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ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS

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Danny Jenkins
ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 8:28:03 am

Hi guys, I realise this is a 'SAN' forum but looks like the most relevant place to post my NAS question.

We have recently purchased an EonNAS 32302 and Dell Powerconnect 5548 switch. We have a mix of iMac and MacPro workstations attached via AFP and gigbit ethernet.

Blackmagic Disk speed test shows consistent speeds of ~110MB/s across all machines. Activity Monitor shows the same network speeds when transferring files as well. This is great and shows we're hitting the full limits of our ethernet capability.

However, playback of ProRes material is significantly dropping frames. In FCP7 the screen actually goes black for a few frames and the audio gets an abrupt static sound. Playing the same files back through Quicktime player pauses and stutters, then attempts to catch up.

Now this seems very odd to me that a video data rate of around 15MB/s is unable to play back on a system well capable of 110MB/s.

This happens on both iMac and MacPro machines.

The same files played locally in both FCP7 and Quicktime player work fine, even though the single HDD is only capable of around 80MB/s

I lurk around here every so often and had a good go at the search already... people often report similar problems but I couldn't find this one specifically addressed.

Now I have no real idea about the technical side of this stuff, but it seems to me that it may be the way the EonNAS or switch is using ethernet and the packets being transferred are breaking up or something.

I have heard of jumbo frames and I can see an area in the NAS setup to increase the bytes from 1500 to around 8000. Would increasing this number help?

Any help is appreciated as always, thanks.

Best regards,
Danny Jenkins


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Simon Blackledge
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:22:07 pm

First go hang whoever installed a PC and one thats not even designed to stream for editing in a Mac environment to share/edit video.

Call the people who sold it you ?

I'm sure Bob will comment.

It's not as simple as 100MBs = streaming video. Its about the way the data needs to flow to each computer to say it simply.

If you are high n dry with no reseller support I'd do below.

Enable flowcontrol and jumbo frames 9000 on the switch
Enable jumbo frames 9000 on your imacs n macpros
Enable jumbo frames 9000 on ya nas

Try one mac.

There are a ton of gotchya's in this area....

Good luck!

s



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Danny Jenkins
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:46:36 pm

Thanks for your comment Simon... yes I'm sure Bob will comment as well ;)

It was purchased from a very reputable reseller in our area on their recommendation, they are also investigating but I'm looking to speed up the process and further my own knowledge hence the questions.

I'll go through and enable these features as you've mentioned.

Best regards,
Danny Jenkins


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Eric Hansen
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:23:36 pm

how is your NAS connected to your switch? it looks like the NAS comes with four 1GbE connections and/or two 10GbE. if you're using four 1GbE, it looks like this switch doesn't support link aggregation, from a quick read of Dell's site. from what i can tell, the 10GbE ports on this switch are for stacking. I'm not sure if they can be used with a NAS, but i don't have any experience with this switch.

do you get drop frames when only 1 station is editing from the NAS, or when multiple stations are trying to use the NAS at once? when you do your speed tests and get 110MB/s, are you running that test on a single station, or testing multiple stations at the same time? this is one of the differences between a stock NAS, and one tuned for editing work.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Eric Hansen
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:33:23 pm

nevermind on the Dell switch. it looks like it supports 10GbE and link agg on 1GbE just fine, according to their website. i'm still waking up here :)

and it uses HDMI cables for stacking. i've never seen that before.

anyway, give us some more info on how the NAS is connected to the switch and how you're doing your tests. if you enable jumbo frames on the NAS, make sure you're enabling them on all the Macs as well. also, log into the switch to make sure that Jumbo Frames and Flow Control are allowed to pass though. i've had switches that had these features turned off by default.

what happens if you take a computer and connect directly to the NAS on one of the 1GbE ports?

reading Infotrend's site, i'm noticing that this NAS does a lot of background stuff like data deduplication. is all that stuff turned off?

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Bob Zelin
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 8:41:21 pm

Danny said to himself, or his boss, or his crew, when making the decision -
"ok boys, we could go out, and purchase an AVID ISIS, or a Facilis Terrablock, or a Small Tree
Granite Stor, or a Maxx Digital Final Share, or a Studio Network Solutions SAN mp system, or a
Space, or an EditShare, or an Archeon, or a Cal Digit Super Share, or a ProMax Platform -
BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO - I don't need those guys, I can buy a Dell switch and do it myself !
I don't need to pay these idiots the markup on this hardware - I can figure this out myself, and do all of this myself, and save the company a lot of money, and I will be the hero, and the big shot ! I can do it !"

Well Danny, welcome to reality. You bought the wrong stuff, and nothing works the way it's supposed to.
When I first started this in 2008, it was my intention to make money doing this, and so, just like all the other companies that do this for a living - I sat there and SUFFERED thru this, and had to go "why doesn't this piece work, why doesn't that piece work", and spent A LONG TIME figuring out all this stuff, and now we get to sell it, and make money (with a profit) doing it. And you know what Danny - you can do it too - if you have the time to do it, and you can quit your job, and tell your boss "I don't need you anymore, I am now building shared storage enviorments for HD facilities". But if this is not your intention, then you should have brought someone in to help you, (and not Creative Cow).

Every one of the pieces that you got requires configuration, everything from the card, to the switch, to the server computer. Every one of the systems I mentioned (AVID, Facilis, etc.) all is made from off the shelf components - just like you bought. For example, AVID uses the Dell Force 10 s25 switch - but you just don't take it out of the box, and plug it in, and VOILA ! you have a working switch for shared storage.
I sit there day in, and day out, studying what AVID, and EditShare, and everyone else does, to try to learn their tricks. It's a pain in the ass, and many times, I can't figure it out, and it can take months to figure out how some feature that "they" got working, now works for me. So unfortunately, I am not going to say "ok Danny, here is exactly what you have to do, to make sure that I don't every make a dime from you ever".

Sorry -
there were lots and lots of companies that could have helped you with this.

Bob Zelin



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Danny Jenkins
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:42:44 pm

Hi Bob,you may have jumped the gun here. In my first post I mentioned this had been purchased from one of the leading specialist broadcast and video storage companies in my country. I don't see it necessary to name them.

So no, when given a budget of $30k I didn't think I'd have a crack at it myself. The alarm bells have just gone off in my head as we've had a few problems already and I'm wondering if the product sold to us is the best or even usable for our situation.

Best regards,
Danny Jenkins


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Bob Zelin
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 18, 2013 at 7:21:51 am

Danny writes -
this had been purchased from one of the leading specialist broadcast and video storage companies in my country

REPLY - then this leading specialist broadcast and video storage company would know "broadcast and storage". The reason for websites like Creative Cow is for VIDEO vendors to say "hey, we sell the stuff that video guys use" and the reason people like you and me read Creative Cow is to say "hey, here is a product that I can use". So when I need a camera, or a disk drive, or a software program, I refer to one of the Creative Cow user forums, and ultimately say "hey, maybe I should look into one of these products" - and if I can't figure it out, I would contact one of the "leading specialist broadcast and video storage companies in my country" and ask them "what is a good product for video".

I see that you are a guitarist. I can only assume that when you need an amp, or effects pedals, you go to a MUSIC STORE, or look at magazines like Guitar Player to check out what cool stuff is out, and what can work for you, and not rely on a store that sells ovens and refrigerators to tell you what cool amps are new on the market. And being a musician, I assume that you know about established brands like Marshall, Fender, Mesa Boogie, Line 6, etc. The same thing applies to your post. If you are an editor, you kind of know that people use Final Cut Pro, AVID, and Adobe Premiere (and maybe Sony Vegas), and you kind of know that you need a Mac computer to edit with, so when you look at thinks like Creative Cow, and see ALL THESE COOL COMPANIES making shared storage products that are discussed on forums like this every single day - why would you consider choosing a product that NO ONE has ever discussed on this forum (or LAFCPUG, or FCP-L, or Provideo Coalition).

Choose video products, no differently than you choose music products. At least that's what I do.

Bob Zelin



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Danny Jenkins
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:15:23 pm

Hi Eric, the NAS is connected to the switch via 10GbE. Then the machines connect to the switch via GbE.

I've been doing graphics jobs just fine and other have been transferring large chunks of data to the switch for a few days now without issue. It's only when one of the editors reported their video playback problem did I think something was wrong.

So yes the system has been tested with about 6 users attached, 3 or four of which would have been hitting 110MB/s at the same time for hours on end a few days in a row.

It's just the realtime video playback that seems to be the issue.

Best regards,
Danny Jenkins


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John Veron
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:50:47 pm

Hi,

This has nothing directly to do with your problem but I agree with Bob.

I personally did quite a lot of tests with he EonNAS 3000 series.
Its an IT product and crap with anything else.

I was shocked how badly it performs and how unreliable the monitor graphs of the web GUI are.
Infortrend support admitted that they are totally unprecise.

The CPU and RAM specs are terrible too I should add.
Try to deactivate all internal bells and whistles to enhance performance.
I really hope it is just a switch problem.

Good luck with this but you really have the wrong product I am afraid.
/j


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Eric Hansen
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 10:03:10 pm

Hey Danny

based on what you're saying, and what John is saying about testing Infotrend units, i think the issue is burst rates vs. realtime tuning. this is why most out-of-the-box IT equipment doesn't work in an editing setup. when you're moving files around, everything is treated the same and gets there when it gets there. there can be spikes or dropouts in bandwidth, and no one notices. with realtime video, you need frames delivered consistently over time. you need hard drives and controllers with lower than normal latency. this will mean lower burst rates, but more consistent performance for editing to multiple clients. most IT-based boxes can still support a few editing stations before having issues, even if they're not tuned for editing, so i'm surprised you're having issues with so few users. but yes, your issue is probably your Infotrend and possibly the Dell switch.

e

Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT
http://www.erichansen.tv


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Danny Jenkins
Re: ProRes dropping frames over ethernet NAS
on Jan 17, 2013 at 11:27:30 pm

Thank you all for your help. I've spoken with the vendor and they've agreed the EonNAS was not designed for video playback.

So we'll leave it at that.

Best regards,
Danny Jenkins


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