I work for a small video production company and we’re looking to upgrade our storage system soon to coincide with our move to a small private office. We’re looking at a NAS solution and I think I’m getting to grips and have narrowed it down a bit, but I’m still a little unsure on some things so wanted to seek some advice!
So what we’re after is a server that can host our source media (4k prores files), that can then be accessed by multiple machines with decent enough read speeds for real time playback.
At this stage we currently want to have two windows editing machines to be connected to the storage, with perhaps the possibility to add a third at a later date (although not an essential at this stage).
So I’ve been looking at 4-bay QNAPs as I think that’ll be best for our size right now, and we’ll probably get either 4x 8TB drives or 4x 4TB ones, and have them in a RAID setup (although which one I’m not entirely sure about yet, any advice there would be greatly appreciated).
Just to outline what I was looking at for a setup: QNAP TS-431X2 (2G) with 4x 8TB Seagate Drives, connected from the QNAPs 10GbE SFP+ port (not sure what type of cable is required?) to the Netgear GS110MX-100UKS (is this the right kind of switch to ensure 10GbE speeds?), which then has cables going out from its 10GbE ports to ASUS XG-C100C PCI-E 10GbE cards (this is an RJ45 style port, would that be compatible?) that I’ll install in each computer.
At this stage what I’m trying to work out is whether we’ll need 10Gb ethernet to give the speeds we need, and in that case what the best NAS will be to deliver this. I’ve been looking at ones that are probably within our price range that have one 10GbE SFP+ port, as well as some with two. One of my questions here is do we need one with two ports so we can connected up both machines, or is that where having a network switch comes in? Another thing I’m unsure of here is what the different types of 10GbE port (RJ-45 , SFP+ . . .) mean and whether that has to match up across the network (if we get a NAS with the SFP+ ports, do the network cards we get for the computers also need to be SFP+?)
Neither machine has a 10GbE ethernet card in it either yet, so with that added on as an extra cost I just want to make sure I get the setup right before purchasing anything! We’re going to have our own broadband in the new office (so far we’ve just been on big shared office networks), so one other thing I wanted to ask about was connecting up a router to the NAS. Can the router serve as a network switch so that you have the computers plugged into it (via 10GbE?) as well as the NAS, or if we want wired internet and have the machines wired to the NAS, does that require two ports on each machine to connect with two different cables?
One further question I had was about RAM in NAS drives – is it particularly important to have a decent amount in it for video editing, or does it not matter that much if we’re only going to be reading files from the NAS, not actually writing to it or doing any editing actually on its processor?
It is all about the bandwidth. Just keep in mind some editing software do not allow editing from network drives. But using ISCI will trick the system. But each project will be edited only by one person at the time for this reason. An alternative to 10GbE is Qnap DAS/NAS solutions if you have a Thunderbolt port available (ts-453bt3, or even better tvs-1282t3).
QNAP TS-431X2 will allow 4K local streaming and also editing. Just do not expect too much from its pretty weak processor.
Also, make sure you use PRO drives or wd gold drives because they have better access speeds.
Netgear GS110MX-100UKS will allow the NAS to be connected to it and also one more computer connected over 10gbe. Other users will need to use 1gbe regular ports (which is enough for 4k streaming but not editing). You may want to consider qnap 10gbe switch with more ports.
The ASUS XG-C100C will be compatible as well as qnap own 10gbe card. You can install it into every pc you need this network speed.
More 10gbe ports will mean more potential editors ability to edit. Each editor should get one port- the load balancing functions will ensure each client getting maximum speed.
About connectin. If you have a router with 10gbe ports you can use that and additionally connect a 10gbe switch to it to increase the number of fast ports. With Qnap you can use NAS also as a virtual switch, but I will recommend getting qnap physical switch instead again.
The RAM size will not change the performance while editing, all you need is good bandwidth and drive speed (more drive better speed or SSD).
My recommendation would be TS-1282 series but if budget is tight you could also get any Qnap with dual PCIe slots- so you can add more 10gbe ports later or even enable tiered storage.
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