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Small 10gbase network for video editing

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Scott Cahill
Small 10gbase network for video editing
on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:13:00 pm

Our current setup is, 2 iMacs (editing stations) networked into a mac mini and all drives are hooked to mac mini through thunderbolt and shared. This wasn't a terrible setup since there wasn't too much overlap when using FCPX and when there was latency it was generally tolerable. Now that we are growing I know this setup is NOT usable since it's limitations where obvious with 2 people.

Most of what we do is in FCPX with HD but who knows there may be some 4k in the future. Currently this is what I'm thinking of doing:

3-5 iMacs (editing stations) each with a Sonnet TWIN10G Thunderbolt 2 Ethernet Adapter networked into a NETGEAR Prosafe XS708E switch. The Mac mini will also be networked into the switch with the Thunderbolt 2 Ethernet Adapter and again all drives will be hooked up and shared from the mac mini through thunderbolt as well.

My big questions are:

Are the Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapters necessary for each editing station when working with HD footage? From what I understand, I should be able to get a 100MBs hooked straight to the ethernet port on the iMac and since this is an easy upgrade at any time in the future is it needed now?

The Mac Mini that we are currently using is older and only has 1 thunderbolt port (which would not be thunderbolt 2). I'm assuming I can hook the drives into the Thunderbolt 2 Ethernet Adapter since there are 2 ports but does this present a bottle neck? Is an older Mac Mini going to be able to handle the file sharing needs of around 600MBs? Would it be worth getting the newest Mac Mini?

I'm I total out to lunch on any of this thought process?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Small 10gbase network for video editing
on Apr 30, 2015 at 10:19:38 pm

boy there are lot of guys in Bozeman Montana !

you should contact Grizzly Creek Films, or Helio Collective, or Unbranded (Implement Productions) all in Bozeman, or Sprout Films in Missoula. Or Brain Farm in Jackson Hole, WY. and ask all of them what they did. Then you will have the answer to your question.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Josh Thomason
Re: Small 10gbase network for video editing
on May 1, 2015 at 3:51:59 pm

While this method you described will allow your users to get access to your Thunderbolt Storage. You may not get the needed video performance for online editing on that storage. You would be forced into a more "push/pull" workflow.

Platform Portable allows you attach your Thunderbolt RAID to our mini-server, and direct connect your workstations, up to 5.

This method, will give you some level of performance guarantee.

http://promax.com/products/platform-portable/
http://www.videoguys.com/blog/video-editing/promax-platform-portable-videog...

Take a look to learn more.


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Chris Kenny
Re: Small 10gbase network for video editing
on May 2, 2015 at 2:10:51 pm

[Scott Cahill] "Are the Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapters necessary for each editing station when working with HD footage? From what I understand, I should be able to get a 100MBs hooked straight to the ethernet port on the iMac and since this is an easy upgrade at any time in the future is it needed now?"

Assuming you're working with, say, ProRes 422 HQ at 1080p/23.98 (and not some uncompressed format or 60p footage), you mostly likely can get away with with not having 10GbE adaptors for each workstation, yes.

[Scott Cahill] "The Mac Mini that we are currently using is older and only has 1 thunderbolt port (which would not be thunderbolt 2). I'm assuming I can hook the drives into the Thunderbolt 2 Ethernet Adapter since there are 2 ports but does this present a bottle neck? Is an older Mac Mini going to be able to handle the file sharing needs of around 600MBs? Would it be worth getting the newest Mac Mini?"

Thunderbolt is full-duplex, meaning it offers 10 Gbps in each direction. For any given operation, data will be flowing between the Mini and the ethernet adaptor in opposite directions (e.g. when one of the clients reads data, on the server that data flows in from the disk array and then out through the ethernet adaptor), so this shouldn't be a major bottleneck.

What you're describing here has a pretty good chance of working. If you want guarantees, of course, you'd be better off buying a purpose-built system.

--
Digital Workflow, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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