Ever wonder why there are two Ethernet ports on the back of a MacPro tower? Well I finally set up a dual network to keep internet traffic on one and our media traffic for editing across systems on another...see how on my blog.
This setup allows all the internet traffic, including iPhones and client laptops plus all our uploading and downloading to run separately from our editing network. We edit across the network routinely and this new setup keeps the big media files happily on one Ethernet network and the other traffic on another.
Bingo! Cost less than $125.
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
the two ports were put there for XSAN implementation, so you could create a meta data network on a second server (Xserve at the time).
We routinely use Ethernet port 2 for shared storage enviornments, but I am AMAZED that you can use a generic 1GbE switch, and have enough bandwidth to have 5 Mac Pros on the same network, and not have any "drop frame" errors". The entire bandwidth of a single 1GbE port is "theoretically" 125 MB/sec, but in real life about 100 MB/sec. The bandwidth of a single ProRes422HQ stream is 31 MB/sec, and other codecs are even higher, so I am very surprised that when you have 5 computers running, no one is getting stuttering, lockups or drop frame errors. When I started all of this in 2008, I tried the same thing that you are doing now, and I had nothing but problems.