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4K Pipelines from dot Hill

By: Chip Bobbert II

I had the opportunity to attend a great seminar today from dot Hill today about 4K workflows. They passed a lot of good information for storage bandwidth build outs and I thought I would list some of my takeaways.

  1. 4K isn’t coming, it’s here.  This isn’t an exotic “theater only” technology, it’s already in the living room.  Netflix is already streaming House of Cards and Breaking Bad at 4K.
  2. For storage, they mentioned using 28TB of data for a single 4K feature length production
  3. Probably the most controversial point, SMB/CIFS storage just isn’t going to cut it for the performance 4K production needs.
  4. They said they have spent several months exploring SMB3 as a possibility but ultimately found it still under performs clustered filesystems.
  5. When planning storage they recommend designing architecture around 4 streams per editor.  This means you need to multiply bandwidth times four.
  6. They recommend Fibre Channel architecture as well and have stated they have had better performance results than 10gig Ethernet.  They also cited a lack of 10gig HBA’s and drivers for Mac systems.
  7. They suggested a very interesting product from ATTO called ThunderLink that is a great Fibre Channel HBA for Thunderbolt equipped machines.
  8. Their designs seem centered around StorNext / XSAN (really the same thing) technology.
  9. They said they have noticed a functional life of 5 years for enterprise SSD’s before they start to degrade

There were many other good points and general discussion related to video production storage and I would recommend the seminar to anyone considering such a project.

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Categories: 4k Video

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