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Hardware Thread, NAS Server for Video editing Lab in Technical; We're setting up a video editing lab for 20 computers during the summmer and ideally we'd like them to have ...
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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    NAS Server for Video editing Lab

    We're setting up a video editing lab for 20 computers during the summmer and ideally we'd like them to have access to networked storage of some kind so pupils can work on a video project from any PC in that room. It would also make backing it up and recovering it easier aswell. We don't want to put it on our main file servers because of the size of space required and the fact that it'll affect other more critical facilities (home areas/user profiles/etc)

    I'm trying to decide on whether to get a dedicated NAS server or just build a PC/Server and fill it with disks. I think that given it will be used for video editing for up to 20 concurrent users it'll need to be relatively quick. It'll also need to be fault tolerant so I'm think RAID 5 is pretty much a given. Don't know if we'll need SAS/SCSI (10k/15k) drives or if we'll get away with SATA ones(7.2k)? We probably don't need a dedicated hi-spec server for the thing so even a modest spec desktop might be OK.

    Does anyone know if there's such a thing as a RAID controller that will fit in a regular desktop PC using SATA HardDrives? I'm trying to think if there's a cheaper way to do the above rather than spending a fortune on high end NAS servers which will probably be overkill for our needs?

    Has anyone tried to implement anything like the above?

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    Does anyone know if there's such a thing as a RAID controller that will fit in a regular desktop PC using SATA HardDrives? I'm trying to think if there's a cheaper way to do the above rather than spending a fortune on high end NAS servers which will probably be overkill for our needs?
    Yes they exist:

    [ame=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=sata+raid+controller+site%3Aamazon. com&aq=f&oq=&aqi=]sata raid controller site:amazon.com - Google Search[/ame]

    You might also be interested in:

    Openfiler — Openfiler - Open Source Storage Management Appliance

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Do you know if there are any that can also do RAID 5?

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Just finished setting up a FreeNAS box for video editing stuff for our year 8's
    Two 1 Tera Byte drives mirrored & it works like a charm.

    FreeNAS is brilliant with vast support and knowledge out there.

    FreeNAS: The Free NAS Server - Home

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    john's Avatar
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    If you are looking at serious use and that it may expand, consider getting one of the Sun 7000 SANs, they can be used as giant NAS boxes as well as many many other things (and can be NAS and SAN at the same time!)

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattx View Post
    Just finished setting up a FreeNAS box for video editing stuff for our year 8's
    Two 1 Tera Byte drives mirrored & it works like a charm.

    FreeNAS is brilliant with vast support and knowledge out there.

    FreeNAS: The Free NAS Server - Home
    Cheers for the info.

    I was tempted to try a standard desktop PC with a SATA RAID 1 (2 Mirrored Disks) configuration but wasn't sure if it would be OK performance-wise for 20 users doing video editing simultaneously. How have you found it?

    As a side note how does the file serving performance of the FreeNAS server compare with a Windows Server 2008 (plus does it handle AD Intergration/NTFS Permissions OK)?
    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 19th June 2009 at 10:22 AM.

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    Cheers for the info.

    I was tempted to try a standard desktop PC with a SATA RAID 1 configuration but wasn't sure if it would be OK performance-wise for 20 users doing video editing simultaneously. How have you found it?

    As a side note how does the file serving performance of the FreeNAS server compare with a Windows Server 2008 (plus does it handle AD Intergration/NTFS Permissions OK)?
    You can use AD for authentication and if you turn on the extended attribute support from the CIFs service you get better attribute settings on the share.
    So yes setting up a share with relevant file permissions is bit fiddly but possible - I have details on doing it should you want to give it a go.

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    will be important with these file sizes that its fairly local to the machine, if the machines are all on a gig switch with the fileserver usign teamed network cards you'll see a big difference!.

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post
    will be important with these file sizes that its fairly local to the machine, if the machines are all on a gig switch with the fileserver usign teamed network cards you'll see a big difference!.
    Aye, planning on putting the NAS on the same network switch (in the same Room) as the Video-editing PCs to cut down on traffic. We'll probably try and see if we can find a Gigabit switch as suggested (or at the very least a gigabit link for the NAS Server).

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    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    Aye, planning on putting the NAS on the same network switch (in the same Room) as the Video-editing PCs to cut down on traffic. We'll probably try and see if we can find a Gigabit switch as suggested (or at the very least a gigabit link for the NAS Server).
    If going to the FreeNAS route make sure your gigabit NIC is support by FreeBSD:

    FreeBSD/i386 6.3-RELEASE Hardware Notes

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    If you fancy building your own pc to do this, the motherboards i've just put in for our new ict suite pc's include 6 sata ports which support raid 5. They are Asus m3n78 pro's, also have gigabit network built in. - a basic pc cost us under £300 each, inc the operating system, so you should be able to build a NAS box and put in 6 1tb hard disks for around £500.

    Steve

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    enjay's Avatar
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    You will have trouble doing this from a regular PC if you have 20 clients - Windows XP will only handle 12 concurrent connections. Instead consider something like a Buffalo LinkStation Pro (note the Pro, regular ones don't play with AD), which will set you back a few hundred quid for a terabyte of space, plus has a USB port to add an external disk should you so desire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    Has anyone tried to implement anything like the above?
    Each of the PCs in our media suite has an extra harddrive and network card. The idea is to link all the computers together on their own dedicated storage network, share each spare harddrive out over this network with NBD Server for Windows, aggregate all the shared block devices into a RAID array using a Linux-based server using Linux software RAID (mdadm) and then share the RAID array out again as a file system all the PCs can access.

    --
    David Hicks

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Each of the PCs in our media suite has an extra harddrive and network card. The idea is to link all the computers together on their own dedicated storage network, share each spare harddrive out over this network with NBD Server for Windows, aggregate all the shared block devices into a RAID array using a Linux-based server using Linux software RAID (mdadm) and then share the RAID array out again as a file system all the PCs can access.
    Stupid question: are you taking steps to prevent the computers being turned off then? Presumably you would need at least RAID6 or RAID5 and one or more hot-swap drives for this to be safe. Sounds like some fairly fearsome hackery. Good on you!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahmeepee View Post
    Stupid question: are you taking steps to prevent the computers being turned off then? Presumably you would need at least RAID6 or RAID5 and one or more hot-swap drives for this to be safe. Sounds like some fairly fearsome hackery. Good on you!
    We aren't worried about the computers being turned off - this is a private all-girls school, our pupils are well-behaved when it comes to IT. The media suite itself has 18 machines in, all arranged in a horeshoe around three walls of the classroom with another set of tables in the middle where pupils can do non-IT work - the teacher can spot a computer being turned off. I plan to use RAID-1- - mirror sets of harddrives, then combine those into one large volume. I figure RAID 5 would generate too much traffic.

    --
    David Hicks



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