Final Cut Server, will it fit our needs?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Don.Key, May 3, 2008.

  1. Don.Key macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #1
    Hi!

    I am running a small network of computers which is serving both home and office use, due to nature of our business and the fact that my family members love to make digital photos, we currently have over 150'000 digital images stored on the server, in addition to that there are over 20 hours of HD video on tapes waiting to be imported into online storage, and I expect this amount to grow very rapidly soon because there is a great interest in video making here.

    There are currently no apps for content management, all files are stored on the server in directory trees but slowly we begin to loose the overview and need something more sophisticated. This solutions absolutely has to be multiuser capable.

    Hardware wise, right now we run a simple Mac Mini with OSX Server and a FreeBSD file server for files.

    I am currently playing with idea of replacing all servers with one Dual 2Ghz PowerMac G5 with 4Gb if memory and U320 attached raid6 array. I also would like to install FC Server on it and use it to manage all our media files.

    So, how does FC Server perform on management of very large (200k+ of objects) catalogs of images and video?
    Will a dual 2ghz PowerMac be sufficient for such job?

    Regards
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    The G5 is on the lower end of the hardware requirements, but since you have mostly pictures and not much video the older hardware might not be problematic. How many client machines will be accessing the server regularly? How are you planning on connecting the server hardware to the machine(s) that will be doing the editing? That connection can definitely be a choke point.

    Final Cut Sever has been tested w/up to 3 million assists and performed fine (obviously if you have a data base that large it will perform slower than one that was significantly smaller).


    Lethal
     
  3. Don.Key thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #3
    There will be just 3 clients accessing the repository frequently (Many times in a day).

    The machines are all on GigE network, I do take care to ensure that all machines have full GigE performance (Good cabling, switches and so on).

    How does FCServer store the media files? Does it leave them in same place on disks where they where or moves / imports them to its own repository?

    Since I am quite familiar with PostgreSQL, I know that it will be a performance issue if files are stored in DB itself, I hope this is not the case.
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    FC Server won't require you to move your source media. So, for example, if all your media is on the Mac Mini and FC Server is on the G5 your media won't get moved/copied from the Mini onto the G5 by FC Server. The proxy files that FC Server generates don't have to live on the same box as FC Server either. It is recommend though to give FC Server it's own hardware separate from your media server hardware.

    To help conserve bandwidth you can tell FC Server to temporarily cache required media files on a users local for editing purposes. For example, Bob opens up FCP project X and all the media associated w/ Project X is copied off the media server onto Bob's local drive. Bob can now edit the project w/o taking up bandwidth over the network. If you only have a few clients dealing mainly w/photos GigE isn't a problem. But if you start having more clients regularly accessing more video content then things might start slowing down. The local caching feature should be able to help out a lot in that type of situation so you aren't forced to upgrade to fibre.

    Just as an FYI EditShare offers some good third party alternatives for centralized storage and media organization. I've never used their products personally, but they are supposed to be solid.


    Lethal
     

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