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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Help setting up a network for video editing using OSX Server

Hello MacRumors,

I've been a reader for many years, but I now have a situation with which I could use some expertise!

I'm a part of the communications team in The Global Fund, a humanitarian organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. I mainly work as a video editor and graphic designer, using Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator pretty much every day.

We've recently come into some roadblocks with our IT department, who would rather keep our Macs separate from their windows servers. As well as this, my team are looking to expand on editing suites, so we would need to create a simple small server for ourselves. This is where I need advice. We have a plan but I would really appreciate - not knowing anything about servers and data transfer - if it's the 'right' plan!

Essentially we would have a Mac Mini running OSX Server which is connected to some thunderbolt RAIDs (Thunderbolt so that we can daisy chain them easily) which would contain all of our media. I'm talking a dozen TBs of video and photo material which we will be accessing everyday for edits. This Mac Mini would be connected to a Switch which would connect to our local server (so that we can still run outlook etc) and then all of the workstations and iMacs that we have would connect to that switch as well to access the data on the RAID drives. As far as I'm aware, the switch we'll be using is a pretty badass sturdy one, so it shouldn't get clogged or over run by the quantities of data we're pulling through it.

Here's a diagram if it helps visualise the prospective setup:

So essentially my questions are the following:

Knowing that several computers will be drawing data from the RAID systems that are connected to the Mac Mini, do you think that the Mac Mini will be able to support this in the long term? Typically I'd say 1 computer will use around 20GB of files for one video project. Would it be a better idea to get a Mac Pro tower and run server OSX on this? Will it make a difference?

Does this setup make sense at all? I know very little about setting up servers so I may be missing the mark completely and over complicating things considering our needs. If so can anyone recommend a simple easy and elegant solution to allow several Mac workstations to access common media from some RAIDs?

I apologize if this is really vague or simply a stupid question. I could really use the advice of people who know about these things. Apple have been less than supportive of helping us with this.

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