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Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please

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Ross Garrett
Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 12, 2012 at 4:35:53 am

Hi guys,
very new to the forum and this type of system, while I do have a background in audio post and general network storage I need some help to way up the options for a NAS.

we are a small production company who have had some international success with films in the past, we are using 2-4 Mac Pro/FCP edit suites and our current system an unreliable Gigabit SAN.

We have several quotes of $30-40K for each system but I really want to know real world stories or reliability, value for money, performance and such. This is a massive purchase for us and want to do it right. any help would be greatly appreciated.

many thanks!

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Bernard Lamborelle
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:02:04 pm

Hi Ross,

There are many good options out there, but please tell us more about your requirements... At the very least, what video format/codec, how many streams and what applications (outside of FCP if any) are you using?

For ProResHD you can do quite a bit nowadays with a simple Gb solution. Of course, a turnkey solution is always attractive, but if you are technical you can configure your own solution for a lot less money using off-the-shelf components. There are also integrators that offer complete turnkeys at great value. One such option based on metaLAN Server/metaLAN is the Z-Share from Zsystem: at just $15,299.

Bernard Lamborelle
bernard at

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Bob Zelin
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 12, 2012 at 6:21:10 pm

ooh - let the feeding frenzy begin !

You can't get an EditShare or Facilis for $30,000. So from your three choices in your heading, Small Tree wins for your budget. And as Bernard just showed you, there are other systems out there, based on MetaSAN/LAN, that are less expensive as well.

And I hope that you will consider Maxx Digital Final Share (my system) which is also less expensive and does exactly what you want. And you should look at Studio Network Solutions, which is another great company, also that costs less, and does exactly what you want. (and don't forget to look at Apace too !).

I am sure that you will get lots of other manufacturers chiming in here, to say "consider us".

Bob Zelin

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Matt Geier
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 12, 2012 at 8:50:54 pm

Hi Ross,

Bob is right. (As usual...)

You'll get lots of responses from solution providers and integrators telling you that their product is the best fit and to buy that stuff.

Certainly a "Do-It-Yourself" configuration, means you'll save money, but it also means you have a 50/50 chance of having it all work when you get it all setup and installed. Then there's always the question of who do you start to call when you see something wrong? (There's a lot of pieces of software and hardware involved.)

The user experiences vary as much as the solutions do. This is certain. Just ask around.

You need to get more quotes. You need to have more conversations.

You need to know that when you spend your first dime, that it is because it's the right choice, the best choice, and the choice you're in bed with and will rely on it to work. Otherwise it's just going to become an expensive paper weight.

I suggest writing down a list of requirements you would like to make sure are met in the solution based on what you know that you want to do. Following that, make a second list with another/different set of questions you want to have answered as it pertains to your budget, log term growth needs, ongoing upgrades, licenses, product support fees etc...(all the things you might need to worry about after the first investment.)

Then you take note of the responses you get.

After having asked the same set of questions to everyone, you compare those responses in context. You'll be able to tell right off who can support you the best, who has the best solution, and WHY it's the best choice for you and your business. Then you should equally feel confident in your decision.

That being said;

I will lend to you that Ethernet is very reliable and is also very scalable. It's also very affordable in comparison to a lot of other network backbones to do real time workflows with.

1GbE and 10GbE can both work in certain cases just fine. They can be intertwined with other networking, they can be run in parallel to other solutions, and it can offer you things you may not even know are possible.

There's still lots of questions that need to be addressed to make certain what you are asking for is what you need vs what you want to have vs what will work for you and not cost a fortune long term to maintain and support on your own.

In the end, you may even find out that your current 1GbE network is not as unreliable as you thought. It might be something else that's causing your issues leading you to believe that your current network is the sole culprit.

--- Let's hear more from you! :)

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

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Ross Garrett
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 14, 2012 at 10:39:08 pm

Hey guys, thanks for the input so far, just to add we are usually working in ProRes but some files will be native XDCam, we also use a P2 and lots of other cameras. but generally ProRes. there will never be more than 4 computers using the share and the current RAID is on a 1Gb network, its a self built thing from an old IT person, its unreliable and we really do not want to go down the path of a DIY server.
what we do want to do is buy a turnkey solution that doesn't give us extra's we wont use. the small tree is what the old IT guy suggested, I have had good experience with the terrablock and Im leaning towards that. the Terrablock seller was pushing the editshare so we thought we would look into it, its the most expensive and I dont know if we need it.
in terms of media management software are we going to need that?
as I imagine the terrablock will just let you assign space to a drive name?

also the terrablock is a ex-demo unit that is cheaper than the other 2 so it is winning on price. I was just hoping for someone to sat NOOOOO!
the editshare is amazing because...

or buy the terrablock you are on the right track it will never give you any problems :)

thanks again!

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Bob Zelin
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 15, 2012 at 9:32:30 pm

the Terrablock seller was pushing EditShare ? I am sure that Facilis will love to read this !!!!!!
I am sure they want to know exactly who is reseller is.

The Terrablock is an ex-demo and is cheaper than the Small Tree ? Boy, you have some dealer there that you are dealing with ! How many Terabytes are you being offered for a Facilis Terrablock that is cheaper than Small Tree - a 4TB unit ?

This is what I have determined from your reply here -
1) your dealer is a crook
2) you are not a tech for your company. You want someone to say "Brand X is SO MUCH BETTER because..."
Well guess what - all the brands that you see advertised or discussed on this forum work wonderfully - which include Facilis, EditShare, Small Tree, Final Share, Studio Network Solutions, Cal Digit EditShare, MetaSAN, Command Soft Fibre Jet, XSAN, AVID ISIS 5000, Apace, ShareMax and most of the others. The products that are useless for this are from QNAP, and Drobo.
3) If you rely on Creative Cow to make this decision for you, and do not call the manufacturers directly to talk to them directly, then you are an idiot. Making a decision like this requires for YOU to make some phone calls. You need to call Terrablock, EditShare, etc. to ASK THEM QUESTIONS, and say "if something breaks, exactly what happens, what do I do, how much will this cost me" .

Don't reply here - pick up the phone, and make some calls.

Bob Zelin

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Ross Garrett
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 15, 2012 at 10:33:52 pm


firstly, 2 different dealers, 1 selling the ex demo but I wont go into that, clearly too much hassle for you..
the other pushing the edit over TB

so this is what I have determined:

you are the almighty know all here, well congratulations..

no Im not the tech, Ive never said I was the tech and I dont like your tone. we are small company and we dont have a tech. but you probably know that. we have about 4 people working in house and all our editors and directors are freelance. In fact I have only been here 2 weeks.

I doubt very much that XYZ brands work very well, I have over 15 years selling and distributing hitech audio brands including AVID and have installed systems into high level customers and things DO break, you need a tech and we just dont have that here.

In fact the situation we are currently in with an untrustworthy RAID 5 is obviously what I am trying to aviod... but yea! buy any they are all great right?

last of all, I am in Australia so I cant just pick up the phone and call terrablock because they dont have offices here, small tree are barley known and a lot of the resellers who rarely sell these systems hardly know the in's and outs of each let alone how to compare..

We are buying the terrablock and were really testing the water with other peoples thoughts on the systems we were offered.

I thought with a "community" such as this people would be able to offer some slight experience, not almighty assumptions...

don't worry I wont reply here again..

Nice one!

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Bob Zelin
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 16, 2012 at 3:30:37 am

Terrablock is a wonderful company
EditShare is a wonderful company
Small Tree is a wonderful company.

All of these companies will CHARGE YOU FOR SUPPORT. When you have a failure, you pick up the phone, and you CALL THEM from Austalia. All of them will be able to REMOTE into your computer to assist you. None of them will do this for free.

And all the XYZ companies I mentioned in my above posts are all established companies, and all can remote into your computer in Australia. And if something breaks, and it's an emergency, you will not only pick up the phone and pay for the call, but you will stay up to crazy hours to meet the time zone difference.

You CANNOT rely on your local dealer - you must be willing to be in touch with any company directly if you have issues. Small Tree, Facilis, and EditShare (and the others) all make wonderful products, all have PAID support, and all can remote into your computer to assist you when you have problems. None of these companies are "bad" companies.

Bob Zelin

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Stephen McKenna
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 16, 2012 at 10:48:22 pm

Hi Ross,

My name is Stephen McKenna and I represent Studio Network Solutions (SNS). SNS has been providing Pro Tools centric shared storage solutions since 1998, and it would be safe to say that we have more Pro Tools based installs than anyone else in the world. I am more than confident that we have a solution to fit your needs and your budget.

I would love to speak with you about your requirements and see if we cant help you out. Please, feel free to message me privately here on the cow or hit me up over Skype. My handle is sns.smck, I look forward to speaking with you.

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John Veron
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 17, 2012 at 4:17:32 am

Hi Ross,

You should get more quotes and talk to resellers/system integrators to understand what technologies are currently available for collaborative editing.

You have the choice between FibreChannel and Ethernet. For what you want to do, Ethernet based storage systems are fine.

Try to find a reseller that knows these technologies and is willing to educate you. He should NOT push you towards a solution but rather suggest a few options.
I live in Sydney as well and you may want to try the typical and well established resellers such as Digistor. Amber, Future or StormFX.
Ask for a meeting to discuss your needs, go to more than one and then make up your mind.

There is no point to go through all the various technologies and products here. They are all good.
Once thing to consider:
Make sure you can get the support once the central storage unit starts to fail. If the reseller is only a box-dropper and does not even know how EXACTLY the system works, then that's a bad sign.

Editshare may be too pricey for you but then again, their APAC HQ is in Brisbane. Excellent if you require top support.


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Shane Rodbourn
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 18, 2012 at 7:34:49 pm

Hello Ross,
As Bob states, there are several options available in the marketplace today. It really comes down to your requirements, priorities and budget.

If you're interested in a flexible, reliable, affordable turn-key system with great Support then please consider the TerraBlock by Facilis. We would love to talk to you more about it and have an opportunity to earn your business. or call 978-562-7022.

GM/SVP Facilis

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Ross Garrett
Re: Editshare - Terrablock or Small Tree? Advice please
on Oct 18, 2012 at 11:56:34 pm

thanks guys, do appreciate your time, we went with the Terrablock

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