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SAN recommendations for FCPX environment

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Fred Weston
SAN recommendations for FCPX environment
on Mar 16, 2015 at 8:03:08 pm

Hi All,

Sorry if this post is miscategorized or the material has been covered before. I am in IT for a company that has an in house creative department which does a fair amount of video editing using FCPX. Presently we have 2 hot rodded Mac Pros which are connected to a Promise Vtrak SAN via fibre channel. For controlling access to the shared block storage we are using a product called MetaSAN which was recommended by the VAR that installed it. We have two Mac Mini systems which are functioning as MDCs so in total we have 4 Macs attached to the SAN.

MetaSAN is scheduled to be EOL at the end of the year and the manufacturer has stated that they will not be providing support for any new versions of OS X thereafter, so we have to switch to another product.

Xsan seemes to be the logical contended in my mind, and I originally suggested it but we ended up going with the MetaSAN solution at the vendors recommendation. They're still recommending against Xsan as they're claiming Apple are no longer supporting it but I couldn't seem to find any evidence to support that statement on Apple's website.

We've had a few minor issues with MetaSAN in the 1-2 years we've been using it. Mainly Macs will "forget" their association to the SAN and have to rejoin it. This is a simple matter of clicking a few buttons in the MetaSAN applet in system prefs. This doesn't happen frequently but when it does it makes me nervous because technically that system has block level access to a volume that it doesn't know other systems may be writing to, so it seems like there is some potential for data corruption in this circumstance.

For this reason, my thinking is that we should be sticking with Xsan since it's an Apple product engineered and supported directly by Apple, not by a small company as is the case with MetaSAN. We've had a few instances where Apple (supporting OS X and FCPX) point at MetaSAN and the MetaSAN folks point at Apple, which is a difficult position for me as a non-creative person (e.g. someone that knows next to nothing about FCPX) to be in.

At the end of all that rambling, what I'm looking for is someone that knows more about shared storage in an FCPX environment than I do to weigh in and tell me if Xsan is what I should be looking at, or if there's another solution that makes more sense.

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Bob Zelin
Re: SAN recommendations for FCPX environment
on Mar 16, 2015 at 11:59:29 pm

Hi Fred -
I see that this is your first post on Creative Cow, and unfortunately for you, you have wound up with the most unprofessional, rude person on this user forum. Before I start my rant, I would like to mention that ALL the professional manufacturers that you see advertise here, right here on Creative Cow - right here on the banner ads that you are looking at right now - ALL have solutions that will work perfectly for you. So you have come to the right website, and you have come to the right user forum. Unfortunately you have wound up with the most unprofessional of all the people that participate on this forum. If you are lucky, my post to you will be deleted.

Fred - you are an IT professional ? Let me be the first to inform you that there is a new invention called the INTERNET, and there is a wonderful tool called GOOGLE that allows you to research technical subjects !!! Amazing - right ? You will find that if you research your wonderful product MetaSAN, that it is a widely accepted product, with countless users, and countless professional partners. And while MetaSAN may be "end of life" - it lives on, with their new product called TigerShare -
look - they even have a website !
and here is the replacement for your MetaSAN product -
and it is even certified with Accusys Exasan, which is another wonderful product. But you can continue to use your existing hardware, or you can get Tiger's Tiger Serve 1, and guess what - they have SUPPORT so they can help you get everything setup.

Gee - this is kind of amazing, isn't it ?

And on top of this, on this wonderful Creative Cow forum, there are countless manufacturers that offer wonderful shared storage solutions, in addition to Tiger Technologies (and Accusys) that will be able to give you shared storage for FCP-X.

They include Facilis (I always use their name, because it reposts all of this to their forum), EditShare, AVID ISIS, Studio Network Solutions, Maxx Digital, ProMax, small Tree Communication, Apace, and countless other people that make a wonderful working solution for FCP-X - and you can find them RIGHT HERE on Creative Cow - all hawking their products.

But you want to choose Apple ? Why don't you go down to the local Apple Store, and make an appointment with your local Apple Genius, and ask him a couple of questions about XSAN. Let's see how much they know. You are better off with ANYONE (and especially with Tiger Technology since you already own their product) than Apple. Apple could not give a crap about you - but ALL of these other companies will KISS YOUR BEHIND to make sure that you are supported, and that you have a working system.

do you actually think that Apple XSAN (which is actually a licensed product from Quantum called StorNext) is without issues, and that APPLE support people will be able to support you properly - better than Tiger Technology ? Well, you are fooling yourself.

do some research right here on this forum, and on creative cow, and by calling some of the companies I mentioned (if you forget, they are in the banner ad's), and you will get the proper PROFESSIONAL help that you need. And it won't be from Apple.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.

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