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Brian Golding
Looking for Final Cut 7 server recommendations
on Jun 6, 2014 at 4:09:22 pm

Hello everyone,
I'm trying to find the best options in terms of setting up a media server for our company as we begin the second season of a TV series.

For this series alone, we'll have a maximum of over 20 individuals needing access to the media at any given time. They'll be using a combination of Mac computers running Final Cut 7 and OS X 10.8.3, including fairly new iMacs (thunderbolt connections, no disc drive), slightly older iMacs (thunderbolt connection with disc drive), and Mac Pro towers that are a couple years old (no thunderbolt connections). With a high shooting ratio, we'll likely be downgrading the footage to ProRes Proxy to work with it day to day, then uprez before we go into the online. The Proxy media alone, all-in, will likely amount to about 25-30 TB of data.

Essentially, we're looking to future proof ourselves instead of having to rent storage every time we start a new production. Something that's scalable is important as we will have our fair share of busy and not so busy stretches. I've worked with servers before but never purchased or set one up so consider me something of a layman when providing recommendations and advice.

In addition to looking for suggestions, here are some basic questions I have:
- Will we need to purchase a separate computer just to run the server, or can one of the edit systems double as a server manager? Would a dedicated server computer need to be Mac or PC or does it not matter?
- What can I expect in terms of general maintenance costs? What are the costs if I'm looking to scale up the data storage the server can provide?
- What do I need to consider when it comes to physical storage of the server? Does it need to be in its own cooled room to keep it from overheating?
- Should I update all of our computers to Mavericks to make them better compatible with the latest server hardware and software?

Thanks in advance!


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Shane Ross
Re: Looking for Final Cut 7 server recommendations
on Jun 6, 2014 at 4:32:01 pm

[Brian Golding] "- Will we need to purchase a separate computer just to run the server, or can one of the edit systems double as a server manager? Would a dedicated server computer need to be Mac or PC or does it not matter?"

Need a separate server. Mac, PC...doesn't matter.

[Brian Golding] "- What do I need to consider when it comes to physical storage of the server? Does it need to be in its own cooled room to keep it from overheating?"

Yes..most definately. And always running. Always.

[Brian Golding] "- Should I update all of our computers to Mavericks to make them better compatible with the latest server hardware and software?"

Best to have all the computers running the same exact OS and same versions of FCP. But Mavericks compatibilty with FCP isn't full. It works best under OS Snow Leopard thru Mountain Lion. Mavericks was the first OS written without concessions for FCP 7 in mind. And no update to FCP to make it compatible either. Yes...it "works," people have reported that it opens and they can do basic editing. But when you get more in depth, various issues arise.

ProMax just demo'd this recently...scalable shared storage with a BUILT IN server...

http://www.promax.com/s-266-promax-platform.aspx

There's also great options from Small Tree Communications.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Looking for Final Cut 7 server recommendations
on Jun 6, 2014 at 6:57:04 pm

So you are looking to build your own SAN from scratch?

This article by Bob Zelin is a few years old but you can still get the gist of what you need from it.

"Build your own affordable SAN -- that works!"
http://library.creativecow.net/zelin_bob/build_your_own_san/1

Honestly, I agree with Shane that a better route would be going with a turnkey solution (like ProMax) as opposed to that will likely cost your more in the long run unless you are experienced with this sort of thing.


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Brian Golding
Re: Looking for Final Cut 7 server recommendations
on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:47:06 pm

Bob's post definitely helped me wrap my brain around the basics. Thanks for the recommendation.


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Brian Golding
Re: Looking for Final Cut 7 server recommendations
on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:45:52 pm

I looked into ProMAX and it seems like a great solution. I've already spoken to a rep there and they've been very helpful.

Thanks, Shane!


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Jessica Muth
Re: Looking for Final Cut 7 server recommendations
on Aug 7, 2014 at 1:49:59 pm
Last Edited By Jessica Muth on Aug 7, 2014 at 2:44:15 pm

Hi Brian,

I am the Sales Operations Manager at Chesapeake Systems based out of Baltimore, MD. We are a video integrator that does the exact thing you are looking for. We specialize in workflows, storage, media asset management, backup and archive, in all aspects of video ranging from post-production companies to the private sector. We have helped many clients transition from Final Cut Server to a new media asset management in a very seamless way. We do a lot of business up in NYC and we would be happy to learn more about your environment and see if we could help in anyway.

I couldn't find your company's contact information, so if this is something you're still interested in, please feel free to reach out to us directly at prosales@chesa.com or you call me directly at 410-752-7729.

Thanks!

Jessica Mantheiy


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