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How do you do....it? Thread, Video Editing Suite- PC based in Technical; ...
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    MGSTech's Avatar
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    Video Editing Suite- PC based

    Ok guys and gals, I'm open to suggestions here!

    Situation:

    We have two media classrooms in adjacent buildings, one room has four editing suites with two high end workstations in each (8), the other has three edit suites also with two fairly fast workstations in each (6)

    I have all 14 machines running Windows 7 64 bit with Adobe Premier CS5, four workstations also run After Effects, All run at least 6GB of RAM

    All of this is connected by a 1 GB Fibre to a HP 4108 Managed switch, and workstations have a 1 GB copper connection to the switch.
    , this runs in its own Media VLAN.
    Connected directly to the switch via a 1 GB copper connection is a 2TB Buffalo NAS running RAID 5, with a UPS to cover power outages

    Since the dept has moved to HD Video the whole lot has slowed to an unacceptable level. At present we see two main issues:-

    1. The speed of the disks in the NAS are not fast enough to support up to 14 workstations rendering HD video sometimes all at the same time!

    2. The NAS only has one 1 GB link (although the throughput has never maxed out)

    The HOD wants to be able to edit and render HD video without lag by any student at any workstation!, they must be able to edit at whichever room they are timetabled into.
    We must also be able to offer at least nightly backup of the day’s data.

    IMHO, this is NOT how industry works video editing, it is almost 180 deg the other way round in that each person editing video does so on the same machine on a local HDD.

    They are of the opinion that replacing the entire setup with a MAC Suite will fix the issues overnight; to say I'm sceptical would be an overstatement!
    Currently we have no MAC hardware or software in schools, nor does any of the IT staff currently possess any support skills on MAC's

    The first thing they will probably need is AD integration (as they won't want another set of credentials) and the ability to read files from their home areas as well as print to the Windows printers!

    Short of pulling out the network cables and making them all stand alone I'm at a loss as to how to give them everything they seek, a SAN is out of the question due to cost (not that a MAC suite of 14 video editing machines would be any cheaper)

    So chaps and chapseese, how do you do it in your school?

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGSTech View Post
    So chaps and chapseese, how do you do it in your school?
    We use macs and allow them to edit locally and save the final product on the network. Don't have any problems with this at all.

    If you want to replicate how 'industry' does it then you'll need to get a big unix rendering farm with FC connections to each desktop.

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    As you suggest what he really needs is the editing to happen on the local HD. You could set up a folder/partition on the local disk and copy it off to the network at logoff/shutdown/manually 5-10mins before the end of the lesson. You could do this with rsync/robocopy to make the copy efficient.

    Or replace your NAS with a storage server ie something with 12+ disks in RAID 10. TBH I'd aim at 24 disks or SSDs.

    Do the PCs have esata? Doubtful but... SSDs in portable enclosures? Still need to work out a way to backup mind.

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    MGSTech's Avatar
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    We use macs and allow them to edit locally and save the final product on the network
    How many students/workstations is this for?

    The problem is they run out of time before the end of the lesson to save their work, even then they are all saving to the same location at the same time!
    Robocopy off the data at the end of a lesson is one possibility, however the data is then in a different location when they return and they have to be able to find it again.
    Also if the suite is timetabled back to back, the copy may not complete on all workstations before the next user is logging in....Argggggg
    Last edited by MGSTech; 25th April 2013 at 01:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGSTech View Post
    How many students/workstations is this for?
    48.
    I should mention that our servers have 10GBE backbone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    48.
    I should mention that our servers have 10GBE backbone.
    that sort of helps a little, although we arn't convinced that bandwidth on the connection is a particular issue following monitoring it whilst in use....

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    Are these guys all keeping their source video on the NAS as well?? Then rendering back to it ? That's at least doubling your problem if so.

    Rendering requires huge amounts of caching. If all that caching has to go down a network cable then no wonder. Renders definitely should be done locally, so the source content be stored, preferably on an SSD if you want speed.

    My m8 works for a TV production company in London. They have a specialist suite with huge editing console. They have some sort of media server that they import to a local machine (might be a Mac, dunno) then 'render' back to the media server.

    I cant see why a 1gb connection can't handle the data traveling one way, but not both ways.

    I'd recommend what the others say about local rendering and use SSD drives or two HDD drives, one working as a scratch disk - on each work station.

    Tell your HOD, £10,000 worth of Macs ain't gonna sort anything. That Buffalo with RAID 5 isn't helping u tho m8. RAID 0 or RAID 1+0 then back it up to a file server every night. Also I'd get rid of the Buffalo and get something like THIS


    That'd definately speed u up a good bit. ; )

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    For iMovie editing on our MacBooks, we give students external hard drives as iMovie cannot read network share data.

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    We have a similar setup but works rather well. The OS disc is properly secured as any other station, they are GPO'd identically to everything else, with one exception - a large secondary drive installed which is a) used as the scratch disc and b) the editing and saving is done locally on those discs. A script makes a folder on that drive which maps to a drive as if it was a network drive on the machine and everything happens there. Load off the network and storage. Final products then are saveable on the department specific NAS (which is shared between a lot of others).
    Thats on CS5, 4GB machines, intel 2500k's.

    And to echo another comment: ditch the Bufallos for anything important or needing performance. They're crap (we've got several, including the newer terastation III units and they're diabolical compared to anything else). If you're on a budget build a cheap rack server with decent raid card and hard drives aplenty.
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 2nd May 2013 at 10:38 PM.

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