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Topic: “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

  1. #1

    “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

    Hey guys
    I’m planning to buy dual bay “hot-swap” enclosure SeriTek/1EN2
    http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-1en2 with PCI - X card
    SeriTek/1VE2+2 ( Mac g5 dual 2.7 GHz)

    and I want to try to take an advantage of raid 0 set up( two internal SATA HD - probably maxtor or hitachi around 200 GB) and with this issue I’m posting those questions - hopefully there is somebody with answers - otherwise I will have to research that stuff forever.

    1) Let’s say that I have Kontakt 2 library on one hand and and couple of sample libraries on the other - would it be better to use
    a) Kontakt 2 on one hard drive ( of my two bay enclosure) and other
    libraries on the other HD. or
    b) Strip my libraries libraries across two drives ?(maybe with us of partitions)

    2)This question is more of a general kind about stripped RAID

    I know that lot of people take advantage of stripped RAID set up but this particular article

    has made some doubts whether I should even bother with this set up .
    Anybody has some experience with using RAID 0?

    3) For those who supports this set up where would be smarter to use it ( if you have a one choice)
    a) On two sample libraries drives ?
    b) On two audio drives ?
    c) Or on two boot drives ?

    If you guys have any experience with that i would really appreciate your answers,Hopefully other people find it useful as well.
    Thanks for your time

  2. #2

    Re: “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

    Hey Milan,

    for samples I was using RAID 0 (2X120GB) for about 4 years, and was very satisfied with it. However, now I have 2X500GB samsungs in SATA II, no RAID, and I see no difference in performance.

    Also, somewhere I've seen opinions that 2 independent SATA II are actually, um... more efficient than 2 same disks in RAID when using software samplers.

    Be it truth or not, from my experience I can tell that there's no need for RAID 0 nowadays.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Robert Kooijman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Karlskrona, Sweden

    Re: “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

    Can second that.

    When you have several drives, it makes IMO more sense to just spread out your sample libs over these, rather then using a RAID-0 array.

    FWIW, I'm normaly using a pre-load size of 24 kb with K2, using Just a Bunch Of Drives. But even when setting it to say 12 kb, there are rarely any disc I/O issues. But if you really go wild with a pedal down 128 layer ueber-piano, perhaps you will see some advantages of RAID-0. Same when editing HD video.

    The only RAID set-ups that really add value these days for audio are IMO RAID-5 or 6. Not so much for performance, but more for redundancy and ease of back-up.
    Supermicro H8DCE, 2*285 Opterons, 16GB Ram, 3TB WD & Seagate drives, MSI 7600GS & XFX 6600GT, Emu 1820m, Thermaltake 750W PSU, watercooling by Zalman & Innovatek, Windows XP64 SP2, Cubase 4.1

  4. #4

    Re: “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

    I think it only makes sense to use a RAID array if you are unable to predict in advance how the conccurrent data access will be. If you can somewhat predict, then you can basically setup the equivilant of raid by putting some of your samples on one disk and some on the other. If you know you're going to be using some samples from both disks at the same time. If you end up mostly using all the stuff that is on disk, then you'd be better off in a raid. Likewise for DAW's, if you put some tracks on one disk and some on the other, etc.. or perhaps you put all your samples on one disk and daw tracks on the other(but that doesn't help you when you're merely sequencing). Many options.

    With raid you just set it up and forget about it, putting anything you want wherever you want. The downside is that its perhaps more expensive, and actually if you really optimize a non-raid setup, it will possibly perform even better than the raid would, hard to say.

    However RAID array's also provide the mechanism to setup mirroring, which is not a bad idea at all. 3 DISKs with 2 of them raided and 1 a mirror of the two, would be a nice setup. Not cheap though.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

  5. #5

    Re: “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

    Thank you guys a lot
    Some great information.
    I'm gonna try to use system of separate drives rather than raid 0 for now and see what's gonna be the performance like.

    Thanks again

  6. #6

    Re: “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

    Ehm ...

    ... if I am not totally wrong then everything is about using different controllers parallely, right?

    So which advantages does one have streaming from a RAID array with two harddisks opposed to two SATA disks that are connected to different SATA controllers?


    EDIT: I should have read all the posts, the other posters already mentioned it.

    For slave computers I use 1 IDE disk as boot/system disk and two (independent) 10000 RPM SATA's for the libraries.

    My master has 1 IDE disk as boot/system disk, one 10000 RMP SATA for libraries and one 7200 RPM SATA for audio.
    All your strings belong to me!

  7. #7

    Re: “Stripped Raid” set up for sample libraries

    The biggest bottleneck is the speed a single HD can seek and retrieve data from a disk. If you have a raid, then each disc is absorbing aprox half of every read operation. That will bring the I/O closer to the bandwidth limitations of the IDE/SCSI controller.

    If you max out the bandwidth of a single controller, then I suppose you might be able to increase the speed by using seperate controllers, (but with a RAID on each one also). However you are also going to run into bandwidth limitations of the PCI buss, which generally speaking the two IDE/SCSI controllers will be sharing.

    For most people, the most cost effective solution is going to be just organizing their data intelligently between two drives on the same controller. My motherboard has built in RAID support and some day I will get around to trying it, but for now I prefer to intelligently split the data.
    "Music is a manifestation of the human spirit similar to a language. If we do not want such things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest number of people understand their secrets" -- Zoltan Kodaly

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