Latest post Wed, Jan 29 2014 12:28 AM by stevekistner. 10 replies.
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  • Fri, Dec 13 2013 11:41 PM

    Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    I have an 8TB Unity 5.1.3 and I thought I'd try and swap the 500GB drives for some 1TB Hitatchi Ultratstars. (I know it is not supposed to work but I read elsewhere that if the drives are identical there is a chance of success, so I took a gamble)

    Anyways, everything works fine on th server side. The drives show up and I can configure a drives set and workspaces.

    From the client side the Fibre Manager can see the wokspaces, however when I try and mount them I get "Please check your password" error.

    And if I try and launch the Adminstrator tool from the client it reports 16 unspecified errors, 1 for each drive. And no group or workspaces show up.

    Does anyone know if there is maybe an extra step I need to do to configure the server to use these new bigger drives.

    FYI. in Setup Manager the vendor shows up as AVID but Avid Storage Manager will not run on the drives due to "Non Avid Hardware"

    Many thanks

    MC 7.0.2 OSX 10.9.3 Quicktime 7.6.6 Nitris DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Dec 14 2013 3:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    Are you sure the vendor name says Avid?  Only Avid-provided drives (with Avid formware) do that  To clarify, non-Avid drives aren't "identical".  Avid drives are loaded with custom firmware.  The firmware allows certain Avid utilities to run on the drives, allows the automatic resetting of Mode Pages, and guarantees identical-to-the-byte size, required for successful drive replacement.  The error message, "Non Avid Hardware", a well as the other errors, are expected as the firmware is missing.

    Symphony 8.0 w/Matrox MXO2 Rack, HP z420, Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit, QT v7.7.x, Hexa Core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, nVidia Quadro Series 2000 & nVidia... [view my complete system specs]

    "There are few technological barriers.  You can fix almost anything if you throw enough money at it."
    *******************************
    Randall L. Rike, ACI, ACSR Mac*Win*Unity*ISIS*DS
    Systems Engineer @ Discovery Studios West
    (wwld)

  • Sat, Dec 14 2013 11:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    Yes it definately does.

    I was quite surprised myself when it said that. For certain the drives don't have the Avid firmware. Is there anyway to get it on to them? I have the Hitatchi firmware tool, I just need the firmware file.

    After running quick setup for the drive set, when I launch Administration tool the drive set appears and for the size of each drive it says 1001 GB. Is that different than the Avid drives?

    MC 7.0.2 OSX 10.9.3 Quicktime 7.6.6 Nitris DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Dec 14 2013 11:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    Is there any way to get more detail on the 16 errors that are reported on the client side from Administration Tool?

    MC 7.0.2 OSX 10.9.3 Quicktime 7.6.6 Nitris DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Dec 14 2013 2:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    "... Yes it definately does. ..."

    Defies logic.  If the firmware doesn't contain the string, "Avid Technology", at the correct hex offset, it can't say that.

    "... I just need the firmware file. ..."

    And I want a pony Wink  Seriously though, I'm not aware of any way to read and save the firmware image file.

    "... Is that different than the Avid drives? ..."

    Hard to say ... t that's not information I commit to memory.  Meanwhile, the offset on drive capacity wouldn't prevent it from working, however, it might cause a "Replace Failed Drive" to be unsuccessul.

     

    I've been a Unity (now ISIS) specialist since 1997-1998 when the product was first announced.  I worked for Avid support in Burbank, and was asked to join the Unity Beta Team.  We made several trips to Tewks, to help debug and fine-tune the product.  There are several features in the products today that were my suggestions, including Dynamic Allocation between Files & Folders, and the ability to export .csv reports.  Hands down, this is my favorite Avid product line.  For me, there is no other shared storage product for Avid that does everything Unity/ISIS can do(notwithstanding price).

    Since its inception, people have been trying to figure out a way to use "cheaper" drives.  In 15 years, I'm not aware of anyone that has done it.  Well, except for Archion, but that requires buying their entire enclosures from them.

    James, if this were doable, it would have been done by now, and widely publicized.  Even if you got it to work, without the Avid firmware, you'd still have an unstable, non-optimized, and potentially unsafe system.

     

    Symphony 8.0 w/Matrox MXO2 Rack, HP z420, Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit, QT v7.7.x, Hexa Core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, nVidia Quadro Series 2000 & nVidia... [view my complete system specs]

    "There are few technological barriers.  You can fix almost anything if you throw enough money at it."
    *******************************
    Randall L. Rike, ACI, ACSR Mac*Win*Unity*ISIS*DS
    Systems Engineer @ Discovery Studios West
    (wwld)

  • Sat, Dec 14 2013 2:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    "... Is there any way to get more detail on the 16 errors ..."

    You can post them here, and we might be able to decipher them.  However, as I doubt you're going to be succesful, it probably is more of an exercise in curiosity than diagnostics.

    Symphony 8.0 w/Matrox MXO2 Rack, HP z420, Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit, QT v7.7.x, Hexa Core 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, nVidia Quadro Series 2000 & nVidia... [view my complete system specs]

    "There are few technological barriers.  You can fix almost anything if you throw enough money at it."
    *******************************
    Randall L. Rike, ACI, ACSR Mac*Win*Unity*ISIS*DS
    Systems Engineer @ Discovery Studios West
    (wwld)

  • Sat, Dec 14 2013 11:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    Randall L Rike:
    If the firmware doesn't contain the string, "Avid Technology", at the correct hex offset, it can't say that.

    Well it says so and Mode Page says OKAY. That's why it's so frustrating that it was just the firmware holding it back. I thought maybe that ASM might have some firmware files with it seeing as it has a firmware update button, but no luck.

    Thanks for all that info. I feel I can put this idea to bed at least.

     

    MC 7.0.2 OSX 10.9.3 Quicktime 7.6.6 Nitris DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Dec 18 2013 12:17 AM In reply to

    • atrapero
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Dec 18 2005
    • Posts 8
    • Points 90

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    Why not try to connect by Ethernet? and, amount of ram?

    I have a Unity with 250gb changed for 1tb Hitachi Ultrastar and work great. 4 workspace and 2 MC (HP Workstation 8600) Ethernet.

     

     

  • Wed, Dec 18 2013 1:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    atrapero:
    I have a Unity with 250gb changed for 1tb Hitachi Ultrastar

    Do you now what version of Unity you have and what chasis type?

    Also what model of Ultrastar?

    thanks

    MC 7.0.2 OSX 10.9.3 Quicktime 7.6.6 Nitris DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Dec 26 2013 12:38 AM In reply to

    • atrapero
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sun, Dec 18 2005
    • Posts 8
    • Points 90

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    Hi the Unity version is 5.1.3

    and the HDD is HGST Ultrastar A7K2000 HUA720010CLA330 1Tb

     

    Work perfect

  • Wed, Jan 29 2014 12:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Unity drive upgrade to non-Avid drives

    James@Seamless:

    I have an 8TB Unity 5.1.3 and I thought I'd try and swap the 500GB drives for some 1TB Hitatchi Ultratstars. (I know it is not supposed to work but I read elsewhere that if the drives are identical there is a chance of success, so I took a gamble)

    &

    Randall L Rike:

    Since its inception, people have been trying to figure out a way to use "cheaper" drives.  In 15 years, I'm not aware of anyone that has done it.  Well, except for Archion, but that requires buying their entire enclosures from them.

    James, if this were doable, it would have been done by now, and widely publicized.  Even if you got it to work, without the Avid firmware, you'd still have an unstable, non-optimized, and potentially unsafe system.

    Randall & I have similar experiences on the dev side (I carried the Avid Unity engineering pager from 2005 to 2011, & traveled for emergencies on this product worldwide - It's my favorite product as well).  From that experience, I can advise that 3rd party drives were and are a major source of instability and unpredictability in a Unity environment.  The timing and tuning is not what the system expects, drive diagnostic tools do not report as expected (no/reduced Unity Client log reports or DEAN light), & drive replacements have been known to fail without much recourse.

    As of 3.2 Unity, the IBOD service was the gatekeeper for fibre functionality & a lot more specific about drive firmware than the monitor tool / setup manager.  My gut is that your fibre drives do not show up in device manager on your fibre attached client, as they're not being recognized and therefore exported to fibre clients.

    Bottom line, I don't believe this is so much ~working~ server side, but rather it's not visibly failing in the setup manager & monitor tool due to the drives being visible locally on the media engine.  The same drives would not mount in an expansion chassis for the same reason.  Historically, drives sourced like this will not function as expected via the Avid IBOD service unless they have the Avid firmware.

    As an aside, I have seen vendors who apply the "Avid" name to the drives at a hardware level (hex editor) in circumstances like this, largely to supply to a particular chassis manufacturer named earlier in the thread.  As Randall says, if the firmware tweaks were easily done, it would have been done by now.  And you're going to spend a lot of time for little to no reward trying to make this happen.

    Unless your vendor has a license from Avid to distribute these drives with the firmware and name (hint: they don't), I'd ask into a return policy.  If/when a hacked together solution fails, no one remembers the money saved up front... just the data lost at the end.

    Not the answer you're looking for, but hope it helps,


    Steve Kistner
    Manager of Media Operations Technology
    NBC Universal

     

    Two ISIS/Interplay infrastructures: ISIS 4.5 Interplay 2.75 Cluster Media Composer 6.5.4 Interplay Lifeboat (standalone server configured to take... [view my complete system specs]
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