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eSATA Multi-Terabyte Roundup (Working Systems) Re-Try


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#21 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 01:22 PM

There is yet another thread over on the main HR20, where the buy is using the SIL4726 and finding that the HR20 'sees' only 2TB, even though he has an enclosure with 5 750GB drives in it. It's at:

http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=104169

and the guys forum name is 'flava'. It seems he has two boxes, has done multiple testing with different configs and such, yet keeps bumping up against this 2TB 'barrier'.

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#22 OFFLINE   erp2863

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 03:11 PM

I believe the SATA (internal) connector is speced for 50 insertions and removals.

I believe the eSATA (external) connector is speced for 500 insertions and removals.


Thanks for specs. Do you have a link where I could download the full specs?

I think I found the problem though, it seems that a couple of the connector receptacles on the RAID board were poorly soldered. I did some tinkering with my solder iron and I think I improved the connection. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to hook it back up to the HR20 before having to leave on another business trip. Should know more by this weekend.

#23 OFFLINE   Maxfli

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 10:44 PM

Looking for an enclosure that is rack mountable into a Mid Atlantic rack. Any ideas?

#24 OFFLINE   jedster

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 12:20 AM

I originally posted this in one of the 'main' sections, where (naturally) it got buried quick time, so here it goes again:

There have been quite a few threads over the last x months concerning big drive arrays in use with the HR20; I thought I'd start a new one specifically targeted to/for those folks with an actual working system.

I've emailed quite a few of the folks who, in the fast, either had something 'working' or were working on it, and I just guess that the don't notice the 'private messages' lingering in their mailboxes here.

A list of past systems commented on here on DBSTalk:

http://www.cooldrive...drsaiihara.html
This is the latest one, 'echo' started the thread; sounds good, but no further response.

http://www.datoptic.....x-R&detail=yes
This is one of the early ones mentioned

http://www.cooldrive...rasaiipomu.html
here's another early one that dropped of the planet data wise

http://www.tenbox.net/index2.htm
and here is one of the advertisers; still brand new, barely 2GB, needs more, much more.

The cooldrives one is, other than the tenbox, the most expensive (basic box is $1300+), but load it up with 1TB drives and you're looking at 4TB of raw (Raid5) storage. Now, we'd be cooking with gas!

So, where we are at the precipice of HD nirvana (correction: now, wall on the way!), and I've got this nice wad of cash ready to go. I'm not going to be an unpaid 'beta tester' for this though, at those kind of prices ($2-3K+).

Please, folks only with multi-disk, terabyte arrays respond. Those of course with side comments surely can (like there's any way to stop that!), but would like some actual users from the field.

THANKS!


Not trying to hijack your thread but I thought I'd note that I wouldn't invest in a multi-TB array for my HR20 because I think the HR20 is too fickle; I'd kill myself if I had to wipe a multi-TB array when doing a full reset RBR, which I've had to do several times before.

Now, if/when "additive" storage is enabled, then I'd be open to it, especially with MRV.

For now, I just use a 3.5TB Raid5 (7 500GB drives plus a spare) and store my D* content with s-video to vista media center. Not great, but I'll never lose it with an RBR. Obviously, once D* makes its PC tuner available I'll be happy.
- 10 years and counting with D*
- 3 HR20s (2 modified to be silent)
- 2 H20s connected via S-Video to my HTPC (Vista Media Center)
- Anxiously awaiting D*'s tuner for Windows Vista (hope they don't screw it up like CableLabs did!) :)

#25 OFFLINE   jedster

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 12:21 AM

There is yet another thread over on the main HR20, where the buy is using the SIL4726 and finding that the HR20 'sees' only 2TB, even though he has an enclosure with 5 750GB drives in it. It's at:

http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=104169

and the guys forum name is 'flava'. It seems he has two boxes, has done multiple testing with different configs and such, yet keeps bumping up against this 2TB 'barrier'.


IIRC, Windows also had a 2TB barrier until Vista came out.
- 10 years and counting with D*
- 3 HR20s (2 modified to be silent)
- 2 H20s connected via S-Video to my HTPC (Vista Media Center)
- Anxiously awaiting D*'s tuner for Windows Vista (hope they don't screw it up like CableLabs did!) :)

#26 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 08:28 AM

Now, do you have a working 3.5TB array? Others, in other threads, have reported that it is the HR20 box that has a 2TB 'barrier', as when they try to add more storage space the box won't recognize it, that thread is:

http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=104169

that I mentioned a few posts ago. So, what do you have, and is the HR20 recognizing the entire total space...?

But in re-reading your post, it appears that this is what you have on an external PC, not the HR20. It's a bit fuzzy...

#27 OFFLINE   erp2863

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 09:03 AM

Looking for an enclosure that is rack mountable into a Mid Atlantic rack. Any ideas?


The system I am building is rack mountable. It's 17" wide, 19" with the mounting ears.

#28 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 11:20 AM

IIRC, Windows also had a 2TB barrier until Vista came out.


Sort of - by using ONE disk.
Details here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS and a relevant quote:

Maximum Volume Size
In theory, the maximum NTFS volume size is 2^64-1 clusters. However, the maximum NTFS volume size as implemented in Windows XP Professional is 2^32-1 clusters. For example, using 64 KiB clusters, the maximum NTFS volume size is 256 TiB minus 64 KiB. Using the default cluster size of 4 KiB, the maximum NTFS volume size is 16 TiB minus 4 KiB. Because partition tables on master boot record (MBR) disks only support partition sizes up to 2 TiB, dynamic or GPT volumes must be used to create bootable NTFS volumes over 2 TiB.
Maximum File Size
Theoretical: 16 EiB minus 1 KiB (264 − 210 bytes). Implementation: 16 TiB minus 64 KiB (244 − 216 bytes)


If we're going back to HR20 storage, then there is high chance of same 2 TiB limitation, if external RAID controller created same MBR structure instead of imitate it.
Unfortunately, HR20 Linux expect to receive the MBR sector from external storage, so we're falling back into same trap.
Without support LVM on DVR's OS, the 2 TiB limit unavoidable. :(

#29 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 01:14 PM

If we're going back to HR20 storage, then there is high chance of same 2 TiB limitation, if external RAID controller created same MBR structure instead of imitate it.

Unfortunately, HR20 Linux expect to receive the MBR sector from external storage, so we're falling back into same trap. Without support LVM on DVR's OS, the 2 TiB limit unavoidable. :(


The 'original' question came from the thread:

http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=104169

where the user came face to face with the 2TB 'sonic barrier'.

From what he found (without some of the reasonings, but utilized two boxes and tried like the dickens to get it working above that level), it looks like, despite Earl chiming in that he thought positively that it worked far above 2TB, he was waiting for the HR20 engineers to get back with a total thumbs up.

Because of all this, I've almost come to a decision to 'punt' with my project, and go for something in that 2TB range, either the MobileSTOR MS2UT that many have had good luck with, or the more expensive (but maybe more reliable?) Lacie 'Two Big eSATA & USB' 2TB external drive box (a large version of the Seagate 'Freeagent' system).

As the price differential between the 'roll yer own' MobileSTOR MS2UT w/ any 1TB drives, and the Lacie is around $200, I think I'll go for the Lacie. After all, if it doesn't 'work' with the HR20, I'll have a rather large 'dump' for storage on my home network (although already at 2TB distributed between some 4 PC's).

I wish someone had tried this out already, I hate being the first (beta tester) in this stuff. I'll try to get a support engineer at Lacie to maybe give a thumbs up or down beforehand, though.

#30 OFFLINE   lunchpirate

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 03:59 PM

Do you originally record the content using the hr20 and then play it on the hr20 and record via svideo in media center? If so, how do you perform that process i.e. what do you select in media center?

Not trying to hijack your thread but I thought I'd note that I wouldn't invest in a multi-TB array for my HR20 because I think the HR20 is too fickle; I'd kill myself if I had to wipe a multi-TB array when doing a full reset RBR, which I've had to do several times before.

Now, if/when "additive" storage is enabled, then I'd be open to it, especially with MRV.

For now, I just use a 3.5TB Raid5 (7 500GB drives plus a spare) and store my D* content with s-video to vista media center. Not great, but I'll never lose it with an RBR. Obviously, once D* makes its PC tuner available I'll be happy.



#31 OFFLINE   Maxfli

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 09:50 PM

The system I am building is rack mountable. It's 17" wide, 19" with the mounting ears.



Thanks, fo r your response. Which enclosure and drives are using? Do you have multiple drives working currently?

#32 OFFLINE   erp2863

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 06:30 PM

Thanks, fo r your response. Which enclosure and drives are using? Do you have multiple drives working currently?


I've modified an off the shelf rackmount enclosure to allow 4 drives, a power supply, and raid controller to fit, along with 2 80mm fans. It can be configured with feet for desktop duty or with the ears for rackmount duty.

I'm having trouble getting 4 drives to work in RAID0 when I do extended testing. I'm going to drop it down to 3 and see what happens. I have the feeling my controller is not up to the task of DVR duty. I've got a purpose built controller in mind that can also do RAID5, but is 3x the cost of the one I am using now.

As I've stated before, the testing I'm doing is for a potential business venture, so I'm not giving out the details at this point on the hardware.

#33 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:51 PM

I have the feeling my controller is not up to the task of DVR duty. I've got a purpose built controller in mind that can also do RAID5, but is 3x the cost of the one I am using now.


I've been a bit 'mystified' as to the thinking behind the 'slow controller/slow drives' argument, especially since TIVO is doing external drives with USB2, a VERY slow interface compared to STAT/eSATA. Hmnm....

Anyway, look forward to hearing how well the thing works with what, 1.5TB instead of the 2TB (4 500G drives, right?). I've decided (just about, the plastic is almost ready to leave my hot hand) on the LaCie 2TB box. What's nice is they'll do a 30day money-back return policy, so even if I decide not to keep it and use on my video editing bay (already have over 2TB there, so it would be kinda massive overkill, but nice nonetheless), if it's a complete flop on the HR20.

DirecTV needs to get going on actually 'supporting' these add-ons, but I voiced my opinion on that previously and got shouted down by the 'masses'.

#34 OFFLINE   erp2863

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:31 PM

I've been a bit 'mystified' as to the thinking behind the 'slow controller/slow drives' argument, especially since TIVO is doing external drives with USB2, a VERY slow interface compared to STAT/eSATA. Hmnm....


I'm not a systems expert (actually have a BS in Microelectronic Engineering, so I know the science behind manufacturing IC's), but I don't think it is an interface issue. For me I think it is how efficient the RAID controller can stripe the data to 4 drives. My stress testing consists of recording 2 HD channels at once (1 SAT, 1 OTA), recording 1 HD while replaying another, recording 1 HD while utilizing the buffer for reply/jumps on a live HD channel.

I don't see any problems recording, things usually start to break down when replaying recordings. When I say I don't see problems, it based on the fact that the list of recording shows up, so no errors during recording. When replaying, either a recording or from buffer, it gets hung up. If I were to guess, the data isn't being striped correctly, so when it goes to replay it, there might be missing sectors or corrupted data. The HR20 typically stalls, the blue ring starts fading in and out, and then it crashes.

Also, just to clear things up, I'm using 400gb drives. They are currently the best bang for the buck gb/$.

#35 OFFLINE   1948GG

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 10:18 PM

I'm not a systems expert (actually have a BS in Microelectronic Engineering, so I know the science behind manufacturing IC's), but I don't think it is an interface issue. For me I think it is how efficient the RAID controller can stripe the data to 4 drives. My stress testing consists of recording 2 HD channels at once (1 SAT, 1 OTA), recording 1 HD while replaying another, recording 1 HD while utilizing the buffer for reply/jumps on a live HD channel.
.....
Also, just to clear things up, I'm using 400gb drives. They are currently the best bang for the buck gb/$.


Right, I'm just lazy to go back and re-read your original posting...!

So (if you don't mind my asking), who's the chip plant in Round Rock; I used to know a bunch of folks in the Moto CPU plant (68xx,xxx) plant in Austin years and years ago, haven't kept up much since I left the area (although stayed in Big D for many years) around 1994/5. Anyway, I have a thread on trying to flesh out a couple folks that have/had the LaCie 1TB drives; if I don't read ANY more posts on SATA1 vrs. SATA2, or some other wacky goings on, in the next few days, come Monday I'll put the LaCie 2TB on order. The things are put together in Hillsboro, OR., had a nice chat with one of their product engineers the other day.

But I plan on getting another HR20 around the end of the year, or maybe early next, if they get this MRV going.

#36 OFFLINE   erp2863

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:21 PM

My expertise is actually in optics. I work for the oldest optics company in the world as a Product Manager in the US for a division that supplies microscopes to the semiconductor industry. Hence, why I have not had much time to play with this project of late. I'm usually on the road throughout the week visiting customers. This is also my motivation to find a storage solution for all the programming I miss during the week.

A 2 drive RAID0 solution is probably best handled by the big guys. It'll be limited to the largest (and thus most expensive) drives. As the Tenbox product shows, if you add in a form-factor to fit into a A/V rack, the price jumps even higher. Coming up with a 3-5 drive solution is probably going to be a niche. My thought process is to leverage the lower cost of mid-sized drives by having more of them, which offsets the cost of the controller. My mounting strategy (without sounding too arrogant) is rather genius when it comes to cost, simplicity, and cooling efficiency. When all 4 drives are hooked up, recording 2 HD shows, the temp inside the enclosure is a constant 90deg.

#37 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 12:23 AM

I would test the array(s) on PC before connect to HR20 - then you'll find real speed of reading/writing.




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