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Help With Raid Purchase

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Odd Brandtsaegg
Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 10, 2009 at 7:40:48 am

Dear Sirs

We are a small production company that produces high quality documentaries. We are now in the process of buying a new and improved storage solution.

We do utilize 3 mac editing machines ( Final Cut ) and we wish to have all material online for all the machines at the same time.

These mac's are all networked with 1GB IP network. attached to one Mac is a Dulce 16 TB PRO RX RAID solution. This unit was bought last year and we quickly realized it did not do what we wanted. It has good transfer speed, but it is strictly serving only one machine.

We would like to have 3 simulataneous streams of HD (2K + 4K) for editing running from the same raid.

Since we do not seem to find such a solution we have settled with the following minimum specs:


1 HD stream (2K + 4K)
3 lower quality streams (minimum DVCPro HD)

1 HD = online suite
3 DVCPro = editing suites

We have looked into various technologies (fibre channel, 1000mbit tp etc), and been in contact with several companies for advice of purchase.

The various companies we have contacted all have different ways of seeing this. The various specs we are given from one company is flamed from the other companies when we try to compare etc.

This is why we now would like to ask here: is there a raid solution that can keep 16 - 24 GB of storage and at the same time will give us the aforementioned realtime data streams with real life applications? What price range will this give?

As the person to try to assemble the new setup, this have given me a serious headake, especially since no company seems to agree with the others what is the best solution or what will work at all.

If anyone might have some good clue to where to look, it will be highly appreciated. Also, if more info about our setup is needed, please let me know.



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Matt Geier
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:52:48 pm

Odd,

I've had a lot of people talk to me about HD editing on Ethernet. Here's the bottom line.

Before I start getting you wrapped up in details about the solutions that you've looked at for HD Video Editing, I have to explain that there IS NO ETHERNET BASED SOLUTION FOR A MAC TO BE ABLE TO EDIT NATIVE HD UNCOMPRESSED. You will also be hard pressed to find anything that doesn't cost 40-60K to do this as true Uncompressed HD.

I will tell you that you'll probably hear and see stuff about Small Tree's solutions that are are Ethernet based networks that run fast and allow you to edit video on the Ethernet wire direct from your storage. Even Small Tree solutions do NOT EDIT HD UNCOMPRESSED.
Even with 10Gb links running on an Apple client, you cannot push out the bandwidth needed for Uncompressed HD formats, not yet anyway. They are getting there.

To resolve this problem in short, most of the people I talk to looking at HD editing and want to do this on Ethernet decide to use Pro Res 422 and/or Pro Res HQ. Those are very good lossless HD compressions native to FCP and we hear good things about them. I can also say from a Small Tree perspective, that the solutions they offer are to support Pro Res environments under "realtime" conditions and this is where they start their testing. In order for you to NOT DROP FRAMES, you have to be able to MOVE THAT DATA FAST. (its not just about bandwidth now ...)

Before you can proceed with a ANY Ethernet Based solution, you have to decide if you can edit in a compressed HD format like Pro Res. If the answer is yes to that then I'm positive you can find a solution. If you do this on your own, you will likely fail. You need to get a solution that is designed to perform under the "realtime" conditions that you need.

I would encourage you to call and discuss your configuration over the phone with someone who is familiar with Video Editing over Ethernet Solutions, and who have solutions designed for this work.

I hope this helps you.

Regards,

Matt G
651-209-6509 x 1



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Bob Zelin
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 11, 2009 at 12:00:15 am

I will reply to your questions below -

Odd writes -
These mac's are all networked with 1GB IP network. attached to one Mac is a Dulce 16 TB PRO RX RAID solution. This unit was bought last year and we quickly realized it did not do what we wanted. It has good transfer speed, but it is strictly serving only one machine.

REPLY - The Dulce Pro RX is a FANTASTIC product. It can be used for shared storage, but not for shared storage with uncompressed HD - certainly not 2K and 4K.


We would like to have 3 simulataneous streams of HD (2K + 4K) for editing running from the same raid.

REPLY - I just saw a Facilis Terrablock (a fantastic SAN system that uses Fibre channel) being sold on FCP-L list, and the specs showed that it could only handle 2 uncompressed HD streams. So be prepared to spend A LOT OF MONEY on a system that can do 3 or more uncompressed HD streams (or 2K or 4K). This will NOT be cheap.




1 HD stream (2K + 4K)
3 lower quality streams (minimum DVCPro HD)

REPLY - speak to Facilis about the Terrablock. It is your only hope of doing this inexpensively.


1 HD = online suite
3 DVCPro = editing suites

REPLY - I have a great solution for you. If you choose an ethernet based solution, you can do ALL of these rooms with ProRes422HQ or DVCProHD, and then keep LOCAL STORAGE on the one room that will output the uncompressed HD, or 2K or 4K. Because these solutions only use the ethernet port, you have ALL THE SLOTS available to you for local storage, so you can do uncompressed HD. The Dulce unit is fantastic for this.


We have looked into various technologies (fibre channel, 1000mbit tp etc), and been in contact with several companies for advice of purchase.

REPLY - for Fibre, I suggest Facilis Terrablock. The three known ethernet solutions - Small Tree, Maxx Digital, Apace Systems, and EditShare, cannot handle uncompressed HD. Not without more expensive 10 Gig interface. And using AFP, you aint' gonna do 2K and 4K uncompressed - even with 10 Gig ethernet.



The various companies we have contacted all have different ways of seeing this. The various specs we are given from one company is flamed from the other companies when we try to compare etc.

REPLY - these are the good companies -
Facilis Terrablock
EditShare
Apace Systems
Small Tree
Maxx Digital
Maximum Throughput
Studio Network Solutions
Apple Enterprise Group

I don't have the knowlege of who is doing hi end 2K and 4K shared storage systems. Let me assure you, they cost a fortune.
These are all good companies, and would not flame each other. They all do different things. Only a dealer that does not carry the "other" product would flame another one of these companies.



This is why we now would like to ask here: is there a raid solution that can keep 16 - 24 GB of storage and at the same time will give us the aforementioned realtime data streams with real life applications? What price range will this give?

REPLY - Of course there is. Your limitation is going to be your demand for uncompressed HD, 2K and 4K. But companies that are fibre based can do this. If you keep your uncompressed HD to LOCAL STORAGE, and just share ProRes422HQ, DVCProHD and uncompressed 10 bit Standard Def video, then it will be very inexpensive, and you can do this from Small Tree, Maxx Digital, and Apace Systems for a very low cost.

You can do the Maxx Digital with 16 Terabytes of RAID 5 storage for a little over $15,000 US.




As the person to try to assemble the new setup, this have given me a serious headake, especially since no company seems to agree with the others what is the best solution or what will work at all.

REPLY - I will not give you a headache. If you listen to me, and keep your uncompressed HD to LOCAL storage, you can do this very inexpensively. If you insist on shared uncompressed storage, you will spend A LOT MORE MONEY. A good dealer, and a good company like Facilis can make this happen for you. Of course, Apple Enterprise group can make this happen for you as well. But you will spend over $100,000 for it from Apple. If you want very hi end 2K and 4K shared storage systems, and are willing to spend a lot of money, Silverado Systems in Los Angeles is well known for hi end solutions that cost a lot of money, and work well.

There is no headache if you are willling to spend the money. If you have no money, I have offered you a solution. You can't drive a Ferrari if you can't afford it. Only recently, we can now have some type of shared storage - even ProRes422HQ and DVCProHD - because the technology has changed, and come down in price. But for uncompressed HD - it is still expensive.

Bob Zelin






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Simon Blackledge
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 12, 2009 at 8:43:10 am

Maxtronic ex-San
24tb. 6 machines. Connects via PCI-e hbas. 1400 MBs total. Split it as you see fit between clients.
Needs San software though.
Raid switches and all hba's approx 13k then ya need a macpro as metadata server on top.
Next step up from small tree if ya want rt uncompressed that's not das.



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Bob Zelin
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 12, 2009 at 6:07:17 pm

Hi Simon,
MaxTronics is in Taipei, China. Small Tree gets their parts from China too - do you know why do deal with Small Tree - SUPPORT (and they speak your language) and understanding of the video post production business.

Anyway, good luck with the MaxTronics shared storage product. Please let us know how it works out. As you know, every vendor including Apple makes their stuff in China (well, ATTO doesn't).
So if you can speak Mandarin, and feel like making a trip, you can save some serious money. I bet you can get one heck of a deal on a new 8 core Mac Pro if you have some cash in your product in China.

Bob Zelin




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Simon Blackledge
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 12, 2009 at 9:05:28 pm

Lol Bob
They email in English. So do the distributor in uk.

I'm contemplating a demo system they have offered.

One of the client to have a small tree 6 port feeding the ST switch is one test I intend to run.

So some if the clients become small tree servers ya see. Grows out like a tree;)

Yes I will for sure keep you updated with any news.

Small tree rocks totally agree.

Yes this stuff is new. Cal digits still in the works and no San app:/.

Futures wise it's a great way by the looks/theory to feed multiple small tree servers.

Just need to work out how to tie a matrixstore to the back end for archive :/

S



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Jordan Woods
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 13, 2009 at 12:54:44 am

The above string is interesting, but I come from the world of XSAN, (correctly built XSANs). If you are really doing 2k and 4k, not just some basic redcode 2k/4k compression and actually the real 2k/4k uncompressed workflow then you are getting paid serious coin. And if somebody is going to pay you do work in uncompressed 2k or 4k, then you can afford to have a kick ass system. I like to have one central volume, not many like Facilis (unless they have their file level system selling now?).

Fibre is expensive, no doubt, but it is the best for high end post. People complain about XSAN maintenance, but they are the ones who built it wrong, or they messed with it. Current XSAN installations that are actually built correctly by experienced integrators don't have problems, their SANs run for years. I came across a XSAN metadata controller that hadn't been turned off in 425 days. AMAZING! (that is a rarity for sure), but still proves that XSAN can be a stable and high end product. (I don't work for Apple, am just used to their product and the results)

Talk to SANtech in Irvine. They are the best XSAN installers bar none. Since they are a smaller band of hard core engineers with less overhead than the average reseller they can offer competitive pricing. If you talk to them they can lessen your headache. Don't talk to the vendors directly unless you are sure of your workflow path. An integrator like SANtech.tv will be less biased and will help you better.

-jw


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Jim Boas
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 17, 2009 at 2:37:06 pm

Have you checked out Rorke Data (http://www.rorke.com) - they have a wide range of high performance but cost effective Galaxy RAID solutions including their Brand New High Performance 18TB 8Gbit Fibre Galaxy Aurora LS RAID6 solution which costs between $12K to under $16K (depending on which 8Gbit Fibre Card you choose).
You can get this solution with a Single Channel 8Gbit Fibre Card, Dual Channel 8Gbit Fibre Card, Quad Channel 8Gbit Fibre card or even 2 x Quad Channel 8Gbit Fibre Cards.

The Aurora LS is extremely quite and you can use it as direct attached high performance RAID or can be used to hooked up directly to 2-8 seats onto a SAN without the need for a switch.(Rorke sells and support 3-4 different SAN software packages as well)

The Aurora LS is extremely fast and can do upwards of 1000MB's/sec with single stream of HD2K, 3 streams of HD film DPX, 2 streams of HD 1080P 10bit 4:4:4, 3 streams of HD 1080i 10bit 4:2:2, 16 streams of ProRes HQ up to 45 streams of DV/HDV - all from 12 drives


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Odd Brandtsaegg
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 14, 2009 at 8:43:30 am

Gentlemen

I thank you for the responses. This has given me quite a bit more information, especially when it comes to companies I did not know of. we will now go into the process of making contact with the ones that sounds very interessting. ( Thank you Bob Zelin )

It is always that little extra step of additional work when you work from a country like Norway. Most of the time the wanted equipment is not available here, one has to search the USA or GB for the right equipment.



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Jordan Woods
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 15, 2009 at 7:49:49 pm

TV Tools Oy in Finland is very knowledgeable too. Not Norway, but closer.


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Caspian Brand
Re: Help With Raid Purchase
on Jun 17, 2009 at 8:30:20 am

QuadLogic in Bristol, England are also very knowledgeable, techs are on par with SANTech (I know and have worked with them both). I know they have built XSANs running multiple streams of 10bit RGB 1080, which has a very intensive data rate on par with Uncompressed 2K.

http://www.quadlogic.co.uk/


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