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Old 03-13-2018, 06:46 AM
RyanC RyanC is offline
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Default 2018 session server options >Gigabit?

Hello

I'm setting up a new studio (primarily for music, but you guys seem to be the server experts), and looking into some higher speed network options. My main reason for greater than gigabit is that if possible I would like to use a quad nMP with a 2TB-4TB internal SSD to serve sample libraries (primarily for kontakt), and then something like a drobo connected to it to serve sessions. I'm looking at 1 server and a max of 4 workstations (really 3 with the option to add a 4th or connect a macbook). There won't be 3 or 4 people using Kontakt at once, maybe 2 at most, everything else will be just tracking and mixing. Rooms will be interconnected with Dante.

I was considering TB2 to 10G nics, a 10g switch and then having the sessions on a drobo 5D connected with TB, but then it also occurred to me that I might be able to use TB bridging and simply connect all the workstations (also nMP's) to the server directly with TB optical cables (not too expensive on ebay and have the benefit of lifting grounds).

Any thoughts on this? Has anyone tried anything along these lines? Is the drobo fast enough for recording?

Thanks
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:31 PM
Marcel Risberg's Avatar
Marcel Risberg Marcel Risberg is offline
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Default Re: 2018 session server options >Gigabit?

I've involved a couple of different generations and models of Drobos in my studio work. They fascinate me with their design and simplicity philosophy. I give them a new chance every so often.

I've found that the only two things they did well for me was serving the sound effects library, using Soundminer from which I copied sounds to my internal "pro tools" fast drive, or serving as a backup storage. Not that the Drobos are overly slow with transfer speeds but the somewhat long access time make the Drobos feel laggy compared to other solutions.

Forget serving the sample library for VIs. Forget running sessions off of one - if you can't fit your entire project within the Pro Tools cache maybe.

Those are my experiences combined with opinions, will vary from person to person. :)

I've not tried the iSCSI Drobo. Maybe that one would actually be quick enough.
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Marcel Risberg
Production sound and audio post - ljuddesign.se
Enthusiastically sharing knowledge and experience at Stockholm Film School.

🛠 Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.4 · HD Native · HD Omni
🎚 EuControl 18.3.0 · Artist Control · Mix · Control App
🦑 MacPro5,1 · 8C16T @2.4GHz · 16GB · SSDs · macOS 10.13.3 #17D102 (High Sierra)
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:58 AM
RyanC RyanC is offline
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Default Re: 2018 session server options >Gigabit?

Thanks Marcel-

That's good info, it sounds like it makes more sense to do a more standard RAID 5 or 6...

I wasn't planning on serving the sample libraries from the Drobo, but rather from a nMP's internal SSD.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:52 AM
Marcel Risberg's Avatar
Marcel Risberg Marcel Risberg is offline
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Default Re: 2018 session server options >Gigabit?

Might I suggest the following:
If you need high availability, look into technology enabling access to your sessions using a quick RAID 10 volume. Don't ever forget about making backups. RAID isn't a backup solution (as if you hadn't heard that yet). At least one local backup to a high availability RAID 6 volume, as a Drobo dual disk redundancy setup. Then an encrypted backup to some proven cloud service.

The backups should be controlled by an account with higher or other rights than your personal/active user account. Separate yourself from being able to manipulate the backups so that you don't get caught by some nasty malware.

Good luck!
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Marcel Risberg
Production sound and audio post - ljuddesign.se
Enthusiastically sharing knowledge and experience at Stockholm Film School.

🛠 Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.4 · HD Native · HD Omni
🎚 EuControl 18.3.0 · Artist Control · Mix · Control App
🦑 MacPro5,1 · 8C16T @2.4GHz · 16GB · SSDs · macOS 10.13.3 #17D102 (High Sierra)
📺 Separate video playback machine
🥇 Covered by ZDT/TLC · Keeping DAW OS clutter free
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