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Windows Shared Storage

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Scott McDonnell
Windows Shared Storage
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:54:06 am

Hi, I got some good advice and ideas on this forum when researching a SAN/NAS/DAS solution for our media company. Since most of the info is about Mac setups I thought I would share our experiences with building for Windows.

I spent a great deal of time looking into the various NAS solutions from the companies oft mentioned here and got great info and help particularly from JMR and Small Trees.
In the end we went with an all DELL DAS solution as:

* installation could be carried out by a local partner (who were excellent)
* Windows Server easier for us than a NAS to maintain, admin and expand
* at the time we could get 10GbE for the price of 1GbE NAS solutions
* Could get complete solution from 1 vendor all covered by the same installation

We got for a total of about €15K

Server – PE T610 – Server 2010, backup Exec. PERC H200
Storage - PV MD3200 - 12TB NearLine SAS 6Gbps RAID 5
Switch – PC 6248 – 10GbE managed
2 x 10GbE uplink modules and 12m CX4 cables


Server is attached to the RAID via 2 SAS 6Gbps HBA cards I think in fallover. Speed in MB/s on the server accessing the RAID measured with ATTO is Write – 445, Read – 1121
Server is attached to switch via 2 x 10GbE and then shared out the workstations via 1GbE. ATTO speed test on a workstation gave me a speed of Write – 100, Read – 100. I haven’t done a concurrent user test yet but real world experience has been great so far.

The above system is expandable by adding slightly cheaper PV MD1200 units to add additional storage.
Lastly we are getting an IBM TS3100 LTO5 6Gbps SAS to automated back-up.

Not saying this system performs any better or worse than other options - but I hope this gives a few ideas to explore for anyone struggling to set-up something similar.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Windows Shared Storage
on Apr 2, 2011 at 1:48:20 am

JMR and Small Tree (and the other companies on this forum) are great companies.

I almost cannot believe that you have a working DELL shared storage system, that plays back real time HD video without issue. And you have 10 Gig cards in every client PC ?

Bob Zelin



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Scott McDonnell
Re: Windows Shared Storage
on Apr 4, 2011 at 8:49:02 am

Hi Bob,

As I said the client PCs are connected via 1GbE to the switch and are getting approx 80-100MBps read speed from the shared storage. So any files at a suitable bitrate are playing real-time with no issue.


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Windows Shared Storage
on Apr 5, 2011 at 11:42:33 am

So the clients are Win PCs that mount the storage within Windows, right? What are the clients used for? Editing? Or some other task?

A fair bit of the posters here explore storage for Mac editing workstations, mostly FCP. Avid users generally seem satisfied with Isis, or the older Unity or Lanshare.

My observation with Windows, or WSS storage, shared between Mac workstations is that it generally works fine, but as a NAS. As a shared storage for Mac Avid or FCP clients it doesn't seem to work consistently.

But then I haven't spent as much time deploying Win based shared storage as I have with XSan, or AFP based sharing.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Scott McDonnell
Re: Windows Shared Storage
on Apr 5, 2011 at 1:35:48 pm

Yep Windows PCs, the storage is available to the clients as a network drive.
We use Adobe CS5 - Most clients are working in After Effects/Flash at 1080p for content creation and we have 2 edit stations using Premiere CS5 for edits. All clients then serve as a render farm at night for After Effects rendering.


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