: [SSA-Discuss] Help explaining and/or choosing between two different solutions?

Yeah, 8 spindles was the first thing I saw. With ~ 18 clients accessing it (10 farm nodes, plus 8 artists) that's less than 0.5 spindles / client. Think of how bad the performance of a single drive in a PC is when you are trying to do stuff while a copy is happening. It is constantly seeking back and forth trying to service all the concurrent operations, and you wind up seeing 5 MB/sec in practice from the drive under realistic heavy load. I'd be genuinely shocked if you actually got 900 MB/sec in real life with clients all doing different things with different workloads. 2D and 3D might muddle through (Nuke has good local caching to deal with this) but editor and colorist will have your head on a pike for trying to serve that load with 8 spindles. In my experience, farms tend to be surprisingly IO bound. Often even more than CPU bound. People see the storage is rated for "900 MB/sec" and see that the farm isn't pulling anywhere near that much, so they assume that there is excess IO capacity available. Which seems reasonable, but often isn't the case.

Yeah, stuffing that SuperMicro full of drives sounds pretty much ideal. According to my calculations, 72 > 8.

On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 8:21 AM, Saker Klippsten <sakerk@gmail.com> wrote:

He did. Read first post.

8 spindles not enough for what they want to do +users +render farm expansion and editing off storage.

Dell is a waste of money and spencer wrong.

Get a supermicro box, single 8 core processor 2.x ghz / 64 gb ram, LSI raid card , 4 Samsung SSD's for cache via LSI and some 3/4TB drives . Fill this chassis up. Install widows 2012 or Linux. But sounds like they need windows as no one there Prob knows Linux after you leave. 2012 has snapshots and all the fancy stuff.. Easy to manage. DNS , ftp etc...

http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/6047/SSG-6047R-E1R72L.cfm


Also do they even backup?


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Response from Will Rosecrans @ March 4, 2015, 3:05 p.m.
Yeah, 8 spindles was the first thing I saw. With ~ 18 clients accessing it (10 farm nodes, plus 8 artists) that's less than 0.5 spindles / client. Think of how bad the performance of a single drive in a PC is when you are trying to do stuff while a copy is happening. It is constantly seeking back and forth trying to service all the concurrent operations, and you wind up seeing 5 MB/sec in practice from the drive under realistic heavy load. I'd be genuinely shocked if you actually got 900 MB/sec in real life with clients all doing different things with different workloads. 2D and 3D might muddle through (Nuke has good local caching to deal with this) but editor and colorist will have your head on a pike for trying to serve that load with 8 spindles. In my experience, farms tend to be surprisingly IO bound. Often even more than CPU bound. People see the storage is rated for "900 MB/sec" and see that the farm isn't pulling anywhere near that much, so they assume that there is excess IO capacity available. Which seems reasonable, but often isn't the case.

Yeah, stuffing that SuperMicro full of drives sounds pretty much ideal. According to my calculations, 72 > 8.

On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 8:21 AM, Saker Klippsten <sakerk@gmail.com> wrote:
He did. Read first post.
8 spindles not enough for what they want to do +users +render farm expansion and editing off storage.
Dell is a waste of money and spencer wrong.

Get a supermicro box, single 8 core processor 2.x ghz / 64 gb ram, LSI raid card , 4 Samsung SSD's for cache via LSI and some 3/4TB drives . Fill this chassis up. Install widows 2012 or Linux. But sounds like they need windows as no one there Prob knows Linux after you leave. 2012 has snapshots and all the fancy stuff.. Easy to manage. DNS , ftp etc...
http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/4U/6047/SSG-6047R-E1R72L.cfm
Also do they even backup?





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Response from Jean-Francois Panisset @ March 4, 2015, 2:50 p.m.
Something that's been hinted at by others but not said explicitly (that I saw) is that in a NAS environment, MB/sec is almost meaningless, IOPS is typically what makes or breaks a solution. You have a bunch of client machines generating uncorrelated patterns of small I/O requests, you are going to be limited by the random access performance of the array and will get nowhere near maximum sequential performance (which is where MB/sec numbers come from). IOPS come from:

- Number of and type of spindles: rotational speeds vary from 4,200RPM (laptop drives) to 15K RPM (enterprise 3.5" SAS drives, almost gone now), some drives don't even quote that these days. Higher speed means more sequential bandwidth, but also shorter access time / random performance. And of course SSDs are much faster than mechanical drives, but they have their quirks, and not every array can (effectively) deal with SSDs.
- Controller performance: some low end arrays do everything in software on woefully under powered CPUs and don't even get close to delivering the performance that the drives are capable of.
- RAID levels: RAID 6 typically has more performance overhead than RAID 5
- Front end performance: there is non trivial overhead in processing NFS or SMB requests

As far as justifying expenditures, I would suggest you ask how much is being spent daily on payroll. You said there's 11 staff people, with up to 6 freelancers. Let's assume a not very generous average rate of $50/h (with overhead), that's $850 per hour with 17 people, $6,800 per 8 hour day. So even the difference between the $3K and a striped down home grown Dell solution is equivalent to a single day of lost time if the storage goes down.

I know this varies by region, but in most cases the salary costs completely dwarf whatever you spend on technology.

JF



On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 10:01 AM, Rob LaRose <rlarose@rockpaperscissors.com> wrote:
On Mar 4, 2015, at 11:37 AM, James Bourne <james.bourne@zspace.com.au> wrote:

> Given you are leaving the business ... perhaps leave it for the next guy?

I wasnt sure if this was an appropriate thing to say, but since James has already said it, I second this.

As a new guy coming in, imagine being handed the project plan that the outgoing fellow chose/designed and told thats what you have to build/implement/support. He or she may have preferred vendors or products of his own, and may resent being put in the position of having to build or support a brand new system that someone else specced out.

If youre providing a recommendation only, you can lay out the benefits of using well-supported & redundant gear over cheaper options not necessarily intended for the pro industry space. Provide some examples, and let the person who will actually build/implement spec out the right system for everyone.

Maybe?
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Response from Gustaf Larm @ March 4, 2015, 11:56 a.m.

Hi, thanks for the answers so far.

Ken, do you mind telling what kind of raid and how many 10GbE ports you're using? I do like the idea of using it as some sort of tier 2 storage, or temporary backup maybe. But 500MB/s sounds to bad. Do you know what synology advertised the speed on your devices? The DS2015xs graphs says 1900MB/s which sounds like impossible dream numbers, or they are using only SSD drives maybe.


I've actually specced a supermicro, one month ago, pretty much like Saker's suggestion, but was to expensive, since it arrived at $8k (was 48TB usable storage). Didn't even get to have a discussion about cutting down cost or anything for it.

The support aspect is one I find important, but some guy told them that with DELL and broken drives, it takes several days sometimes just for a drive-replacement, but with synology they can replace your whole NAS in less than 5 days. I'll remember to press more about support, since after I leave, they'll only have one IT-guy coming in for general maintaince/support once a week. They haven't really wanted to talk about a DR plan, or even backup (or let me fix stuff). So if something crashes today, it's pretty much go bankcrupt..

While I did touch upon the users, workflow etc. I can also expand a bit.
The renderfarm only renders Maya-stuff, either in TIF or EXR's and it's rendering 75% of the year.
Our AE guys, are mostly working with DPXs or ProRes 4444 as plate-format, and whatever the format the assets are. I've noticed some AE renders take twice as long, depending on how many people are working at the same time. a Normal Day 4 people are working in AE, 2 just with motiongraphic, the rest with compositing. 4 people with 3d (lighting/rendering everyday atleast). the rest are also reviewing lots of big files, clients download several tens of GB's per day from the FTP.
Mostly everything is in HD, but sometimes the compers work in 4K.
Our shop also does some commercial-shooting and title-sequences, so very often they need to copy stuff to the storage, conform it, etc.

Thanks James, The RS10613+ sounds more interesting.
Good to know about the DNS/FTP stuff. You're right, it's SATA drives, WD RED 4TB. The orginal offer came with WD GREEN drives, because they were cheaper..

We have no backup at all at the moment, been nagging about it for 3 years as of today. but backup will be fixed when they decide what kind of storage they want and how big etc. Have a temporary backup at the moment with mostly project files and PSD's.

The next guy, is hired more for general support and maintenance. He can probably fix this stuff, but at the moment he doesn't have knowledge about how they work, and their needs so good and will only be working 1 day a week.
So i'm trying to get them to make a plan, preferably let them get a vendor to do everything, and let the new guy do the maintance/backup stuff more than getting a new system up and running.


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Response from Greg Whynott @ March 4, 2015, 11:25 a.m.
He did touch on that Todd, "it's 11 employees, 3 administrative, 6 2d/3d-vfx artists, 1 editors and 1 colorist."

It maybe be overkill if it is built to be, but it is a more reliable and supported solution which makes it a better business solution, depending on what their tolerance is to down time.

One of the issues small shops face is not spending the money on the proper solution because of the cost of admission. If they are ok sending 22 people home for a day or so while you try and get a response from buying something cheaper, then yeah its a great decision. If making the deadline and keeping people productive is the goal, then overkill starts to look ok.

The question really boils down to " what is the businesses tolerance to downtime and how much does it cost when we are down?"

Audi R8's are overkill but I'd rather one of those than a Toyota. lol 8)


-g





On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 10:53 AM, Todd Smith <todd@sohovfx.com> wrote:
I think the most critical question that no one has asked yet is - how many users, what is the workflow (image resolution, applications used, renderfarm if there is one) and what are the problems you are trying to address coming from the current solution.
The Dell solution may be amazing, but it might be total overkill for what the company needs.
Cheers,Todd SmithHead of Information Technology
soho vfx|99 Atlantic Ave. Suite 303, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3J8office:(416) 516-7863fax:(416) 516-9682web:sohovfx.com

for the capacity requirements you have stated, I'd be looking to purchase a Supermicro (or if you have the money go with a higher tier vendor and better support such as Dell/HP) box with a built in array. This way you could use ZFS for your storage requirements and enjoy all that a unix box brings, such as FTP.

The device you are looking at I personally would never even consider for a centric to the business use scenario, especially if support is via email only. walk away from that. looks nice for home use or on an editors desk maybe...

The Supermicro/Dell solutions may be more expensive but you have to sell them on the 'instant support', ask them how much money they would lose if you had to wait for a day to get to support and if they are ok with that. One or two incidents would likely cost way more than the difference between an enterprise solution and that which they are considering.

To reduce costs you likely do not need 2 CPUs. Start out with one but have the option to install a second one. If you choose to use ZFS, the more DRAM memory you can afford the better. Your users will love it as some of their requests will be served from memory as opposed to going to disk. If you add a cheap SSD or two, you can have quite a large read cache which will make people happy too. You could further reduce costs by going with a bonded 2,4 or 8 1 gigabit connections to your switch instead of a 10 gig connection, if your requirements allow for that.

-g







On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 9:16 AM, Ken Spickler <ken.spickler@gmail.com> wrote:
Synology is cheap, and the support level matches that. It's virtually all email-based and response times are often many hours long. If you have a failed drive, that must be dealt with by the drive vendor, not Synology (therefore avoid drives with a 1-year warranty). We use it for a sort-of tier 2-1/2 (files we're finished with, pending deletion within 30-60 days).
We do not have that exact model, but we do have a few 36-drive units with 10GbE and 4TB enterprise-grade WD drives. There's no way they will do 900MB/s. The fastest I've seen is less than 500MB/s. If your vendor is claiming 900MB/s, tell him to prove it with real-word work and not a graph on a PowerPoint.
Go with the Dell for something that would be so critical. Their support is much better, and in many cases they'll send a tech onsite. Have a look at the Dell Outlet website for refurbished equipment, too. It might save you even more money while still getting the same support.

Ken SpicklerSent from iPhone. Srry for tpos.
On Mar 4, 2015, at 2:13 AM, Gustaf Larm <content@studiosysadmins.com> wrote:

Hi everyone!


I've been trying to get my current workplace to upgrade their storage and network, and now I got a Go for doing something. I'm trying to help them choose, but without much success.
We've got several offers, that they shut down because money-reasons, but somehow got one they like.

Recently they got an suggestion (from someone else) that's based on synology hardware. It's an DS2015xs (https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS2015xs#spec), offered to run with 8 WD RED at 4 TB with synologys hybrid raid 2 (raid 6 equivalent).
They loved it, since they can run an FTPserver on it, a DNSserver, synologys cloudstorage (like dropbox) and a few other mobile services.
All in all, it will cost about $3k plus installation. They love it because the cloudstorage stuff, and the pricepoint, and the guy said the performance should be around 900MB/s (read).

Another solution that they shut down before, is a Dell Poweredge R720 (2x Xeon E5-2630v2,128 GB RAM, 4 x 480 GB SSD, 2x146 15Krpm SAS drives, 2x 10gbe) and a powerVault MD1200 with 12x4TB Nearline SAS. Would run Windows storage spaces, with the SSD's as cache and a Raid 10. A total of $17k with installation and support. Would go down in cost since I see no need too have that much ram or even two cpu's, so I'm thinking it will end around $10-12k

Short about us (or them, I've put in my notice to quit and my last day is in 3 weeks), it's 11 employees, 3 administrative, 6 2d/3d-vfx artists, 1 editors and 1 colorist. Sometimes up to 6 freelancers doing vfx-work.
Working mostly with Maya, Adobe CC, Final Cut and Resolve. Pretty standard workflow, mostly DPX's, TIFs and ProRes. They also want to be able to edit directly on the storage. A small renderfarm with 10 nodes, soon-to-be 20, rendering 75% of the time. (75% windows, 25% osx)

I've been trying to explain the differences between th e DELL solution and Synology, why there's a price difference, about redundancy etc, but always get stuck on first step since the spec on paper looks the same,
24TB usable space, 10GBe connection, around 900MB/s from synology, 1200MB/s from the DELL (according to a real-world test our vendor did inhouse). My concerns are more about redundancy, rebuild-times, type of drives, the CPU of synology, support etc.

Do any of you have any experience with either solution, or can see a problem with either one? maybe something positive? Or what they should get? They do have a trust-issue with me, and whatever I think, they won't really listen to me, unless someone externally can confirm my thoughts.

I have no real experience with synology except their home-consumer stuff, which I like, but don't really know what I'm thinking about the DS2015xs. And I can't get the decision-makers to understand why there is a price-difference like that between this synology an d every other solution they've got. They are people who never invested in IT at all during their 7 running a company.

P.S. Our current solutions is an Yotta SAN, connected with Fiber to a PC running Nas4Free and shared out with 1 Gbit ethernet connection (the only upgrade I got to do, from the old crappy Hackintosh solutions they used).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and or questions.

//Gustaf

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Response from Todd Smith @ March 4, 2015, 10:55 a.m.
I think the most critical question that no one has asked yet is - how many users, what is the workflow (image resolution, applications used, renderfarm if there is one) and what are the problems you are trying to address coming from the current solution.
The Dell solution may be amazing, but it might be total overkill for what the company needs.
Cheers,Todd SmithHead of Information Technology
soho vfx | 99 Atlantic Ave. Suite 303, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3J8office: (416) 516-7863 fax: (416) 516-9682 web: sohovfx.com

for the capacity requirements you have stated,  I'd be looking to purchase a Supermicro (or if you have the money go with a higher tier vendor and better support such as Dell/HP) box with a built in array.   This way you could use ZFS for your storage requirements and enjoy all that a unix box brings,  such as FTP.   

The device you are looking at I personally would never even consider for a centric to the business use scenario,  especially if support is via email only.   walk away from that.   looks nice for home use or on an editors desk maybe...

The Supermicro/Dell solutions may be more expensive but you have to sell them on the 'instant support',  ask them how much money they would lose if you had to wait for a day to get to support and if they are ok with that.  One or two incidents would likely cost way more than the difference between an enterprise solution and that which they are considering.    

To reduce costs you likely do not need 2 CPUs.   Start out with one but have the option to install a second one.     If you choose to use ZFS,  the more DRAM memory you can afford the better.   Your users will love it as some of their requests will be served from memory as opposed to going to disk.    If you add a cheap SSD or two,  you can have quite a large read cache which will make people happy too.   You could further reduce costs by going with a bonded 2,4 or 8 1 gigabit connections to your switch instead of a 10 gig connection,  if your requirements allow for that. 

-g







On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 9:16 AM, Ken Spickler <ken.spickler@gmail.com> wrote:
Synology is cheap, and the support level matches that. It's virtually all email-based and response times are often many hours long. If you have a failed drive, that must be dealt with by the drive vendor, not Synology (therefore avoid drives with a 1-year warranty). We use it for a sort-of tier 2-1/2 (files we're finished with, pending deletion within 30-60 days).
We do not have that exact model, but we do have a few 36-drive units with 10GbE and 4TB enterprise-grade WD drives. There's no way they will do 900MB/s. The fastest I've seen is less than 500MB/s. If your vendor is claiming 900MB/s, tell him to prove it with real-word work and not a graph on a PowerPoint.
Go with the Dell for something that would be so critical. Their support is much better, and in many cases they'll send a tech onsite. Have a look at the Dell Outlet website for refurbished equipment, too. It might save you even more money while still getting the same support.

Ken SpicklerSent from iPhone. Srry for tpos.
On Mar 4, 2015, at 2:13 AM, Gustaf Larm <content@studiosysadmins.com> wrote:

Hi everyone!


I've been trying to get my current workplace to upgrade their storage and network, and now I got a Go for doing something. I'm trying to help them choose, but without much success.
We've got several offers, that they shut down because money-reasons, but somehow got one they like.

Recently they got an suggestion (from someone else) that's based on synology hardware. It's an DS2015xs (https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS2015xs#spec), offered to run with 8 WD RED at 4 TB with synologys hybrid raid 2 (raid 6 equivalent).
They loved it, since they can run an FTPserver on it, a DNSserver, synologys cloudstorage (like dropbox) and a few other mobile services.
All in all, it will cost about $3k plus installation. They love it because the cloudstorage stuff, and the pricepoint, and the guy said the performance should be around 900MB/s (read).

Another solution that they shut down before, is a Dell Poweredge R720 (2x Xeon E5-2630v2,128 GB RAM, 4 x 480 GB SSD, 2x146 15Krpm SAS drives, 2x 10gbe) and a powerVault MD1200 with 12x4TB Nearline SAS. Would run Windows storage spaces, with the SSD's as cache and a Raid 10. A total of $17k with installation and support. Would go down in cost since I see no need too have that much ram or even two cpu's, so I'm thinking it will end around $10-12k

Short about us (or them, I've put in my notice to quit and my last day is in 3 weeks), it's 11 employees, 3 administrative, 6 2d/3d-vfx artists, 1 editors and 1 colorist. Sometimes up to 6 freelancers doing vfx-work.
Working mostly with Maya, Adobe CC, Final Cut and Resolve. Pretty standard workflow, mostly DPX's, TIFs and ProRes. They also want to be able to edit directly on the storage. A small renderfarm with 10 nodes, soon-to-be 20, rendering 75% of the time. (75% windows, 25% osx)

I've been trying to explain the differences between th e DELL solution and Synology, why there's a price difference, about redundancy etc, but always get stuck on first step since the spec on paper looks the same,
24TB usable space, 10GBe connection, around 900MB/s from synology, 1200MB/s from the DELL (according to a real-world test our vendor did inhouse). My concerns are more about redundancy, rebuild-times, type of drives, the CPU of synology, support etc.

Do any of you have any experience with either solution, or can see a problem with either one? maybe something positive? Or what they should get? They do have a trust-issue with me, and whatever I think, they won't really listen to me, unless someone externally can confirm my thoughts.

I have no real experience with synology except their home-consumer stuff, which I like, but don't really know what I'm thinking about the DS2015xs. And I can't get the decision-makers to understand why there is a price-difference like that between this synology an d every other solution they've got. They are people who never invested in IT at all during their 7 running a company.

P.S. Our current solutions is an Yotta SAN, connected with Fiber to a PC running Nas4Free and shared out with 1 Gbit ethernet connection (the only upgrade I got to do, from the old crappy Hackintosh solutions they used).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and or questions.

//Gustaf

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