Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BoArlander

The New Mac Pro

Recommended Posts

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. But I looked all over for examples of machines connected to a nMP server through IP over Thunderbolt, and finally found this:

 

http://virtuacomputers.com/ip-over-thunderbolt-bridge/

 

In case this is helpful. Still have no idea if you can daisy chain computers to the server tho.

Edited by jayfaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

definitely a game changer, i was so waiting for this. Actually I was bothering the IT guy over @ Royale with this, and we were both contemplating how cool this would be if it was viable :))

 

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. But I looked all over for examples of machines connected to a nMP server through IP over Thunderbolt, and finally found this:

 

http://virtuacomputers.com/ip-over-thunderbolt-bridge/

 

In case this is helpful. Still have no idea if you can daisy chain computers to the server tho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still have no idea if you can daisy chain computers to the server tho.

 

You wouldn't want to. You would be basically making your entire office network act like a string of christmas lights. Turn a machine off, or have problems with one device - and everything else downstream goes out.

 

Until there is a thunderbolt networking switch, its not really a viable networking schema. For smaller operations where a finite number of computers are huddled around a common area you can rig something up but essentially in a daisy chain environment if person A is connected to the drive, and person C is accessing it, person A's and B's bandwidth will be used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was disappointed that Apple didn't include 10Gb Ethernet on the new Mac Pro, but I wouldn't be surprised if at least part of this decision (aside from the obvious cost concerns) was that they didn't want it competing with Thunderbolt. There are Thunderbolt to 10Gb Ethernet adaptors, although I don't know if there is a significant performance hit, or if the price (roughly $1,000 US) is justified in the grand scheme of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So… what would be the optimal networking system for a small shop of nMP's? Seems like 10gbe to Thunderbolt adaptors are quite costly.

 

Your choices are Ethernet, 10gbe, or fibre. But Fibre would need the same type external adapter on the nMPs as 10gbe.

 

If you have just a couple of machines that aren't too far apart, then you could just get an external array that allows multiple machines to connect to it via usb3, thunderbolt, or eSata. This isn't exactly safe, but it will work. And its not a networking system. Its just a drive connected to multiple machines.

 

I highly advise bringing in a networking professional to set you up. Tell them your budget, what your workflow is like, and allow them to inspect what you have going on. They will lay everything out for you.

Edited by AromaKat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You can add an SSD card from OWC and get read write times close to the new Mac Pro.

 

That's demonstrably untrue.

 

Only PCI SSD's off OCZ are close to 70% of that 1000MB/S performance. Vanilla SATA SSD's cap out because of the limits imposed on the standard.

 

You'll get 500-ish (which is fast enough don't get me wrong) but the "you can get the same or better high-end config for cheaper" has also been discussed to death. And is again demonstrably untrue.

 

Experience on the new Mac Pro so far: Mavericks sucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't count as close?

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/PCIe/OWC/Mercury_Accelsior/RAID

 

I never said "same or better" I said "close". The whole point was that you could keep the expandability of the PCIe slots, while giving your machine a very nice speed boost. As opposed to the New Mac Pros that make that expansion unnecessarily complicated (in my opinion, at least)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If you have just a couple of machines that aren't too far apart, then you could just get an external array that allows multiple machines to connect to it via usb3, thunderbolt, or eSata. This isn't exactly safe, but it will work. And its not a networking system. Its just a drive connected to multiple machines.

You said that your QNAP is 'just a shared drive' - forgive the naivete but what's the difference between your 10Gbe NAS shared drive and a shared Thunderbolt RAID?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

You said that your QNAP is 'just a shared drive' - forgive the naivete but what's the difference between your 10Gbe NAS shared drive and a shared Thunderbolt RAID?

 

Its a fair question because of how I phrased that comment, dumbing it down a bit for camparison to a SAN but later using the same phrase in a different context.

 

First of all.. QNAP is just a brand. Its a brand I happen to be a fan of because it's products within the enterprise / SMB lines have an easy admin control panel so there is no need to manage it via command line like most of the competition. But besides that, its just a NAS. You can get one from a different company, you could even build one yourself. But I can tell you from experience that managing one via command line is no fun.

 

Unlike a drive that just happens to be connected to multiple machines, its actually a full blown computer, complete with a motherboard, CPU, Ram, and a linux OS that you almost never see. Its formatted for linux and not for whatever OS you happen to be using. The whole purpose of this NAS's life is to take requests for files from workstations - no matter the OS, and gives them the file.

 

This is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, its completely agnostic to whatever OS you are using and the disk formatting it prefers. Workstations don't deal with the disk - they only talk to this linux machine that gives them the file. Second, Ext3 / Ext4 filesystems are much faster than HFS (apple) or NTFS (pc). HFS and NTFS are beneficial for their respective OSes for certain OS features, but we won't get into that and it doesn't matter since such storage has nothing to do with your OS. Third, and most importantly, in a shared envirnment it prevents collisions that result in corrupt files or a corrupt disk as a whole. There are 2 thunderbolt scenareos. If two computers are hooked up directly to the same external drive, the OSes are talking directly to the platter - which means that it does need to be a compatible filesystem, and its possible for two computers to be fuxing with the same file at the same time. Thats very, very dangerous and can actually corrupt the entire disk. Since with the NAS you are essentially asking another computer for a file, it won't ever try to write to the same file at the same exact moment completely avoiding that scenareo. The second thunderbolt scenareo is that one of your workstations is the acting fileserver, stealing resources from the machine. This is the same as if you currently have a shared folder on the network and for the most part is fine, but you definitely don't to be using your workstation to serve up a bunch of editor and colorist's files. Dedicating a MP just to act as a fileserver is madness. Its possible, but a huge huge waste that still leaves you limited. Also, there are a whopping 6 ports (3 busses) on the MPs, but their intention was never to serve as a network. Because there is no switch, you would eat up those ports extremely fast in such a scenareo.

 

Moving on to what I meant by "its just a shared drive" in that particular quote's context - my intention there was to illustrate that on a workstation, it looks like a normal internal drive and is always automatically mapped. It may sound simple, but it makes how a SAN or a TerraBlock type solution work look ridiculous. With those, you have to use some third party application that ALWAYS crashes at the worst times to "check out" and request permissions on a per share basis. There are limits to how many can connect, etc.. Its just horrible. Whereas a NAS is just always online - always there for anyone on any OS at any time to connect to over the same network that provides internet. Its also not 10gigabit specific. Its just 10gigabit capable. So machines without thunderbolt or 10g can use it, and pretty much every computer in the world has an ethernet port. Even if its wifi only, the wifi box is on the network so you can map it that way.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Its really important that thunderbolt is compared to things like USB, Firewire, and eSata. What makes it special is speed (for now, anyway - USB is getting a big upgrade) and the ability to power devices using the same cable. It isn't a networking interface and I doubt it ever will be aside from unstable hacks etc. Those are two totally separate things for far geekier reasons that none of us really care to fully understand. Basically, it boils down to how traffic from multiple sources is managed.

Edited by AromaKat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanation. It confirms what I was distantly guessing, but nice to have it stated by someone with experience.

 

It just sounds like the nMP should have 10Gbe as standard, but it doesn't really surprise me that it doesn't. As the Anandtech review said, Apple's philosophy is 'for everything else…there's thunderbolt.' - it's typical Apple.

 

I've personally never really found single Gb Ethernet fast enough for serious work (by which I mean live project storage) , and I would certainly never dream of putting any caches on it. This article only serves to reinforce your view that TB is not a standard - TB Bridge daisy-chain networking sounds like a nightmare. And with Fibre adaptors just as expensive as 10Gbe ones, there seems to be no cheap+fast+reliable option for the Mac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently on a mid 2010 Mac Pro @ the office. (2x2.66 6-Core Xenon) and trying to convince the boss to upgrade to the new Mac Pros for myself and our Editor. Watching a lot of benchmark and review videos makes me wary of the upgrade. Do these things hold only one internal SSD? If a thunderbolt SSD is the only option thats yet another thing I have to sell them on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently on a mid 2010 Mac Pro @ the office. (2x2.66 6-Core Xenon) and trying to convince the boss to upgrade to the new Mac Pros for myself and our Editor. Watching a lot of benchmark and review videos makes me wary of the upgrade. Do these things hold only one internal SSD? If a thunderbolt SSD is the only option thats yet another thing I have to sell them on.

Wouldn't you have to sell them on an additional internal SSD even if there was room for one (which there isn't)? An external Thunderbolt SSD will be more expensive, but in my view the additional flexibility more than makes up for the cost difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...