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Anthony Bottini
Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 23, 2013 at 6:15:14 pm

Bear with me - I'm setting up a small studio for the first time and have very little experience with networked editing configurations. Would this make sense as a possible setup for three workstations (Mac Pro and 2 iMacs); I simply want to be able to access media from each workstation with the highest bandwidth requirement being that of multiple streams of Pro Res 42:

I've been using a Drobo 5D over thunderbolt connected directly to one workstation and its been great. Could I hook that same Drobo up to a Mac Mini, run Lion server off the Mini and link that server/drobo configuration via gigabit ethernet to all three workstations or is this the craziest, most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? To me, it sounds like things would bog down - but I'm exploring options and this seemed interesting enough to ask about. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

- Anthony


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James Moran
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 24, 2013 at 7:11:47 pm

I am in a similar situation and would really like an answer around this.


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Shane Ross
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:56:49 am

Connecting two workstations to a single drive RAID, or even multiple drives, is easy. Connect all the drives to one computer, then connect both computers via Ethernet, and then turn on SHARING, and with the second computer, connect to those drives over the network. Done.

THREE or more...that's where things get tricky. Now you need not only an ethernet hub, but a server computer to drive it, as well as have the drives mounted. Small Tree Communications, that advertises here, specializes in making those. I HIGHLY recommend buying this whole setup from a company that does this, rather than trying to rig it yourself, unless you are a skilled IT person.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Anthony Bottini
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 26, 2013 at 2:14:15 am

Thanks for the response, Shane. I think I may start with two computer setup. Do you think with that setup as you described it, that the second networked computer would be able to pull media off the RAID fast enough to edit HD video? I'm assuming in this configuration, we're editing with gigabit ethernet? I'll be using the new, black Mac Pro and a new iMac.

Still, on the three-or-more configuration, does my original description with the Mac Mini sound like it would work. I really like the small tree stuff but it might be a tad too expensive for our budget this time around.

Thanks for the info.

- Anthony


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Shane Ross
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 26, 2013 at 5:59:48 pm

[Anthony Bottini] "Do you think with that setup as you described it, that the second networked computer would be able to pull media off the RAID fast enough to edit HD video?"

Yes, because I've done it. Now, it has to be a FAST raid if you want BOTH machines to read from the same unit. eSATA might work for two machines reading one stream of video...but if you want multicam, or more than two streams playing on both, the drive will have to be connected via Fibre, or SAS, or Mini SAS. A FAST raid.

[Anthony Bottini] "'m assuming in this configuration, we're editing with gigabit ethernet?"

Yes.

[Anthony Bottini] "Still, on the three-or-more configuration, does my original description with the Mac Mini sound like it would work. I really like the small tree stuff but it might be a tad too expensive for our budget this time around."

A Mini as a server? That has USB and Firewire 800...one Thunderbolt port. That TB port might be fast enough for a couple streams...maybe. But seriously, get someone who knows IT and networking to set stuff up. It isn't like making screens for your windows...it takes a bit of technical knowhow.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Anthony Bottini
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:17:56 pm

Great information, thanks very much. The 'raid' was actually going to be a Drobo 5D which has been working great for multi-stream editing on my Macbook Pro Retina. I was thinking of at least trying a configuration where the Drobo was hooked to the Mac Mini server via thunderbolt and then the Mac Mini to an ethernet hub and out to the two or three workstations with gigabit ethernet. I'm betting that might bog down but I might find someone, as you said, who has know-how in network setups and see if I can get this configuration to work. I think I hear you cringing. Ya think the Drobo 5D thing is a lousy idea?

Thanks again.

- Anthony


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Shane Ross
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:21:43 pm

Three edit stations pulling off a Drobo? It sounds iffy. But as I have no experience with a Drobo 5D, or using a TB connected drive to serve three computers...I can't say. I have experience with a CalDigit HDOne connected via MiniSAS on my Mac Pro, sharing to my MacBook Pro via Ethernet...I was able to get that working with about 2 streams on each machine. Beyond that...I've worked on higher end shared storage: Unity, ISIS, Facilis Terrablock, Apple servers.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Anthony Bottini
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:24:35 pm

You da man. I might give it a try, with someone who knows what the hell they're doing, and see what happens as I've been having a great time with the Drobo thus far. If it doesn't work, I'll return the mac mini and go another direction. I think I can still hear you cringing - and for good reason. Thanks again for your time.

- Anthony


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Bob Zelin
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:53:39 pm

this should be on the SAN Networks forum.

The Drobo will be too slow. You have a single 1GbE connection on the Drobo. The Drobo is designed as a backup/archive solution, not a shared storage environment. There are lots of cheap NAS boxes on the market (and the usual suspects from the Creative Cow forums) that will do exactly what you want, but the Drobo will not.

If you want a dirt cheap NAS solution, a turnkey QNAP, Synology or Thecus WITH 10Gig Ethernet card and matching small switch will do this for you. But sticking a cheap "office depot" 1GbE switch on a desk with the Mac Mini, Drobo, and your 3 computers onto the same 1GbE connection, so that everyone shares from that single 1GbE connection - you simply don't have enough bandwidth to make this work.

There are lots of solutions on the market. They are discussed on countless forums on Creative Cow, including SAN Network solutions, NAS Network Attached Storage, ARRAYS and RAID setup, Storage, as well as the dedicated companies that make real shared storage solutions, including this forum, which is the Facilis forum, who makes a great product.

But LET ME ASSURE YOU - you are NOT going to find a solution for $1500 (the typical price of a Drobo 5D). You cannot have shared storage for $1500. Anyone that tells you that you can is on drugs.

Bob Zelin

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


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Anthony Bottini
Re: Small studio NAS setup...
on Jul 30, 2013 at 6:52:53 pm

Bob, thanks a bunch for the reply. I was expecting to hear something right along those lines from someone who has done this stuff extensively before. Still, let me push just to make sure I'm understanding the math and mechanics. I'm thrown off after reading the thread below. Does that guy's setup not seem like it would work well?

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?98623-Mac-Mini-based-media-serv...

Thanks again.


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