The Mavericks upgrade and FCPX has worked for the majority of users, others have had a few problems. Risking a Betteridge style answer, have we overlooked a feature in Mavericks that could help all users who want fast shared storage?
Last week saw the official launch of the new Apple OS X operating system Mavericks. What did it bring to Final Cut Pro X users? In the program, not much apart from some added snappiness. On the finder level, tabbed finder windows and tags are great along with the new feature of the menu bar and dock being available on every screen.
We all overlooked Thunderbolt Bridging. Everybody that is apart from Iljitsch van Beijnum who wrote an excellent article on Ars Technica.
He wrote that the network settings now show the new interface of a Thunderbolt Bridge. We immediately looked and found that the new setting automatically popped up when we clicked the Network icon in System Preferences.
To boil down Iljitsch's article to the main points (which you really should read), fast file transfers are possible but 'choppy'. Best case was 500MB per second, worse case 200MB/s. Which is all a lot lower than we had expected, but it proves it can be done.
So why would we get excited over an extra option in the Network preferences?
Shared storage. It now takes only a few clicks to link two Thunderbolt Macs together with a Thunderbolt cable and it should be possible to share media from a third device such as a Pegasus Promise Thunderbolt RAID. With the caveat of 'We haven't actually tried it ourself', this will make a huge difference to the smaller edit shop. We have all struggled with sharing HD out over Ethernet, this could be a faster and easier solution.
But why stop there? The ability to move large amounts of data between machines (later in the article it goes on to show how fast the link goes without writing to disk) opens up many possibilities.
Xsan over Thunderbolt.
Added CPU and GPU power by adding another Mac Pro.
Maybe like FCPX, we shouldn't think of the new Mac Pro as a replacement for the old model, maybe it is just the start of something a lot bigger.
We are out on a job at the end of the week where we will have all the equipment needed to share a RAID over Thunderbolt. We will let you know how it goes, we are excited!