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Activity Forums Storage & Archiving AM I looking for SAN and thinking NAS?

  • AM I looking for SAN and thinking NAS?

    Posted by Jake Hawkes on August 11, 2005 at 11:13 pm

    I have a G5 dual 2.0 with the fiber over ethernet nic. I also ahve a dual Xeon PC that I actually use more, don’t ask…I would like to scale too at least four workstations for an upcoming 720/DV mixed cut session and:

    I have six new Seagate 300GB SATA drives here and was thinking of throwing them in the G5 and then using a fiber network to access them…
    Gigabit nic in PC> gigerouter> and call it good…

    I also would like to here the best reason to have another box full of drives with a fiber card in all three boxes and a HP Procurve switch or something with fiber. What server software would you run (linux/Windows/Tiger)?

    Am I better off getting a SAN? Can any one justify the price to me- it must be the software right?

    Ideally I will have Two machines running X-Factor for AE (that is where my color correction lives)
    Two machines editing
    Two machines logging and then conforming for DVD (It would be cool to go to HD DVD)

    Despreately seeking input, or is through put, oh well.


    Igor Babic replied 18 years, 5 months ago 6 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Bernard Lamborelle

    August 12, 2005 at 3:35 am


    In order to help, we need to better understand your throughput requirements

  • Jake Hawkes

    August 12, 2005 at 5:13 am

    The point you make about the benefits of the MetaSAN/MetaLAN is very interesting, and what I will require. I have access to the Fiber transport and switches as a close friend is a network administrator with HP. I am more interested in is there a real benefit to investing in the SAN storage solution, over GigaEthernet, or the solution you outlined. The footage will not only be DV but will include mixed content HDV or DVC Pro. I am still concerned about the true viability of HDV and am leaning heavily towards the P2 or even Reel-Streams uncompressed option.

    It is very easy for me to set up the server with storage, and I appreciate your recommendation to use Tiger Server.

    I was under the impression that I would need up to 120MB sustained data rate to support DVC Pro streams (4x). I am hesitant to buy into the Mac XSAN because when it comes down to brass tacks the storage is way over priced.

    My intention was to use a parity RAID with my Sonnet card to achieve approx 250MB sustained to the Front Side Bus. My confusion is what the network can actually provide to the workstation. I am not very proficient in Network performance, I live in the application world and have seen very significant flucuations in performance that you mentioned with traditional TCP/IP over ethernet. This is why I mentioned Fiber as it would seem that gigEthernet would be inconsistent as well.

    What is important is that investors in the film can come in and see the edit, and I have some viable previewing for them. Even with no network on a pair of seagates in my G5 I get pretty slow RAM Previews with HD 1080i. I am hoping the networked machines will improve workflow and increase my ability to work on many (3 to 4) streams of HDV or DVC Pro with similiar functionality that I have now with several DV streams or a couple 1080 streams.


  • Jeff Bernstein

    August 15, 2005 at 11:55 pm


    If you think that the XRAIDs are overpriced and you think you can do Parity with a Sonnet card, one could conclude you don’t have the budget for a SAN. A NAS is not a good idea for doing compressed HD for a NAS can barely do DV reliably.

    Jeff Bernstein

    Digital Desktop Consulting
    Apple Pro Video VAR
    XSAN Certified


  • Ismaelr

    August 16, 2005 at 2:01 pm

    at this time in SAN, all possibilities are worth exploring. i know of a few NAS devices from netapp or bluearc using advanced virtualization schemes delivering data nearly as fast as direct attached storage, and you have to pay a hefty premium. in this thread this is not even a discussion of Xserve RAID. it used to be that SAN cost something. that was before netgear announced the storage central SC101. when this box ships, it will allow two PATA drives to chain to a network all for $129 retail list (bring your own drives). this is going to be a whole lot less than an Xserve RAID and Xsan. it will use technology from zetera for advanced IP storage. the future is cheap.

    ismael rosales

    chief information architect

  • Jake Hawkes

    August 16, 2005 at 2:32 pm

    To Mr. Bernstein,

    Q: How exactly do you think every SAN out there is connecting drives to the FSB?
    A: Controller Card, I personally feel SATA and SATA II enhancments on the origianl spec are the value performers that SCSI never has been able to deliver. Unless you like paying $3 to $10 per Gig.

    I was not suggesting you only use a Sonnet but the controller is a very key piece of the puzzle if your suggesting using a data server. What I am suggesting is you could purchase a typical Xeon or P4 server with Linux or what ever server software you fancy. Add in controller cards Drives and a dual FC controller and your still far less than these proprietary systems. The question was WHY?

    So I researched it yesterday and the answer is:
    Software configured (This is the biggie)
    Compatibility of Components
    TerraBlock uses Parallel ATA drives which are very inexpensive
    Duplexed and managed FC
    RAID configured systems which have managable partitions (not that incredible)
    System redundancy built in (also not that amazing)
    Advanced Cooling

    However if you think that Xserve is all that pushing around on GB TCP/IP keep using it…I am not suggesting anything, Just looking for answers to my questions. Having read it again can I ask, what was I supposed to learn from your post?

    Bang for the buck so far I have been hard pressed to beat Dell for Hardware but they use ATA drives as well. I also like the Snap Servers, oh and the software that was mentioned earlier seems very nice indeed: MetaSAN/LAN.

    Just to be clear I do have a limited budget at some level shouldn’t we all?

  • Jeff Bernstein

    August 16, 2005 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t have a beef with PATA or SATA drives. You were suggesting some Dr. Frankenstein solution based solely on price. When you do this with video, it usually comes back to bite you on the tushi.

    As you stated your new plan of action, it sounds more like you’re stating theory rather than experience. Have you used Snap Servers for video?

    What does your research process include? Reading the CDW catalog?

    MetaLAN may work. I haven’t tried it. I have tried MetaSAN and it works well with the proper storage.

    My point was that I think you are pointing yourself into the wrong direction and setting yourself up for failure. You should contact people, namely a reseller, who has done this before who can spare you the time, effort, and anguish in creating a system that is right for you.

    Incidentally, I mentioned nothing about recommending an Xserve.

    Jeff Bernstein

    Digital Desktop Consulting
    Apple Pro Video VAR
    XSAN Certified


  • Bernard Lamborelle

    August 16, 2005 at 10:01 pm

    Jeff definitely makes a valid point here. A good reseller will do all the research and test work to make sure that you are buying something that will work for you.

    Many good resellers are motivated to explore new and innovative ways of enabling new technology at a lower cost because they stand to benefit from it. This is how they can differenciate their business and grow their sales!

    In the end, there are many options available to you. You need to choose the right one for you based on the type of performance and support you need, your budget, the amount of sweat equity you are willing to invest to make it work, etc.

    Many people venture in building their own SAN with the hope to save money. Some succeeds, many fails. If you are going to do it yourself, you’ve got to do it for the right reason. Spending time researching the right reseller might prove to be far more beneficial. Just cutting the middle man, and trying to re-invent the wheel can end up costing you way more in the end!

    Bernard Lamborelle

  • Ramona Howard

    August 17, 2005 at 12:56 am

    Hello all,

    I have been following the forum for a while and wanted to ask if anyone has used Luster(Open Linux Cluster)software? We have tested and certified RaveHD with the Panasas Cluster and will be exploring this option next. We do know of a studio testing Luster with great results but wanted feedback from other users.

    Thanks for the input,

  • Jake Hawkes

    August 18, 2005 at 2:44 pm

    I just thought that I would mention I misquoted you when I brought up the Xserve, sorry I meant XRaid. I also thought I would convey that I have a computer science degree from Boise State University (CDW Crack). I develop applications and we don’t push the envelope with hardware at all, in fact the goal is often to make more run on less. I have set up Linux, Windows, and one Apple Server. I have built apps on Cold Fusion, Apache, Java, .NET and Peoplesoft. I have studied at corporate headquarters server rooms at Albertsons and Boise Cascade. They don’t let you in unless you have something to offer.

    I thought it would be a fun project to build a multi platform HD editing bay in my spare time. I was doing this for fun here as I love the COW. I was hoping and have recieved some really good advice. It also motivated me to call a VAR. However, You must have more serious goals with your efforts here, and that is too bad.

    So I guess what I am saying is that in your posts you have offended me (servers are almost always used to connect clients to SAN’s, simply putting the drives in the server is not that bad of an idea, Frankenstein) I will never attempt to chat with you again because you respond like a jerk, and some where between good advice and your antagonistic comments I loose the point.

  • Jeff Bernstein

    August 18, 2005 at 3:43 pm

    My intention was not to offend you. My intention was to stop you in your tracks for you were wildly going down the wrong track. So what you still don’t grasp is the real time nature and requirement of video. You are still missing the point of how ethernet is AWFUL for video, especially HD.

    The point of the cow is to help each other. I do it regularly and enjoy doing so. Every once and awhile, there are people who start insisting they are right and no one has the gall to tell them to stop. You were making improper assumptions on how video works. You made incorrect assumptions on how storage works. Then you made incorrect assumptions on how a SAN works.

    I’m sure you are fantastic at web apps, but video is a totally different animal.

    Apparently through all of your education, you haven’t been taught a sense of humor. Too bad.

    Jeff Bernstein

    Digital Desktop Consulting
    Apple Pro Video VAR
    XSAN Certified


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