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Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP

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John Speaker
Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:50:54 pm

We are a small FCP based production company. We currently work between upwards of 10 different firewire 800 external hard drives of different makes depending on the project. Editing is done on two computers. Each computer may be working with one or two drives at a time...we usually just have the drives daisy chained. The problem is when one guy needs to pass off a drive to another there is a lot of cable connect/disconnecting and it is a general hassle (unecessary drives get disconnected, hard to reach certain drives, etc). We thought that we had found a solution by purchasing a Firewire-800 patch bay from signvideo.com. The patch bay allowed us to have two computers connected to the device and then we could easily patch ourselves to the needed drives. Problem was that the drives behaved very slowly when using the patchbay and generally could not keep up with the demands of editing hd video. I began researching firewire hubs, and it appears that they could help us out by having one hub (with multiple inputs) for each computer and then we would just need to swap cables between the two hubs to switch drives. Does anybody have experience with this firewire hub from pccables.com? http://www.pccables.com/70928.htm

Is there anybody else who found themselves in a similar situation and has a solution to ease the switch between multiple drives and multiple computers? So far we have not found a practical solution. It was such a shame that the firewire patch bay did not work for us!


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John Fishback
Re: Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP
on Sep 15, 2010 at 9:41:10 pm

I think your current FW approach is going to cause you endless pain. Search for "shared storage" on the Cow and you'll find a lot of discussion. Here's an article by Walter Biscardi about how he set up shared storage at his facility.

John

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FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

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John Speaker
Re: Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP
on Sep 16, 2010 at 3:20:45 pm

Thank you for your response. I read the article by Walter it was very interesting. It has opened my eyes to other options, but his solution seems a bit overkill for our small studio. We were looking for a solution more in the 100's of dollars rather than $10,000+. I'm going to do a bit more searching on the cow for shared storage and see if there is a more cost effective/practical solution out there. Thanks again.


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John Speaker
Re: Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP
on Sep 16, 2010 at 5:09:56 pm

is there any sort of device that I can plug all my drives into, and then each of our two computers directly connect to that device and can access the drives? I'm thinking a direct-attached setup is going to work best for us...this is a very small studio. Creating a SAN is going a bit overboard for our application. Our two computers are literally 4 feet apart from eachother and the drives are all within a couple feel as well.


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Matt Larson
Re: Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP
on Sep 16, 2010 at 5:50:56 pm

I wouldn't recommend connecting two computers to the same drive because of potential permissions issues. Perhaps you could buy two multiple-drive-bay-chasis and connect one to each computer, allowing you to easily swap hard drives. Something like this: http://www.cwol.com/serial-ata/4-drive-sata-backplane.htm

I've never tried this, so I can't vouch for it. As someone stated earlier, while it may seem like overkill, you really should consider setting up a small SAN. Eventually something always breaks and you will lose media...

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John Speaker
Re: Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP
on Sep 16, 2010 at 7:09:39 pm

Ahh, okay..so it seems if we want to stick with hard drives directly connected to the computers that we will need to buy a new hard drive array. It would be nice if there was a simple device that we could connect to our current drives just to makes things easier/simpler. It's just not in our current budget to create a SAN right now. Looks like we may need to keep our current setup of multiple different drives daisy-chained and such. It seems like the only practical solution for us right now is to put the drives in a central easy-to-access location to make switching between them easier. We have dedicated backup drives so if a work drive fails we will be safe. Thanks for your help guys. If anyone else has a clever solution for us it would be greatly appreciated.


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Cassia Lozinski
Re: Need solution to Routing multiple drives & two computers w/ FCP
on Dec 4, 2012 at 11:46:54 pm

Hi John,
Just curious if you ever found a small-scale solution to your problem. I'm in a very similar situation, and looking for a temporary low-cost solution until we can afford a SAN.
Thanks!


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