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Christian Simpson
NAS Device setup
on Jun 3, 2012 at 2:51:16 am

Hey guys I am moving into a new office and looking to setup netwrok storage for the first time. I have 3 users who will need to access the storage. I have never done this before and am somewhat ignorant. I would like to setup something with a 10GbE connection because we mostly edit RED 4k and 5k footage.

Any recommendations on setups?

(I received a quote from Small Tree and it was a little out of our budget. I found NAS devices from QNAP, Syncology, etc that seemed far cheaper)


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Bob Zelin
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 3, 2012 at 7:26:51 pm

yea, but the Small Tree solution actually works.

when you say "we mostly edit RED 4k and 5k" - first, you have not stated what editing system you are using. If you are using Premiere to edit the native .r3d files, REDCODE 42 at 4Kp24 is only 36MB/sec
REDCODE42 at 4Kx2160p24 is only 40MB/sec, and 4KREDp24 is 42MB/sec.
And perhaps you are working in higher compression - possibly REDCODE 36 or 28, which is smaller bandwidth.

And if you are using FCP, you use RedCineX to transcode this to something else, like ProRes422, so you can edit, which is only 20MB/sec. SO WHY DO YOU NEED A 10GIG solution ? Do you need over 350MB/sec to edit with ? The big boys don't do this until the conform process - why should you ?

Now, lets get down the the real issue - MONEY. Let me make this simple, if you think you are getting a shared storage solution for under $10,000 you are on drugs, and you should go back to work at WalMart. You are shooting with an incredibly expensive camera, that has a complex workflow. There is no cheapo shared storage solution for you.

Small Tree is a great company, but if you are looking for an alternative company to bid with, to get alternate prices, you can check with Studio Network Solutions, Maxx Digital, Apace Systems, and others that I have mentioned a million times on this forum. Will any of these be as cheap as QNAP - OF COURSE NOT - do you know why? Because all the systems that I mentioned (including Small Tree) actualy work, and the QNAP won't.

If the QNAP actually worked, don't you think you would have seen countless posts on these forums saying "wow, I just got a QNAP SAN for 8 grand and it's doing everything that EditShare, Terrablock, and all those other companies are doing for a fraction of the price". Do you know why you have not seen these posts - because it doesn't work. Just like the initial people who bought into Drobo - it's not a shared storage solution. It's wonderful as a "near line" backup for your data, but Drobo (and QNAP) ain't gonna let you do shared storage for the kind of work that you want.

Bob Zelin



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Christian Simpson
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:35:39 pm

Go back and work at Walmart? Dang dude chill. I mentioned that I was very ignorant about this kind of stuff and was humbly seeking advice. I hope you don't communicate with people in person like that because it would be a quick way to get your ass beat. I'm interested in information not insults.
I failed to mention previously that both of us are on mac pros and use adobe premiere. I cut native r3ds just fine at about 1/4 Rez. I obviously don't need 10gbe of bandwidth for two people but what would the real world throughput be for 1gbe? Is there something in between? Also let's say for example we go 1gbe is the bandwidth split in two if two people are working at the same time?


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Robbie Coblentz
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 4, 2012 at 1:36:01 am

Bob gets a little excitable sometimes, but he knows his stuff.

A gig Ethernet system would get you around 100 megabit read and writes on shared storage. The key is to have fast SAS raids hooked up to a Mac as a server, drop in a 10 gig card to direct connect to a layer 3 switch, then have a single gig e port from each MacPro drop into the switch. Fairly simple and both Small tree and MaxxDigital roll their own packages that work. Buying from MaxxDigital you get to speak to the Z man directly and do benefit from his vast knowledge of gig e stuff.

You could drop in an Atto NS14 card in the MacPro, avoid the layer 3 switch totally and do 10 gig Ethernet via sfp connectors to the MacPros. You're getting closer to 340-50 megabits per second then. Pretty sweet.

Call Maxx and get a quote. They compare favorably to Small Tree. Small Tree rocks too. Wouldn't hesitate to buy fom either.

Facilis is great stuff in a little different box. Can't go wrong there either.



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Matt Geier
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 4, 2012 at 5:09:56 pm

Hi Christian and Robbie,

I'm going to chime in quick on this to re-state something about the speeds and feeds of 1Gb vs 10Gb Ethernet.

1 megabyte (MB) = 8 megabit (Mb)
100 megabyte (MB) = 800 megabit (Mb)


File Transferring / Upload Download

1Gb Ethernet - Throughput can been seen anywhere from 90-120MB (Mega Bytes) per second. Depending on how you're using the wire and if it's got TCP overhead to worry about like what you'll see with AFP, SMB, NFS... expect those lines with Jumbo Frames to run anywhere from 70-90MB/sec.
--- Without some overhead like an O/S offers --- The wire can run line rate....think iSCSI for example.

10Gb Ethernet - Throughput can been seen anywhere from 250-350MB (Mega Bytes) per second. Depending on how you're using the wire and if it's got TCP overhead to worry about like what you'll see with AFP, SMB, NFS... expect those lines to run anywhere from 250-350MB/sec.
--- Without some overhead like an O/S offers --- The wire can run line rate....think iSCSI for example.

(Performance is based on your configuration of the networking, applications, hardware involved, etc...)

Each of these assumes a single user connection at any one time.
For example if you have 2 users running a 10GbE link. Each one doing a file transfer at the same time, the server would need to be able to have a pipe big enough for both to get full bandwidth to the RAID (700MB/sec incoming) at once and then additionally, the RAID (whatever it is) would need to be able to have a write speed to the disks in excess of 700MB sec.


Video Editing in Ethernet

If you are intending to edit video over this same network, make sure everything is set up for real time (which is not necessarily based on an amount of "raw bandwidth")

Example; If you want to support 1 x Video per user at 36MB/sec, then a single 1Gb connection to the desktop will suffice. Equally so, 1GbE connections on the server will suffice as well..... If however you want to run 4 x Videos per user at 36MB/sec each, now you have to consider 10GbE because you need 144MB/sec at each workstation. If you have x 2 workstations then you'll need a total throughput of 288MB/sec at your server and RAID to support each editor working with 4 videos at the same time (based on 36MB/sec x 4 x 2).

Another Caveat: Make sure your Server is adequate in configuration and has proper support for the users connected to it, and additionally make sure the chosen RAID can truly support 8 x Videos of (Insert Format Here) at the same time.....

Most of the time I hear people having problems with these networks is because they don't have their Ethernet configured the way it should be or tuned at each workstation optimally, or their Server and / or Storage is inadequate to support the entire workflow....or all of the above.

Regardless of who you work with, make sure they know what their solution will start at, and max at in the first install, and additionally how well it can scale over time.....scaling is important, sometimes you'll need to scale "performance" and sometimes you'll need to scale your "capacity"

Good luck.

Hopefully that helps!

Matt Geier
(Video Networking Solutions Expert)
(Creative Design Workflow Consultant)
(Social Media Networks Consultant)
(Technical Video Industry Sales Consultant)


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Robbie Coblentz
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 4, 2012 at 9:18:26 pm

Thanks Matt.

I'll just share what we have installed. Four edit suites being served off a MacPro with 40 TB RAID 5 storage via ATTO NS14 card, which hooks into a layer 3 Erricsson Gig switch via a 10 Gig port with SFP connectors on the back. The RAIDs are connected via an ATTO R680 card thru SAS. The server is getting great read/writes to the RAIDs- 650-700 megabits per sec. Edit A, which is connected via 10 gig e is getting a 300 megabit read/write according to AJA System test. The other 3 suites are hooked up via gig e thru copper into the second ethernet port on the MacPros. They are in the 95-105 Megabit range on reads/writes.

We are working in a FCP/PP CS6 environment with 4 editors accessing the same footage. We are doing 1920 x1080 ProRes and ProRes LT with no issues. Been rock solid since we bought from MaxxDigital back in November.

Your mileage may vary. Buy from an integrator like Maxx or Small Tree which have the ins/outs figured out.



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Bob Zelin
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:10:30 am

Christian -
you want me to not be insulting. You stated that you are working with RED Epic cameras at 4K and 5K. These are VERY VERY expensive cameras, that require an extensive crew, including a very knowlegeable post production crew that knows exactly what they are doing.

So, based on that, I will assume that you are not a student with zero money. I will also assume that you are not a new young business person, who has a Canon 7D, trying to eek out a living with a friend to have a simple shared storage system.

I can only assume that you are a PROFESSIONAL, working with people that have VERY EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT, and are hiring you to do a PROFESSIONAL JOB. Based on this, I can assume that you are either giving away your services for free, or want to keep every penny of the profits for yourself.

The bottom line is that when you work with hi end professional equipment, everything in the chain is EXPENSIVE (and you should be expensive to your clients too). You ain't getting a QNAP to do what you want. I just got contacted today via email by a kid who wanted to do a feature film and has about $1000 to build a shared storage system - should I be polite to him, or tell him like it is.

To summarize, you have been given wonderful advice, with great referernces to companies that make the RIGHT STUFF to do your job - Small Tree, Studio Network solutions, Facilis, EditShare, AVID, etc. - all of these will work. Can't afford any of these ? Then guess what - you CANT HAVE SHARED STORAGE. I would not be talking this aggressive manner if you said that you were using GoPro cameras or even a Canon 5D - but you are working with RED EPIC AT 4K or 5K, so I have absolutely no sympathy for you, or see it necessary to be sensitive to your "limited budget".

Bob Zelin



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Christian Simpson
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 5, 2012 at 1:19:54 pm

Thanks a lot for the information everybody. I'm going to go with a solution from Small Tree. They were very helpful and explained how it all works. They even took the time to explain why their solutions were superior to much cheaper NAS systems. I appreciated that and they earned my business. They also didn't assume anything and asked questions to understand my needs. I am certainly not an IT guy, I work mainly as a cinematographer and motion designer but never understood much about shared storage but I've learned a lot the past few weeks.

Bob someone mentioned earlier that you represent one of these companies that does this kind of thing. I'm not sure if that's true or not but if it is you have a TERRIBLE (I can use all caps too) way of dealing with people. You totally could have grabbed my business. Oh well, I'm sure you don't care.

To everybody thanks again, and I can't wait to get my Small Tree system installed!


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Bob Zelin
Re: NAS Device setup
on Jun 5, 2012 at 8:09:18 pm

Small Tree is a great company. They will do a great job for you.
I would be nothing without Small Tree.

Bob Zelin



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