Evolving storage hardware

mcasan

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The Lr Classic 8.4 update had me thinking of ways to speed up my 2017 iMac. I had already done a total reinstall of MacOS a few weeks ago. Then I replaced the standard 2400MHz memory with 32GB of 2666MHz which the iMac has recognized and used without problem. I set the LR Preferences to use the GPU for display and editing.

So that left one large area that needed improvement: storage hardware.

My iMac has an NVMe SSD for OS/boot/apps. Finally bite the bullet. I am moving all my data (/Pictures, Documents, Music,…etc.) off my hard disk RAID O and onto a NVMe SSD RAID 0. The new RAID is two Intel 660P NVMe SSDs sitting in a Nestor NA611TB3 enclosure. After I installed the SSDs, hooked them via TB3 to my iMac, powered up and formatted them as APFS, I make them into a RAID 0 with MacOS RAID Assistant. I then ran Blackmagic Disk Speed Test on them. Both the read and write were in the 2000MBs range. Of course those are sequential tests that give highest numbers. But those scores beat my Samsung EVO doing 500MBs via SATA connection or my old RAID 0 that was made of a pair of WD Red drives. The only HDD I will end up with is the 8TB HDD used by Time Machine to backup the entire file system.

Oh the times they are a changing…
 
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I am not a proponent of RAID for personal use. With your TB3 mounted EHD, I doubt that RAID Striping would provide any significantly faster throughput. You also run the risk of losing one of the RAID 0 disks. RAID 1 would give you redundancy but redundancy is not backup (which I assume that you already have).
I have my Image data on a TB3 attached drive and both Acronis and TimeMachine backups on TB3 EHDs I don't really see any performance issues and my iMac is plain vanilla out of the box.
 

mcasan

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Two reasons to use RAID 0:
  1. Performance improvement as two disks in RAID 0 would have at least 1.5x performance improvement.
  2. Capacity improvement as two disks in RAID 0 double the capacity of one disk.

In the past I ran RAID 0 on HDDs for reason #1. I could easily purchase large enough single HDDs. But for the NVMe SSDs, 2TB is as large as I have seen. I needed more than 2TB for all my data. So I made a RAID 0 4TB volume out of two 2TB NVMe SSDs.

I think the reliability of the SSDs will be at least as good as the HDDs. But I always have Time Machine making backups....just in case. Trust, but verify. ;)
 

mcasan

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Good video about using RAID 0 with NVMe SSDs. The performance boast for two NVMe SSDs is not so much depending on how you hook them to which PCIe channels. For me the advantage is that two 2TB SSDs can be made into one 4TB volume. I needed at least 2.5TB to have all my data in one place and today the largest NVMe SSDs are 2TB. I would not be surprised to see 4TB NVMe SSDs next year.

 

mcasan

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Still happy with the move from HDDs to SSDs. Two more SSDs arrived today and a second Netstor enclosure should arrive Monday. Then I will move the wife's storage from her HDDs to the new SSDs. That should add a bit of zip to her iMac's performance.
 

PhilBurton

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Good video about using RAID 0 with NVMe SSDs. The performance boast for two NVMe SSDs is not so much depending on how you hook them to which PCIe channels. For me the advantage is that two 2TB SSDs can be made into one 4TB volume. I needed at least 2.5TB to have all my data in one place and today the largest NVMe SSDs are 2TB. I would not be surprised to see 4TB NVMe SSDs next year.

Like many other people, I try to balance performance, capacity and cost. I keep my OS, programs, and my LR catalog on an SSD. But all those 25 MB Nikon NEF files, those are on a 4 TB HDD and when that fillls up (or needs replacement), I will get an 8 - 10 TB HDD.

Phil
 

mcasan

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Did the migration of the wife's data to the SSDs. She is very happy with faster performance working with the catalog. By the time we fill the 4TB RAID 0 sets, hopefully 4TB NVMe SSDs will be available.
 
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