MailBag Live!

Mailbag LIVE! Selecting The Proper Storage For Post Production

January 24, 2021

Today's Agenda: What do digital video post production professionals need to consider when buying a storage solution for their digital media?

Day 24: 24 Insights in 24 Days New Year Marathon

What do I need to think about when selecting storage for digital video editing and color grading?

Mailbag LIVE! is a conference call with our members. Our goal is to answer a member’s question on a Zoom conference call, where other Mixing Light members are welcome to attend and participate.

After the Team talks with the member about their question, we invite members on the Zoom call to offer their thoughts on the subject or to ask questions inspired by the discussion.

Today’s Agenda:

Understanding your choices when selecting a storage system

Mixing Light Member Charles Traboulsi has been researching storage solutions – especially now that he’s been running his system from home for months. He feels like the subject is wide-open and it’s not always clear what’s the best approach for digital video post production professionals.

Robbie, Dan, and Patrick are joined by Mixing Light Contributors Joey D’Anna and Peder Morgenthaler to share their hard-earned opinions on this subject. A variety of concepts are covered in this discussion including:

  • Direct attached vs SAN vs NAS
  • Why is NAS more expensive than a SAN solution?
  • What’s the proper RAID configuration for video professionals?
  • How does your storage solution fit inside of an overall media management game plan?

At the end of this Mailbag, questions are asked and suggestions are offered by Mixing Light members on this call.

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Visit the Mailbag LIVE Submission page. The submission form reactivates 5 days before the next Mailbag LIVE recording date and closes when the Agenda is set for the upcoming Mailbag LIVE.

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Homepage Forums Mailbag LIVE! Selecting The Proper Storage For Post Production

  • Jose Santos

    I really loved this mailbag episode, it came at the perfect time for me!

    One thing that really stayed with me was what happened to Dan’s QNAP and how he was in a bit of a pickle since the hardware is all proprietary and while I really like the idea of getting a used server on eBay, I just don’t have the space for it. However, those two thoughts made me revisit something I considered a couple of months ago, which is to just build my own NAS and run freenas on it.

    I see the following advantages/disadvantages to this:

    1. No proprietary parts, easily replaceable in case of failure.
    2. Cheaper/Much more powerful components for the same price.
    3. ZFS based vs regular raid. (Sure QNAP has some options, but they are much more expensive)

    1. Requires technical knowledge I don’t have at the moment, which I’ll have to get to pull it of.
    2. No support/I’m on my own (there are forums and such, but that doesn’t really count) if anything doesn’t work or fails.
    3. It’s not plug and play: I’ve already spent 2 days researching components and trying out different hardware combinations. It’s also going to take a couple of days probably to build everything and get it in working order.

    For comparison here is a cart with Synology’s latest 8 Bay NAS 16gb RAM, dual 10gbe card and 2 cache drives

    And here is a similar priced Freenas Build:

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

  • Joey D’Anna

    Personally – I would go FreeNAS. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to build it, test it, figure out the ins and outs – and even run a few failure scenarios (killing a drive, etc making sure you know what to do when something goes wrong).

    There are a few gotchas in the build you have though. I’m not sure if that RAID card will work – remember FreeNAS/ZFS access disks directly, so you dont want a RAID card, you want an HBA (which is going to be cheaper anyway).

    Also in a PC build like this – your hard drives aren’t going to be hot swappable. Not a dealbreaker – but something to think about. Something else to compare – check out the iX TrueNAS Mini series:

    its comparable size/price to the qnap and synology options, but it runs FreeNAS with all the advantages of that

  • Zé Maria

    Thanks for the reply Joey!

    Good point about the card! I’ll look for a HBA card instead!

    The chassis I chose has a hot swappable drive tray and a cover door which is nice!

  • Joey D’Anna

    Oh awesome! then yea it should work great.
    one piece of advice – write down all the drive serial numbers when you install them, and what slot they are in. that way when you get a failure or a warning – you can very clearly double check the slot to the serial number listed in the software.

    usually a failed drive is obvious by being the one that isnt flashing – but never hurts to be sure.

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