NAS/SAN for video editing questions.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nateo200, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #1
    Alright so the place I work/volunteer for recently has expanded a bit (my church) and we are super short handed on not just people who can do photo and video stuff but storage and equipment! I brought this up with my boss, shes real tech know-how (Broadcast TV background) and I mentioned the possibility of using a Network Attached Storage device to offer allot of space for video editing and high speed access. Her machine's are an older MacBook Pro and her main editing machine is a 2010 iMac, not sure but I think hers does NOT have thunderbolt, I know it doesn't have USB 3.0 (painfully slow USB 2.0 kills me now!). We mainly record every sundays service and of course special events...however videoing events is sort of constrained by the lack of disk space I feel. I have a few questions, if your curious about my main editing machine its a retina MacBook Pro Quad Core 2.4GHz i7 (in my sig).

    -She uses Final Cut Express and I use Final Cut Pro X. Compatibility issues have been an issue obviously but its not really a huge issue, my main concern is whether Final Cut Express or even Final Cut Pro X will handle a NAS smoothly. I know FCP X will but I'd like to hear experiences. The office has an Airport Extreme already idk if that helps with comptability or whatever.

    -How is the speed of Gigabit Ethernet compared to USB 3.0 or Firewire 800? It should be pretty fast right? On par with Firewire 800 if not better right? I'm wondering if when connected to Ethernet either of us will have problems editing 1080 footage from a Panasonic AVCHD camera. Additionally Is it feasible to access a NAS over WiFi provided you have a solid connection with 802.11n? My rMBP doesn't have 802.11ac nor does the airport extreme she has support that but just curious. We won't exactly be editing any insane footage, usually deliver a 720p file since we reframe the 1080p in a 720p timeline...if this isn't feasible are their affordable gigabit Ethernet bridges? I know of the ones that use existing wiring like outlets but those seam to only support 100megabit Ethernet.

    -Brand wise I've looked at the Pegasus series, and Drobo..Drobo seams to be ALLOT more affordable and her dad has some professional experience with Drobo NAS systems so its looking like Drobo will be the winner if we get a NAS. Anyone have experience with one?

    Thanks in advance....sort of testing the waters here since I like to have answers to questions before they are asked and am looking at a much smaller scale NAS option for home use.
     
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    You have a lot of constraints to be sure based on yours and the other person's equipment.

    First - FW800 is superior to USB2. For local external drives, this would be a better fit than USB2. There are plenty of enclosures available and best to use a good high speed drive(s). There are also external enclosures that are "RAID" able meaning they can have more than one drive within that are used together to maximize speed.

    Regular NAS via ethernet (or AC for that matter) may not be a really good fit as there are load times locally with your application and also the NAS has its own overhead. In some companies, they use shared storage via 10gig LAN or by the use of fiber network which is much much faster.

    NAS however, does have the advantage of holding large amounts of data and being a centralized location for your media files. Perhaps the best thing to do is to research and get a decent NAS for centralized storage and THEN try to see if you can use it also for editing purposes.

    To get you started, go to the 'smallnetbuilder' site and it has plenty of reviews of NAS units so you can see what might suit your needs. Netgear, Synology, QNAP, Thecus are all commonly known makers of NAS units along with a few others. Drobo units are very popular but alas, I can only express an opinion that I don't believe they are very fast (the NAS units they offer).

    In your shoes I might do the following -

    For Macs with USB 3 or Thunderbolt get a respective USB 3 or Thunderbolt external enclosure and the right drive to put inside.

    For MAC with USB 2 and Firewire 800, get the latter as an external enclosure as FW800 is faster.

    For centralized storage, get a NAS unit. Just be sure to calculate enough storage for future additions (files). Also be absolutely aware that no NAS is a real back up solution. You may want to look for back up solutions for your files. If they are small enough, you can store them on archival DVD or CDs. This type of media doesn't come cheap but is not overly expensive. (Read up on archival disc media and see what brands come up).

    Good luck!
     
  3. nateo200 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #3
    Thanks. I use Firewire 800 over USB whenever possible. In fact with non-SSD spinning disks I find Firewire 800 to be much faster and smoother than USB 3.0 and running Black Magic Disk Speed test confirms that Firewire 800 hits 75mbps read and write while USB 3.0 only hits 62mbps read and write on the same drive. We both have a pretty solid background with professional video and know that Firewire is where it is at. We both make extensive use of external hard drives but shared disk space would offer better logistics. 10gigabit ethernet does look like a good choice, they make adapters for Thunderbolt to 10gigabit ethernet but I imagine a gigabit ethernet device on the network might slow everything down? Or am I wrong? Fiber really isn't an option...old church. NAS wouldn't be used as a backup, I imagine we'd explore options such as LTO-4/5 or other tape and disc formats. The NAS would be for storing content on a short to medium length time and then once destributed and determined not to have a future need for the master file it would be deleted. How would a USB 3.0 external hard drive connected to the airport extreme fair in comparison? Probably not as fast?...but NAS with a RAID 5 set up wouldn't cut it for backup you don't think? I know its best to rotate amongst drives and as many locations as possible and I do that at home but just curious. RAID wouldn't be a priority unless it offered a realistic fail safe in my situation I would think.
     
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    You have so many things going on and perhaps best to break them down into smaller bites.

    Firewire 800 will only be faster on external drives with respect to USB 3 if there is a chipset issue or the CPU is taxed in the computer and thus USB 3 being CPU bound suffers. A really nice option for USB 3 is - Firmtek 2.5 drive with an SSD within. It is far faster than Firewire 800. The Samsung Pro is a good drive as is the EVO series (up to 1tb but more like 940 gigs). This might be a good option to investigate. Barefeats (if I recall) did a review on the Firmtek offering and it appears to be superior to other USB 3 counterparts where enclosures are concerned.

    NAS Raid 5 or 6 is a good option for storage or Raid 1+0 (10 as some call it) which is a combination of stripe and mirror. Just remember that it is ideal if all of your drives are the same size, same make and to buy one extra one for a spare in case of break down. One caveat to NAS is that if/when a drive fails and is replaced, it does take time to get the new drive fully up and running as data now has to be properly calculated and distributed to that new disk.

    10g over Thunderbolt would be interesting to investigate but if I recall, one of the computer in your mix has no USB 3 or Thunderbolt.

    I think using directly attached storage to each computer is the best way to go and storage on NAS until all computers in the mix are capable of USB 3 and Thunderbolt. After you work on a project, you can upload it to the NAS for access by others.

    There are many variations on a theme and I am surprised others have not chimed in with other offerings for solutions.
     

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