Storing Media on a network: Gigabit?

Posted by Mike Watson 
Storing Media on a network: Gigabit?
March 10, 2008 11:47AM
Hi there,

I'm working on a capital improvement plan for next FY. I run three FCP stations -- a MacPro and two G5's. We shoot XDCamHD, and edit DVCProHD. I'm at broadcast TV station, so everything has to interact with a dozen other systems.

The engineers have set us up with a Gigabit network between workstations, so we can transfer media from one to another. Currently, each workstation has between 1TB and 3TB of storage. Next year, we're moving from individual storage to network storage. Each workstation will continue to have at least 1TB of local render space.

In the past several years (since we moved to FCP) I have taught myself a tremendous amount about Macs, OS X, FCP, Motion, AE, and Photoshop. My weak point is networking -- I just don't understand it.

I pitched a fiber channel network between workstations, tied to a server. The engineers insist we don't need fiber, the GigE network we have will work just fine.

Last week, I loaded some media on one of the workstations, and then played that media via the network on all three workstations. It worked fine. I then played different media (from the same drive) on all three workstations. It worked fine also.

I'm not well versed enough to make a judgment call on whether the current GigE network is fast enough to not give me heartache once it's put in a day-to-day use situation, or if we're going to need Fiber.

Your thoughts?
Re: Storing Media on a network: Gigabit?
March 10, 2008 01:49PM
I have been able to get 2-3 streams of DVCPRO HD via GigE from a drive connected to my G5 and my MacPro sharing the storage. It works...just not viable as solution for more than a few stations, because of the need for all of them to access the SAME media all the time. Unless you have a Raid that has redundant backups of all the footage like XSAN does or Edit Share.

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