We're small griphic design studio that is increasingly doing video and large photography projects - the transfers are maxing our server and network each day and it's becoming a bit painful (we get 7-12MB ps Read/Write/Verify accross the network currently).
I've spent some time researching how we could speed up transfers but I'm having trouble finding products I know will be easy to manage.
For example, we currently have a Netgear switch but it's software is unintuitive (e.g. Maintenece > Upload is NOT where you upload formware updates, Maintence > Download is where you upload updates) and here in NZ you get transfered to the Philipines for support where they have no record of your level 2, paid USA support.
I'm thinking that the quickest upgrade would be a RAID upgrade and a 10GB link from the server to the switch but I'm having trouble figuring out what the management software/experience will be like with any new switch we migh purchase.
Does anyone know of a switch that has half decent management software, good support and is Mac compatible (i.e. their support doesn't just groan when you mention you're on Macs)?
Any suggestions of expericnes would be much appreciated.
There's no magic answer here... I'd expect a bit more than that from SAS/SATA storage, but then I haven't worked with that combination and most of the storage stuff I deal with tends to be older gonzo-class big iron. You're going to want to benchmark the individual pieces of the chain and find the slow(er) bits. Check the GbE connections from client to server, and check the RAID storage accessed from the Mac Pro server to the storage, in particular.
Also check the access time and the transfer speed specs for the individual disks in the array — that's the limit on the fastest you can go with this configuration — as those determine how fast the disks can get to the data, and the sustained maximum data transfer speed. Also the specs on the specific RocketRAID controller involved. (This is where what pepmachine had posted had confused me — I was looking up the specs on that gear.)
Read-verify-write from a client is two passes over the network and through the file server, which means ~14 to ~24 MBps in aggregate (nb: I'm using MBps and Mbps for bytes and bits, respectively, and ~120 to ~240 Mbps) plus CPU overhead for the verify and the file services. In a four-member RAID 10 volume, RAID 10 also means all four disks are getting written for each I/O, which means the controller is waiting for all four writes to disk, or it's spoofing the completion by caching that data (hopefully battery-backed) but a big transfer can potentially blow out that cache and you're back to the speeds of the disks.)
The 2012 Mac Pro can run link aggregation, so two and potentially more network uplinks can be possible.
The 2012 Mac Pro cannot run Thunderbolt, so you'll be using PCIe controllers there. Next step up for that box would be a Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (FC SAN) Host Bus Adapter (HBA) and a SAN storage controller, or just a in-board RAID controller — this if it's the storage path that's slow.