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jstancil

Video production footage server

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I work for a smaller video production house and we have a few hacks running here.  One of them right now is working as our server to backup footage and projects, but all the editing bays currently transfer all of a projects footage onto local drives when working on a project.  I'd like to build a central storage server that the footage lives on, and all the editors work through the network when connecting to the footage.  If possible I'd like to re-purpose the current server.  Here are the specs for it:


 


Intel Core i5-3570k 


Gigabyte GA-Z77x-UD5H


16 GB of Ram


GTX 660


Running Mavericks


 


Right now I have maxed out the SATA ports on the board.  I have four 3TB drives, stripped into two 6TB pairs, one backs up the other.  I have two 4TB drives, one backs up the other.  And some other storage drives for minor things.  I currently have 4 editors working daily, but would like this system to be scalable up to about 6 or 7 editors if possible.  How could I go about turning this hack into something that could serve out footage through the network to 4 editors?  Would I need to consider setting up the server for 10GB network and leave everyone else on Gigabit network?  Do I need to look at a RAID card to increase speed?  


 


Also do I need to think about running OSX server on this machine?


 


Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it!


Justin


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What kind of footage? What kind of network? Serving seven editing stations would require a good deal of bandwidth.

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Right now we work with .H264 footage out of Canon DSLR's and ProRes from a Black Magic Cinema.  Eventually we will probably upgrade to a C300 but even that maxes out around 50 MB/s I believe.  I just have a simple unmanaged gigabit network right now and intend to stick with that.  For right now I'd be excited about a solution that allowed 4 editors to work simultaneously if it's possible.

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If you are running a system as a file server and nothing else then you should probably install an OS designed to be used as a file server like FreeNAS. An actual SMB NAS would also be a fantastic investment.

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Thanks for your input.  What SMB NAS setups would be able to handle that much bandwidth?  Given my current "server" setup, which route would you take?  

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Alright, I like the idea of going FreeNAS even if we do only use it to archive and continue to keep footage local on the editing bays.  I appreciate everyones help so far!  Got a few other questions.

 

If I put in 32GB of ECC memory into this machine and run FreeNAS on it, do you think it's capable of handling what I've mentioned above?  For the network itself, would I need to get a 10 Gbps card for this machine, and if so do you happen to have some recommendations on that?  Is there another route you would consider to increase the bandwidth?

 

We are currently in construction for our next building and the network cables are coming up next to be pulled.  Would you go with Cat6 or Cat6a?  I've considered Fiber but it's too cost prohibitive for us right now.

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Thanks Drake, I've been reading over there for the last day or two and getting ready to post.  Appreciate everyones help pointing me in this direction!

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Which kind of "sharing" system do you intend to use? SMB, iSCSI, nfs? i think nfs and smb would be fast then iSCSI and, last but not least, if you use osx, you have not pay for them, iSCSI client is not free you have to pay for it 

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Good question, I'm really not sure what sharing system I need.  I obviously am in need of speed above just about everything else.  NFS should be the faster option right?  Is there a reason not to go with AFP since I'm in an all mac environment?

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Good question, I'm really not sure what sharing system I need.  I obviously am in need of speed above just about everything else.  NFS should be the faster option right?  Is there a reason not to go with AFP since I'm in an all mac environment?

Depending on your editing workflow: FCP bases on source files but Avid uses its own MXFs and source files using AMA - slower - as FCP. Working with Avid you can share MXF footage, bins, projects with more then one user in same time only using Avid's workgroup environment (expensive) but sharing one project with one user is possible. Apple offered FCP Server for footage managing.

Simple system: file server (e.g. hackintosh Mac Pro like) equiped with multiport eth. adapter(s) (e.g. 4x1Gb) - bonding or one 10Gb fiber or copper eth. adapter depending on switch you choose + managed (if you use bonding) switch (e.g 1x10Gb fiber + 8x1Gb copper).

If you plan to share source files with more then one user you need a wide enough bandwith : No. of users x No. of sequence tracks x bitrate of the one video track, in this case you need RAID adapter (e.g. ATTO, Areca, HighPoint, ) and good fast harddisks (raid edition are best). In short your file server has to provide e.g 4Gb/s @ 4 users.

You can omit switch and use only multiport adapter(s) directly connected to your workstations but may get troubles with communication.

GTX 660 is not needed, integrated (with CPU) is enough because you will manage your server  remotely.

Dig creativecow.net forum.

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We edit on Adobe, Premier Pro and After Effects.  I like the idea of bonding due to the cost of setting even just the server up with 10Gb plus the cost of the switch.

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