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storage ideas (capacity?)

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by threeputt, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Well, we're digital printing now and boy we're filling up our puny little 20 gig server. Interested in learning opinions on what to buy. I'd like to really kick it up there. Ideas or suggestions?
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Get a DVD burner and save... save.... save
     
  3. JJ

    JJ Member

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    .5TB (500GB) external hard drives are getting amazingly cheap.
     
  4. 2NinerNiner2

    2NinerNiner2 Very Active Member

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    And don't forget a backup drive :)
     
  5. 2NinerNiner2

    2NinerNiner2 Very Active Member

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  6. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

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    DVDs and bigger hard drives.
     
  7. Cadmn

    Cadmn Very Active Member

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    I've got 200g external usb I move it around as needed. got dvd drives & buy dvds when they are on sale keep the 200 empty by moving info to dvd & would suggest dvds are cheap.
     
  8. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Thanks Cadman and others. Just got back from the computer tech company we always use. They've set up our network and routing, etc. They are going to get back to me regarding something called a "mirror array server". Huge storage, dual drives, so if one has a catastrophic failure you're still good.

    Can be used with our existing tape backup system. Big box for lots of cooling, etc.

    Is there any drawbacks to this unit? Maybe it's ten million bucks?
     
  9. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    u do not need a mirror storage array, geeses talk about over kill. If he tries to sell you that,, its time for a new tech..
    You are not a 6 gig a day server.. My neighbor is an ISP host and not even he has a frigggin mirror server array...
    A pair of 250 gig hard drives is a half a tarrabyte. Who needs that? No one in this industry. Even those who have all thier clip art on a hard drive do not use up a large hard drive.

    If you can fill up a 250 gig hard drive you have way to much junk on it..
     
  10. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Actually, its quite easy to fill 250GB...if you're messing around with more than just vector-based CorelDRAW files.

    For instance, I have lots of billboard designs and other grand format jobs in Photoshop format. Most are at least several hundred megabytes in size. A growing number go well past the 1GB mark. PhotoshopCS2 has the new .PSB format tailored for such files. RAW files from semi-pro and pro quality D-SLR cameras can be really large. Photoshop (and some other Adobe apps) can work with images featuring 16-bits per channel and "HDR" images with 32-bits per channel. That can double or quadruple file sizes.

    We use video more and more in our work. It's handy for presentation purposes. And it's also not bad for documenting site surveys or problems with signs. MiniDV tape in standard NTSC 480i format consumes 3.7MB of disc space per second. I'd love to have a HD-quality video camera, but they're expensive and so is the hardware needed to capture and manipulate the footage.

    I disagree about mirroring one's boot partition to another hard disc as overkill. Hard drives do fail. Or your system can get attacked by malware. Either way, having a mirrored backup on another physical hard disc can be very handy.

    A word of advice on getting large internal or external hard discs: PC users should use the NTFS file system instead of FAT32. This is especially important if you mess around with video at all. A FAT32 disc has a 4GB maximum file size limit. That amounts to just under 17 minutes of MiniDV footage. NTFS overcomes that limit.
     
  11. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    bobby, you are the exception.

    Sign people as a rule do not do HD digital work or even need it for that matter. Again that is overkill. No need for that when a plain ol 8mm tape wil do just fine. Using a HD tape recorder is not goona make anyone any better a sign maker.

    And I say again. Very very few here will ever fill a 250 gig hard drive with design work. Who is goona keep billboard size files on a hard drive anyway. They get used once a year or less. They should be kept on a CD in the clients file.

    And yes, you can disagree all you wish. But, the expense of maintaining a mirror array is simply not worth it. A good backup system to a second hard drive or a ghosted drive then to a dvd or cd is all thats needed.
     
  12. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

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    I'm with Bobby H on this. If you're serious about wide format printing, your tech is probably on the right track.
    When I worked for a trade show display manufacturer, we had a similar system from Dell. At any given time, we would have about 100 gigs of active jobs on our server and a typical job folder for a 10' display would have about 4 gigs of data in it. Some larger jobs would fill your 20 gig server :)
    Another issue we had was that we could not find an affordable tape back up that could reliably back up and store all that information, so the mirrored drives were a must.
    The server itself wasn't too expensive, probably around $2,500 at the time. But the compatibility issues of working with some older win 95 & 98 machines and the additional expense of upgrading and purchasing software and client licenses was a big surprise we really weren't prepared for. So, we bit the bullet and upgraded all the systems on the network (ouch!).
    By time it was all said and done, we probably spent around $15,000 to $20k to make sure that all 12 stations were up to Win XP pro and everyone had the right tools (software) for the job they performed. IMHO, it was money well spent because efficiency improved drastically once all of us were on the same system and networked together.

    Checkers
     
  13. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    ThreePutt,

    We are going to have agree with Techman on this one. If you were to approach us with your situation, thnis is the response you would have recieved:

    "Add an additional 250GB hard drive, AND external HDD OR add a permanent backup drive - not even a tape, as they are expensive per MB"

    The reason for the 250GB drive is that HDD prices are constantly falling and the firmware (internal operatiion instruction) is getting better and better. To buy larger when you do not need it is a waste of money - add as you need.

    The reason for the second drive is for backup copies NOT to be stored on the same originating drive. Many will say that you should not have it installed in the machine, but it will work just fine, and be quick, with the exception that you cannot take it with you - unless it is external.

    Mirroring works one of two ways - hardware, or software. We call this a RAID. Hardware RAIDS are quicker, but cost the "millions", ans software will most likely bog the machine waayyy down. By the time you compare the expenses, you will see that a new HDD, with some form of backup protocal (we prefer hard drive today) - will be the best cost-effective bet.

    I cannot stress the importance of backup. Backup, backup, backup! A free tool that many take for granted, and forget it even exists.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    That sounds just like the sort of comments I heard over ten years ago when a mere 2GB hard disc was big. "You don't need all that space."

    Another critical thing to consider: most people want any new computer they buy to work for at least a few years. Over time, applications sizes and the work files they save constantly grow and often outstrip what was once considered a large hard disc in a short amount of time.

    For example, my notebook computer has a 60GB 7200rpm hard disc. It isn't big enough. And this is a machine only 1 year old. WindowsXP Pro takes up an ever growing footprint with all its patches. My installations of AdobeCS2 Premium, Macromedia Studio, Corel9 and X3 and a few others take up several gigs of space. Overall the hard disc is close to half full. I was considering buying a personal license of Adobe Production Studio Premium, but after getting the same thing up at work and noticing the more than 20GB installation footprint, I figured it would be a very bad idea to try to install it on my laptop.

    On the backup thing, I should not have used the term "mirrored" because it was not my intention to imply that everyone needs a RAID setup. In fact, SATA RAID can be a liability. At the very least, art files need to be backed up on CDs and stored in a safe place off premises. Ghosting one's boot partition onto an external hard disc drive is just as good (and perhaps even better) than having a mirrored RAID array.

    In terms of cost per megabyte, it is actually cheaper to store art files on large capacity hard discs than burning them to separate CDs. DVDs may swing the cost per megabyte level back into their favor (slightly), but they are a liability from issues of wear and tear. CDs may be able to withstand some scratches from repeated inserts into optical disc drives, but only so much. DVDs are far less forgiving of wear and tear. And then there's the issue of space. A Maxtor One-Touch III external drive takes up a lot less space than "Tower of Babel" stacks of CD jewel cases.

    Go back and read what I typed.

    I use standard TV resolution MiniDV 480i format. Not HD. I said I'd like to have a HD-based video camera, not that I already had one. And yes, those kinds of cameras will be very useful in the future, especially when you can't buy a square shaped TV set anymore.
     
  15. gerald

    gerald Member

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    With the new low cost motherbords with on-board RAID and big, cheap SATA and SCSI hard drives the RAID should be a good investment. It's not that big a deal anymore. 5 years ago it was different. RAID was mysterious and expensive but it comes standard on many good m-boards now. If your buying drives why not go big. The price difference just ain't that much.
     
  16. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    The only truly reliable RAID is SCSI, not SATA. SATA has made huge strides over the last couple of years but there is no comparison in reliability and speed. As a matter of fact, RAIDs can be a liability, should there be a problem AND is not for the person that does not "know" or wish to pay the tech to handle the problems.

    To further the point, a 5400 rpm IDE HDD has better reliability than a 7200, and of course the 10,000 rpm models. Basically, visualize a any mechanical device running at high rpms. The greater the rpms, the greater the wear, and the greater the probability of failure - an absolute disaster in a business or business machine.

    I have to vote against RAID.

    If I remember correctly, Doug (in Hawaii), has an nice setup - but no RAID.
     
  17. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    But,, you all are forgetting one small detail that could cost you hundreds..

    Vista is comming out in about 12 - 18 months. With it is a brand new ball game requireing a much more powerfull machines. So go ahead, and spend the money on RAID, and terabyte servers and all that other superfluous hardware.. The guy asked what to use and so many made posts ,,, with almost no one having any idea what the poster really needs or his computer savy.. .. Plus, If he is really into doing that kind of work he will talk to those already into that arena and get the facts.
     
  18. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    NTFS will probably still be the hard drive file table standard when Vista is released. The new FAT standard Microsoft has been working on will probably not ship for another couple years. And anyway, NTFS works for enough purposes for the near future.

    The problem with SATA RAID lies mainly with its poor quality connectors. The design is cheap and suspect.

    Not many people truly need RAID. Not even video game addicts with bottomless wallets. RAID is best deployed in a mission critical server environment -mainly where U320 SCSI RAID is the standard, not SATA. People who need the highest possible bandwidth on hard drive I/O also need RAID. If you're editing video sourced from DVCPRO-HD or HDCAM on a workstation, you need a really good external U320 SCSI setup, along with a pretty expensive HD capture card. A garden variety Firewire 800 port won't deliver the bits.

    Even when Vista is released, it would be pretty stupid for Microsoft to not support other file allocation table standards (such as FAT32 and NTFS) in that OS. If someone buys a new 300GB external hard drive and formats it in NTFS, chances are when that USB 2.0, Firewire 400 or Firewire 800 cable is attached Vista will very likely "see" it.
     
  19. Derf

    Derf Very Active Member

    20 gig server..... LOL

    Just go get a 250-500GB Firewire/USB HD
     
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