RAID SATA Storage System for Music Production


In today’s music industry, it is no longer necessary to have a big studio to produce a hit. This is nothing new to Future Cut Productions, Ltd., a London-based music production studio comprised of Darren Lewis and Tunde Babalola. Utilizing a unique approach, Future Cut produces, mixes, and remixes most of its tracks using only a Mac® Pro in a small studio and vocal room. It’s a simple setup, but one that has resulted in such hits as “Smile” on Lilly Allen’s debut album “Alright, Still.”
Lewis and Babalola work with numerous large files that far exceed the Mac Pro’s storage capacity. Hence, relying on their Mac has made external storage essential for them. Until recently, Future Cut relied on a sprawling mountain of external FireWire® drives chained together to meet their storage needs - a solution that comes with its share of challenges. For one, with so much data to store, Future Cut had to switch external drives frequently. With their files spread out over a number of drives — instead of centralized in one location — the process of finding a particular file could be time consuming, slowing down their overall workflow. A further key issue was that external FireWire drives are slow, and are at times unreliable. In the event of a drive failure, Lewis and Babalola would have to stop working, while also running the risk of losing valuable files.
To address these issues, Future Cut purchased a Fusion™ DX800RAID high-performance, eight-drive RAID SATA storage system from Sonnet Technologies. The Fusion DX800RAID is designed to provide reliable, flexible, and high-performance direct attached storage for studio and office use. With its eight drives formatted as a RAID 5 group (data protection for a single-drive failure), a Fusion DX800RAID yields impressive read and write file transfer speeds of up to 815 MB/sec and 715 MB/sec, respectively, fast enough for single-stream 2K (2048 x 1556) LOG RGB video capture and playback.
“We chose the DX800RAID based on recommendations by a number of industry professionals. We needed a balance between performance and simplicity of use. The DX800RAID consistently came up as meeting both criteria,” says Lewis.
“The DX800RAID has freed up our computer’s FireWire bus, which improves stability for our soundcard and outboard digital processors, and its use of a dedicated PCI Express RAID controller provides vastly improved speed over FireWire and USB drives,” said Lewis. “Our primary concern in choosing a storage solution was providing protection in the case of a drive failure. Not only does the DX800RAID offer this capability, but by moving from a total of 2TB of storage to eight 1TB drives, it has also proven to be a convenient solution for meeting our storage capacity needs for large and numerous music files.”
The reliability of the Fusion DX800RAID is further enhanced through SES (SCSI Enclosure Services) 2.0 compliance, a feature more commonly found on enterprise storage systems, as well as enhanced S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) data reporting for each hard drive installed in the system. Integrated into the Fusion DX800RAID, SES functionality provides enhanced real-time monitoring and reporting of drive, power supply, and temperature status, all conveyed to the user through utility application screens and the illumination of conveniently placed LEDs on the enclosure. S.M.A.R.T. data criteria can be used to notify the user of an impending drive failure, thus enabling the user to minimize downtime as a result.
“So far we have used the DX800RAID for albums by Shakira™, Rihanna™, and Sophie Ellis Bextor, and we have many more coming. The unit has comfortably coped with everything we’ve throw at it. Streaming audio off of disc is incredibly fast, which means we can continue to build tracks without fear of overloading the system,” adds Babalola. “It also ensures we can keep working in spite of a possible drive failure, and improves our workflow by eliminating the need to keep switching external drives.”
www.sonnettech.com.

Tags: sonnet | sata | future cut | raid | fusion | dx800raid | ses | iss057 | N/A
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