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Inexpensive server / SAN solution for 2 premiere pro workstations

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Santanu Bhattacharjee
Inexpensive server / SAN solution for 2 premiere pro workstations
on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:39:56 am
Last Edited By Santanu Bhattacharjee on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:50:50 am

We have 2 workstations running premiere pro 5.5
We have them connected thru Gigabit Switch
We want to edit a project on any one of the workstations at any time.
We share common stock footage folder but do not share same files at the same time.
We don't open the same project on two PCs at the same time.
We have tried mapping drives on other machine in such a way that when we open a project the path architecture is not disrupted.
We have also tried to map the media cache folder to a common path.

When the project is loaded locally they play OK. When loaded over mapped network drive, the videos play, but every time a new clip passes the timeline head, it stutters and takes time to load. We have to stop the playback and then run the head second time over the same clip makes it play OK (buffering issue)

We do not use more than 2 HDV layers of videos. But use some effects.

Is there any inexpensive server solution? Existing SAN drives like Edit share / Final share / Facilis / Small Tree or server solutions are a bit expensive for just a 2 seat suite.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Inexpensive server / SAN solution for 2 premiere pro workstations
on Dec 12, 2013 at 3:48:47 am

[Santanu Bhattacharjee] "Is there any inexpensive server solution? Existing SAN drives like Edit share / Final share / Facilis / Small Tree or server solutions are a bit expensive for just a 2 seat suite."

Thecus, QNAP, Synology make relatively inexpensive NAS/SAN appliances ($500-$6K before drives) with generally nice performance and reliability, many upgradeable to 10GbE. No support for video apps and workflows of course. You could also build a DIY NAS for less - but not much less. A box such as this can also be set up as a SAN: an iSCSI target and SAN management software like SNS SANmp - which helps each computer see the shared volume as a local disk, minimizing lag and latency.

For a few HDV streams shared between two systems, I don't think you need more than four spindles - unless you prefer the redundancy of RAID6 (which can be set up on four drives, but ideally needs six or more). In other words you could look at a 4- or 5-bay NAS, which is around $600-1K from the usual suspects I mentioned above.

Oh, and you'd probably want to make sure your switch and router are adequate for the task. Nothing too fancy (Netgear unmanaged switches work) - but not too cheap either. Speaking of which, what are your switch and router?

Also, could you run a couple of tests?

If you re-assign the local drive letter to something else, and then map it to the same letter as a network share and open it on the same computer, does it behave the same? (I.e. lag, etc.)

What if you stripe a couple of drives and try again?

-- Alex Gerulaitis | Systems Engineer | DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Santanu Bhattacharjee
Re: Inexpensive server / SAN solution for 2 premiere pro workstations
on Dec 12, 2013 at 3:28:48 pm

Thanks Alex, for an elaborate response. All your solutions sound impressive. It am eager to first try the DIY NAS. I am not sure if plain TCPIP protocol is causing the latency. As you suggest iSCSI with a SAN management software may be the answer.

1. Why do you suggest 4 spindles? 2 x Raid 0 ?


"If you re-assign the local drive letter to something else, and then map it to the same letter as a network share and open it on the same computer, does it behave the same? (I.e. lag, etc.)"


That's exactly we tried to test. Map drive letter on the other PC exactly as the local, and then load the premiere project across network. It would load all assets. (sometimes index or reconform them). Then when you play back it does not play as smoothly as it was in the local.

Both PCs hv similar config, lots of RAM and are Mercury playback enabled. Connected by Gigabit LAN (Netgear GS608 v2 switch)

If network is not the bottle neck, i would look at striping disks.


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Inexpensive server / SAN solution for 2 premiere pro workstations
on Dec 12, 2013 at 7:17:24 pm

[Santanu Bhattacharjee] "1. Why do you suggest 4 spindles? 2 x Raid 0 ?"

The more spindles the faster the disk I/O (assuming they're all in the same RAID set), the more configuration options including RAID5.

[Santanu Bhattacharjee] "That's exactly we tried to test. Map drive letter on the other PC exactly as the local"

I meant the same PC, not the other PC. Just a test. You can map a local drive as a network share on the same PC and access it via the network rather than locally.

I'd also run a benchmark (HD Tune, BMD Speed Test, ATTO) to measure transfer rates and ideally, latencies on your network shares to get an idea what the speeds are.

-- Alex Gerulaitis | Systems Engineer | DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Inexpensive server / SAN solution for 2 premiere pro workstations
on Dec 13, 2013 at 6:35:47 pm

I just realized we're in a vendor-specific forum (Facilis) and not in a generic storage forum: my apologies to everyone for taking the discussion seriously off-topic; the discussion here should mainly revolve around Facilis products.

Santanu: if you'd like to continue discussion solutions not related to Facilis, please ask the admin to move it to the generic storage forum, or start a new discussion there.


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