Extreme Mac-Over 2007
Small Tree Communications gives Dakota Video & Post an Extreme Mac-Over
Extreme Mac-Over Contest 2007 Winner: Dakota Video & Post
In response to a July 2007 e-mail to Post magazine subscribers, Dakota Video & Post entered and won Small Tree Communications’ Extreme Mac-Over contest. The contest was a unique opportunity for Small Tree to improve the lucky winner’s Mac network performance and provide shared storage for their video editing pros.
For many small video production companies, shared storage is a new concept that can be very confusing. According to Curtis Friesen, owner of Dakota Video & Post, “it’s difficult to find a place to go to get the right answers.” Small Tree has the answers. Since there are so many factors that affect shared storage performance, Small Tree worked with Dakota to set up the right solution for their network.
Part of the solution for Dakota Video & Post’s Extreme Mac-Over is link aggregation. Link aggregation lets you take many ports on a server, plug them into a switch, and then tell the server and the switch that the ports are shared. What the switch and the server then do is load-balance all the traffic coming in to the server. So, if one client comes in and requests a file, it goes on port #1. When a second client comes in, it goes on port #2. This allows more clients to edit video on the shared storage server at the same time.
When Dakota Video & Post’s video editors are using Final Cut to edit video, it’s critical that every video frame makes it over to the client from the shared storage server in a very short timeframe. The time it takes for the data to travel between the systems is referred to as latency. The actual size of the data that can be moved at any time is called bandwidth. It’s very important to optimize these two parameters, so Small Tree’s networking drivers can be tuned to favor latency over bandwidth or vice versa. This ensures that video editing always remains smooth and reliable.
Why Ethernet instead of Fibre Channel?
“Ethernet is a standard that people aren’t going to give up,” says Steve Modica, CTO of Small Tree Communications. Every motherboard today has an ethernet chip built-in. It’s cheap, reliable, and extremely cost-effective. Compare that to fibre channel, which needs expensive network cards and switches to operate. The Small Tree shared storage solution leverages Dakota’s existing ethernet investment to provide more than adequate performance for their video editing needs.
Run Faster, Share Easier, More Affordably
Small Tree’s shared storage solution costs far less than a clustered file system solution while solving the same networking problems. Instead of $20,000 – $40,000 for a clustered file system, the Small Tree solution is less than $8,000 for a typical small video production company like Dakota. It’s less expensive, less complicated, and will let you work faster and easier. Take Curtis Friesen’s advice: “Get on the phone with [Small Tree], talk to them, tell them what you’re doing, what you need. They’re able to fill in the blanks, and put a solution together for you that will work.”
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