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-   -   Shared storage for multiple PT systems (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=194404)

kmad 04-06-2007 09:17 AM

Shared storage for multiple PT systems
In the next 6 to 8 months, we will be moving into a new facility (in the planning stages right now) and I was hoping to find some type of shared hard drive storage to use between the 3 PT HD stations that will be in the facility. There are also two Final Cut stations who are planning shared storage for their needs (probably Avid Unity or something of the like). They will be able (to my understanding) real time access to even the same files (session & media) at the same time without the need to move files to a local drive. The three PT users are constantly exchanging files for our portion of the work (composer hands his tracks to me for mix, etc.), and it would be great to have real-time access to sessions (incl. media) over some type of fibre channel network. It just makes sense for our workflow.

What I've been able to find so far, however, is that Avid's Unity system is not supported for Mac OS X (which we all 3 use) and I found another post here that says that fibre channel cards are not supported by PT.

This seems crazy to me with Digi's dominance of the NLE for audio world, as I'm quite sure there are many facilities for which this is a need. So maybe I've just missed something somewhere and am not asking the correct questions to the right people (which brings me here for a solution!).

Any suggestions?

Eric Seaberg 04-06-2007 06:07 PM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
What you've read is, sadly, correct. Our facility has two Avid Adreneline rooms, a FCP/DVD Pro room and four PTHD rooms. The Avid Unity sits in our central machine room and is accessed by the Avids via fibre and the FCP/DVD Pro and PTHD rooms via gigabit.

Of course, the Avids both work in realtime with Unity, as does FCP. PTHD can only access Unity as a 'storage' device not capable of realtime record/playback. Personally, I find this TOTALLY unacceptable!! I came to PTHD from Sonic Solutions and their MediaNet system dating back to the mid-90s. Even a system that old was capable of multiple edit systems recording and playing back from central storage, even with different users accessing the same file at the same time, and that was with old SCSI drives!!

I can record/playback to Unity using Digital Performer, BIAS' Peak, Sonic Studio's soundBlade, even DSP Quattro... but NOT ProTools.

Oddly enough, ProTools will not work with software RAID configurations, either. It must use locally mounted drives. Our way around this was to use Ultra320 SCSI drives in Rorke (Storcase) racks and removable sleds. Even with that, we RARELY move drives from room-to-room.

We actually fall back on Netopia's Timbuktu Pro for file transfers and remote control of other systems. Info at http://www.netopia.com/software/products/tb2/mac/.

DAPG 04-07-2007 04:43 AM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems

Look at Studio Network Solutions. Their fibre systems will work with PT, Final CUt, Avid, etc. across OSX and WinXP. Rock solid.

kmad 04-09-2007 06:35 AM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
Thanks much to both of you (for confirming my findings & for helpful direction). I'll be at NAB next week and will try to stop in at the Studio Network Solutions booth.

thierryd 04-09-2007 07:57 AM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
This may be an alternative (I've never seen or tested it myself, but our dealer says it works fine):




Matthew Steel 04-09-2007 01:27 PM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
I agree with Eric Seaberg about Sonic's MediaNet. I suppose that the complete control of the SCSI interface, drivers, file system, etc. is what made all that possible.

We use Studio Network solutions globalSAN, which is essentially an iSCSI RAID box that comes with SNS's SANmp sharing software. Initially we had reliablility problems with the RAID box, but it apparently was defective and once we swapped it out things have run very well. The gigabit ethernet has plenty of bandwidth for our 30- to 40-track projects and we don't seem to be pushing it to the edge.

CLee 04-09-2007 04:04 PM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
We have a Fibre network running FibreShare software for mounting drives. It's basically the same thing as an SNS system. 4 systems (soon to be 5) share a couple JBODs full of drives. Fibre is not without some restrictions, and is not officially supported by PT, but it's worked well for us and is very stable.

If you happen to be in Chicago feel free to come by and check it out.

budster 04-10-2007 09:45 AM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
Looks interesting, but there does not appear to be any US distribution.


feakerboo 04-10-2007 12:27 PM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
We have an 8 seat fibre Jet System that is REALLY fast. You should check that out too. We tried the iSCSI rout but it didn't have enough throughput for our needs. If you don't need 100's of tracks iSCSI is great and the price is very right.

good luck and make sure and have them send you a system and test it until you start getting disk errors so that you know its limitations.

good luck

Irl Sanders 04-10-2007 06:37 PM

Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems
Do keep in mind that all the Fibre systems require a slot-eating Network Interface Card (NIC)
If you have ProTools and a Video card already, you'll be needing yourself a chassis.

Now that we have 8-core Macs, could we please have 6 slots!?!

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