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Network Planning

Posted on 2014-04-23
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Last Modified: 2014-04-30
I am planning a network for a small company with about 10 employees, all using Macs. They will be sharing some files. Not a lot. Currently they have a Mac Server X and want to use a Mac mini as a server. They are also using StorageDNA for the old footage. There are two video editing machines that are a part of the group.

I would like to come up with a better solution for this company. I do not have experience with this sort of business. I am thinking of a Linux Ubuntu Server box with raid that will allow me to backup data to. They are using external drives on each machine with thunderbolt and time machine (though maybe this solution is ok?). Overall they want to keep things as simple as possible. There is not a lot of sharing going on though the company is growing and I want to make things future proof.

What sort of set up is recommended for a small company like this with not a lot of demands.?Though they do have video editing machines and storage currently is time consuming. They have an LTO LTFS storage/ backup solution at the moment using storageDNA. They have about 20 Terrabytes at the moment of footage that is stored with the storageDNA solution. This system is over 5 years old.

Im looking for how others would approach this scenario. Thanks for the advise!
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Question by:hoodun12
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Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40019759
Although the Mac stuff is more expensive, your customer will probably be much more comfortable with it, rather than some other brand and OS.

They will be used to paying premium prices for their kit and will want everything to be seamless like they are used to.

My advice is to pitch Mac kit first, but have a Linux alternative ready if they baulk at the price.
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Author Comment

by:hoodun12
ID: 40020991
Thanks. So you think a Mac Mini would be good enough as a server? Im worried about multiple users accessing files from it and not being able to upgrade the network card to 10gb.

If you were given a job where you had to create a network from scratch for a video editing company. What sort of hardware would you buy. Say the budget is 40k. They have to use Macs for the editing software. They want to use an LTFS tape system (Storage dna). There will be 5 editing machines and 5 machines used for admin work. There is not a lot of sharing.

I am thinking:
Linux machine (?) set up as a NAS for smb sharing/ storing. (with a fast 10gbe card). A storagedna unit (LTFS tape) connected to the same switch. A cisco 6800 switch (10g). Some sort of router and wireless.

Whatever I do needs to be scalable as the company is growing fast.

I am hoping to get advice from people who do this on a daily basis which is why I joined this site. Someone with experience with workflows and demands of a video editing company would be awesome. What are you doing to meet the high demands of storage/ speed?
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LVL 22

Accepted Solution

by:
eeRoot earned 500 total points
ID: 40021619
FreeNAS is a free linux distro that you can use.  Or, if you want an appliance, take a look at http://www.drobo.com/storage-products/
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Author Comment

by:hoodun12
ID: 40021935
I have experience using Drobo and I found it to be very slow for my needs. It was the 5N unit.

I checked out FreeNAS. This looks great. Exactly what I am looking for. I feel like what I can build will be far better performance wise than what I can buy for less than 5k.
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