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Connecting 10GigE Macs and Storage Devices Directly Without a Switch or Router

With the inclusion of a 10GigE port on the back of the iMac Pro and the emergence of inexpensive 10GigE equipped NAS storage units: how do you connect them together for maximum speed and keep access to your other network devices including the internet?

We are all familiar with the convenience of GigE data connections; they have been standard on Macs for many years. But with growing frame and file sizes, the maximum bandwidth of 1000 Mbit/s has become limiting for today's video production needs.

Over the last year we have begun to see more devices being equipped with 10GigE ports, the new iMac Pro being Apple's flagship example. However, connecting a 10GigE machine to a current GigE network won't provide any speed bonus. Also worth noting that the iMac Pro is actually Nbase-T; if it can't get reliable data at 10GigE speed, it will drop transmission speeds to  5, 2.5 and then standard GigE.

In the FCP.co studio we currently have an iMac Pro directly connected to a QNAP TVS 682T. The QNAP has two independent 10GigE ports and the overall disk speed can be shared out between the two connections without needing a switch.

10gige-fcpx-imac-pro-qnap-stroarge-raidiMac Pro connected directly by 10GigE on right and GigE via a USB-C adaptor on the left

10gige-fcpx-imac-pro-qnap-stroarge-raid-022 10GigE ports on the back of a QNAP TVS 682T

So how did we connect the 10GigE machines together directly to get the maximum speed? This is harder than attaching a NAS unit to a router and letting DHCP do all the numbers. Although the prices of 10GigE switches are coming down, it is still a large expense, especially if you only want to connect one or two Macs to a storage device.

If you plug them up directly, without configuring both the Mac and the storage device first, nothing will happen. Each has to have an IP address manually assigned.

On the QNAP we can do this in the admin section in a web browser. The easiest way to stop the Mac getting confused and trying to access the QNAP over GigE is to assign a different Private Address Space. As the office runs on the 172.xx.xx.x range, we assigned the QNAP to 192.168.0.1

qnap-control-panel-ip

ip-address-qnap-assign

We manually assigned the iMac Pro's 10GigE connection to 192.168.0.2

iMac-pro-system-settings-10gige

Having physically taken up the 10GigE socket, the USB-C to ethernet adaptor was necessary to connect via GigE to the other machines on the network and of course the internet.

Then all we needed to do was CMD K or use the menu item Connect to Server, tap in the IP address of the QNAP and hit return. Easy, connected.

So why should we be connecting via 10GigE when the traditional GigE connection was so easy? Take a look at the difference in speeds.

fcpx-blackmagic-speed-test-gige-ethernetiMac Pro and QNAP NAS directly connected with GigE

fcpx-blackmagic-speed-test-10gige-ethernetiMac Pro and QNAP NAS directly connected with 10GigE

Don't think that 10GigE is just for high end machines either, the (newly arrived in the office) QNAP TS-453BT3 has a single 10GigE connection on the back. (This also doubles up as a free USB-C to 10GigE adaptor!)

 qnap-10gige-ts-453BT3-raid-nas

So if you are lucky to have machines with 10GigE connections, it is well worth making sure you are connected at the right speed. You should notice a sizeable speed bump. As Final Cut Pro X hits storage hard during certain functions, things like waveform drawing should be a lot quicker.

 

peter wigginsPeter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X.

You can follow him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. 

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

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BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

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Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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