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TOPIC: a Solid State Storage Story

a Solid State Storage Story 30 May 2014 19:13 #46996

  • Loccufier
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Hi everyone

I'm new to the forums but I've been visiting the site for a couple of years now.

I work at a small company mainly focussing on corporate films and live cam for corporate events and music festivals. Lately we've been doing more and more video mapping projects as well.

Things are going well and we are about to move into a new building, where we will be setting up two "plug-in" edit suites. Up until a few months ago we did all of our editing on a Mac Pro with internal RAID on FCP 7, but recently me and my Colleague moved up to rMBP's (and FCPx). Therefore we are considering setting up our edit suites with everything but computing power, since for the work we do at the moment we don't need to spend our money on a nMP or maxed out iMac. We'll just plug in power and a thunderbolt cable and we're set, all peripherals attached!

Now, the thing I'd like some advice about: Storage.
Right now, we're helping ourselves with Lacie Rugged Triple Disks via USB 3 (and FireWire800 on our old MP). Unfortunately, we've been having some bad luck with the reliability of those drives, and editing from them isn't the most snappy experience. (we are using the 7200rpm 500GB versions)
For backup and archival purposes, we use a big NAS.

What I expect from my setup is that it is very responsive (snappy), portable and reliable.
We generally work on a variety of projects at once. Usually not so bulky, so they generally fit on a 250 or 500 GB harddrive. We work from our office, but we often take the work with us. Either home or on a job. This is why up until now we've often been using single disks: portability.
The media we work with is often XDCAM EX 35Mbit or dslr-quality H264 (often transcoded to Prores), and also quite some Prores 422HQ, but anything bulkier in size is rare, so the bandwidth-wise I'm not extremely demanding, it is more response time that matters for me.
I very much welcome any suggestions, but here is what I'm considering:

I'm really interested in getting a BlackMagic MultiDock 2 for each edit suite, and therefore move our workflow to SSD storage. On the go, I'm thinking about using a simple bus powered USB3 to SATA dock, or the Seagate Goflex thunderbolt dock (If I can get my hands on one, they seem to be hard to come by here in Belgium)
That seems to cover speed and portabillity, but lacks some reliability, since it requires manually backing up everything.
However, SSD's are more reliable than our current set of Lacie scratch disks, not dependable on any interface, affordable in reasonable sizes, and very very fast.

On the other hand, if I get a Promise Pegasus2 Raid, I have reliability and speed, but no portability. Also, the enormous capacity of such a drive isn't something I need, since projects usually don't grow over 250GB before they are archived. So even with serveral project's at once, it would be overkill.

Does anyone have experience with what I want to do? Are SSD's a good idea? Also: What SSD to get? Anything I should look out for?

Any help is much appreciated!

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