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Bruce Hyer
Multiple connections
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:05:09 am

We have three Macs that are used for video editing: A 27" iMac (i7) and MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo) to do basic timeline stuff, then a Mac Pro Tower (8-core) for the heavy lifting (for final renders, color correction, etc.) Like everyone else, storage and access to files are an issue. Currently we're using a "sneakernet" (there, now I've dated myself), where we keep a job on a G-Raid and use the FW ports on the lightweight Macs and eSATA on the big daddy. We want to give everyone access to the same files (in one place) without having to carry hard drives to and fro. And Ethernet seems too slow.

iSCSI seems to be a promising solution. Theoretically, we can use Ethernet on the iMac and laptop for connection to the server (possibly an EVO) and still connect to our office network via the Airport. Will this work?

Then the question is, is this the best way to connect the tower to the EVO (or other iSCSI target)? If not, what is? Dual-channel Ethernet with another card?

And lastly, what throughput can we expect from a system like this? Any experience? Down the road, the rest of the staff (four more graphic designers) could be connected for general file sharing. Our XServe RAID is getting long in the tooth, and as I said, iSCSI seems really promising.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Multiple connections
on Nov 3, 2010 at 2:35:40 am

We want to give everyone access to the same files (in one place) without having to carry hard drives to and fro. And Ethernet seems too slow.

REPLY - ethernet is not too slow. Link Aggregation solutions or 10Gig ethernet solutions are used every day, and are sold by Maxx Digital, Small Tree, EditShare, Apace Systems, and others. Etherent will do all of your clients at full ProRes422HQ resolution without issue. However, your company IT guy can't figure this out - you have to get one of the commercial solutions on the market, that are discussed on this forum every day.



iSCSI seems to be a promising solution. Theoretically, we can use Ethernet on the iMac and laptop for connection to the server (possibly an EVO) and still connect to our office network via the Airport. Will this work?

REPLY - yes. The Studio Network Solutions EVO is a very nice product for iSCSI. But you can also use the solutions I mentioned above. They all work. You have a simple system.


Then the question is, is this the best way to connect the tower to the EVO (or other iSCSI target)? If not, what is? Dual-channel Ethernet with another card?

REPLY - This is the answer to your question - you PURCHASE A SOLUTION -
there are a lot of companies that make shared storage solutions. Studio Network Solutions who makes the EVO is one solution, but so is Maxx Digital, Small Tree, Apace, and EditShare. And there are relatively inexpensive soultions with fibre from Facilis, Sonnet, JMR and others (you do not need Apple XSAN). Running dual channel ethernet is very common- one for internet and office access, a second port for shared storage.


And lastly, what throughput can we expect from a system like this?

REPLY - with jumbo frames enabled, an ethernet based shared storage system will do 90MB/sec. ProREs422HQ is 30MB/sec. And you can get this for EVERY CLIENT. This is no longer brain surgery. The only brain surgery required is if you ask your company IT guy to do this. Buy a solution from one of the companies I just mentioned, and you will have no issues, and support from these companies to help you.



Any experience?


REPLY - yes, lots of experience. I do this all day long. And so do all of these companies.

Down the road, the rest of the staff (four more graphic designers) could be connected for general file sharing. Our XServe RAID is getting long in the tooth, and as I said, iSCSI seems really promising.

REPLY - iSCSI is teriffic, and so is regular ethernet, under Apple AFP or SMB. You just need to setup the system correctly, and believe me, you wont' figure this out by poking around the network menus.

Bob Zelin



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