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Cache-A Pro Cache 5 - Please educate me

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Randy Burleson
Cache-A Pro Cache 5 - Please educate me
on Aug 12, 2011 at 7:07:04 pm

I am very unfamiliar with LTO tape drives and especially with the Cache-A appliance.
I am trying to understand how it works. I would be trying to use this as an archival system for 2 FCP soon to be Premiere Pro edit suites.

Here are my main questions.

1. Do I need anything else other than the ProCache 5 drive/appliance, like a server (Mac Mini?), NAS device or Monitor for an interface?
2. if it I am accessing it via the ethernet, how fast could it be? As opposed to The Bru PE that uses a SAS card directly to my work station computer?
3. Can 2 work station share that same drive over the network at the same time?
4. Are there any other hardware or software considerations that I need to budget and plan for if I make this purchase? I don't like surprises. Are there any other gotchas?

Thanks for your help and advice.


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Gary Hazen
Re: Cache-A Pro Cache 5 - Please educate me
on Aug 12, 2011 at 9:01:59 pm

Randy -
We're installing a Pro cache 5 next week. No hands on experience yet. Here's what I've learned from research.

1. Do I need anything else other than the ProCache 5 drive/appliance, like a server (Mac Mini?), NAS device or Monitor for an interface?

You'll need a network connection and a static IP address. The Pro Cache 5 has on board storage so you don't need a NAS device.

2. if it I am accessing it via the ethernet, how fast could it be? As opposed to The Bru PE that uses a SAS card directly to my work station computer?

Transfer speed will be based on the speed of your network. Depends on the bandwidth and load of your current network. Real world experience? I'll find out next week.


3. Can 2 work station share that same drive over the network at the same time?

Multiple workstations can have access to the appliance for archiving. With the single LTO drive in the Pro Cache I would expect that the archiving and restore process is restricted to one workstation at a time. If you had multiple LTO drives I would assume you could run multiple restores or archives going at the same time.

4. Are there any other hardware or software considerations that I need to budget and plan for if I make this purchase? I don't like surprises. Are there any other gotchas?

I'm hoping not. I'm not a fan of surprises either.

A few weeks back someone (Bob Zelin?) requested that Cache post their manual online. They responded and it's available here:

http://cache-a.com/manualform.php

It's worth downloading to have a look at the archiving workflow, etc.

Also, talk to your reseller about getting a demo unit so you can take it for a test drive.


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Tom Goldberg
Re: Cache-A Pro Cache 5 - Please educate me
on Aug 15, 2011 at 1:10:28 am

Hi Randy,

Gary has done an excellent job of answering your questions about our products. I thought I'd jump in here and provide a little additional information.

As Gary says, our appliances are fully self contained and do not require any additional equipment or even any software on the client. We include a built-in share from 2 to 4TB for you to stage your data or to restore to (bigger shares coming at IBC). It is useful to have a monitor and keyboard around if you want to operate them directly, but most folks drive from our web page user interface.

Archive data rates over a GbEthernet network can run anywhere from 40 to 75MB/s depending upon your source and network. But you can directly attach storage via USB, FireWire and eSATA where we've seen archive data rates well in excess of 100MB/s.

We have a variety of workflows as you will see in our manual. Many of these involve staging your data on our shared drives and doing so is no different than multiple users accessing any other NAS - the more folks doing it, the more the available network and disk bandwidth is shared so, with the current generation of product, things are going to slow down. As we previewed at last NAB, a "Power-Cache" model has 10GbEthernet and more drives in the share, so this will improve in future products. We also encourage users to think about good archiving practices like sorting data for projects on to their own tapes and not allowing everyone's data to be intermingled.

We characterize our products as "archive appliances" because we try to make them toaster-easy to install and operate, but can't really approximate that level of ease with a product that has as many features and capabilities as ours. Lots of our customers experience no 'gotchas' getting started but some do, and our support team can always help you sort out networking and workflow issues. You can add 3rd party software that works well with our systems - like ShotPut, R3DDM, FCS or CatDV, but you don't need any of these unless you want that additional functionality.

Tom Goldberg
Cache-A Corporation
602 Park Point Drive
Golden, CO 80401
mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
http://cache-a.com




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