NAS USB/Firewire/SATA hub

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TVENG, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. TVENG macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2011
    This is my first post. Be gentle.

    I'm looking at sticking a couple MacPro towers running Final Cut in a remote TV production truck. No problem there. Still in planning stages at the moment, though.

    What I'm interested in is a way to ensure we can handle anything a freelance producer or director might show up with and throw at us hardwarewise -- anything from a FAT32 USB thumbdrive to an NTFS HDD -- and to be able to import files in a hurry with little or no hassle.

    Is there a hub out there that can act as a network attached host to removable media? Something with eSATA, USB 3.0 and 2.0, FW800 and 400?

    I want my workflow to be: plug in, drag and drop. That's it. Every time.

    Our network will be Gig-E at least.

    Or should I be looking for a non-network solution for each MacPro?

    Any help will be appreciated.

  2. res1233 macrumors 65816


    Dec 8, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Not sure, but don't use FAT32, use ExFAT. 4GB file size limit can be problematic in your industry.
  3. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    I'm not aware of any Hub/NAS that features _all_ the ports you mentioned.

    But how about designing one of the Mac Pros as a "concierge" computer with all the interfaces you need (Firewire 400 + 800 and USB 2 come stock, eSata and USB3 can be added via PCIe card, an external docking unit like this one could take bare hard drives easily).

    This concierge computer can share e.g. one or several defined "incoming" folder(s) to all other computers in that truck and has enough power to handle whatever you throw at it easily.

    For very exotic data formats you could even install a virtual machine like Parallels on that machine to run Windows in order to be able to import whatever twisted data format is given to you (Parallels can run completely embedded into the Mac's finder - same goes for VMware Fusion btw.).

    During the time you don't need any of its interfaces, it could still act as additional rendering resource or backup workplace.

    And if it should ever fail (which is always happening in the middle of nowhere with the deadline just around the corner) you can simply swap it with one of the other MacPro's in the truck to get the "concierge" up and running again in a short time - try that with some "intelligent" but proprietary NAS/Hub...
  4. TVENG thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2011
    Yeah, FAT32 is mostly history, but you can still get a couple minutes of HD video on a 4GB drive.

    We had thought about possibly building a multi-format hardware interface into a box running a shared storage array. That would be a good place for concierge. That's probably what we'll end up doing. Not as easy as cutting a check, though. :)

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