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On-Set Mac Pro Data Station for RED

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Brian Broz
On-Set Mac Pro Data Station for RED
on Feb 4, 2009 at 8:50:18 pm


I've been working as a DMT/DIT for numerous RED commercials with my RED package, using my 17" Macbook Pro/eSATA Xpresscard.

I am looking to setup a Mac Pro cart for a DMT station (that will sit on a wheeled cart) and am hoping for some suggesions. I'm using the station primarily for Data backup and outputting dailies/transcoding, with an LTO system for tapeless backup. I'm thinking the system will be used for basic FCP editing, but not an edit station per se.
I'm not as up to speed on PCI and RAID controllers etc and have found a few surprises along the way so I'm hoping for help.

For an external RAID I'm looking at the Wiebetech RTX-400QR. I'm not sure if it's port multiplied (which is apparently slower than non port-multiplied). I will most likely run a RAID 5 on the RTX and have the production buy Glyph HDs (or similar) that go to post at the end of each day with the day's footage.

I assume the RTX-400 can be unplugged from the station and plugged into any other system with an eSATA, as it has a hardware RAID on board. What PCI card do you suggest I plug the Wiebetech into? I'm assuming I don't need a PCI RAID controller. I want to avoid any compatibility issues incase the RTX-400 needs to get plugged into another Mac in an emergency.

I'm going to hold off on a Kona 3 HDSDI setup for now, until I get a feel for how much editing will be done on the system.

As for LTO it's sounding like the HP LTO4 is the way to go. But I'll save that for more research...

Any thoughts and comments are much appreciated on the RAID/controller side of things.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: On-Set Mac Pro Data Station for RED
on Feb 5, 2009 at 1:36:57 am

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Russell Lasson
Re: On-Set Mac Pro Data Station for RED
on Feb 5, 2009 at 3:53:25 am

As far as the RAID goes, that Weibetech looks like a pretty good option because you can connect it to about anything over USB or Firewire. One disadvantage could be the fact that if you're using 1TB drives, after you format it for a RAID 5, you'll only have about 2.7TB of storage space, which could be an issue depending on the show.

I've tried the HDOne from CalDigit connected to a laptop and it's nice. No firewire, but the capacity is great! Over 10TB as a RAID 5 on the biggest configuration. The RAID controller is built in so it's quite easy to get going on another computer (not as easy as firewire though).

For LTO, the standard has been to use LTO-3A because it's FTP based and can connect to anything over gigabit ethernet. It's expensive, but very easy to use.


Russell Lasson
Ridgeline Digital Cinema Mastering
Universal Post
Salt Lake City, UT

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Chris Oben
Re: On-Set Mac Pro Data Station for RED
on Feb 12, 2009 at 7:31:15 pm

Hey Brian - send me an email to discuss . . . :)


Chris M. Oben

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