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NAS and multiple Workstations

COW Forums : - ARRAYS & RAID Set-Up -

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Jon KlineNAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 2:51:55 am

I'm in an office with 3 Macs running FCP 7, with gigabit networking and a Seagate NAS 220 6TB in RAID 0. We had very good luck with sharing project files and media files using the NAS. Even complex projects with multiple codecs, multiclip edits, etc., played back very well.

Now, 6 months later, the NAS isn't able to keep up. The old projects still play just fine, but new projects skip and glitch in FCP. I can sustain 35 MB/s with a single file but once I start pulling multiple files, everything slows down. I've tried FCP settings, a different router, restarts, codecs, firmware, yada yada and I'm pretty sure it's just too much work for the poor NAS to handle. Does this make sense?

What are my other options for editing video from multiple workstations? Is there another NAS in the under $600 range that can keep up with video editing? Or should we just go back to local drives until we can afford to play with the big expensive hardware?


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Steve ModicaRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 12:21:20 pm

sounds like it's fragmented to me. If you let storage get past 80-85% full, then the OS has trouble writing new files in contiguous chunks. When the chunks get small enough, the files can no longer be read efficiently. This would explain the older files working correctly.
Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Jon KlineRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 5:54:39 pm

That was my thought, too. But according to the documentation, the drive doesn't need to be defragmented and there is no utility that can do it manually. It's a Linux file system.


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Andrew RichardsRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 8:43:06 pm

Any filesystem that lives on spinning disk can and will get fragmented. The EXT filesystem family (the most common on Linux) tries to mitigate fragmentation, but the fact that platters are spinning under heads means physics will eventually win and a very full HDD will struggle to maintain I/O performance with even the most efficient filesystem.

Best,
Andy


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Steve ModicaRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 9:23:15 pm

This. All filesystems need to use a best fit algorithm to try and fill holes left over from deleted files. FCP creates and deletes lots of files. Over time, you get these small spaces that the OS can't fill efficiently. As the large hole at the end starts to get small, the OS is forced to use more of the tiny holes elsewhere in the filesystem.

Since your NAS is small, a simple solution would be to get another one just like it, and copy everything over. Then the new one won't be fragmented and you can wipe the old one. Just don't let them fill up. That's a recipe for fragmentation.

Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Jon KlineRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 9:35:17 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
We just crossed the 50% full mark this week. Does it really make sense to get another one just like it? We need to get a second one for redundancy anyway, but I was hoping to get something more powerful. What is the cost for something that can handle actual compressed HD editing? I'm even ok with smaller capacity as long as I can get 3 35Mbit XDcam tracks at the same time.


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Steve ModicaRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 10:06:54 pm

Your mileage may vary, but my testing has always shown that with a RAID setup, you need at least 8 spindles to do Pro Res HQ over a network. I've never tried RAID 0 since we wouldn't recommend people do that.

Steve

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Bob ZelinRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 10, 2012 at 2:03:25 am

I can already see that Jon does not like my response of NO.

Jon, no, you can't have shared storage for 600 bucks. You can buy a second unit, you can do any kind of rain dance you want, you are not going to have multiple clients reading HD video off of a 600 dollar NAS and work reliably.

Jon, look at the price of a single 1TB drive from a super cheap discount house -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145533

That is $119 for a single, raw, 1TB NON enterprise drive.

That is $952 for eight 1TB drives, without an enclosure, without a network, without a shared storage system - even a cheap NAS. And you want me to be respectful to you about getting a SHARED STORAGE SYSTEM for 600 bucks. what the hell is wrong with you Jon ?

Bob Zelin



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Jon KlineRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 10, 2012 at 2:38:32 am

Hi Bob,
It's not that I don't like it. I appreciate it. I do think that your snarky response, combined with a SECOND snarky response elsewhere (http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/197/858559#858560) is a bit over the top. Sorry I upset you.

I got lucky and picked up the 6TB unit from B&H right before the floods for $500 and didn't really check prices since then. And I could actually edit 4 xdcam hd files in a multiclip, plus separate 96k stereo audio. Yes, xdcam was a compromise, and RAID 0 was a compromise, but it was acceptable for the job and the thing already paid for itself. I'm NOT cutting a five-figure job. I'm NOT going to live TV on a deadline. I'm NOT counting on my RAID not crashing. And I'm not using multiple workstations concurrently, just alternating. So when I picked the number, it was based on my previous experiences of $500 working for awhile.

Now I'm asking for what an entry-level system should cost. No disrespect, I'm just looking for a number. I can build it into my quotes if I know what kind of system I need. Maybe a system that needs a little more of my time to create and maintain, like FreeNAS, or maybe another stepping stone on the way to an 8-spindle array with server class drives. I was hoping someone here has experience with these and can talk about the trade-offs, which I obviously already know are inevitable at the low end of the price scale.

I would love to be able to run a "real" NAS. And when I have one, I hope to understand and appreciate it better after working with "almost-good-enough" hardware. But realistically, within the decade we could probably edit projects like this from SD cards.

Until then, if someone is creating projects with equipment below your margin of acceptable quality, it's okay to just ignore their question.


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Bob ZelinRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Jan 8, 2012 at 8:31:51 pm

Is there another NAS in the under $600 range that can keep up with video editing?


REPLY -

NO

bob Zelin



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Matthew GalvinRe: NAS and multiple Workstations
by on Sep 14, 2014 at 3:41:28 pm

A ZFS NAS with 8GB of RAM and a properly constructed ZIL (compression turned off, etc.) should be no problem for ProRes LT, XDCAM, or compressed HD files under Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas.
You can generally buy one for $450-700.

Uncompressed or users requiring ProRes422 will not be able to use anything other than a RAID 0 of three or more disks, or SSD.

I have routinely had problems with NAS access and FCP 6/7 - as a result I no longer use FCP or support it across my user base.


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