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Computing IOPS for SAN: How?

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Jas L.
Computing IOPS for SAN: How?
on Jan 3, 2008 at 4:26:37 pm

Happy New Year All:

We are trying to expand a studio and its Edit Suites and would like to implement shared storage/SAN system. In order to evaluate the possibilites, we would like to compute our IOPS (Input Output Operations per Second) in the environment and then look at products that may be able to sustain them.
Every manufacturer has its IOPS published but in our studio enviroment, what would be the best way to compute your IOPS; what kind of numbers your workflow needs.
So let's say, a typical setup would be:
MacPro 3.0GHZ
2x500GB Internals
Capture: ProResHQ, DVCPROHD, Unc. HD
Timeline: Working in ProRes HQ and Uncompressed HD (just to go the extreme)
Playback: 2-3 Uncomp. HD stream (extreme situation)

How would one go about computing average IOPS for this setup?

Thanks a lot

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Re: Computing IOPS for SAN: How?
on Jan 3, 2008 at 7:47:37 pm

IOPS is more of an IT thing for transactional measurement and not very good at all for the measurement of video SAN performance.

you should be looking at certified streamcount. most manufacters have these, if they dont, hold the reseller or integrators feet to the flames and demand they provide it. that is what you want after all.

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Bob Zelin
Re: Computing IOPS for SAN: How?
on Jan 3, 2008 at 11:09:20 pm

Because I am always looking to yell at someone, this is another opportunity (I waited until someone posted a reasonable response, before I started to be my idiotic self).

This is another rediculous post, probably by someone whos IT department wants to "homebrew" an inexpensive solution. There are a fixed number of manufacturers out there, that make proven, working SAN solutions for video system. These companies include Apple XSAN, AVID Unity, EditShare, Facilis Terablocks, Tiger Technologies MetaSAN, Studio Network Solutions, Carismac, and a few others. THIS IS WHAT YOU RESEARCH - SCREW THE TECH DATA you are looking for. If you try to "homebrew" a video SAN yourself, you will FAIL. Consider the manufacturers I have just mentioned that have proven themselves. You can post on Creative Cow's SAN Networks forum for the few other companies that are making SAN for video, but there is a very limited number to choose from.

I will be so bold as to speculate that you may have researched products (like Apple XSAN), and someone in your company said "that's crazy money - we can do it ourselves, we have an IT department !". My friend, you will FAIL.

These products work - yours won't.

Bob Zelin

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Christopher Tay
Re: Computing IOPS for SAN: How?
on Jan 6, 2008 at 1:48:28 am

And also, you cannot take absolute MB/sec numbers from the storage devices and divide them equally among the clients to distribute the bandwidth. You have to take into consideration the seek times of the storage devices when all the clients are accessing at the same time and there's also an overall impact depending on how many are doing reads and how many are doing writes. Bandwidth calculation is very critical and can be easily overlooked, more so if you start to go higher resolution like uncompressed HD.

It's best to approach one of the established SAN storage providers that Bob has mentioned so that if you do run into issues, they can help you out and SAN is one thing that you wanna ensure that you get it right coz if it goes down, your entire editing facilities goes along with it.

And if you're considering XSAN, make sure you have a good IT networking person available to maintain it.


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