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Old 04-06-2007, 09:17 AM
kmad kmad is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3
Default 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?
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:07 PM
Eric Seaberg's Avatar
Eric Seaberg Eric Seaberg is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,818
Default 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/.
Eric Seaberg • San Diego, CA
A.E.S., I.E.E.E., S.M.P.T.E., S.P.A.R.S.
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Old 04-07-2007, 04:43 AM
DAPG DAPG is offline
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Dallas, TX, USA
Posts: 144
Default 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.
Roy Machado
Dallas Audio Post
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:35 AM
kmad kmad is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3
Default 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.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:57 AM
thierryd thierryd is online now
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Brussels
Posts: 485
Default 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):



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Old 04-09-2007, 01:27 PM
Matthew Steel Matthew Steel is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 102
Default 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.
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:04 PM
CLee CLee is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Chicago
Posts: 404
Default 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.
Craig Lee@Cerny American
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:45 AM
budster budster is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 234
Default Re: Shared storage for multiple PT systems

Looks interesting, but there does not appear to be any US distribution.

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:27 PM
feakerboo feakerboo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
Default 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
Brad e
Partial Credits
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:37 PM
Irl Sanders Irl Sanders is offline
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 236
Default 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!?!
Irl Sanders
Music Editor
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