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For SAN's sanity


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Poll: SAN sanIT (3 member(s) have cast votes)

How often do you re-initialize your volumes?

  1. Only when desperate and no other solution exists (1 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. When a volume suffers major problems (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Anytime I please (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. On schedule as prescribed, each 6-12 months (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Regularly, but well after the 12 month mark (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. Never had to re-initialize in several years (2 votes [66.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

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#1 handygeek

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 01:09 PM

Some folks on the xsanity board are discussing the possible eventual demise of XSAN even though that hasn't been announced. So, we are talking over the alternatives and SANmp came up (admittedly by me) and there was a rather disquieting piece of info from someone there regarding SANmp maintenance. There is a knowledge-base article and corresponding Admin manual which state that one should re-initialize volumes every 6-12 months. That's not what I would consider regular maintenance for a SAN and it seemed pretty extreme. And so I was wondering if this was just one of those over-the-top engineering recommendations that gets tossed out with the assembly manual. ;)

http://www.snsforums...p?showtopic=232


Thoughts?

(disclaimer - I don't own or sell SNS software or hardware and have no experience with either)

#2 steve.higdon

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 12:07 PM

HFS+, like any other file system, is susceptible to fragmentation. At some point this fragmentation may impact the performance of your storage to the extent that it is noticeable. This is true for any storage that uses HFS+, including local disks (internal and external), and SAN volumes that use HFS+. If the performance of your storage has noticeably degraded over time, it's possible that it could be due to fragmentation. Some users may never notice any performance degradation.

To answer your question directly-- not all users adhere to the maintenance recommendation and they do not experience any problems. Other users perform the preventative maintenance, and have successful systems. There are also users who perform volume maintenance when forced to do so by the performance effects of fragmentation. The way that volumes are used, the number and size of the files, and how often files are added and removed all impact the cumulative effect of fragmentation. There are two facts: first, the performance effect of fragmentation is very real, and second, a new, clean file system will deliver the best performance possible, all other things being equal.

It occurs to me that you are comparing SANmp to other solutions, so allow me to make a couple points.

First, we suggest that SANmp is not deployed as one large volume, which is contrary to the way some systems are implemented. Rather, we suggest that the work space be divided up into multiple smaller chunks, the size and number of which depends upon the needs of the individual situation. We find it more flexible, reliable, and easier to maintain over a long period of time. Especially when the workflow relies on consistent high performance. Having your entire facility depend on one single volume doesn't leave much room for error-- if that volume gets corrupted, goes down or is disabled, either performance or accessibility, you've brought the entire workflow to a halt.

Also, when using SANmp with EVO (our all-in-one shared storage sever tuned for FCP, Avid and Pro tools) you get both file and volume sharing over iscsi, fibre & 10GbE all at the same time. Here's a link for more info on Evo - http://www.studionet...m/video-san.php

Of course SANmp works with any Fibre Channel or iSCSI storage, not just EVO and vice versa.

#3 SNSryan

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 03:13 PM

Some folks on the xsanity board are discussing the possible eventual demise of XSAN even though that hasn't been announced. So, we are talking over the alternatives and SANmp came up (admittedly by me) and there was a rather disquieting piece of info from someone there regarding SANmp maintenance. There is a knowledge-base article and corresponding Admin manual which state that one should re-initialize volumes every 6-12 months. That's not what I would consider regular maintenance for a SAN and it seemed pretty extreme. And so I was wondering if this was just one of those over-the-top engineering recommendations that gets tossed out with the assembly manual. ;)

http://www.snsforums.com/index.php?showtopic=232


Thoughts?

(disclaimer - I don't own or sell SNS software or hardware and have no experience with either)

Hi Handygeek,

Thanks for the post! Always good to see a poll. I see from the other forum that you are looking at implementing a solution. Give me a ring if you want to have a quick chat about workflow, scalability & performance. We have many small shops and large (30+ seat) FCP install references I can put you in touch with.

Regards,
Ryan - 877-537-2094 ext 208
EVO is an all-in-one, turnkey, SAN and NAS shared storage server specifically developed and tuned for the needs of AVID, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Pro Tools, Autodesk Smoke, Assimilate Scratch and other film, video, graphics, VFX, animation, audio, and broadcast production software. EVO features 1/10Gb ethernet and or 4/8Gb fibrechannel - no switches needed! More info on EVO can be found here: http://www.studionet...vo-features.php

#4 handygeek

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 03:26 PM

Hi Handygeek,

Thanks for the post! Always good to see a poll. I see from the other forum that you are looking at implementing a solution. Give me a ring if you want to have a quick chat about workflow, scalability & performance. We have many small shops and large (30+ seat) FCP install references I can put you in touch with.

Regards,
Ryan - 877-537-2094 ext 208


Thanks, Ryan. If by "implementing a solution" you mean "purchase", we're far from that. I want to know what our options are so when the brass starts asking questions about their sunk investments, I have some options to get the ball rolling. There will be a heavy emphasis on making due what we have. That will work for another year or two on the outside. A lot can happen during that time. I'm starting the push for an NAB trip since we were already in the throws of converting our studio to HD. You can bet I'll get tons of mileage our of that trip. I'll be scoping out our post production options as well, with all of this in mind. At that point, I'll be ready to analyze the options, work on ROI comparisons and begin to form relationships with new solution providers. It'll be a very busy week, but by then I'll be up for it.

Ciao!

HandyGeek