Basically we want to set up a few computers to edit footage stored in a central location. Our setup is as follows: We have a RAID-0 for our scratch and backup drive daisy chained to a RAID-1 that holds all project files, raw footage, and other files necessary for our side of the business. These are connected to a Mac Mini Server via FireWire 800, which in turn is connected through ethernet to a network switch that runs into the computers.
The issue is that the footage will stutter and stall after just a second or two of playback, without fail. This happens both in Final Cut and in Quicktime. The bottleneck appears to be the switcher, if we plug the ethernet directly from the Mac Mini to one of the iMacs everything runs extremely smoothly. The Mac Mini was purchased just a couple of days ago to see if it would power the switcher and make it work faster than a direct connection between the computers, but the problem stayed. That said, it is within the return policy, so I won't be upset if we have to return it
Any insights on this would be appreciated, if you have any ideas to either make our existing setup work or an alternative. I figure that eventually if this grows to a lot of computers we will have to get XSAN and a fibre channel network, but that seems like an unnecessary amount of money to spend just to get two-three computers up and running in the short term. If we need to scrap the setup and go with something different, so be it. Any ideas?