I'm not sure if this is the right place for me to ask this question, but we are a postproduction facility looking to invest in an Editshare system. We would like to have 7 macs running FCP Studio connected. Nearly all of the footage we shoot is done with the Panasonic HVX 200 at 720p24pn. Will the system work fast enough for all computers to be working at the same time using footage off of the Editshare system? Have you heard anything about this system, good or bad? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
We don't use an EditShare system...but are using a similar system called vStor. We explored EditShare's products back in January but decided against using them because we couldn't get anyone to return phone calls, answer basic questions, or provide written quotes.
If you've gotten past that hurdle with them and feel comfortable with what you've heard...I'd ask them to give you names, email and phone numbers of clients using similar setups. That way you can get real-world answers instead of answers from some marketing guy.
I'd also ask EditShare to recommend a system based on your needs. You'd want to get a system that provides plenty of "headroom" in terms of stream counts just in case you need to grow or move up to higher resolution video.
Our vStor system is capable of serving about 10-12 streams of DVCPro50 SD video simultaneously (that's roughly 80-100MB/sec throughput using standard GB ethernet), although if all 4 systems are running complicated, layered timelines, we may occasionally experience a flash frame or hiccup. Since all 4 stations are rarely being editing on at the same time...it's a non-issue. We also occasionally get a clip failure on capture if both our ingest stations are capturing at the same time. But our edit systems automatically retry failed captures until they succeed...so that is more of an annoyance than anyting else.
Had we wanted higher stream counts and throughput, we could've bought systems with more drives in the array, or their systems can be "stacked" to increase real-time streams. I don't understand the technical side of it, but you can basically buy two of their entry level systems, cable them a certain way, and you double your real-time streams. It was actually cheaper to do that than buy their their 2nd tier system. So they were recommending setups to me that were several thousand dollars cheaper than what they could've recommended. The drawbacks of course are they draw more power, add noise from the fans (a LOT of noise), and cabling them is more complicated.
You also need to consider backup. We bought LaCie 4TB ethernet drive to back up video, audio and shared project files and use Second Copy software to back everything up each night. That way, if the vStor fails we have all our files in their original form (instead of some proprietary compressed backup).
Bottom line...for the coin you'll spend on an EditShare setup, they should be tripping over themselves to configure a setup and get your a quote based on your needs.
Our experience with them wasn't very good, but maybe we just hit them on bad days (several of them since I called and emailed multiple times).
Magnetic Image, Inc.
If you are using DVCProHD compression codec (Panasonic P2), then the answer is yes, EditShare and any ethernet based solution will work for you, but as Chris point's out - there is a limited amount of streams that you can work with, with any ethernet based solution.
There are currently many solutions on the market, Editshare is one, and Apace is another. And there are more. In my opinion, you are better off with any of these, instead of Apple XSAN. A lot of your success will be based on the support that you get from these companies.