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Editing HD footage over Ethernet from a SAN Drive

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Richard Attieh
Editing HD footage over Ethernet from a SAN Drive
on Sep 3, 2014 at 6:28:45 am

Does anyone have experience editing HD footage via Ethernet (Cat 5E or Cat6)?

We are considering the change and want to hear pros and cons.



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Shane Ross
Re: Editing HD footage over Ethernet from a SAN Drive
on Sep 3, 2014 at 2:00:12 pm

The drive will have to be designed for playing back huge video files. Not all SAN drives via Ethernet are meant for that...most aren't, in fact. They are designed for data storage, but not VIDEO storage. Best solutions for ethernet are ones designed for video...Small Tree Communications makes such servers.

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Editing HD footage over Ethernet from a SAN Drive
on Sep 3, 2014 at 5:41:58 pm

You say "we" so I assume multiple people will be accessing the footage at one time. As Shane mentioned, there is much more to this than just putting a drive on the office network and letting everyone go at it. ProMAX and EditShare are two other companies that provide ethernet based shared storage solutions.

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Roger Poole
Re: Editing HD footage over Ethernet from a SAN Drive
on Sep 3, 2014 at 9:55:26 pm

I knew it was around somewhere, I read it a while back but couldn't remember where. Anyway, I found it and it should answer some questions on shared storage Here it is:

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Richard Attieh
Re: Editing HD footage over Ethernet from a SAN Drive
on Sep 10, 2014 at 1:52:35 am

Thanks for all of your answers. and great article Roger. Thanks so much.

I should be a little more specific about out set up and the issues. We have had these setup for about 3 years and the problems seem to be growing (or we might have some bad habits).

We have 3 edit suites connected to a 32TB infortrend SAN drive configured to raid 6 (to about 26TB usable space).

We are using the Tiger MetaSAN controller for Edits 1 and 2 connected via a 4GB fibre channel. Edit 3 is connected via Ethernet via MetaLAN. The first edit suite we turn on in the morning is the controller for the system. We are currently editing on FCP7 for video editing, and also have Premier and Avid installed (though we've not use them on this system).

Edits 1 and 2 are identical:
OSX 10.8.5
2 x 2.4 Quad Core Intel Xeon
8GB Memory
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB (standard with the machines)

Edit 3 is a much older machines (2008) and is really used to record voice overs more than anything else.

The SAN (A16F-G2430) has a 512MB Ram chip installed (which I am told is ample for what we need).

When Editing on Edits 1 and 2, the system is rather unstable. We experience random crashes when FCP just disappears and then gives us a crash report. Sometimes we get flashes of green or white in the preview and edit windows, and sometimes we get a half green and half normal picture in the windows. This usually precedes a crash where FCP shuts down.

When working on the projects, we also get 'Unable to Render', 'Out of Memory', etc messages that will not allow us to render or export projects without shutting down and rebooting the system.

We have found at the end of the day, if we turn off one of the non-controller machines, we can not save the FCP projects on the other machines. We have to rename the project files to save it.

Having done a bit of reading about these issues, we have regularly defrag out hard drives, updated MetaSAN software and keep our project files small. We also do not shut down any machines until all projects have been saved and everyone is ready to go home.

When we edit projects using our local hard drives, or a firewire drive connected to the computers, we do not experience any of these problems. Also, when we edit a project using Edit 3 via MetaLAN, we don't have these problems.

Some time ago, the company who we bought the system from in Sydney (Australia) helped us with troubleshooting and turned MetaSAN off. We were accessing the SAN using Fibre from only one machine, and we had the same problems.

I am starting to think the issue is with the Fibre connections from Edits 1 and 2, and am looking for ways to do away with Fibre and a SAN controller completely (as Tiger have just announced their support for MetaSAN is coming to an end).

We don't need to access the same footage or work on the same projects simultaneously from different edit suites. In our workflow, it would be great to have a projects folder on the SAN drive for any project that can be accessed from any edit suite. At present, we save the project files and media on our SAN and all render and auto save files go to the local hard drive and are deleted and archived as needed.

I have tried to provide as much info as I can, and am open to advice an thoughts on the best way forward.

Thanks so much.


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