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NAS experiences / how do you store your video footage?
  • I'm curious for your experiences with different NAS solutions for video.. and some help (if you know any good solution).

    I am personally looking for a 8-12TB max capacity storage server which performs well for both mac and pc, preferably there should be DLNA support (television access - to display material for customers).

    It would be great if there was a solution to (eventually) connect locally through thunderbolt... (for editing stations) and cloud / remote access with good function would be good to have.

    Basically, in an ideal world it needs to perform so well locally that it is possible to edit (without big loss of performance) material without copying.

    And most important of all - it should be easy to use!

    As always, it's a relation between cost and function - I've calculated a budget around 1000 euros for solving the matter (in other words - including some, if not all 8-12tb storage space..)

    However, what I need should be secondary here (although I suspect some of you have similar needs) - the real question is what you use for backing up / storing files?

  • 16 Replies sorted by

    First. Big drives are now very pricey.

    Second. You need Atom or AMD Fusion based server with 4-8 bays. If you need it to be releable and easy, preferable on something like Windows Home Server.

    Third. If you need fastest solution, assembly extra storage server yourself. You can use best network cards or any other approach.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    Thanks for your input.. I know, drive prices are driving me crazy.. hence I was thinking that It would be worth building for the future. (not necessarily acquiring all storage at once - but a reliable solution for the office)

    A DIY server sounds like a good idea. I have a friend who might like to do it, aswell..

  • I've long wished for a do-everything NAS server: an ever-expandable network filesystem that you can just plug USB drives into as needed, and run Crashplan on for back-ups. But as far as I can tell, such a thing does not exist.

    The best I've come up with is just a Windows PC that I can plug USB drives into and run Crashplan on. I back up to local drives and to Crashplan Central. You can use a PC as small as you want: even a headless Windows Atom-based PC, or a Linux Arm-based plug computer. Using USB hubs, there's essentially no limit to the number of drives you can attach. But it is not a zero-management solution: Crashplan backup folders must fit on a single drive, so if you have more data than can fit on a single drive, it must be divided into multiple back-up sets that each get backed up to folders on different drives. Crashplan Central doesn't have this restriction: you can back up a set of arbitrarily large size. But it's not advisable to rely solely on Crashplan Central for back-ups. You should have local back-ups also.

    And in case it wasn't clear, I do recommend Crashplan as the best back-up software and service for personal use. Back-ups are really important. Expect that every one of your hard drives will fail someday! And you really want to have some off-site back-ups. And it's best if your back-ups run automatically. And it's best if your back-ups are online (spinning, always available), so that you're more sure they're valid. Crashplan can accomplish all of that, and it's cheap.

  • Acer EasyStore, is, in fact, PC running Windows Home Server. And comes with good free backup utility. Best thing with it is that it has software RAID like functionality, so you can mirror only necessary files and folders accross disks.

  • Is not really what you need, but will give you my experience. I have a N2R1 from LG, with 2 1Terabyte disk in RAID1 also 1 TB(aprox 250 €), they run at aprox 50 MBits, it´s enought for standard AVCHD, when is ready the hack for the 1.1 can tell you if is eought for rendering a hacked GH2 footage.. The user interface is wery easy.

  • I use the Netgear readynas NV+, Ultra 4 and Ultra6+. These are very flexible, they have a feature called X-Raid2 that let you swap one drive at the time to a bigger one, and once the disk is synced, you can swap the next one etc., thus increasing the capacity seamlessly without any reinstalling/disk wipe etc. It also commes with tons of packages that will add many cool features, like apache web server with php and mysql. It has a photo aplet to sync pictures. Allows for external USB disk to be attached in order to take a backup. Has a backup manager that can run multiple jobs, one clik button on the front activates backup jobs. I have had several NAS units (like QNAP, Thecus, MuseRAID and a few more) and the Netgear units are by far the best ones I have had.

    If you buy one, get the diskless unit and buy disks seperately as this seems to be much cheaper. Also because of the X-RAID function you can get a 6 disk unit and start with a few drives (like 3 for full redundancy) and upgrade as you need more space. HTH

  • I have a Drobo which serves me fine and maintains redundant drives.

  • I built a Windows Home Server 2011 using an Asus ITX Atom D535 motherboard





    HDD: Some old 500GB thing I had lying around


    Chassis/RAID Edge10 DAS501t (with PCIe card): (you can get the 801t for about £300 which has 8 bays)

    Disks: 5 x 2TB 6 Gb/s RAID 5 giving 8TB approx storage. (at the time £60ea)

    Whole cost for a 8TB NAS that 'really' performs was around £800.

  • Are outfits such as Crashplan the way to archive now? I've got a bunch of external drives backing up data and was thinking of a 3 or 4 bay enclosure for archive but will a cloud be a viable substitute?

    Also, anyone here using LTO or DLT decks to archive?

    How about this one? Drives seem to be coming down in price lately.

  • I have a older dual core PC with 32 tb of external disk attached to it in various ways, some are USB 2.0 of seldom used stuff, my current projects are on e-sata raid arrays, one with 4 - 2tb drives in raid 5, the other with 8 - 2tb drives in raid 5-0.. I connect to that server with Gigabit Ethernet with jumbo frames.. works pretty well.. and everything is redundant storage so if I loose a drive in the arrays, its safe.. just pull the failed drive and put in a new one and it rebuilds.

    I also have in that PC 3 2tb drives for random stuff that I don't need redundancy for.. like stock footage or graphics, production music that came from DVD sets that can be restored easily from those originals.

    I also store lots of source footage thats isnt needed alot on raid mirrored external USB drives and then stash them away in a cool dry place for long term storage or burn discs of the data files also.

  • I own a Qnap 412 at home and we use a Qnap 459 Pro II as media server where I work.

    So far I'm quite happy with the 412 (4x2TB/Raid5, gladly got my disks before the flooding) at home, which I mainly use as offline storage and backup. Installation and administration using the webbased interface is straightforward and quite easy, although the interface isn't as fancy as the Synology one. There's a lot of features packed into the linux based firmware, like Backup, iTunes Server, DLNA Server, FTP, WebDav, Http Server etc... It's not the fastest one though, working straight of the NAS is a no go, even running a WebServer at the same time can slow it down and transcoding a video for the TV doesn't work either .... but it's cheap. Transfer rates are ~25-60 MB/s.

    The Qnap 459 Pro II on the other hand is quite a different little beast. No problems with transcoding videos on the fly or handling multiple users at the same time. Altough for getting the transcoding to work, you have to login via ssh and perform some shell magic. Transfer rates can reach about 90-100 MB/s.

    For our work servers we use Fujitsu Eternus DX 80 S2's nearline SAS ... but they might break your budget ;)

  • I've built a lot of NAS and RAID systems over the years, and there are a few issues you may want to consider:

    1) RAID 5/6 doesn't tolerate multiple failures well, and with 2 TB and larger drives, this is statistically inevitable. See:

    2) Linux is perfectly fine for most NAS and DNLA purposes. And BSD is just fine too --> is a particularly good choice due to its native support for ZFS.

    3) RAID should not be the single basket in which you keep all your eggs. Ideally, keep an external location where drives are stored with 100% mirror of most important material (we used to use rsync to archive stuff to a backup secondary site.) Worst case, rent a safety deposit box for them. Clean and dry, and not likely to flood or burn or be stolen.

    4) Use the cloud. Yes, not really practical for large volumes, but for critical stuff, certainly good enough. I use both Mozy and Carbonite. Rumor is that google will soon offer a G-Drive with 5 GB, which should be a nice start.

    My Personal View: ZFS is the way to go, with multiple layers of redundancy. Ideally, on a hardware platform with ESATA and ThunderBolt integration, to support editing too.

  • @ahbleza is right. A NAS is not a final backup solution. More an intermediate one. But so is Cloud storage, like one has witnessed when Amazon f$##ed up last year.

    If you want a REAL backup for years to come you still have to look into tape drives. For home use or small businesses you can start off 'quite' cheap (Tandberg/Quantum ~$500, 160-320 GB). Start off with daily backups to a NAS, then weekly incremental to a Tape. Once a project is finished it gets it's own full backup to tape.

    Again if you got lots to backup, it's gets pricey because then u have to look into LTO drives. But if you compare cost of loosing data vs. the price of a LTO Drive/Tape it's negligible.

    Ps: Still got my Iomega Ditto drive from 15 years ago and the tapes still work ;)

  • I built a DIY All in One Server using VMWare ESXi, One VM is a Openindiana + Napp-it with ZFS providing access to the other VMs thru NFS :

    • Ikea Lack 35$ perfect size to hold a 6U:
    • RPC-4224 replace Fans buy Quiet PWN Fans and connect directly to the MB
    • Seasonic SS-560KM
    • 2x4Go RAM ECC KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G (You have to use ECC RAM for a N
    • 2x IBM ServeRAID M1015 Can be flashed to a stock LSI (much better compatibility and IT BIOS)
    • Xeon E3-1230 : you can take a a cheaper CPU but you need a CPU supporting Vt-d to directly connect the raid card to the VM.
    • Supermicro X9SCM-F-O
    • ZFS raidz2 of 5 Disk + 1 disk as a spare of 2 TB. Model : Hitachi 5K3000 I've installed 2 SLC SSD 8GB Raid1 to boost NFS Perfs (to improve write perf) and 1 SSD for 128GB for L2Arc (Improve Read perf.)

    Finaly I have an external INTEL SSD 256GB to Backup important Data like ahbleza said, a NAS is not a backup. I switch to SSD because of the reliability of the media when not used. Of course, I'm using a cloud backup (Amazon).

    I found this working really well as an AFP Share for my Mac Pro. Right now the limiter is the network card Gigabit lan. I'm hosting all the services on this server (4VM including ZFS). You could do a cheaper one (use a Core i5 instead Xeon) if you want only the NAS Features. I tested an Atom which was not enough powerful to plainly use ZFS Features like compression. Don't use dedup which doesn't really seems to be useful for video. Here my perfs : Seq Write : 182 MB/s and Seq Read : 227 MB/s

  • Other great option which is cheaper : HP ProLiant N40L can be found at 199$ in sales online - Quiet and compact - It's using ECC Memory so more reliable. You should upgrade to 4GB - it's can hold 4 Drives and has inside 1 USB port. - Using a fast read/write USB Key you can host the OS (FreeNAS) on it.

  • I'm working on the n40l now. I am going with openmediavault. Very good so far. Ordered 8 gig of ram, and already hacked firmware for hot swap and 5 sata bays... I didn't get deal- but will get it next time round... Hopefully fcpx will play nice!