Looking for a way to centralize studio's footage

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Benjamindaines, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Benjamindaines macrumors 68030


    Mar 24, 2005
    A religiously oppressed state
    We have a studio of 6 Macs (5 PowerMac G5s and 1 PowerBook) all running Final Cut Pro 5. Currently all the workstations capture onto their internal hard drives with no back up. What would be the best way to either set up a file server that all the computers would work off of (editing SD video, the occasional Motion project, and a DVD Studio Pro project once every few weeks)?

    Two ways I have looked at this are to buy a Mac Pro and load it full of 1TB (need 2TB of storage, the extra is for RAID) drives, setup file sharing, a gigabit ethernet switch, and hook all the computers together on a network; making the Mac Pro a giant hard drive that the workstations would edit off of. But with this I don't know if the 7200RPM drives would be fast enough (pretty sure gigabit ethernet is fine... opinions?) or if Mac OS X's file sharing would be able to handle all this load.

    The other way would be to set up a 7th computer (preferably a PC for cost reasons) that would connect to the Macs' FTP connections and keep it's hard drive synced up with the Projects folders on the Macs as well as capture scratch and maybe render scratch. Once all the FCP data is on the PC the Macs would have to be able to connect to the PC and access (download?) the data so projects can be worked on from any computer. But with this option I would have no idea where to start (other than finding a powerful PC with a ton of hard drive space). What software would I have to use? What gigabit ethernet card (for the PC) and switches would you recommend for this set up?

    All help is appreciated.

    PS... I'm thinking I'd like to use some kind of Linux for the PC rather than Windows, but Windows will be fine if that will be easier.

    PPS... All Macs are running Tiger
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The two solutions you propose are the same except for hardware. The Mac Pro is a total wast of money if iy is only going to be used as a file server. But if you like Macs and have the cash it would make a nice $4,000 hard drive.

    What you really need is a RAID system connected to a file server. You can buy these pre-build from Drobo. One drobo and one "drobo share" and you'd have a big network drive. The only trouble is performance. I doubt the drobo could support six macs all doing editis/renders at the same time.

    The PC based server could offer better performance if you designed it "right". Bt from what you've written you will need to either study up a litte or hire some one. If it were me. I'd find a nice server class PC with space for lots of internal disks, dual power supplies and good cooling. Then I'd install Solaris. It really is the best server class OS on the planet. I might use multiple Eithernet interfaces as the "six Macsediting at once" scenario means a lot of data. The machine would need a very fast disk system

    Apple would be happy to sell you an Xserve. It would be easier for you to buy this then learn enough to build a cheaper one yourself.

    And then you need software. While you coud simply share a folder what you really need is Apple "Final Cut Server" this can file you footage in a central place and allow multiple people to edit the same project.
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Take a lot at this article "Build your own affordable SAN -- that works!" over at CreativeCOW.

  4. timseley macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2008
    kansas city, ks
    final cut server

    agree with ChrisA - haven't had the opportunity to use final cut server myself, but it seems like just what you need
  5. Benjamindaines thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 24, 2005
    A religiously oppressed state
    That would be the ideal solution, but running it isn't critical enough to upgrade all of our software (running FCP 5 and Tiger).

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