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Best External Storage for multiple computers?

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kyler boudreau
Best External Storage for multiple computers?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 5:51:59 am

I've been around Avid's Unity solution for media sharing, but I don't have the cash to purchase something that in-depth.

I need external, RAID protected storage for my Mac Pro that will also play friendly if I hook up another MAC to work from the same drives. Is this possible without Final Cut Server or Avid Unity? Sometimes I have one system completely tied up with renders, and would like to be able to edit form another workstation without having to copy all the data required to do so.

Any suggestions are helpful. THANKS.

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Thomas Morter-Laing
Re: Best External Storage for multiple computers?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:38:30 am

At work we have a RAID system which is connected via Ethernet cables. Which works well. The only thing about not having server edition of FCp is it "talks" to each other if both computers are on the same network, meaning it only let's you try and edit on one machine at a time. Of course you should have bought one licence per machine though...

:D
Tom Morter-Laing
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Shane Ross
Re: Best External Storage for multiple computers?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 8:55:32 am

Final Cut Server isn't comparable to UNITY. It is a database application, for archiving and cataloging media. It isn't a shared storage solution. It is software. XSAN is Apple's solution to Unity.

You asked for the BEST in your subject line, but then talk about BUDGET in your post. What is your budget? Because you will need to buy a computer to be the server for the shared storage, then either go the Small Tree way and get an ethernet solution, or go the other software solutions like SANmp or MetaSAN or XSAN. Looking at about $15,000-$20,000 minimum. And a company to set it up, and provide support for it.

Shane

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walter biscardi
Re: Best External Storage for multiple computers?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 11:26:51 am

Maxx Digital has Final Share SAN - http://www.maxxdigital.com/fs/

Small Tree Communications also has a shared SAN. - http://www.small-tree.com/final_cut_shared_storage_solution_a/205.htm

We have their system installed in our shop for three years now and it's all ethernet based so the cost is literally pennies on the dollar vs. a Fibre Channel system. In our case we've been running 7 workstations on it for years and now will be adding 5 more.

So 2 to 12 workstations all on one ethernet shared storage system with no additional software to buy. You can edit ProRes HD all day long.

Here's my Cow article about the installation and how it works.

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/biscardi_walter/media_san.php

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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Best External Storage for multiple computers?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 3:21:25 pm

You need some sort of SAN - Shared Area Network to share the RAID.
The other possibility is a NAS - Network attached storage.

A SAN is safer as it does quite a bit more protection for data; the link that Walter put up will get your started.

Best,

Jeff G

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Walter Soyka
Re: Best External Storage for multiple computers?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 4:10:18 pm

[Jeff Greenberg] "You need some sort of SAN - Shared Area Network to share the RAID.
The other possibility is a NAS - Network attached storage."


Technically, the Final Share system (and all related systems) is network-attached storage (NAS) -- but it's a really, really fast NAS. Many of the traditional lines between NAS and SAN seem to be blurring.

Kyler, Mac file sharing, Ethernet-based, high speed editing NAS systems come up for discussion all the time on the SAN - Storage Area Network forum [link]. There's a lot of valuable information in past posts, especially from contributors like Bob Zelin and Steve Modica.

The bottom line is that even for a two-Mac system, you want the RAID attached to a dedicated file server.

Walter Soyka
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kyler boudreau
Re: Best External Storage for multiple computers?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 4:57:41 pm

Awesome guys - thanks for the in-depth information. I didn't realize Final Cut Server wasn't a "Unity" so that is good to know.

Oh the days when everything was film. I was editing off DVCAM tapes from the lab with microscopic storage requirements. =)

Even rendering in Final Cut seems to take so much space. Avid sort of ingests media and then works with it. But if you take footage through FCP and then Color you get a lot more wasted space it seems.

Again, thanks for all the info....

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kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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