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Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?

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Mark Suszko
Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 25, 2014 at 9:13:14 pm

Say you have... um. a friend, who has five edit rooms plus a control room, and he... or she... needs a really reliable and fast server, using ethernet and thunderbolt to save 2k HD programs and raw 2K video from all five of the edit station RAIDS, AND, record a live 2k HD feed from the HD control room, simultaneously all to a broadcast quality central server.

W... um, my friend, would be offloading P2 cards, BluRays, and RAID drives to the system, and also be able to pull footage off it in a hurry, to make dubs to order. It has to be expandable, preferably non-proprietary, and start with a minimum of 100T of storage. Expansion has to be easy for a non-IT person to add.

You can name brands and makes if you like, but I'm mostly interested in giving my friend a ballpark number for what such a beast costs. Assume the most important qualities are reliability, speed, and capacity, not cost. Include a guess at installation and assembly costs, plus an extended warranty with 24/7/365 response. Price it to do things RIGHT, not just CHEAP. I'm sure it will be a large number. I'm just not sure HOW large. I have tightened the seat belt on my edit chair in anticipation of the notional figure. For my friend, of course.

My friend is not looking for bids or RFP's, just a an informed guesstimate based on what you've seen at NAB or in the trades or in someone's facility.


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Richard Herd
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 25, 2014 at 9:35:20 pm

The fancy gadget my Network Engineer friend operates is $10k/Gig, and that's the discounted research university pricing. Private party pricing my friend says is 10 times that per gig. It's an array with SSD at the top, 7200RPM below that, 5400 RPM below that and a fancy robotic LTO library. THe software figures out which data is used most frequently and keeps it at the top.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 25, 2014 at 9:58:12 pm

LTO gives me hives. Had some bad experiences with it, and our "deep" storage uses it. I occasionally get back some files from deep storage with random corrupted frames here and there.

If I had my druthers, I'd limit the system to RAID arrays and SSD arrays.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 25, 2014 at 10:41:36 pm

$30,000 for 100 TB of RAID 6 storage. Non proprietary, easy to use, no special software to install, all off the shelf components. Up to 11 clients for a "starter system", with the easy ability to expand the number of client computers. Want more clients, buy another switch. Want more drive storage, daisy chain it on. Each client will get about 100 MB/sec for every client using regular Cat6 cable.
Want more speed, so you can do RED Epic Dragon 6K - simply add a thunderbolt to 10G Ethernet box ($599 each per computer).

$30,000. Want less storage, it will cost less.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 25, 2014 at 10:44:29 pm

and you don't want SSD's in your RAID arrays, because they are too expensive. $1000 for a 1TB SSD, when you spend about $300 - $600 for a 6TB 7200RPM SATA drive. And $200 for a 4TB drive. So you do RAID 6 to prevent catastrophic failure. Look at any brand out there, including AVID and Facilis - no one is using SSD's in these arrays.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 25, 2014 at 10:46:55 pm

Call Small Tree Communications. Been running their stuff I guess 7 years now. As bullet proof as they get. Price? That all depends on what your friend needs. Call Small Tree, give them your specs on what you need to do and they will put together a quote.

We have 5 edit suites, ProTools Suite, Davinci Resolve Suite, 5 client iMacs, 2 Library iMacs, Production Manager and myself all hitting the NAS along with various other computers also tied in. We have almost 100TB across two Small Tree systems.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Mark Suszko
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 25, 2014 at 11:14:21 pm

Thanks both Bob and Walter; my friend will be glad to get this information! I don't doubt SSD's would be useful for some of that ultra high speed stuff they use for the Starlight project and things of that nature... I was assuming the "floor"cost would be somewhere in the five-figure range, but wanted a more exact sense of what you pay versus what you get, in the 100 TB range. What you guys have given is a good starting point for the next discussion I have with my friend.

If I can presume to ask for one more set of suggestions...

Among removable hard-drive-based rack-mount, multi-hour, 2KHD recording systems for live production, what's a good system to look at, that would connect to this notional NAS we're talking about? The AJA and BMD offerings both look similar in functionality...


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Bob Zelin
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 26, 2014 at 3:54:23 pm

Mark -
you keep referring to the 2K workflow, as if 2K, or 4K mean something. It doesn't. All these data rates are based on the compression codec that you are using (like ProRes422, Sony XDCamEX, RED r3d, DVCProHD, etc.).

Blackmagic and AJA record based on Apple ProRes codecs, or AVID DNxHD codecs, so it can be 2K 4K, etc, it's not some crazy bandwidth, because NO ONE is doing uncompressed versions of these.

So look at RED - specifically, the crazy hi end RED Epic Dragon shooting at 6K, at a 5:1 compression ratio.
Go to http://www.red.com/tools, click on Recording time, and pull up this selection, as it's about as hi end as you can get. This only requires 145 MB/sec, which is nothing for a 10G network from any company.
Standard AVID or Apple codecs range between 20 - 40 MB/sec, so they are nothing for any network.

There are lots of digital disk recorders. At the Cow, we like AJA and Blackmagic, but there are plenty of others, ranging from CineDeck to Softron, to Atomos, etc, etc, etc. All of these products work, just like all the shared storage systems work. You or your friend need to stop asking questions on Creative Cow, and start calling some of the companies that have been suggested to you, to ask them specific questions about their systems, their capabilities, and most important, their cost.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Sep 26, 2014 at 5:23:56 pm

Thanks, Bob; I was inarticulate in conveying the kinds of bit rates and codecs to be considered, and you cleared that up very well. And I will pass along your suggestions to the appropriate person. I wasn't comfortable just pulling a number out of the air because storage networks and appliances are not in my area of alleged competence.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Oct 1, 2014 at 10:41:30 pm

I guess they are not that much in a hurry, as no one mentioned has heard from "your friend".

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Pop quiz: if you need a huge, bullet-proof NAS server in a hurry?
on Oct 1, 2014 at 11:44:44 pm

Some stories don't have complete endings with everything nicely tied up in a bow, what can I say? I would certainly point them your way if they get to the point of looking for a consultant, but such talk is way too premature. This discussion happening offline is at a very, VERY early stage, and it's very possible nothing will come of it anyhow this year. I thank you for giving me what I needed most: a framework and a general "floor" number, somewhere in the ballpark, as a stepping-off point for their further discussions. They may listen to reason, or they might stay the course. That's all I got for now. The urgency came from one of those situations where something happens, and it opens up a short window to plant the seed of an idea in a key person's mind.

I'll let you know when the harvest comes around.


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