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San vs nas at nab

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Richard Milner
San vs nas at nab
on Apr 22, 2013 at 11:10:56 pm

I ran into a GB labs rep in an elevator in my hotel. Long story short, I'm looking for shared storage and was sure I'd be going with a SAN.

I have 3 active edit seats (PrPro) and an art and sound station-all mostly using 35mbit/s data streams. Most times not more than 2-4 streams per edit station. I anticipate doubling those numbers in the next 2 years.

So I looked at Facilis, Tiger's Tbox, and Dynamic Drive Pool as well as GB Labs. Now, I await more data. They were selling GB Labs on total cost of ownership when compared to a SAN. One reseller prefers Facilis in their installs. Tiger was touting how they have been dealing with everyone else's hardware, so they know what all the problems are. Ddp value proposition was a cost- simplicity thing. ID love some feedback from actual price-performance observations.

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Nate Cooper
Re: San vs nas at nab
on Apr 22, 2013 at 11:55:04 pm


I see a lot of people stress over SAN vs NAS.

5 years ago the only option for any of us was a SAN, it’s how systems need to be designed to get the performance required for video production. This was when Unity and Xsan were king.

These days, that isn’t the case. Take a look at ISIS; it is easily one of the best shared storage options for our market (price aside, WAY WAY aside) and it’s just running Windows Server to share out Ethernet clients.

Any of the solutions you mentioned will have tech guys that should make sure their solution meets your performance requirements no problem. That said here are some things that will help differentiate your options.

1. IT features – What redundancies are built into the hardware (beyond RAID, everyone has RAID), can you grow/shrink volumes, performance monitoring, email notifications, what does the management interface look like, etc. etc.
2. Hardware warranty – What is covered and for how long?
3. Support – Is it included? For how long? How much does it cost to extend?
4. Upfront cost of system, including installation.
5. Cost of adding new users.
6. User Experience – Are you getting support from a reseller? How many of that specific system have they installed? Is your support direct from the manufacture or from the reseller, if both then who is responsible? How responsive are they?

I would also encourage you to reach out to ProMAX and check out Platform as well. We are a manufacture that sells our complete solutions directly to end users. This eliminates the 25-45% uplift on the cost of going through a reseller/distributor. It also simplifies support, as there is only one company to work with.

Here’s a recent client..

Good luck!

Nate Cooper

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Bob Zelin
Re: San vs nas at nab - the list
on Apr 23, 2013 at 1:48:45 am

Hi Richard -
Nate is correct. You should review his list. The "problem" that you have is that the companies that have survived this long are ALL qualified to do what you want. They all work, and they are all good. They will all do the job that you wish to accomplish. It's your job to figure out how much you want to spend, and who do you trust to support you in the future -

OK, this is the NAB2013 list of people that know what they are doing (and I am sure I am missing a few companies) -

Accusys Exasan (Infiniband solution)
Apace Systems (1gig and 10gig solutions)
Apple XSAN using Promise VTrak drives (Fibre SAN solution)
AVID ISIS 5000 (1gig and 10gig solutions)
Cal Digit SuperShare (Infiniband solution that requires XSAN,
MetaSan or Command Soft Fibre Jet)
EditShare (1gig and 10gig solutions)
Facilis Terrablock SAN (1gig and 10gig solution, and Fibre Channel)
GB Labs Space
Maxx Digital Final Share (1gig and 10gig solutions - NAS)
ProMax Platform (1gig and 10gig solutions - NAS)
Rorke Data (using Command Soft Fibre Jet - Fibre Channel SAN)
Small Tree Titanium (1gig and 10gig solutions - NAS)
Studio Network Solutions EVO 5 (Fibre SAN, 1gig and 10gig iSCSI)
Tiger Technology MetaSAN (software only SAN)
Tiger Technology MetaLAN (NAS software)
Tiger Technology Tbox (Fibre, 1gig, 10Gig solutions)

Nearline storage solutions -
Tolis Group Argest

** for the record, Sonnet Technology, one of my favorite companies,
makes the Fusion RX1600 Fibre Shared Storage, which is based on the ATTO FastStream product. This requires XSAN, MetaSAN, or Command Soft Fibre Jet to operate. While this is a great product (actually made by JMR) it is not a turnkey solution, and may give you more aggrivation than the other companies that I have listed above.

Almost every one of these manufacturers can offer you what you want, all with different capabilities, all with different prices. All have different "starting at" prices, and the price will increase as you say "well, I need this many client connections, and I need this much storage", or "I need the ability to expand". Every one of these companies has "intro" prices, and all of them can be expanded (depending on the box you select from their product line).

When you hear "oh, buy this one, it's really good" - it means that this person owns it, or has had a good experience with it. Of all the companies I have listed, the only one you will not be able to get direct support from is Apple XSAN, which you must rely on a value added reseller to assist you. I guess the same thing applies to Quantum StorNext systems (which is way beyond what you will ever need !!!!).

I know that this makes you more confused than before your trip into the elevator with the GB Labs guy, but these are the facts. To the dismay of all the companies I have just listed, they all make good products, that will all do the job. It's for you to figure out which one to choose.

Bob Zelin

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Bob Zelin
Re: San vs nas at nab - the list
on Apr 23, 2013 at 1:51:43 am

damn - I missed
Archion EditStor !

Bob Zelin

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David Gagne
Re: San vs nas at nab - the list
on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:42:21 am

Good stuff Bob.

You also forgot [other brand retracted]. Oh wait, you said, "list of people that know what they are doing." Ha. They do know magic tricks though, which apparently helps with their sales.

On another note, I'd pay Bob $5 to tell me which are his top 3 on that list :)

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Shane Rodbourn
Re: San vs nas at nab
on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:46:13 pm

Hello Richard,
There are several SAN and NAS solutions on the market today that will meet your needs. Your configuration is very common to what we see on a daily basis.

Facilis TerraBlock offers the most flexible connectivity options (1/10Gbe and/or 4/8/16 Fibre Channel), the best performance, highly resilient, multi-platform, interoperable, and expandable shared storage solution all at a cost effective price.

If you look at the Total cost of ownership over the life of the product, I think you'll find the TerraBlock to be very compelling (no per seat licenses, first year of support included, low annual maintenance, customer loyalty programs which allow you to leverage initial investment, etc...).
If you would like more information give us a call at 978-562-7022 or email


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Elvin Jasarevic
Re: San vs nas at nab
on Apr 27, 2013 at 8:15:04 am

Hi Richard,

I am from DDP and I am glad that you run into our booth. As you said you have currently 3 WS with 35mb/ps each stream with Premiere.

That is around 4.5MB/s per WS with lets say max 4 streams each, it all come at worst case scenario around 55MB/s.

Getting any shared storage system as mentioned above by Bob (he forgotten DDP which is he, like many others doesn't know of), it would be ridiculous even when you get total 6 suites next year as long as you run with the same bitrate.

So i recommend you to make by yourself little box with Raid 5 and use it as a NAS share. Just searching the Google you can make it by yourself and save lots of money which you can invest into one day when you start working with much higher bitrate.

When that happens, please contact all my colleagues from different manufactures as well as myself and I am sure you will make right decision then.

In the meantime have great day and once again thanks for visiting our booth.


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Lin Brummett
Re: San vs nas at nab
on Apr 30, 2013 at 7:30:04 pm

Bob speaks the truth. My two cents worth would be to look hard at the support you get with the product, you will need it at some point usually when you can least afford to be down. We have Facilis and their support rocks.

Lin Brummett
Warm Springs Productions

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