New Storage Network
OK I am looking to create a new Storage network NAS/SAN, and I am looking for recomendations. I have looked at these so far:
Prices are all over the map, features are all over the map, Support contracts ugghhh! I want something that works and 4K is a must. 5 Edit stations 3 macs and 2 pc's. All can support PCI-e cards (yay!) 10Gig all the way. Archive function to an LTO a must. Offline proxy would be great. MAM or DAM integration a big plus.
We shoot Red, Alexa, Phantom 4Kflex, and work in Prores and Avid DNX HD on premiere pro.
Let it fly (I'll duck for Bob's punches)
I think you've been working with Shawn, but I wanted to chime in on this. I'm a bit biased, as I do work for ProMAX, but most everyone that responds on here biased ?
If LTO is a requirement then ProMAX, Editshare and Quantum are the only companies that make both shared storage and LTO archive. All the other options you mentioned are good products, but LTO archive means bringing in another product (and yes another support contract) and if they are separate products, then any integration between shared storage and archive is usually non-existent or, at very best, limited . That's the whole reason we built Platform, to put that all in a single interface.
If you'd like to hit up me or Shawn offline I can connect you with customers that have gone from separate shared storage and archive systems, to a Platform with the LTO built in. The experience is night and day, it's really improved user adoption of proper backup and archive functions. Best systems in the world don't work if they don't get used. That's why making it simple and integrated is critical (IMO).
Not sure when the last time you looked it was, but
on the integration and software.
Here's something that you didn't mention in your post and is maybe worth checking out:
Depending on the storage you need there are other products that LumaForge offers but what you described is definitely in this company's expertise. You should probably send an e-mail or call on the phone and get more information based on your specific needs.
no punches - not yet !
There are so many wonderful solutions out there today, and they all work ! For 4K work, you need 10G PCIe cards in PC's and older Mac Pro's. Newer Mac's that have thunderbolt use Tbolt2 to Ethernet adaptors from Promise, Sonnet, Small Tree and ATTO. And you need a 10G switch - most people use Netgear these days because they are so low cost.
Then you choose your shared storage system - and a lot depends on how many drives (how much storage) you need.
All the brands you mention are wonderful, and there are plenty of others. What else do you want to know ?
Rescue 1, Inc.
So.. What would Bob do? I have a budget. It's OK but I want to get the most bang for the buck so not cheap, but not Stratospheric. I would like to stay between 25K and 50K oh and I want it to just work I am too cranky to baby a hacked up storage solution. Yes I have talked to everyone that responded except for Lumaforge. I still feel like there is something I am missing. Why is the pricing all over the map? I even had one company charge me a license per 4 drives I would install in the system. That is just the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard. The only one I have not checked out is Facilis.
I have only one thing to say to you, Kevin -
Rescue 1, Inc.
I found your question “Why is pricing all over the map?” really interesting and understand why it seems odd, here’s my experience for what it’s worth.
Shared storage fast enough to edit video is now a commodity. It is recent that it has become a commodity - it used to be unique value position to create shared storage for video. This means, more low cost options flood the market, which drives price down. The price of simple shared storage is not much at all, maybe 20% higher than what you can build it for yourself. Many products on the market are not much more than DIY (Do it yourself) and/or not much more capable than a DIY solution.
I think there are two major factors to really look at that allow a manufacture to charge more 1) The breadth and depth of features beyond shared storage 2) How integrated those features are with each other and the storage.
As an example, you specifically mention LTO. You could save money by buying commodity shared storage and setting it up with a low cost LTO system. But the end result could be clunky and difficult to use. It took (not exaggerating) 2 years of development to fully integrate LTO backup and archive into the ProMAX properly. That wasn’t easy to do and it drove up both the depth of features, the interaction between those features and the value companies receive from it. That example made our product less of a commodity, which maintains a higher price point than something that has less depth and integration.
Hope that helps.
Indeed, we're all somewhat biased... ?
I believe that all the solutions you mentioned (as well as Lumaforge) are fairly mature and should give you satisfaction on performance because ProRes 4444HQ only requires 250MB/sec. So for 5 workstations, that's a total of 1GB/sec. As such, 16 drives should deliver enough performance for your requirements (please consider more drives if you plan multicam or do lots of ingest/data copies WHILE editing). A single 10GbE link per workstation will also be fine.
The main difference between these various systems will likely be in the proposed workflow and how you can integrate them in your existing environment. For instance, what do you currently use for storage (i.e. speed and capacity)? And do you feel it still has life into it or is it time to retire it?
Storage tiering is a great way to optimize costs as it allows you to leverage data lifecycles. For instance, the bulk of what you keep on your NAS/SAN is unlikely to be used in the next hour or two, so why keep it on expensive specialized storage when you could store on commodity IT storage?
There are a few ways you can "tier" data. For instance, many storage vendors promote SSD RAID caching. While it is convenient (you don't need to worry about anything) there are two potential issues with this approach. First, it is unlikely to work with your existing storage (you will likely have to forklift everything and are locked in). Second, and perhaps more important for video workflows, RAID caching is unpredictable because it operates at block level (i.e. the RAID controller has no concept of files, it only knows about blocks of data). It is therefore not possible to predict if a given file will be in the SSD when you need it. This mean it is virtually impossible to ensure there will never be drop-frames during playback.
Another "popular" approach consists in promoting the use of an "online" SSD volume separate from the "nearline" HHD volume. This approach puts the burden on the users to manually choose, which "projects" or "files" should be moved to the SSD volume (or out of it). This data movement leads to two problems: First, you will likely end up having to buy a fairly sizeable SSD volume because everyone will want to have their data on it; and second, you will be facing a bunch of broken links (requiring relinking in applications) each time a project is moved.
Tiger addresses both of these challenges through its Replication&Tiering module. This module presents a unified volume to the users and handles all data movement transparently between the primary (online) and secondary (nearline or archive) tiers of storage. This module is available with Tiger Box1 SSD (if you already have storage) as well as on the hybrid version of Tiger Box (combines SSD acceleration with spinning disks). In both cases, the result is a super fast system that delivers sustained performance exceeding 3GB/sec without having you to spend lots of money on SSD because the system ensures all the "hot" files are pushed in the primary tier and moves all aging data to the secondary one. The overall solution is much more cost effective and much more user friendly because users only need to deal with one volume. Opening a file or a project is all it takes to ensure it gets loaded into the primary tier. If the target is fast enough, there is no perceived delays at all. Users also have a visual indicator to see which files are in the primary tier or not. They have the confidence that the right data is always at the right place at the right time. Note that this Replication&Tiering module supports various replication targets (local RAID storage, NAS, Tape Libraries, Cloud Storage, etc.) so there is no more need to look up a MAM or archiving software to figure where your "old" content has been moved to. Just browse to your original folder and click on the project or file you want to automatically access it!
BTW I thought I would share this info because I think a lot of people are not aware such a workflow is possible; yet it is a great way to get amazing speeds at a very reasonable price.
bernard at tiger-technology.com
You said you spoke to everyone but LumaForge. And you still didn't have your solution... I'm sure you see where I'm going with that... :))