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iSCSI vs. Fibre Channel in Final Cut

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iSCSI vs. Fibre Channel in Final Cut
on Jun 25, 2007 at 5:50:05 am

I'm currently pricing out a SAN for my school's TV station where I work. Before I showed up a few months ago, they asked one of the schools "preferred vendors" (oh god I hate state school bureocracies) to price out a SAN system. They budgeted some ridiculous number, probably above $20,000 or $30,000, I believe including a maxxed-out XServe RAID, two XServes as primary and backup controllers, and XSan everywhere.

Yeah, overkill for a college TV studio that edits DV with 4 edit stations.

I'm going at it again. So far I'm thinking a G-Tech fibre channel array with a simple QLogic switch, and using MetaSAN.

10.5 is coming down the line, and with it native support for iSCSI. From what I understand, I could set up a separate GigE network for this traffic, thus significantly driving down the cost of a fibre channel based system ($4500 for FC switch, $150*6 for active copper cables). What's the cost of an iSCSI array in this situation (no more than 2 TB max)? Preferred vendors? Also am I likely have any performance issues on this?

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Sean ONeil
Re: iSCSI vs. Fibre Channel in Final Cut
on Jun 26, 2007 at 9:28:14 pm

That's a complete waste of money. I hope this isn't a public institution you are at, because my tax dollars better not be paying for such overkill.

First of all, you have four stations working with DV. That's nothing. You could get away with just file-sharing and skip the whole SAN thing altogether. Get a Mac Pro, attach a cheap SATA array to it, and share it over the network. Maybe get a quad-port ethernet card ( so each station has it's own dedicated 1gb. I honestly doubt you'll need anything more than that. You can improve performance by using Jumbo Frames, and you can put a script in your "Startup Items" to mount the shared disk automatically after every bootup.

Don't take my word for it. Try it yourself using one of the stations you already have. Share it's local RAID on the network and see what it's like working off it from one of the other stations.


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