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.
- 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.
- For storage, they mentioned using 28TB of data for a single 4K feature length production
- Probably the most controversial point, SMB/CIFS storage just isn’t going to cut it for the performance 4K production needs.
- They said they have spent several months exploring SMB3 as a possibility but ultimately found it still under performs clustered filesystems.
- When planning storage they recommend designing architecture around 4 streams per editor. This means you need to multiply bandwidth times four.
- 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.
- They suggested a very interesting product from ATTO called ThunderLink that is a great Fibre Channel HBA for Thunderbolt equipped machines.
- Their designs seem centered around StorNext / XSAN (really the same thing) technology.
- 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.