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An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation

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Sathya Vijayendran
An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Aug 31, 2011 at 3:13:26 pm

After reading Bob Zellin's article "Build your own affordable SAN -- that works!" I'm wondering about editing server-client setups. I mainly need a server for two Avids, to capture and edit.

Do any of the recent innovations (Thunderbolt) change the specs? I've been told PCIe isn't the way to go; is this accurate? Is Fiber channel affordable and/or stable?

Current setup:
Avid Media Composer 4 on Mac Pro 8-Core

Thanks for a great article!
http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/build-your-own-affordable-san-that-...


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Bob Zelin
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 2, 2011 at 1:11:04 am

my SAN does NOT work with AVID's. For AVID, here are your choices -

AVID ISIS 5000
EditShare
Facilis Terrablock

and for more limited volume based -
SANmp
Command Soft Fibre Jet

your best bang for the buck is the ISIS 5000 (about $33,000).

SO, how do you make a cheap SAN for AVID systems ? You tell me, and I will help you make a lot of money.

Bob Zelin
ps - we are not in the "Thunderbolt" generation. Not yet.



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Andrew Richards
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 5, 2011 at 3:30:04 pm

Doesn't metaSAN also support Avid clients?

Best,
Andy


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Michael Kammes
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 5, 2011 at 8:59:46 pm

I think Bob was referring to a pseudo shared project architecture. Editshare and Facilis have their own ways of project sharing to emulate (or at least resemble) the Unity shared project ability.

Avid clients can sit and use almost any SAN (albeit with some performance limitations), but for shared project workflow, the choices are limited.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior technology & workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com
.: twitter: @michaelkammes
.: facebook: /mkammes

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .


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Andrew Richards
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 5, 2011 at 9:13:39 pm

[Michael Kammes] "Avid clients can sit and use almost any SAN (albeit with some performance limitations), but for shared project workflow, the choices are limited."

Is that only via AMA? I was under the impression that anything that didn't support the virtualized volume approach had to use AMA to link to media in place.

Best,
Andy


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Michael Kammes
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 5, 2011 at 9:20:53 pm

That's why I said "almost"!

Avid does indeed need the volume to be mounted in order to use it.


~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior technology & workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com
.: twitter: @michaelkammes
.: facebook: /mkammes

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .


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Andrew Richards
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 5, 2011 at 9:46:00 pm

[Michael Kammes] "Avid does indeed need the volume to be mounted in order to use it."

Not just mounted, but exclusive for the sake of the MSM database, right? That's why shared storage solutions like FinalShare and Xsan cannot host Avid bins for multiple users. The Avid is expecting to be the only host writing to the root of the volume, and they collide unless there is some mechanism there to direct traffic, which is what EditShare, Facilis, and ISIS/Unity are essentially doing (or are they?).

Thanks for indulging my ignorance on this.

Best,
Andy


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Michael Kammes
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 5, 2011 at 10:26:49 pm

You're 100% right on the "mechanism to direct traffic". That's what the Unity file system does, and why JUST a file level locking SAN doesn't cut it.

Facilis emulates the Unity structure - that is, the volume is multiwrite, and the sequences are written so separate folders to avoid collisions, but the media is truly shared. However, a Facilis volume is formatted to match the Host OS - and has a software switch to fool the Avid into thinking it's a Unity volume.

As a side note(s), this has been less than reliable over the past few years following v.4.5. Some successes, some not. However the current incarnation - I've personally beat the piss out of, and it seems to work as promised. Wish I could post some AJA Speed Test results, but whatever reason, they do not reflect the correct throughput. I'm getting uncompressed 4:4:4 video in Avid via AMA or in FCP from a shared multi-write volume in file emulation mode, yet AJA Speed Test shows under 200 MB/s. Go figure

Editshare, I haven't played much with in several years, but they do some sort of bin locking as well, I believe.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior technology & workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com
.: twitter: @michaelkammes
.: facebook: /mkammes

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .


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Bob Zelin
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 6, 2011 at 6:27:41 pm

which is why that I say that for $33,000, if you use AVID, you can't beat an entry level ISIS 5000. If someone thinks that they can get an AVID shared storage system to work for 10 - 15 grand - boy, I would sure love to hear about it !!!!

Bob Zelin



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Shane Rodbourn
Re: An affordable editing SAN for the Thunderbolt generation
on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:01:49 pm

Facilis offers the entry level 8xs product. You can run Version 5, 64-bit OS, Facilis Shared FS w/ File System Emulation mode which will give you native Avid Project & Bin Sharing. That falls within the $10-15K price point that Bob mentions; nice, huh.

http://facilis.com/products.html


Shane Rodbourn
Facilis Technology, Inc


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