Always exploring new business options, Cinevate launched a Kickstarter Campaign in December 2013, and were amazed at the response to our first foray into the world of crowd sourcing. During this project we shot, edited and uploaded footage almost daily. As you might guess, video, photo and social media is integral to our operations. Like many of you, we needed to come up with a strategy to manage all of this data.
Back in 2008, we embarked on a quest to set up a shared network workflow for the many photos and video projects we generate in our operations. At that time, Gigabit Ethernet was, and still is, the standard now for virtually every network. With network attached storage devices (NAS) becoming popular, I had high hopes for a system that would have all video and photo projects centralized and instantly accessible from all workstations. After many tests, I discovered Gigabit Ethernet was simply not fast enough, particularly when compared with conventional workflow where video/photo projects are edited on one workstation with a larger disk array. What did come from the project in 2008, is our use of multiple NAS units today serving as backup hosts, archive network storage and automated offsite backup systems.
A NAS unit is essentially an efficient computer running Linux or Unix variants, with multiple redundant hard drives that can be hot-swapped in case of failure. With web based administration, these NAS units are typically just powered on and plugged into the network. These units (several Qnap TS-509 Pro, Qnap TS-639, and Netgear Readynas have provided 30TB of completely trouble-free performance (other than inevitable hard drive failures) over the last five 6 years. These units are typically configured using RAID 5, so if one of the 5 or 6 hard drives fails you simply pull it out and replace it, with no interruption in service.
Enter 2013, and the arrival of the next generation 10Gbe “affordable” networking. All of the previous testing and online posting with respect to NAS units had precipitated a relationship with QNAP as well as Netgear, both companies with great NAS products. A quick chat with Ivan Hsu over at QNAP in December revealed that they had several new high performance NAS units on the market. Was I interested in evaluating a 10G capable NAS unit? Hopeful that a shared network solution might finally be at hand, the decision was an easy one. Is an affordable network workflow now possible for Adobe CC, Adobe Lightroom or Final Cut users? Over this 7 part series, I’ll share product tips, test results, and helpful (free!) tools to assist in creating your own shared network workflow.
Here’s what’s coming up:
- 10Gbe Ethernet basics. Stream 4K RAW data over a network cable? How about two 4K feeds? Three?
- Assembling the 10G toolset. Free software you will want to look at.
- Plug n Play 10G storage. A look at Qnap’s TS-470 Pro NAS unit.
- Why every small business/studio should consider NAS. Top 5 NAS features we love.
- Windows 8.1 and 2012 Server SMB3. Want a fast network? Why you should consider an upgrade.
- Building a fast, affordable 10G network Adobe CC video/photo editing workstation.
- Building an affordable 1000MB/s 10G capable server/workstation for your business.
- Performance testing your 10G network for Adobe CC using PPBM5 and PPBM6.
- Conclusions and hot tips.