FORUMS: list search recent posts

User accounts with FCP X

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Craig Alan
User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 2:02:18 am

I teach video production to high school students. When I set up a pre-post lab, I create x number of password protected user accounts for each computer and then assign certain computers to each production team. Thus no one can trash or alter or even view anyone else's files/folders/media.

Is this possible with FCP X?

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 3:03:38 am

Sure.

Get the Intelligent Assistance Event Manager X Program.

You can easily make visible and invisible projects at will by moving them on or off the root drives. So the instructor can make students projects appear or disappear from shared storage at will.

(I thought you could do this via Thumb Drives, but I was wrong. Appears X only recognizes drives, not memory sticks.)

Interestng.

Done.

Done.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 1:53:42 pm

What's the storage on those computers?

A San? Jbod? Everyone has their own disk?


Return to posts index


Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 5:11:32 pm

We will have external raids for media storage. Some will have firewire raids. Others will have thunderbolt raids.

These raids will be used for each computer not for a given account. My plan is to use user accounts to log in each period of instruction. So, for example, Team 4 Period 4 will be assigned a computer. They will save their work on that particular computer under that user account. Does FCP X treat a user account like all other programs do?

If I sign in under my user account, I can have FCP 7 projects, word docs, pics, etc that (given the right permissions set-up) no other user on that computer can open or even see. Can FCP X work that way?

The reason I ask is that this issue was a big cry from the pros that they didn't want different clients seeing each other's files. What if they were created in different user accounts?

The workflow of moving projects/media out of their home every period seems impractical. However, I will be setting up a teacher computer and apple remote desktop. So there might be a way to do this fast and efficiently.

Even if the project files can be moved, will the original media be visible to all?

Forgive me if I am using the wrong terms for FCP X (projects/events). This week I plan to start reading the certification book and learning the program. I was on the fence for a long time. I plan to use AVID for my advanced students and FCP X for beginners. I might start with Imovie at week 1 but I’ll see how easily they can pick up FCP X before going that route. All these programs are new to me having used FCP 3-7. And the old Imovie HD. When Imovie got the make over I didn’t like it. Felt too template-y. So I stayed with the old Imovie but mostly FCP.

What made me decide to even try FCP X was feedback from teachers that are using the program. They tell me kids are picking it up fast and having a good time with it and most importantly producing good work fast. We have each class 1-1 ½ hours a day not all day to edit. Time will tell if these same kids will be at a disadvantage if they move on to a pro environment that uses a different program with say traditional timelines and tracks.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 7:05:49 pm

[Craig Alan] "The reason I ask is that this issue was a big cry from the pros that they didn't want different clients seeing each other's files. What if they were created in different user accounts?"

Craig,

A few things to consider.

I think some of the "pros didn't want different clients seeing each other's files" was a bit overblown back in the early days of X. The design does value making the largest possible pool of events available to the editor a priority.

However, the way the event browser is structured, you can easily create folders with ID numbers and tuck all of "Client B's" work in one, Client C's work in another - and at the event browser level, those projects (and even the names of the clients would remain hidden from casual view.

Still those files, while not "visible" would be accessible if someone went looking for them in an unsupervised setting. So in that case, Intelligent Assistants Project Manager X provides the next level - making whole projects functionally "invisible" to anyone using X by taking them off-line entirely until you use PMX to reveal them.

Since that lets you control which events and projects get mounted, you can easily mount "global assets" projects and just keep individual students work hidden.

So yes, you can do what you're talking about with X through that third party solution.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


Return to posts index

Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 2:31:02 pm

[Bill Davis] "I thought you could do this via Thumb Drives, but I was wrong. Appears X only recognizes drives, not memory sticks."



FCPX will address any direct-attached storage in terms of form factor, but it is limited in terms of the filesystem used (how the drive is formatted). The pic above is my ExFAT USB thumb drive. HFS+ is the standard, of course. Most thumb drives come formatted FAT32 so they can support the broadest range of OSes, but FAT32 will not work with FCPX (nor would you want it to).

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 4:50:46 pm

Andrew,

Thanks for that. Very interesting.

So in the classroom example, I presume all the teacher (or school system it admin) would have to do is format a bunch of cheap thumb drives as HFS+ and then the students can keep their own Events and Projects on their own memory sticks - and those projects would simply be available for individual student use by plugging them into the host computer running X.

That would be a great solution in any circumstance where you don't want group storage and group access to individual projects.

Wish I had time to test it out.

Anyone?

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


Return to posts index

Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 5:27:30 pm

I'd be concerned about the speed. I suppose a very fast 32 GB or larger thumb drive could maybe support light native h.264 work but higher bitrate material could choke the pipe.

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 6:26:54 pm

We're not going to use thumb drives. The media and projects stay in class. Everything is done in teams and kids can be absent. Lower income. Can't require thumb drives. We will have fast firewire and faster thunderbolt raids.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index


Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 8:02:03 pm

[Craig Alan] "We're not going to use thumb drives. The media and projects stay in class. Everything is done in teams and kids can be absent. Lower income. Can't require thumb drives. We will have fast firewire and faster thunderbolt raids."

Fixed direct-attached storage (DAS) is more difficult to mesh with your environment. FCPX stores Event and Project scratch by default in the current user's Movies folder (so that is cordoned off from others already) or it can store Event and Project scratch at the root of any DAS. If you have a fixed DAS, you aren't going to be able to restrict user access to FCPX scratch unless you do the sparse disk image workaround that is necessary for storing Event and Project scratch on NAS. The exception is Xsan, but you didn't mention it and it is probably out of your budget from what you've related.

One thing you could do with DAS is carve it into partitions, one per student or team of students, and then apply permissions to them appropriately. That could get unwieldy though if your environment can't tolerate wiping the DAS clean periodically to carve out new partitions.

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 10:33:31 pm

Thanks Andrew. But please help me get a good grasp of this.

[Andrew Richards] "FCPX stores Event and Project scratch by default in the current user's Movies folder (so that is cordoned off from others already) or it can store Event and Project scratch at the root of any DAS."

Why can't the "current user's Movies folder" be on an attached drive as opposed to the system drive which is never recommended for any editing program.

[Andrew Richards] "One thing you could do with DAS is carve it into partitions, one per student or team of students, and then apply permissions to them appropriately. That could get unwieldy though if your environment can't tolerate wiping the DAS clean periodically to carve out new partitions.
"


Actually this is quite possible since the thunderbolt raids have removable drives. I could create enough initial partitions to accommodate a couple of extra user accounts. However, wouldn't carving up a raid into partitions undermine much of the speed advantage of the raid? Also why can't a folder on the raid be given access to only one user account as opposed to an entire partition?

I assume Apple wants FCP X in institutions. This can't be a unique concern of mine. If you were sharing a computer why would you want your media available to everyone?

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 3, 2012 at 2:26:11 am

[Craig Alan] "Why can't the "current user's Movies folder" be on an attached drive as opposed to the system drive which is never recommended for any editing program. "

FCPX does not let you set scratch locations like FCP7 does. On the boot drive it writes to Movies for the current user or it can write to the root of any DAS. That's it.

I suppose you could try doing a symbolic link from ~/Users/username/Movies/ to a particular directory on the DAS, but I'm not sure how FCPX would take that.

[Craig Alan] "Actually this is quite possible since the thunderbolt raids have removable drives. However, wouldn't carving up a raid into partitions undermine much of the speed advantage of the raid?"

Hot swap drives have nothing to do with partitioning. Hot swap drives are only for replacing failed HDDs so the RAID can rebuild itself (assuming it isn't RAID-0). The RAID aggregates and presents the physical drives as a single logical entity that the OS sees the same as a single disk. With a RAID, you do not have any control over which data goes to which HDD in the array. That is the RAID controller's job.

Partitioning is carving up the logical entity, not the physical entity. I/O on a partition of a RAID volume is going to spread across the RAID's physical disks the same as for a single volume. Technically, a "volume" in OS X is a partition, so all drives have one or more partitions once they are formatted.

[Craig Alan] "Also why can't a folder on the raid be given access to only one user account as opposed to an entire partition? "

It can, but remember FCPX addresses two folders (FCP Projects and FCP Events) at the root of the volume, and those cannot be defined elsewhere on the volume (except when using SAN locations with Xsan). This means that if you can't really have managed permissions for FCPX DAS, hence the partitioning idea.

[Craig Alan] "I assume Apple wants FCP X in institutions. This can't be a unique concern of mine. If you were sharing a computer why would you want your media available to everyone?"

My read on it is that Apple designed FCPX for sneakernet with drives moving from Mac to Mac and/or user to user. For a lab setting, I would recommend assigning an external drive to a user or team to share that can move from Mac to Mac, or you can test the partitioning or sparse disk image methods (FCPX has a 30 day free trial you can test with).

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index


Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 3, 2012 at 4:35:04 pm

First Thanks so much for your help, Andrew.

I'm setting up a copy of FCP X on a partition of my editing computer and will be begin the course book shortly. I'm sure this will help me get a feeling for all this.

The raids will be raid 0. Media drives, exclusively.

Our plan would be to archive projects/media files on new drives using a hard drive dock and wipe the raids clean as needed.

Is FCP X so much faster and more efficient that the old rule of using external drives or separate internal drives (MAC PRO) as media drives no longer applies?

If a user account has two FCP X folders on the root level of the attached media raid, can't another user have two other folders on the root level of the raid?

Two different user accounts do not share the same folders even on an attached drive do they? This would defeat the purpose of user accounts and permissions.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 3, 2012 at 5:15:56 pm

[Craig Alan] "The raids will be raid 0. Media drives, exclusively."

In that case, don't remove any drives while the RAID is running or you will destroy the RAID set. Make sure your students understand this and lock the drives if possible.

[Craig Alan] "Is FCP X so much faster and more efficient that the old rule of using external drives or separate internal drives (MAC PRO) as media drives no longer applies? "

Nope, that rule still applies. No amount of software optimization can overcome physics, and physics are what makes storing media on a device other than your boot volume preferred. You create an I/O bottleneck by using the boot volume for media storage since the OS and the app are constantly reading and writing small files on the boot volume. True for FCP7, true for FCPX, true for pretty much any app that has a high demand on storage I/O.

[Craig Alan] "If a user account has two FCP X folders on the root level of the attached media raid, can't another user have two other folders on the root level of the raid? "

No. FCPX puts the folders there, and if they already exist, it uses them. If it does not have access to read and write, it won't work. The path to the folders is the key, and if the user running FCPX doesn't have appropriate permissions on /Volumes/RAID/Final Cut Events and /Volumes/RAID/Final Cut Projects, it just won't work. If you have any experience with Avid, the same issue arises.

[Craig Alan] "Two different user accounts do not share the same folders even on an attached drive do they? This would defeat the purpose of user accounts and permissions."

DAS presents its filesystem(s) to the host and subsequently to the user logged in. User access to the directories and files on the DAS are controlled via permissions just like they are on the boot volume. So you can configure a directory to be shared amongst a number of user accounts or to limit access to only one user account. FCPX needs to have read and write access to /Volumes/RAID/Final Cut Events and /Volumes/RAID/Final Cut Projects to work, and the permissions of the current user are the permissions that FCPX is granted for that user.

Basically, if you have more than one user targeting DAS for FCPX, you either disable permissions for the DAS and let everyone see everything, or you have to work around it by partitioning or using the sparse disk image workaround I linked to previously that also works around the NAS limitations imposed by FCPX.

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 3, 2012 at 7:03:11 pm

Thank you for your continued patience. I'm catching on but a bit baffled at how all this feels like a "work around". For any institution, a must.

First sparse disk image workaround. That would mean each user would create a sparse disk image of each project? It seems like a great way to keep projects in a container that could be backed up, moved to another computer, archived, etc. The only thing I didn't follow from the link is how do you clean up at the end of a session? Do you quit FCP X then unmount the sparse image?

Can the image be assigned only to one user account so that the next user cannot mount it? This might be a reasonable workflow. If these images are kept on the raid 0 drives will we be loosing any speed from this set up?

Intelligent Assistant's Project Manager X: Fairly cheap. Does the managing for you. Removes projects to a new location. In FCP X they become invisible. Then moves them back when needed. Restarts are needed. At end of session use it to store current project in another location under my admin account and move them into the FCP X's root level folders as needed.

Could I simply have two sets of folders on the root level (one with admin permission access only) and move projects into the properly named one for FCP X, restart into the right user account and be good to go? With or without Project Manager X?

Xsan: not necessarily out of my budget. The software is $1000. No biggie. But I would need the hardware that works with it. Wish I knew this was the best option before my last order went through. Still unopened but a huge deal to exchange. We ordered 10 thunderbolt raids. I have asked the company if they could be daisy chained together and work with xsan. I will also be meeting with another possible funding source to discuss finishing this post lab with all this in mind.

So if we were to use xsan and centralized storage: how easy will it be to assign permission to certain projects?

Craig

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index


Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 3, 2012 at 8:01:48 pm

[Craig Alan] "That would mean each user would create a sparse disk image of each project? It seems like a great way to keep projects in a container that could be backed up, moved to another computer, archived, etc."

You as admin would create them and then assign permissions to them. The permissions on the .sparseimage file become the permissions of the mounted disk image.

[Craig Alan] "The only thing I didn't follow from the link is how do you clean up at the end of a session? Do you quit FCP X then unmount the sparse image? "

Yes, you'd quit FCPX and unmount the image. Not a big deal since you are also logging the user anyway.

[Craig Alan] "If these images are kept on the raid 0 drives will we be loosing any speed from this set up?"

Negligible, if any.

[Craig Alan] "Could I simply have two sets of folders on the root level (one with admin permission access only) and move projects into the properly named one for FCP X, restart into the right user account and be good to go? With or without Project Manager X?"

Yes, though this is probably more hassle than using sparse images. FCPX only sees what is in those two root folders, Projects and Events moved outside them are essentially offline.

[Craig Alan] "Xsan: not necessarily out of my budget. The software is $1000. No biggie."

Actually, on Lion, Xsan (the software) is included in OS X at no cost.

HOWEVER!

Xsan is not the least bit trivial to set up and manage, and the big costs are hardware and help. It requires switched Fibre Channel (FC) storage (though you can also use switched SAS or iSCSI but these are not supported by Apple). At minimum, you're looking at a $15K-$30K RAID, a $10K FC switch, running optical cables to each client, a $800 SANlink FC adapter for each client, and a bunch of expensive hours from a qualified installer.

[Craig Alan] "Wish I knew this was the best option before my last order went through."

It is not the best solution for you, it is just the only way to have FCPX point to a certain folder instead of the root of a filesystem.

[Craig Alan] "I have asked the company if they could be daisy chained together and work with xsan. I will also be meeting with another possible funding source to discuss finishing this post lab with all this in mind. "

I can answer that. There is presently no way to use Thunderbolt RAIDs with Xsan. They can't be networked, and Xsan only works with networked storage.

[Craig Alan] "So if we were to use xsan and centralized storage: how easy will it be to assign permission to certain projects?"

Don't do it. You'd be in way over your head. Based on what I've seen of your situation in this thread, I recommend going with the sparse image method. It gives you a nice, tidy way to do what you want to do and gives you the ability to cap the storage any given student can use for any given project. You can limit access based on login credentials, and no matter how messy the students get inside their sparse image, they aren't making a mess of the RAID and its filesystem (which you can make read-only).

I also recommend getting a Mac mini Server (if you don't already have one) and setting up Open Directory to centrally manage the accounts for your lab (if you haven't already done so). Also get a copy of Apple Remote Desktop for that server, it is inexpensive from the App Store and very useful for administering a bunch of Macs.

[Craig Alan] "Thank you for your continued patience. I'm catching on but a bit baffled at how all this feels like a "work around". For any institution, a must."

It is a workaround. If you hadn't already bought 10 RAIDs, I would be recommending different storage. But you've got what you've got, and I think my recommendation above is the best way to work with what you've got.

It never came up- what are your students shooting on, and how much will they typically be shooting for a project?

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 3, 2012 at 9:42:39 pm

Thank you!

[Andrew Richards] "If you hadn't already bought 10 RAIDs, I would be recommending different storage"

We will be buying more. What do you recommend? Right now I have 9 computers and nine g-raid firewire drives.

Arriving are 9 more Imacs with 8TB Pegasus R4 RAID Storage with Thunderbolt (4 x 2TB). I was told from two sources that these were the best option aside from much more expensive networked storage like you have described.

I have another 38 grand to add to these. I’m thinking nine more computers. That would give us 27 computers and classes are between 25-35 (+). I’m trying to have enough stations so I can teach editing with each student at a computer. A 2/1 ratio would have to do if I can’t get there. These extra students could have a partner for these lessons and take turns. For certain kids, that might actually help.

For the projects themselves, I have as many as 5 teams per period plus some students doing independent projects. However, some assignments I have all students write and direct his/her own. So with enough stations I could also have them write, direct, and edit his/her project. So we could have everyone editing at once.

I'm not averse to learning new skills but also need to get up and running. So if managing shared storage is a complex undertaking it might be better some other way.

I ordered ARD for the teacher station. Is it better on a dedicated Mac just for that purpose or will the teacher station, used for a wide variety of things, be fine?

Projects for students will vary widely. It's also a work in progress. For class lessons we are usually centered on shoots that add skills. Lighting, using an audio mixer and different kinds of mikes, camera angles and vocabulary, scripts being translated into shots, etc. Types: Short form artistic, instructional, interviews, news reports, skits, drama, performance. But there will also be longer forms: events, documentaries and hopefully some longer form films.

As for codec: we are shooting with Canons HV40s (HDV tape), Panasonic P2s, Sony Z7U HDV and any of these connected to KI PRO apple pro res 422. We are also building a studio and once finished we will be doing live mixes using a Panasonic mixer: three camera shoots, live keys, etc.

I'd like to add some large sensor cams when we are finished setting up post and we can find more funding.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 4, 2012 at 12:58:47 pm

[Craig Alan] "We will be buying more. What do you recommend? Right now I have 9 computers and nine g-raid firewire drives."

It depends on how you anticipate the students using the stations. Will they only work on an assigned station during class? Or will they be coming in for lab time as well? When I was in school, the students who had their clips local to a given Mac were forced to book particular machines vs the ones with a FireWire drive who could use any machine.

Smaller, more numerous portable drives would make for a more flexible lab environment if students are competing for seat time in the lab. If you don't need that flexibility, what you are doing is fine. The material you are predominantly working with (HDV, DVCPRO-HD) is a low enough bitrate to work from FW800 G-RAIDs. You would only need the Pegasus RAIDs for something like multicam ProRes. Having some Pegasi for the big complex projects is good.

[Craig Alan] "For the projects themselves, I have as many as 5 teams per period plus some students doing independent projects. However, some assignments I have all students write and direct his/her own. So with enough stations I could also have them write, direct, and edit his/her project. So we could have everyone editing at once. "

This is why I wonder about how much you want to be tying particular students to particular Macs. If the students are going to get the seat time they need on the system they loaded their footage onto, then immobile RAIDs are fine. I'm assuming there are multiple classes using the lab.

The other thing to consider is what happens if (when?) a piece of storage fails. If it is a Pegasus, then you have a number of students with blown work. With more numerous smaller drives, you have only one student/team affected. Students are very skilled at blowing up storage, so if you have a number of students from a number of classes all depending on a Pegasus, and something happens and the RAID is gone, you'll have many more panicked students to deal with than if it was just one student's/team's G-RAID.

[Craig Alan] "I ordered ARD for the teacher station. Is it better on a dedicated Mac just for that purpose or will the teacher station, used for a wide variety of things, be fine?"

If you ordered the box with a disc in it, see if you can return it. The version of ARD on the Mac App Store is $79 and is exactly the same as the $499 unlimited version in the box. It is handy to have ARD on a dedicated server since it can act as a task server for scheduling automated administrative tasks. Just a nice-to-have thing; a copy for your own use is the most important.

[Craig Alan] "I have another 38 grand to add to these. I’m thinking nine more computers. That would give us 27 computers and classes are between 25-35 (+). I’m trying to have enough stations so I can teach editing with each student at a computer."

Spend your budget on workstations, not reaching for shared storage. Your students get much more benefit from a workstation they don't have to share as much. Shared storage is great for a lot of applications, but in your case I think it is more risk than reward, especially with respect to FCPX. Keep your eyes on Small Tree though. They are working on an iSCSI-based (i.e. no fiber) Xsan hardware package that would be a significantly smaller investment.

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index


Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 4, 2012 at 10:49:14 pm

Thanks Andrew.

Students coming in independent of class time will be rare. The sparse images seem to solve the problem of moving projects to other computers as needed.

Q1) If a student pulls the plug on a thunderbolt drive or it looses power will sparse images survive? My last lab used firewire raids and yes students made mistakes. We never lost a whole drive. Students did loose unsaved work. But that should be a lesson learned.

Q2) Are large raids more prone to failure? I don’t mean you would loose more at once (that’s a given) I mean more vulnerable.

I could opt for less storage – raid 10 is supported on these. I assume that’s about half the total storage which might be fine for now. I could also (I think) partition each of the four drives into two. That would give me eight partitions, enough for 8 classes. It would no longer be a raid, but as you point out, fast enough for most projects.

I don’t think any of my students will have fast Macs and his/her own copy of FCP X any where other than in class. However, if they want to back up their sparse image for safe keeping that could be an option.

Understood raid vs more drives. But I think in the future we will be shooting more and more to the Ki Pro. Our fly pack, will have one installed and I think the future sooner than later will be 2k/4k stuff. I also think if Apple comes out with the next gen Mac Pro it will have thunderbolt and they might leave off FW.

This is why I wonder about how much you want to be tying particular students to particular Macs. If the students are going to get the seat time they need on the system they loaded their footage onto, then immobile RAIDs are fine. I'm assuming there are multiple classes using the lab.


Yes but not at the same time. So If I had enough user accounts for each period plus a couple of extra then we could use all computers each period with certain teams/students being assigned a computer number. Thus my original questions about user accounts and media being protected from others.

The copy of ARD I ordered with ed discount was a little over $70.
I want to be able to do all this logging in and out each period from the ARD computer – possible?

Q3) It really needs to be just the server not used for other tasks like attendance and printing worksheets and so forth?


MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 5, 2012 at 12:46:06 am

[Craig Alan] "If a student pulls the plug on a thunderbolt drive or it looses power will sparse images survive?"

Probably the same riskiness as removing any storage without unmounting. Not a guaranteed failure, but it can damage the filesystem if it happens while the storage is busy writing. But at least with Thunderbolt RAIDs there is little reason to be unplugging them in the first place. That's another +1 for the RAIDs.

[Craig Alan] "Students did loose unsaved work. But that should be a lesson learned. "

Won't happen with FPCX- it saves every action as it happens automatically. There is no unsaved work (assuming it is functioning normally).

[Craig Alan] "Are large raids more prone to failure?"

No, if anything they are better vetted than a generic FW drive. I'm not positive, but I imagine the Pegasus uses "enterprise" SATA drives that are also better vetted and typically more reliable.

[Craig Alan] "I could opt for less storage – raid 10 is supported on these. I assume that’s about half the total storage which might be fine for now. I could also (I think) partition each of the four drives into two. That would give me eight partitions, enough for 8 classes. It would no longer be a raid, but as you point out, fast enough for most projects. "

If you want protection, use RAID-5. That will yield a bit under 6 TB for you. If a drive dies, replacing it will allow the RAID to repair itself. Two dead drives is a dead RAID-5. You can partition the RAID set into as many as 16 partitions (max supported by GUID table). Remember- you are not addressing specific physical drives with a RAID, the OS sees just one logical storage entity. Partitioning is a logical division on top of that. No loss of speed since you are still using all the hardware even when partitioned.

But if you like the sparse image method, there's no reason to partition the RAID. Just set read-only preferences on the root and it won't even show up in FCPX. Only the mounted sparse image they have permission to write to will mount and be addressed by FCPX.

[Craig Alan] "I want to be able to do all this logging in and out each period from the ARD computer – possible? "

Oh yes. You can log out all the Macs in the lab in one stroke if you like. Or reboot them. Or shut them down. Or sleep them. And that just scratches the surface of all ARD can do. It is very useful. Logging in is something that has to happen by hand since it requires authentication.

[Craig Alan] "It really needs to be just the server not used for other tasks like attendance and printing worksheets and so forth?"

You can do userland tasks on a server, just be sure it locks its screen with a password and doesn't get turned off or put to sleep. If the server needs its resources for its work, then you want dedicated hardware. But for what you are doing it won't be breaking a sweat.

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 5, 2012 at 1:38:14 am

Just got notified by Apple that the site license for FCP X and Lion are on the way.

And your advice is making me feel more relaxed about getting this to work with reasonable order.

I wish everyone would just respect each other's projects but I've seen otherwise.

This sparse image approach seems to be a real problem solver.

Still would need to log users in and out since we will also have research, scripts, and perhaps AVID files on these as well.

What I meant by partition each drive into two was to address your concern that if the raid went down I'd be loosing every period's work. If it is just four independent hard drives then only two would be lost at a time. But raid 5 or 10 would provide some protection from any given drive's failure. 10 would be more secure than 5 I assume, but 5 retains more total space? Yes I think the included drives are enterprise class.

[Andrew Richards] "Logging in is something that has to happen by hand since it requires authentication.
"


There is no way from the server computer that I can log in to each computer each period? I mean even without ARD I can set up two macs on the same network so that one can take over the desktop of the other and type in whatever. I thought for sure this would be possible.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index


Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 5, 2012 at 1:47:02 am

[Craig Alan] "10 would be more secure than 5 I assume, but 5 retains more total space? Yes I think the included drives are enterprise class. "

You'll yield 50% more usable space with RAID-5 over RAID-10. Use RAID-5. Drive failures will be rare with a Pegasus anyway.

[Craig Alan] "There is no way from the server computer that I can log in to each computer each period? I mean even without ARD I can set up two macs on the same network so that one can take over the desktop of the other and type in whatever. I thought for sure this would be possible."

By local I mean by actually typing in a password. You can do that via screen sharing or on the real keyboard. But there isn't a button in ARD to "Log In User" like there is for Log Out Current User" that you can apply to multiple Macs in one stroke.

[Craig Alan] "Still would need to log users in and out since we will also have research, scripts, and perhaps AVID files on these as well. "

For filesystem permissions to work at all, you need to have the students log in with unique accounts. Did you say if you were going to use Open Directory on OS X Server?

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 5, 2012 at 7:20:15 am

[Andrew Richards] "By local I mean by actually typing in a password. You can do that via screen sharing or on the real keyboard. But there isn't a button in ARD to "Log In User" like there is for Log Out Current User" that you can apply to multiple Macs in one stroke."

Suppose i want to enter the same password on all computers? The way I use user accounts is by having one user account for all computers per period. I assign each student and/or each team a specific computer per period. So if only student A is on computer #1 3rd period then no one else can play with his files, because during 3rd period he is the only one using that computer and the other periods are logged in with a different passcode/user account.

I'm the only one with the passcodes for each period.

So is there a way I could type in the same passcode on all computers at once? It would be rather time consuming to log in 30 computers individually. Though even that is easier sitting at one computer than walking up to each and trying to not have the passcode stolen.

[Andrew Richards] "For filesystem permissions to work at all, you need to have the students log in with unique accounts. Did you say if you were going to use Open Directory on OS X Server?"

I know nothing about servers and Open Directory on OS X Server. I was told I could control the computers using ARD so I ordered it.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Andrew Richards
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 5, 2012 at 2:20:27 pm

[Craig Alan] "So is there a way I could type in the same passcode on all computers at once? It would be rather time consuming to log in 30 computers individually. Though even that is easier sitting at one computer than walking up to each and trying to not have the passcode stolen. "

Looks like you can script it. I haven't ever done it though.

[Craig Alan] "I know nothing about servers and Open Directory on OS X Server. I was told I could control the computers using ARD so I ordered it."

ARD does let you do that and more, and OD is a centralized set of users and groups that give you consistent permissions across all machines. You don't need it, but I recommend it.

Best,
Andy


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: User accounts with FCP X
on Apr 2, 2012 at 6:27:53 pm

We're not going to use thumb drives. The media and projects stay in class. Everything is done in teams and kids can be absent. Lower income. Can't require thumb drives. We will have fast firewire and faster thunderbolt raids.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]