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Taking Plunge Into Shared Storage ... Need Initial Advice

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Keith Hamilton
Taking Plunge Into Shared Storage ... Need Initial Advice
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:15:14 pm

We've managed to survive without shared storage for a while now. But while working on a recently completed large project, we realized that we could not again go through making duplicate copies of media and project files again so more than one person could work on it.

Now, we are at the beginning of another large project, and we need a way to put all our media and project files in one place so that two (possibly three) workstations can share access. We will NOT be working on the same project file (Final Cut or After Effects files in this case) at the same time, but we do want to share access to media.

Currently we have:
2008 MacPro 2.8 GHz 8-core w 10 GB RAM (OSX 10.5)
2009 iMac 3.06 Ghz Intel 2 Core Duo i5 w 8 GB RAM (OSX 10.6)

Both run Final Cut Studio 3 and Adobe CS5 apps.

We will be getting either a 12-core or 6-core Mac Pro very soon with at least 16GB of memory, possibly more.

We will be editing using Final Cut 7 on a ProRes 422 timeline. We will be receiving raw footage shot on REDs, DVCPROHD cameras, Panasonic AF-100, and HDSLRs, which in some cases will be transcoded to ProRes 422.

We're thinking that we will need at least 8TB of storage for this project and a way to back that up.

There's a lot of information out there about shared storage, and it can get confusing trying to figure out what I really need and what is overkill. Should I take a look at an all-in-one box like ShareMax? Or something pieced together (with help, of course) with solutions offered by companies like Small Tree or MAXX Digital?

And if we need to get another Mac Pro to use as a server, would the cheapest current Mac Pro do? What about the previous (2009) generation?

H. Keith Hamilton
Post-Production Supervisor
SkyGate Studios

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Bob Zelin
Re: Taking Plunge Into Shared Storage ... Need Initial Advice
on Dec 1, 2011 at 11:50:49 pm

all the solutions you mentioned are good. It is your job to CALL all of these companies, and ask them the questions that you want, and of course, then say "ok, how much does it cost". Then you ask for references, to make sure that what you are about to buy actually works.

OK, time to get on the phone - start calling the companies you mentioned !

Bob Zelin

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Nate Cooper
Re: Taking Plunge Into Shared Storage ... Need Initial Advice
on Dec 2, 2011 at 2:10:45 am


As long as your sticking with a ProRes workflow, all of the solutions you mentioned will work.

One thing to consider is cost vs future growth, specifically this, if you think you'll move to FCP X or Premiere Pro in the future any of these solutions will grow with you. If you think you will move to Avid in the future, none of these solutions will work.

It's a very important factor in shared storage now that facilities have to be aware of.

That being said to get into anything that supports Avid, you're looking at spending a bit more.

If you don't want to spend over $10k you may want to reconsider shared storage, $10k to $15k, look at the options you talked about, $15k or more look at Facilis and Editshare.

It's end of year so all of these companies are hungry to sell, that puts you in the drivers seat which is nice. However, with the flooding in Thailand still affecting drive prices buying sooner than later is better for the next few months.

Good luck and feel free to reach out to me if you have any more questions.

Nate Cooper

Scuba Dive?

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David Norden
Re: Taking Plunge Into Shared Storage ... Need Initial Advice
on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:36:30 pm

This might interest you, even if you are on Final Cut right now...
Its a software we are developing that turns a mac into a shared storage/project server for Avid.

Good luck/David

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