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Nimble Storage and iSCSI

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Boyce Johnson
Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 16, 2014 at 3:53:13 pm

I'm the engineer for what was a Municipal television station and is now the Media Team of our IT Department. We still produce the cable channel and do other video production and post production, but we've expanded our scope. We're also trying to comply with departmental policies. We've been using a Fiber Channel SAN with MetaSAN software, a QLogic FC switch and NICs, and Infortrend and Promise arrays. It's worked well, but it's not compliant with departmental policies, and components are reaching or have reached end-of-support. The Network Operations team likes to use Nimble storage arrays and Microsoft's iSCSI initiators that come with Windows 8 and Windows Server. I'm curious to know if anyone's doing video with this kind of infrastructure. I'm researching the specs, but I thought I'd reach out to the COW to see if anyone has any real-world experience or can spot any pitfalls. We would consider looking at a 10Gb switch and NICs if necessary. We're mostly working in 1080i using ProRes422 and some DVCPROHD. We use Adobe Creative Suite on 8 Dell T5500 and T5600 workstations, an Airbox server to run the cable channel, and a Dell server running Telestream Episode to do transcoding.



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Nate Cooper
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 16, 2014 at 5:33:00 pm

Boyce,

I've never deployed Nimble Storage - however, would recommend you check out Platform. It has full integration into Windows Server environments and plays strong with IT compliance.

You can also attached your existing fibre channel storage to it for automated back up, so you can repurpose that storage for a tier 2 set up. That backup software is built into Platforms OS.

http://www.promax.com/platform

Good luck!

Nate Cooper
ProMAX
949.375.2738


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Bob Zelin
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 16, 2014 at 9:07:44 pm

Hi Boyce -
you are crazy. Who cares if it's "compliant" with department policies. I could sit here and say "buy this - or buy that" - but you have very nice equipment. Tiger Technology is a teriffic company, that will be more than happy to update your software, and sell you additional support. You have a nice QLogic switch, and a good Promise drive array. These are all great companies. They all have great support, and we (the manufacturers that compete with these products) use products just like these, or those very products in our systems. My overall statement to you is SCREW YOUR IT DEPARTMENT with their "compliance". All of these systems that actually work are SPECIALIZED products that are designed by "us" (that includes Tiger Technologies, who makes MetaSAN). So as you look at other products (like Nate Cooper just mentioned Platform) - and others - ALL of these products are specialized products that are supported by "us" - and not your generic IT department that things that they are going to get Windows 2008 Server and a Cisco switch, with Microsoft iSCSI initiator to work. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO GET IT TO WORK. If you want to spend very little money, stick with what you got, and get more support from Tiger Technology. And if you are unhappy with that solution, there are plenty of PROFESSIONAL video shared storage solution on the market (all discussed here on this forum, and all advertised here on Creative Cow). But you can save your company money, and all your IT department cares about is their job security, and doing what they already know. If they knew how to do it, they would have done it by now. Want a Windows 2008 Server based product - Tiger Technology TBox, ProMax Platform, Facilis Terrablock, AVID ISIS 5000. You buy it from one of these companies,
and THEY will support it.

Sorry for the rant, but I deal with these IT departments all the time, and after a while, you just get sick and tired of hearing the same stories over and over again, just because they don't understand what's going on.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 16, 2014 at 11:58:48 pm

Echoing Bob's and Nate's comments... why Nimble? Are their products used at TV stations or studios for video workflows?

Also, what are those "department policies"? A while list of vendors? Specific uptime and resiliency requirements?


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David Gagne
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 18, 2014 at 8:55:04 pm

But, but but... NIMBLE WILL BUY THEM LUNCH!

Seriously, from a media standpoint I hear "iscsi" and shudder.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 19, 2014 at 12:09:08 am

[David Gagne] "from a media standpoint I hear "iscsi" and shudder."

Why?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 19, 2014 at 2:43:49 pm

Hi David -
to echo Alex - why ? why do you shutter at iSCSI for Media storage - it works fine. All the SNS stuff works fine.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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David Gagne
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Mar 29, 2014 at 10:23:04 pm

SNS is kind of the exception since they wrote their own initiator for mac, and are committed to the creative workflow.

Pretty much anyone else who mentions iScsi quickly starts talking about things like deduplication, compression, VDI, etc., All stuff that has nothing to do with media and is not worth paying for.


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Jeff Yana
Re: Nimble Storage and iSCSI
on Jan 31, 2014 at 5:54:01 am

While I suppose you could use Nimble storage for media storage, it's probably overkill. Nimble is an awesome product, but its really designed for small block, IO-intensive applications that can benefit from flash acceleration, such as databases and virtualization environments.

Its not unusual for monolithic IT policies to overshadow common sense solutions to highly specialized applications and problems, mostly out of pure ignorance, but sometimes pure politics, hurting productivity, users and sowing division along the way. I have been on both sides of the fence so I can speak from experience.

Maybe your IT admin should make a the habit of reading these forums to get a better understanding of the challenges facing his "other" users, those that don't live inside of MS Office. Short of that, take it to his superiors and the CTO/CEO if necessary

Jeff Yana


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