i’m gearing up my studio for the inevitable release of the Panasonic AG-HDV200 camcorder and it’s required 60 GB/hr, instead of the 15 GB/hr of DV. This disruptive camcorder, with an entire solid state workflow should shake things up from the storage arena, driving many towards SAN.
i’m on the powerPC and BSD variant Mac OS X, and until today, the only show in town was Xsan. It’s been the summer of SAN, and now there are several solutions available today, and tomorrow including the ATTO Xtend SAN. I looked into FC SAN, but the price of entry is super high due to various software licenses and hardware demands. using the DVCPRO HD workflow, at the maximum data rate (720p/60 or 1080p/24) it’s just over 17 MB/s per stream, so storage requirements are modest. For a strict DVCPRO HD studio, FC is overkill and iSCSI is a good target.
At my local electronics store i can get $10 1GbE cards, and using Mac OS X Server 10.4 Tiger i can aggregate multiple cards into a single pipe. shipping G5’s offer a single 1 GbE port, but using these cheap cards and available drivers, it can scale to 2 or 3 GbE easily. it’s all possible with IEEE 802.3ad and a compatible switch. FC is good at 2Gb, but what happens when i can chain 3 ethernet cards for 3 Gb? high performance and not that high a cost.
since iSCSI is based on mature IP and SCSI, i think it will take over the marketplace and be very reliable. over the next couple of weeks i’ll report my experiences on my implementation of iSCSI. i hope to finish my testing by IBC 2005.