8 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2013 7:09 AM by Allynn Wilkinson

    Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!

    Allynn Wilkinson Level 2

      Let me say at the outset that my preference would be to wait for the new Mac Pro Towers to come out.  Having said that, however, I'm looking for some ideas on setting up some sort of network environment for editing with either iMacs or Mac Minis.

       

      I run a University Lab with 4 student work stations and 3 office editing suites.  All are connected to the network via gigabit.  In the past, we successfully used the FCP Server as an edit-in-place device.  Well... it was successful at *that* anyway   We shoot long-format, multicam, HD AVCHD (and we want to edit it natively).  Typically 4 or 5 two-camera, hour long shoots a week.  We also do occassional P2 work (2 or 3 camera shoots), DSLR (short pieces) and several three-camera (or more) multicam theater productions (2-4 hours each - AVCHD).

       

      Does anyone have recommendations for a fast and reliable network solution (ideally over ethernet unless Thunderbolt would be a better solution) that would support, say, 4 simultaneous editors?  For the moment, let's say price is not as much of an issue as speed and reliablility.  I already have a 16TB network for medium-term storage of finished archived pieces and raw footage.  I'm looking for something smaller (4 TB), for working projects over the course of a semester.  TPTB would like to have it stored in the Server Room (which is why I said Ethernet over Thunderbolt).

       

      As to computers... I'm no fan of iMacs (I prefer Minis) but the highest end one seems to have an Adobe supported graphics card.  As far as I can tell the minis don't.  Both iMacs and Minis have Thunderbolt but I really **really** don't want the nightmare of multiple external harddrives (been there, done that, hated it!).  Does anyone have experience using Premiere on either a mini or iMac? 

       

      Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  This isn't the route I want to go, but the money is available now and the new Mac Towers are not.

       

      Thanks

      Allynn

        • 1. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          PP doesn't have the best track record of using media over a network.  I'd recommend stand alone work stations with the following internal drive config for best performance.

           

          OS/Programs

          Projects

          Cache/Scratch

          Media

          Exports

           

          Use the network only for transfers and backups.  Keep all work locally on the machine when editing.  This leaves out iMacs and Minis as viable solutions.

           

          Having said that, CS6 has a problem with longer clips from some cameras.

           

          http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/kb/audio-video-glitches-avchd.html

           

          You might want to install the trial to see if your media is affected.

          • 2. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
            Allynn Wilkinson Level 2

            Oh, I know the spanned AVCDH clip problem **very** well!  Can't wait for June 17th!

             

            As to the "not playing well on a network", do you know of any resources that address that?  This is exactly the case I'm trying to make; wait until the new Towers.  But everyone out there is saying how wonderful the new iMacs are for video editing.  I just don't see it. They might be fine for an individual workstation but I have a networked Lab.  And I can't  have external hard drives carted around from machine to machine all the time.

             

            Does anyone have any resources to back me up?  What exact problems does Premiere have working over a newtork?

            • 3. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I have NO idea if these "exact problems" pertain to Macs, since I think most of these discussions are about Windows... but, some reading (not all PPro, but I put all the links I have saved, just for general information)

              -see #3 http://forums.adobe.com/thread/771151

              -you may NOT "map" your My Documents folder to a network drive

              -you MUST give all users administrator accounts to use Premiere

              -and especially Encore dual layer http://forums.adobe.com/thread/969395

              -#5 Server 2008 is UNsupported http://forums.adobe.com/thread/851602

              -a work around, of sorts http://forums.adobe.com/thread/957523

              -and not on a "domain" http://forums.adobe.com/thread/858977

              -also PreEl see #5 http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1017199

              -more PreEl problem http://forums.adobe.com/thread/975117

               

              The solution... some day... may be at this link

              Adobe Anywhere http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeanywhere.html

              • 4. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                They might be fine for an individual workstation

                 

                I would say not even that because you should have five internal drives for a good editing experience, and at least three internals as a bare minimum.

                • 5. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
                  dsfsdsdfsdffdsf Level 2

                  We've had success working with our media shared on NAS drives provided we keep the Pr projects and conforms on the local drives, so I think a solution can be tailored to your situation Allynn. We use Synology Diskstation NAS solutions, which I've had no issues with. They handle multi users and offer decent throughput and stability. I think we've been filling them with WD Red drives.

                   

                  If Adobe wants to make inroads into the professional sector they'll eventually have to deal with the network and shared user inadequacies of the software, but it's not a major hassle to copy your projects from the local drive to the NAS at the end of each session and vice versa.

                  • 6. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    If Adobe wants to make inroads into the professional sector they'll eventually have to deal with the network and shared user inadequacies of the software

                    I completely agree. Two major networked markets are academia and larger post/design shops - both market segments that Adobe expresses a desire to penetrate.

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      Collaborative work flows for smaller post houses that can't afford anything near Adobe Anywhere's entry ticket, but may still have half a dozen folks in the same office working on the same project, is a market segment I think Adobe should definitely go after.

                      • 8. Re: Multi-user, networked set-up for Macs - ideas wanted!
                        Allynn Wilkinson Level 2

                        I'm just coming off a long Memorial Day "work-end" (Commencement) so I thought I'd just make one post to comment on everyone's suggestions

                         

                        John,  Thanks so much for those links.  That's just the sort of ammunition I need.  I also found an Adobe document stating that Premiere wasn't supported over a network.

                         

                        Jim, I do prefer internal drives but I have to say, when I was editing a 3 hour 4-camera play in FCP 7 last year I **had ** to use media (ProRes 422) from the server because my local drive was only 7200 rpm and couldn't play back the multicam.  The server was 10,000 rpm and had no problem with it.  I was hoping Adobe might be more friendly with that sort of scenario but, alas.

                         

                        Paul, Thanks for you suggestion.  I may pick up a Synology for my home office!  While it's not a major hassle to copy projects, I'm afraid that's not a reliable scenario with my student workers.  Or, at least, it's one more possible screw-up I'd like to avoid adding to the mix.

                         

                        I also agree that Adobe needs to be thinking about this.  As flawed as the Final Cut Server was (just don't get me started!), it worked very well as an edit-in-place device.  I hope with the move to "the cloud", Adobe will start thinking seriously about multi-user environments.

                         

                        As to my situation... my co-workers seem pretty happy to ditch their desktop towers for new iMacs but I hope to convice TPTB that my office and Lab can get by for another year on our aging Towers.  As I explained, it feels like I'm trading in a perfectly lovely, 2008 Porsche Carrera for a shiny new 2013 Ford Escort!  I'm just not into that!