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New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?

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Morten Ranmar
New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 8:44:02 am

I have a MacPro Server with a SmallTree 6 port Gigabit Ethernet Server Card, connected directly to 3 MacPro video editing clients (PremierePro), and else connected to a Gigabit switch for the graphics department.

My current Storage is an aging Apple X-Raid with only 3 TB total capacity, and I am starting to get errors and replace drives every 5-6 months. Only have one spare drive left (250GB) and am running out of space - so I figured it is time for a new storage solution.

My reseller has come up with 2 options:

1) Keep the current MacPro/SmallTree solution, and change the storage to an Eonstor ESDS-S12F-G2840-4B with 12 x 3TB Seagate 24x7 SAS.

2) Change to a powerful NAS solution (do not know which processor system) with 12 x 3TB Seagate SATA disks, and 4 built in Gigabit ethernet ports (can be expanded), built on the ZFS file system for drive security.

The Eonstor is a quite expensive, and I could really use the MacPro for other applications, so I am considering the less expensive NAS solution, but could really use some advice here...

- No Parking Production -

2 x Finalcut Studio3, 2 x Prod. bundle CS6, 2 x MacPro, 2 x ioHD, Ethernet File Server w. X-Raid.... and FCPX on trial


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Nate Cooper
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 12:44:27 pm

Hey Morton,

Is there a reason you aren't checking out some video specific solutions? Both of those options use standard networking protocols to re-share storage, generally this isn't ideal for post and managing it is a pain.

For 3 workstations check out http://www.promax.com/s-223-promax-platform-studio.aspx

You can also watch a 4 min video on the software that drives it here http://www.promax.com/s-238-platform-manager-software.aspx

Good luck!

Nate Cooper
nate.cooper@promax.com


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Eric Newbauer
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 3:26:30 pm

Hi Morten,

In addition to ProMax (and my company, SNS) there are a number of companies here on the Cow -- Maxx Digital, Facilis, EditShare, ProMax, SmallTree, SNS, and others -- who build shared storage solutions that were created to do specifically what you want to do.

One of the major benefits to going with a purpose-built solution from companies like us is that we've pretty much seen it all before, meaning, we've already come across or anticipated problems that are specific to video storage, and the answers to those problems are already baked into the products. (We happen to know things like "which model/firmware of drives work best with FCP" because we've already done the testing...) The other major benefit is that if you come across new issues with our products, we're far more likely to be able to drill into the problem because we have labs setup with the same kinds of hardware/tools you have.

That being said, here's a shameless plug for our EVO SAN/NAS shared storage system. :-)

http://www.studionetworksolutions.com/evo/

Eric Newbauer
Studio Network Solutions (SNS)
http://www.studionetworksolutions.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 4:26:15 pm

Hi Morten,
I can't agree with Nate and Eric more. There are so many good solutions out there - Studio Network Solutions, ProMax, Small Tree, and everything that Eric Newbauer just mentioned. If you own a Small Tree PEG6 card, and things are working out for you, I just can't understand why you would not speak to Small Tree about a bigger system? What is up with trying to "home brew" a system, instead of buying a name brand, turnkey system, that you know will work perfectly, and you will have support for ?
'
If the Eonstore from Infortrend is too expensive, why don't you simply contact the companies that post on this forum day after day ? Let me assure you that EVERY ONE OF THEM can offer you a turnkey solution, for less money than the price of the Infortrend.
And all of them will work, with zero aggravation for you and your company.

Bob Zelin

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


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Morten Ranmar
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 5:17:33 pm

Hi Bob

The reason that we built our current storage system, based on a MacPro Server, and the SmallTree card with Jumbo Frames enabled, was actually your great advice on this forum.

This system has been totally reliable, and has delivered the necessary bandwidth for editing with 3 workstations (compressed media). So if I just exchanged the Array to a larger model, I would retain the performance that we have gotten used to.

But now my reseller is offering me a dedicated NAS system, much like the ProMax or SNS solutions, which they have made successful installs with for a couple of other editing companies, and I was just curious if such systems are advisable to use?

I will certainly also look for quotes from the kind gentlemen who have chimed in on this forum. But to be honest, I am more comfortable with sticking to the local reseller (Denmark that put together our original system, since they also have great support.

- No Parking Production -

2 x Finalcut Studio3, 2 x Prod. bundle CS6, 2 x MacPro, 2 x ioHD, Ethernet File Server w. X-Raid.... and FCPX on trial


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 6:03:58 pm

[Morten Ranmar] "But now my reseller is offering me a dedicated NAS system"

What is his reason for doing so (vs. replacing the existing box with a faster, better, larger, more reliable one)?

I'd also look into other NAS installs that reseller did, talk to those other editors, find out their reasons, and if they're satisfied.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 11, 2013 at 5:21:02 pm

[Morten Ranmar] "1) Keep the current MacPro/SmallTree solution, and change the storage to an Eonstor ESDS-S12F-G2840-4B with 12 x 3TB Seagate 24x7 SAS. "

Isn't it a Fibre-Channel box? What did the reseller propose, direct-attach it to the Mac Pro or build out a whole Fibre-Channel based NAS?

If direct-attached, I'd look at direct-attached SAS boxes - significantly under $10K for 36TB raw. If they proposed a full-scale FC SAN, then it's big $$ indeed.

[Morten Ranmar] "2) Change to a powerful NAS solution (do not know which processor system) with 12 x 3TB Seagate SATA disks, and 4 built in Gigabit ethernet ports (can be expanded), built on the ZFS file system for drive security."

If the reseller is intimately familiar with your workflow, and knows what he is doing in terms of configuring NAS and ZFS for post (there are some serious limitations) - sure. If you are not sure - I'd go with other posters' advice - get a video-specific shared storage solution from one of the vendors they mentioned. DIY high performance NAS for post is not yet worth the headache in most cases.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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EricBowen
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 12, 2013 at 5:01:49 pm

Have you looked into 10GBE Adapters from Small Tree? Couple those with a DAS SAS system on the Mac that Alex suggested and you will have far better performance than a NAS system for multiple clients. Protocol streamlining only offers so much performance gain. You can get very affordable 10GBE switches with these

http://www.netgear.com/business/products/switches/prosafe-plus-switches/XS7...

http://www.small-tree.com/Intel_Based_10_Gb_PCIe_Dual_Port_Copper_10_Gb_Et_...

http://www.small-tree.com/Intel_Based_10_Gb_PCIe_Dual_Port_Copper_10_Gb_Et_...

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Bob Zelin
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 12, 2013 at 8:00:54 pm

Hi Eric -

i see that you are Thecus dealers. How do you like the Thecus for a shared storage environment ?

Bob Zelin
http://www.adkvideoediting.com/storage.cfm

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


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EricBowen
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 12, 2013 at 8:16:30 pm

Hello. The Thecus units have good performance via iSCSI and very easy management tools. The Build Quality is good and reliability has been excellent with zero failures so far. The 8800Pro V2 or higher with PCI-E 8x expansion slot is a key feature most Nas/iSCSI units don't have and they have finally added support for almost all of the Intel 10GBE Ethernet cards to the firmware. I cant say enough how much of a game changer that is for small business with today's bandwidth requirements climbing on the 2K+ workflows. Couple those with the Inexpensive Intel 1 or 2 port 10GBE network cards and the sub $1000 Netgear 10GBE network switches and you have a blazing 10GBE network based multiclient editing solution ideal for small business with a far lower investment cost than Fiber especially considering the infrastructure costs differences. I would also like to say Thecus support is good and has been very responsive to clients. I recommend them to any clients looking for different network storage options regardless of where they are purchased.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Bob Zelin
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 13, 2013 at 5:07:52 pm

excellent response Eric -
so I guess Thecus is another player is the entry level NAS boxes with 10gig, that include
Synology and QNAP.

Yet another reason to not try to "do it yourself" with all these solutions readily available on the market.

Bob Zelin

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


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 13, 2013 at 6:07:09 pm

SAS expansion is nice, don't think either Synology or QNAP allow that kind of expansion. Eric, have you worked with any of their rack boxes (N12000/N12K Pro)? How quiet are they?

(Just shipped an 8-bay 2U 10GbE QNAP box to a client - while really well engineered, it's fairly loud even with fans in "low" mode; CPU usage is 30-50% during array rebuilds - a little high for my taste; makes me wonder what the loads will be with lots of random I/Os over 10GbE and SMB/AFS. iSCSI should be fine. Support is good so far - but not on their forums. Same with Synology. Features and value-wise, I like Thecus boxes the best - thanks for the tip.)


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EricBowen
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 15, 2013 at 3:12:42 pm

Yes I have sold and tested several up to the 8800Pro V2. I have not tested the 12 or 16 bay units yet. The 8800Pro V2 was quiet compared to most SAS chassis units I have worked with other than 8 bay SAS tower units from Enhanced Technology/Pro Avio. I have tested Qnap but not Synology. I was not impressed with Qnap considering the cost. Synology is the current IT standard used in Enterprise. I wouldn't mind testing one if I get the chance. I agree that so far Thecus is the best overall.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 15, 2013 at 6:02:09 pm

Thanks Eric,

[EricBowen] "I have tested Qnap but not Synology. I was not impressed with Qnap considering the cost."

When I was researching this, Synology seemed to have very limited 10GbE options, while with QNAP it was, like, just put a 10GbE card, and you're all set, and indeed I was. QNAP was also less expensive than Synology for an 8-bay 2U 10GbE-ready unit. That said, I'd have likely chosen Thecus over QNAP if I had a chance to research it more or heard your comments sooner.


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Bob Zelin
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 15, 2013 at 9:41:59 pm

when you say that you were not impressed with the QNAP - did you have the dual port 10gig card in your QNAP ?

bob zelin

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


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EricBowen
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 15, 2013 at 10:10:57 pm

No I did not. I was not real impressed with the management utility and build Quality when compared to Thecus however the Qnap was still more expensive. Thecus has added most of Intel's 10GBE cards to their supported list ie firmware which was what I was waiting for.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Bob Zelin
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 15, 2013 at 10:18:51 pm

then no offense Eric, but how on earth can you evaluate ANY of these products in a professional video environment for speed and performance without the 10gig card ? The QNAP, and Synology (and I assume the Thecus) is just a generic office NAS without that 10gig card (same goes for the Netgear ReadyNAS). This is why I always bitch about the useless Drobo, when people try to use it for shared storage enviornments - there is no 10gig option, and so, crappy performance.

QNAP offers both SFP+ 10 gig cards (from Emulex) and their own 10GbaseT card for their boxes. I am not here to promote QNAP - I know that all of these boxes are generic Linux chassis, with a standard 1GbE interface. Without a fast interface (bonded Ethernet, 10g Ethernet, fibre), you really can't test any of these systems for performance in a video environment. 2 Mac clients pulling 90MB/sec each from a single 1GbE port on the NAS will crash the NAS.

Bob Zelin

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


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EricBowen
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jul 16, 2013 at 3:05:22 pm

Simply because performance is not the only reason clients get the Network based units. I can go to Intel and get the performance specs of their 10GBE Ethernet products and what they have tested with. I can use the Network engineers who focus on this as reference for performance. I can also take the total bandwidth available per 10GBE channel which is 1.2GB/s and state that is the deciding factor on performance available. What I cannot do though is use their reference for ease of setup, management, and maintenance. I also cannot use their reference for build features such as quality, reliability, or noise level. Those I must look at myself. When I state Thecus management utility is extremely easy to use then I have tested it and had clients report back their feedback. I have clients IT staff configuring and maintaining the units with ease. I have end user clients who are able to setup, configure, and maintain these network units on their own without any assistance which btw is very important to them. This gives a strong impression of the product to the client who spent the money to purchase it. BTW I did Gbit testing here with both units and they were nearly identical in performance via Gbit with load balancing. Drobo is a completely separate product because they run the virtual raid which significantly reduces performance and raises latency. That is why I would not recommend that unit for any purpose beyond archive. If performance was the only factor any client cared for then none of these units would be built without 10GBE built in. Considering this support has only been added recently outside of Fiber, I would not consider that the only deciding factor. Clients want reliability of data integrity and hardware as much as they want performance if not more so. They also want to be able to configure the add on hardware without having a permanent IT staff on hand.

1 last note. 10GBE performance affinity and latency is decided by the network controllers and switches. It is not decided by the firmware or hardware used in the storage unit.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Andrew Ryann
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Oct 16, 2013 at 7:10:08 pm

A real world example: We have a Thecus N16000 with 16x3TB Hitachi Ultrastars link aggregated (dual) to an EdgeCore ES4528V switch. We have a MacPro, iMac and depending on our workload, 1-2 MacBook Pros all editing the same footage with no issues at all. We are using mostly CS6 and CC apps working with ProRes, AVCHD, DVCPROHD and even H264 from the 5D all natively. I just ran the BlackMagic Disk Speed Test on the iMac and was pulling 115mbps read and write to the Thecus. Then started opening successive video streams on the MacPro and the speed to the iMac never changed. Pretty impressive for a 1gig net! I think at some point will get the 10g SFPs for both the switch and the Thecus, but for now, it's all dandy!


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Cassia Lozinski
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - or integrated NAS solution?
on Jan 22, 2014 at 11:08:26 pm

Just curious if Morten ever decided on a new setup?? I'd love to hear what you settled on.

-Cassia


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Morten Ranmar
Re: New Fibre Storage for my SAN - UPDATE
on Jan 23, 2014 at 8:22:13 am

Here is the solution we chose:

-MacMini top model, Mavericks Server
-Thunderbolt attached ARECA Thunder8 Raid 38x4TB (Raid6 configuration)
-Thunderbolt attached Sonnet PCIe Expansion with SAS card, and Small-Tree 6 port Gigabit Ethernet Server card
- SAS connected LTO5 drive

Server runs Farmers Wife planning and scheduling software, File sharing through AFP and SMB2
Clients (Mac & Wn) connect to server through direct ethernet connection (Jumbo Frames enabled on Mac) to Small-Tree card

....and the verdict: it works great... but... I believe there is an issue with the Mavericks clients connecting through SMB2, where server contact sometimes momentarily freezes. We work around this by force connecting through AFP.

- No Parking Production -

Adobe CC, 3 x MacPro, 3 x MbP, Ethernet File Server w. Areca ThunderRaid 8.... and FCPX on trial


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