As many of you may already know or should know...4K is here to stay! That's right...each year the past several we've been hearing and seeing more and more 4K buzz at big expos like CES and Nabshow especially. So far we've seen the 4K TV and Professional Monitors hit market each year but at a very high buy in price. Though more recently the hottest screen for the money is the the Seiki 4K going for around $1499(or less...I've seen them sell for as little as $1k on ebay). This has been one big issue with 4K still taking a long time to be embraced outside of the local Movie Theaters like Regal, AMC, or for me locally Cinetopia have all upgraded screens to 4K. This past Nabshow we also got another curve ball. Blackmagic Design introduced a 4K Cinema Camera to follow last years 2.5K for $3k camera. The exciting part is it's only $4K for 4K(you can learn more about it on my Blackmagic Booth vid). The other issue have been how do I play it out. Well more recently various companies are offering you options. Nvidia have several offering that will output 4K, Matrox as well with their 4K Mojito Card(also check out my booth vid for Matrox with Dan discussing their new 4K card), and again Blackmagic with their
- Qty 1 - Astek A33606-PCI
- 3.5" x 5" AMS Backplane Module Model #DS-3151SSBK
- Qty 16 - Western Digital HD(WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5")
- Qty 1 - Optional Kingwin SATA Mobile Rack(to use all 4 ports x 4 cables = 16 drives)
My SCSI Enclosure we gut to house all the new 6GB/s HW..!
First off we gut the SCSI Enclosure...here's what it looked like(my pops makes a cut for Astek SAS Expander card that will mount into 5.25" cage expander enclosure to mount card safely into chassis).
Astek cage and card is mounted in Raid Enclosure in below pic.Internally we had to create a small aluminum riser plate so we had something to mount the Astek card and cage to(you could do this a bit more crude by just finding some small pieces of aluminum at a hardware store and glue it. To cut use a wood saw or get a blade that can cut metal, table saw, or band saw-basically use whatever you can get your hands on. worst case scenario use a some strong glue. Again this will differ greatly depending on what enclosure you find).
Cut small pieces of Aluminum as a spacer to mount the Astek Card/Cage into raid enclosure.
Here is a shot of the AMS Backplane Modules.Pic below is a shot of the old SCSI backplane bottom plate we remove from old hot-sway modules(note the spacer/riser plate to mount to the new AMS Backplanes Modules(note bought this before Sata III-but they work. If you buy a new one it states Sata III, SAS, etc.)..!
Drilling new holes to mount the old scsi plate below to the new AMS Backplane Module(we used a drill press).
Method above was repeated for all three AMS Backplane Modules and we then drilled, tapped, and screwed them in from bottom and sides directly into the old scsi bottom plates.
Once you've gotten everything cleaned out, installed all the new hardware...you are now ready to start hooking everything up. Next step we hooked up all the internal wiring and hard drives that we screw into the hot swap trays. Once all the wiring is hooked up and hot swap drive trays populated then you can slide them into the front of your new DIY 4K Raid. Lastly you'll need to install the Areca 1882x 6GB/s Raid Card. Always be sure to touch metal on the computer case before handling the cards and installing them. If you can get an anti-static mat or I have a wireless strapless anti-static wrist band(you just need to put it on about 15 minutes before you begin handling the hardware).
Now that you've got the DIY 4K Raid built, Raid card installed into you computer, and both 8088 Cables attached from the Raid card to your Astek(or Areca)SAS Expander your ready to boot up. Since I've switched from Mac to PC(HP Z820)I will be showing you how to configure it all in Windows. If your familiar with Mac OS and have every bought a raid or even a hard drive and had to initialize it in Disk Utility it's very much the same process once your past the actual raid build setup. What I can't show you here you can get the manual and just follow instructions. It's not that difficult. Ok so let's do this..!
Now it's time to setup your raid(meaning configure and initial it)!
If everything is good to go then fire that puppy up(um ya this is your computer...but if you have a pup helpin ya out...give em a pat on the back while your at it;).
This will cover windows. It's somewhat of a similar process on os x but you'll have to explore that since I'm mainly on PC these days.
If you own an HP Z820 your likely to see the HP Logo and or a mini rom window in the upper right corner. Hit Tab(other pc manufactuers vary so hit the manual and study up on your bios-maybe your a builder and you've got it all up in the master mind then rock it).
So now you'll be watching everything Post. When you see this screen in below pic hit either Tab or F6. This will take you into the ARC-1882 Areca Raid Bios.
You should now see a Bios screen like the one below.
Hit Enter to Select the Raid Controller to Configure.
You can just hit Quick Volume/Raid Setup but I recommend you manually configure your new raid! So hit the arrow key down to Raid Set Function. Now the Raid Set Function window pops up. Hit Create Raid Set. It will then open up some new configurations. I chose Raid 5(it's I think the best for size, speed, and redundancy. I also chose a 4K block size. I believe I also set it to foreground initialization which should be faster)!
This is what it will look like with all your drives connected to the controller.
Once you see that the raid is building(there should be a percentage update). This time to go have a coffee, watch a movie whatever. Depending on the size of drives you use will determine how long it will take. Again I believe Foreground is faster but figure it's going to take awhile. I can't remember exactly how long but figure it's not going to be an hour likely more like a few...and if you choose the other option and it seems like it's going to take days then you could probably just delete the raid set by properly powering down of course first then going back into the Raid Configuration and set it to the opposite setting you tried. Once your raid has finished initializing then your ready to boot into windows. Once your past the login screen and see the windows desktop hit the windows key or click on the start menu. Click on the right and then right click on Computer and scroll down to Manage. This should open up Computer Management(you can also right click on computer anywhere you see the icon and get into this menu too btw). Once you're in the window you should see something like the pic below. Choose Disk Management. You'll likely see what looks like a black bar. Right click on that Volume(it should match the amount of terabytes all your drives combined). Choose Format. Once your in there the defaults should be fine. Just name your new Drive and typically you want to create a drive letter. I chose V for Video(most will just take whatever is already there and that's perfectly fine). When your done you may still need to initialize the volume. I chose simple(it should go from a black bar to a blue bar once it's complete-it will also give you a percentage update). When it's done it will go from Offline to Online.
Click Start Menu>RT Click>Choose Manage
You should now be in Computer Management>Click Disk Management
Find your new Raid Volume and Right Click on it. You should see a pop up window with options. Choose Format.
Once you see it online your ready to Rock...Enjoy..!
If your feeling ambitious then now it's time to run a Speed Test. I'll post a couple of examples that I got. Check it out..!
As you can see AJA is well over 1700 MB/s in Both Read and Write. Not bad..! Note if you are not happy with this speed or need more throughput you can always add more spindles, go SAS hard drives up to 15K rpm, SSD(though still a bit pricy doable if in your budget). If capacity if your issue you can go up to 24 with just the Astek Expander Card alone...it also has a two ports. Instead of running two cables in you just remove one from the card and plug it into another sas expander for more capacity. Pretty cool. If throughput drops with only one cable the solution is getting an Areca SAS Expander because it has three ports. So you can go two in and one out to the next expander.
As a reference only here are some ballpark figures for hardware pricing. Please do your own research to find the best source, price, availability. This should at least give you a good idea if building a DIY 4K Raid is a good choice for you financially.
- Enclosure(I bought a used enclosure on ebay with shipping): $ 100
- Areca 1882x $ 779
- 2-1m SFF-8088 to SFF-8088 External SAS Cable $47 each $ 94
- Astek A33606-PCI SAS Expander Card $ 415
- 5.25" cage for Astek expander to mount above card $ 25
- 4-3ware CBL-SFF8087OCF-10M Fanout Cables $15 each $ 60
- 3-AMS Backplane Modules Model #DS-3151SSBK $99 ea $ 297
- 16-Western Digital HD WD1002FAEX 1TB $99 each $1594
- Kingwin SATA Mobile Rack $ 19
So that's it...now you've got a plan to build your own big, fast, rebuildable Raid Storage for 4K Editing and save you some money DIY..!
I have to give thanks to my Pops who is a huge supporter and great help with all my wild ideas. This wouldn't have been possible without all his expert help building this DIY 4K Raid..!
I also would like to thank my new friend Bill over at HDNLE.com He is a wealth of information, very knowledgeable and just so happens to be living up in the NW now after many years working with the Media and Entertainment Industry in SoCal. He is an expert with A/V Solutions. Anyway he was able to get me an Areca 1882x Raid Card and 6GB/s SAS Cables. I found him on Ebay and just my luck I was able to complete the transaction same day and get product...now that's service..! If your in the NW I know no one with as much knowledge and experience as Bill in our field. I feel I'm very lucky to have connected with such talent in my area..!
Enjoy thanks for reading. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments feel free to leave feedback in the comment field below.
Ryanb. Aka: Filmguy