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Craig Seeman
Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 12:42:06 pm

OS X 10.9 brings fast but choppy Thunderbolt networking
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/10/os-x-10-9-brings-fast-but-choppy-thund...

I brought up this topic a long while back and I vaguely remember being shot down as it was just like Firewire. Maybe not though. Granted "choppy" but I can't but think this is a harbinger of things to come. Personally I think it'll be a direction small facilities will consider.


I apologize in advance for pointing to another discussion site but the additional points made here are worth noting.

http://www.fcp.co/hardware-and-software/pro/1269-have-we-missed-the-new-kil...

Maybe "we ain't there yet" but I wouldn't be surprised if this gets better.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 1:00:40 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I brought up this topic a long while back and I vaguely remember being shot down as it was just like Firewire. Maybe not though. Granted "choppy" but I can't but think this is a harbinger of things to come. Personally I think it'll be a direction small facilities will consider."

I believe I contributed a bit of that "Ethernot" critique.

While I stand by what I said then -- I still doubt we'll see cheap Thunderbolt networking infrastructure -- if Apple can make TB networking smoother, a Mac Pro serving a TB2 RAID over NFS as SAN Locations via its built-in TB ports will be the cheapest shared storage solution yet.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Craig Seeman
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:17:03 pm

I can't help but think Apple is aiming for TB as Network. It's not there yet and I certainly don't know if it will be but I can't help but think Apple is going to explore/pursue this.



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Gary Huff
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:23:15 pm

[Craig Seeman] "can't help but think Apple is aiming for TB as Network."

You do know that TB has limited bandwidth, right? Why would you want to run a network off of it AND a Pegasus RAID AND a monitor AND a hard drive or two AND a Red Dragon-X card via a PCIe expander?

Something's gotta give.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:30:20 pm

It depends how many TB controllers you have in the machine. The MacPro has 6 thunderbolt ports on 3 controllers. So you have 3x 20GB/s in bandwidth to play with, not just one.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:38:41 pm

[Gary Huff] "You do know that TB has limited bandwidth, right?"

Which will keep growing. The solution may not be here today but it will be optical and much higher bandwidth down the road.


[Gary Huff] "Why would you want to run a network off of it AND a Pegasus RAID AND a monitor AND a hard drive or two AND a Red Dragon-X card via a PCIe expander? "

Why would you think one is limited to a single controller chip?



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Erik Lindahl
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:47:21 pm

For a small "cluster" of machines this could be a very potent solution - if it deems to be stable.

One "Main" MacPro could probably dedicate 1 TB controller for i/o and storage, 1 TB controller for monitors and 1 TB controller for two "render slaves". The "slaves" would share 20 Gbit but still that should be close to them having direct access to a TB1 RAID.

Not for everyone but surely interesting for some! If it actually works in the long run… :)


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Gary Huff
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 3:58:36 pm

[Craig Seeman] "hy would you think one is limited to a single controller chip?"

I was thinking "laptop'-centrically.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 4:10:44 pm

It looks to me like the current MacBook Pro and iMac both have a single TB controller chip for both ports.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 4:51:44 pm

[Marcus Moore] "It looks to me like the current MacBook Pro and iMac both have a single TB controller chip for both ports."

Slightly off topic, but it is nice to see the 13" with two TB ports even if it's a single controller. The MBPro has TB2 ports unlike the iMacs also.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 6:07:30 pm

I just read the article, and what they are describing is exactly what happens in my SAN when you transfer over a ton of really tiny little files (like a 500MB folder of fonts). It slows to a crawl, and then once it powers through the Fonts folder, it zooms back up to 4-700MB/sec (all through 8Gb fibre).

I wonder if this also has to do with r/w behaviors of SSD storage, and what types of files he is transferring.


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Gary Huff
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 30, 2013 at 1:10:03 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I vaguely remember being shot down as it was just like Firewire. Maybe not though. Granted "choppy""

Yeah, just like FireWire.


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Don Walker
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 2:06:39 am

So does this mean that I should stop holding my breath, waiting for 10 Gigabit Ethernet to come standard on a Mac?

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


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Bob Zelin
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 2:19:00 am

If you boys read this article, you will see the following statement towards the end of the article -

"Assuming stability and consistency will be improved, is Thunderbolt networking useful in the first place?

Obviously, outfitting Macs with Thunderbolt 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapters and hooking them up to a 10GE switch is the superior solution. With an equally superior price tag. In situations where a fast network is only needed to copy files between two computers, using a $30 or $40 Thunderbolt cable is much more convenient at a fraction of the price. I can also imagine a Mac Pro being outfitted with a 10GE adapter, and then one or two other Macs connecting to the 10GE network through a Thunderbolt connection to that Mac Pro. And if Thunderbolt networking catches on, we may even see Thunderbolt ports on NAS devices."

SO - what does this all mean. I know exactly what this means. Someone today told Steve Bayes about NFS enabling "Add SAN Location" and all of a sudden, you can do shared storage, and his response was "why don't you just use XSAN". Of course, we all know the answer - because it costs TOO MUCH DAMN MONEY to configure an XSAN system. Of course, I build 10GbE shared storage systems, so this is what I want people to do - but the people that are excited about this article only want ONE THING - to be able to have a shared storage system for $40 dollars, and not have to hire anyone to do it - just plug in your $40 cable, (maybe a $100 non existant Thunderbolt hub) with your $2000 Promise Pegasus, and do everything that a $60,000 XSAN system can do. WELL YOU CANT HAVE IT. Keep holding your breath.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Rick Lang
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:59:11 am

We talked about this several days ago on the COW in the thread regarding IP over Thunderbolt.

I think the article you quoted may have added some confusion. The article talks about the TB Bridge as anEthernet network, but he did not select Ethernet as his TB Bridge option, He enabled Thunderbolt2 in the sample screenshot so I think he was running IP over Thunderbolt, not Ethernet. Ethernet is an option he could have selected.

Or have I got this all wrong and the article is clear with the only confusion being in my head.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 12:08:18 pm

I can't really see the world swapping millions of miles of ethernet and 23 years of development for some new thing that's largely Apple-centric and as yet hardly developed at all. Its a bit like the thread a while back that speculated that the new MacPro would make a good server for datacentres. Not a chance in a million years, and those who thought it might work obviously have never seen the pics of such places or looked at the specs of the machines used there. Koolaid fuelled idiocy. I think that maybe Thunderbolt will be largely ignored in the big world, much like Firewire 800, apart from those companies that can see a profit in overcharging for special cables etc.

Bernie


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Steve Connor
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 12:34:47 pm

[Bernard Newnham] "I can't really see the world swapping millions of miles of ethernet and 23 years of development for some new thing that's largely Apple-centric and as yet hardly developed at all."

I don't anyone was suggesting this would be useful for the "world"


[Bernard Newnham] "Koolaid fuelled idiocy."

Enough with the Koolaid, this is being discussed as a possibly interesting development for small edit shops, no-ones suggesting it will change the world

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Gary Huff
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 12:57:59 pm

[Steve Connor] "
Enough with the Koolaid, this is being discussed as a possibly interesting development for small edit shops,"


Even with small edit shops, there are currently only three lengths of Thunderbolt cables for the foreseeable future (and none of those is over 3M/6.6ft), so it seems pretty limited by that.


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Steve Connor
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 1:06:17 pm

[Gary Huff] "Even with small edit shops, there are currently only three lengths of Thunderbolt cables for the foreseeable future (and none of those is over 3M/6.6ft), so it seems pretty limited by that.
"


Didn't know that! I would assume this will change but I'd imagine the cost will be very high.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Gary Huff
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 2:32:36 pm

A good start, but still only 33 feet, with no easy way to daisy chain. Could still be an issue unless someone releases something that makes daisy chaining for networking more useable.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:56:38 pm

Let's back up.

"Only 33 feet".

Do you have anything extended in your edit suite now? If so, how long is the run, and also, what does it take to extend it in terms of repeaters, couplers, and magic?


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Gary Huff
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:58:27 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Do you have anything extended in your edit suite now?"

No, but I had a gig in a small editing office for a large tech firm and we needed 75' to get to where my workstation was.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 4:05:30 pm

I think we need to get away from the idea that for this to gain any traction that it has to satisfy the most robust requirements.

At this point I'm not even sure what Apple/Intel's goal behind this is yet.

Based on one article (that's been pretty bashed up in the comments), I don't think we can draw any firm conclusions yet.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 4:07:52 pm

OK, and do you know, exactly, what was extended and how they had to do it?

We have two smaller extension runs and the wad of cables that is needed, along with sometimes magical repeaters, is far from elegant (but it does work).

They way I see it, Thunderbolt is a boon. It is data AND display. Yes, there are no repeaters (there are no repeaters), but you can simply stick a cheaper pass through device in the middle of it and you can extend data, display, USB, audio, basically anything that you need to extend, through Thunderbolt.

If not, you have everything at your desk, and run SDI around (or whatever else you may need to extend, like fibre/ethernet).

It's going to be a bit expensive at first, but I am looking forward to cleaning up the clutter, and I can set the tube behind a monitor and you won't even know it's there, or I can set it in the machine closet and extend this out from it via one or two TB cables, add a breakout box wherever is most convenient.

I think it's going to be good, but I like these sorts of things, and I am not scared of Thunderbolt 2.

Plus, all new computers purchased will work with all devices. That will be very slick.


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Keith Koby
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 7:16:34 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "They way I see it, Thunderbolt is a boon. It is data AND display. "

I think that is coolest part. If I had to build a facility all over again and t-bolt 2 monitors and mac pros are available I'd consider leaving all hardware in the datacenter and only running t-bolt over fiber to the t-bolt display in the edit suite. Probably along with one hd-sdi cable for switched monitoring, but that's it.

Plenum rated machine control, hd-sdi, gigabit ethernet and fiber is expensive and a pain to run. We've got an average of 9 cables running to each edit station now. Those cables cost over a dollar/foot. Some significantly more than that. At hundreds of feet and dozens of stations, it adds up.

I know the new Mac Pro might look incredibly slick on a desktop, but imagine minimizing all of the cable to 15 and 20 ft patches in the data center. It's way more organized and cost efficient.


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Gorazd Koncar
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 4:27:36 pm

Hi,

You can buy the thunderbolt optical cable up to 30 m long.

http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_848_Thunderbolt_83257/merkmale.html

http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_848_Thunderbolt_83258/merkmale.html

http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_848_Thunderbolt_83259/merkmale.html

These cables are thunderblot 2 compatible. You can buy two 30m cables
for the cost of just one ATTO 10GB or Intel 10GB Ethernet card.

And the ethernet speed messured in Blackmagic Disk speed is a little less than 500 MB/s in just one thunderbolt 2 connection mode. And you can even bond the connection between the thunderbolt 2 ports in the new MACPRO for up to 1000 MB/s ethernet speed when two thunderbolt ports are used on each machine.
For that no 10 GB ethernet switch could make such bandwith in real Blackmagic disk speed tests!Maybe on paper but not in real testing.

Just test 10GB Ethernet port speed between two previous MAC PROs with 10GB Atto ethernet cards each with Areca 1882 raid controled and dedicated Netstor PCI Express storage and you shall see that Thunderbolt 2 ethernet is really the future...

As you probably know the Mavericks uses SMB2 and the speed between ordinary link agregated 1 GB ethernet ports has increased almost 2x compared to the Mountain Lion SMB measured in Blackmagic Disk Speed application what is huge achivement.

Imagine that you buy the new MACPRO and you found out that you need
more CPU power? Do not wory just buy another MACPRO hook it with
Thunderbolt cable and you have more powerful computer on the OS level
without the need of any network rendering application and etc...

This shall be reality. And Apple shall sell more MACPRO machines than
ever before...

Thunderbolt 2 Intel DSL5520 chipset hides so much more interesting things...

Best regards,

Gorazd.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 5:27:07 pm

See?

It's not so bad.


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 6:52:02 pm

[Gorazd Koncar] "These cables are thunderblot 2 compatible. You can buy two 30m cables
for the cost of just one ATTO 10GB or Intel 10GB Ethernet card.
"



I don't think so. The price of ONE of those 30m cables is over 2100 dollars.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Chris Harlan
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 7:54:55 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "I don't think so. The price of ONE of those 30m cables is over 2100 dollars.
"


Ouch!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 8:13:07 pm

I am sure costs will come down. I am not worried.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 8:41:59 pm

Where did you find pricing? Not doubting, just curious.



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Keith Koby
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 9:08:15 pm

[Marcus Moore] "Where did you find pricing? Not doubting, just curious."


not sure where frank got it. math probably...

(325 - connectors)/10 m = price per meter plus connectors.

so if you figure 50 or less for the transceivers and you'll get 2750 for the fiber.

but I doubt that's the cost. I imagine that there's heavier costs in the transceivers than normal t-bolt and that they are extra special because they have to push the signal over fiber at 10 m or 50m or 100m. I would suspect that the fiber cost is closer in line to expensive 10 Gbe fiber plus extra costs for the fancy rubber around the outside. So start with 10Gbe rated fiber and then pad and then figure out how much the transceivers cost...


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 9:29:52 pm

No math. Delock is a German company and you can get those cables in several European online stores.
In fact, they are even more expensive than I thought.
30m will cost you 2.700 dollars.
Go grab them while their hot.

http://www.bpm-media.de/en/Sales/ENG-Live-Production/Cables/Thunderbolt-Cab...

[Keith Koby] "I would suspect that the fiber cost is closer in line to expensive 10 Gbe fiber plus extra costs for the fancy rubber around the outside. So start with 10Gbe rated fiber and then pad and then figure out how much the transceivers cost...
"


Which is why we went with 10GB via CAT6a for our shared storage. 30m copper cost you 20 dollars.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Keith Koby
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Oct 31, 2013 at 9:38:51 pm

Ouch.


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Francois Jean
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 1, 2013 at 9:19:24 am

These cables are available on amazon japan ..
10 m = $502.00
30 m = $893.00

link: http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B00ATUCU7C

Cheers

ZAP


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 1, 2013 at 4:06:36 pm

See?

It's not so bad.

:-D

Seriously, though, 30m is a big run. In that ONE run you can extend nearly anything you'd like. Of course, you might need two or three runs, but even then, Thunderbolt offers a bunch more flexibility and most importantly, capability, than a massive tangle of single use cables and extenders. Some of those extenders are more expensive than $800 and require 2-3 Ethernet cables per monitor.

I'm still looking forward to it. The only 'bad' thing about Thunderbolt is the connector, I wish that was a little more secure.

Thanks, ZAP.

Jeremy


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Gorazd Koncar
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 1, 2013 at 10:28:16 pm

Hi,

You can get them even cheaper:

http://www.amazon.com/Active-Optical-Cable-33ft-10m/dp/B00FATQ83E/ref=sr_1_...

and this is one of the end user prices and not resale one and the offered prices when you actually buy several such cables is even lower. By the way BPM media is a great company. I have bought a lot of equipment there and they have the best service departement. When you shall actualy buy cables there they will give you much better price then it is actually displayed on their web pages because their price is now only informational and most probably they have not sold any optical thunderbolt cable yet because the market stil has not evolved...
But in december when the new Mac Pro shall be released then the story shall be quite different.

Best regards,

Gorazd



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 1, 2013 at 10:49:34 pm

[Gorazd Koncar] "You can get them even cheaper:"








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Bob Zelin
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 3, 2013 at 7:33:55 pm

boys, boys, boys......
there is an easier way to accomplish all of this, even with all of my bitching (hey, I love to cause trouble, and you know this) -

You create a MACHINE ROOM, which is a rack, or an Ikea table, or something. And you stick all your new cylinder Mac Pro's and Mac Mini's on this table, and into your UPS. And these get plugged into your super fast (non existant) Tbolt 2 drive arrys. And you use your 6' long thunderbolt 2 cables to interconnect your new Mac Pro's and Mac Mini's (with Tbolt 2 on the mini, which does not exist yet).
Remember - NO HUBS, no Tbolt 2 switches.

NOW - you get some Gefen/SmartAVI/Hall Research, etc. extenders for your USB keyboards, and some HDMI extenders for your monitors, using Cat6 cable for the cable runs. And you run your Blackmagic/Matrox/AJA TBolt IO converters local on these computers, and just run LONG COAX cables to your Monitors (and if you have HDMI inputs on your monitors, use BMD or AJA SDI to HDMI converters). And run some audio cables - big deal.

And now you have your facility, like a real facility, with your readily available, relatively inexpensive short Tbolt 2 cables interconnecting all your Mac's (ok, iMac does not win in this scenario) - but you can see that all of this is possible.

Because as I always say - THERE WILL ALWAYS BE STUFF that you have to buy, and you have to configure, even if it becomes extenders, and some cabling. But the reason I keep ragging on this, is because it's never going to be free. And when it is free, the "next thing" will come out, and you will have to buy it to stay in business.

There is such a desperation for some people to say "I can do everything, and it cost me no money to do it". Well, that is never going to happen - and the day that I am wrong, is the day that none of us can make a living in this business, because your wonderful creativity will not compete with grandma's Christmas gift to a 14 year old, who will ultimately be able to create the same creative projects you can (and appeal to his young audience who is the actual buying market).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


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Keith Koby
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 5, 2013 at 12:07:41 am

I got some us info, but I'm not sure if it is public yet or not. Not nearly as bad as we thought compared to euro pricing, but still a little pricey. I think you could use a similar formula to what I put earlier in the thread to figure it out. think 75 or so per transceiver (so x2) and then add a respectable price per meter of cable. The figures I saw were fairly consistent to that formula. Obviously you can use the known 10 m pricing as a starting point.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 5, 2013 at 5:06:45 pm

Thanks, Keith.

If you have bought or looked at ANY kind of Gefen or similar system to extend displays, the cost of the cables is not that bad. Also, the increased capability of what you can do with one single Thunderbolt2 cable is very nice.

Jeremy


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Keith Koby
Re: Thunderbolt Networking
on Nov 5, 2013 at 7:25:04 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Also, the increased capability of what you can do with one single Thunderbolt2 cable is very nice."

Yeah that's what I'm intrigued with. If you didn't need switched video, you just run one thunderbolt cable from the machine room to the thunderbolt monitor in edit. From there you can t-tap out to your video monitor and de-embed audio to a mixer, you can plug in firewire, or thunderbolt or usb drives (i think it's usb 2 now) right in to your computer at t-bolt speeds. Your t-bolt monitor becomes a monitor/tbolt breakout connector. And it's all over 1 cable.

All of your actual video io, networking and machine control can stay nice and tidy right in the machine room. It doesn't give you a kvm switchable infrastructure, but it is certainly tidier and nicely functional. Probably increases machine room runs to restart computers though...


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