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COW Blogs : storage
What Makes the New G-Technology RAIDs w Removable Drives Better?
By: Gary Bettan on Nov 11, 2014 at 6:09:18 am

The G-RAID® with removable drives includes HGST Ultrastar™ Enterprise-class Hard Drives ...


Psssssst.. There's an election coming up.
By: Steve Modica on Oct 27, 2014 at 11:09:33 am

As most of you haven't heard, there's an election coming up next week. It's a mid-term election, so very few people will vote. It means the real hard core extreme groups get to come in and influence, since the moderates don't bother to show. ...


A special Anniversary
By: Steve Modica on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:59:12 am

11 years ago, I jumped in my car and drove to St Paul Minnesota and filed the paperwork to start Small Tree Communications LLC. ...


My hopes for IBC this year and a great Labor Day offer from Small Tree
By: Steve Modica on Aug 26, 2014 at 9:04:53 am

I’m heading out to IBC and there are a number of things I hope to see there. Of course, I’ve got customers asking me about SSDs, and engineers working on 40Gb Ethernet and people want to bring it all together. Really, what’s the hold up here? ...


Data choke points and a cautionary tale
By: Steve Modica on Aug 11, 2014 at 12:47:59 pm

During a normal week, I help a lot of customers with performance issues. Some of the most common complaints I hear include: ...


Up Coming User Group Meetings
By: Steve Modica on Aug 11, 2014 at 9:09:39 am

Hi All ...


10Gb and SMB3 really rocks
By: Steve Modica on Jul 30, 2014 at 3:04:19 pm

We got RSS working on our 10Gb cards a few days ago. This is a feature that splits up data coming into the card into multiple queues. Then we can let different CPUS handle pulling in that data and passing it up the stack. We found what we figured we'd find: When we setup multiple streams, we see data in multiple queues. We see more cpus involved in the work, and things go a lot faster. ...


Snapshots…your trashcan, on steroids
By: Steve Modica on May 19, 2014 at 8:42:53 am

I have to admit, as an old time UNIX guy that's been around inodes, fsck and corrupted filesystems all my life, snapshots sounded a little too good to be true. ...


5 Things You Need to Know about Shared Storage
By: Steve Modica on Mar 26, 2014 at 7:13:21 am

1. Shared storage is becoming the norm. It's not a "hack" anymore that's used to skirt licenses or the need for more disks. Vendors are beginning to embrace it more and more, and the storage software and protocols are adapting. There's never been a better time to implement a shared storage solution. ...


Thunderbolt Updates
By: Steve Modica on Mar 20, 2014 at 7:56:23 am

We’ve been working pretty hard on Thunderbolt products over the last few weeks and I thought I’d write up some of the interesting things we’ve implemented. ...


By: Steve Modica on Mar 18, 2014 at 11:03:40 am

1. The non-linear editing market (FCP, Avid etc) is changing rapidly. Avid was delisted, FCP supports NFS natively, Adobe is adding tons of new features (and a subscription model). More than ever, editors need to see what's out there and how people are using it. ...


Testing with Adobe Anywhere
By: Steve Modica on Mar 6, 2014 at 8:35:22 am

Small Tree has been working closely with Adobe to make sure our shared editing storage and networking products work reliably and smoothly with Adobe’s suite of content creation software. ...


Another Couple of Reasons to Love SSDs
By: Steve Modica on Feb 25, 2014 at 12:08:49 pm

One day, when we're sitting in our rocking chairs recounting our past IT glories ("Why, when I was a young man, computers had ‘wires’”), we'll invariably start talking about our storage war stories. There will be so many. We'll talk of frisbee tossing stuck disks or putting bad drives in the freezer. We'll recount how we saved a company’s entire financial history by recovering an alternate superblock or fixing a byte swapping error on a tape with the "dd" command. I'm sure our children will be transfixed. ...


What’s Your NLE of Choice
By: Steve Modica on Feb 2, 2014 at 7:20:35 am

Now that we’re several months removed from Apple’s introduction of Mavericks for OSX and we've all tested the waters a little, I wanted to talk about video editing software and how the various versions play with NAS storage like we use at Small Tree. ...


What you need to know about video editing storage in 2014
By: Steve Modica on Jan 17, 2014 at 10:05:58 am

With the New Year festivities well behind us, today seems like as good a time as any to chat about where video editing storage is (or should be) headed in 2014. ...


Small Tree is now 10years old!
By: Steve Modica on Sep 24, 2013 at 11:08:41 am

Back in 2003, on September 24th, I drove up to St Paul, Minnesota and filed paperwork to make Small Tree a Minnesota LLC. ...


SMPTE Australia 2013 visit
By: Steve Modica on Jul 29, 2013 at 12:43:19 pm

Visiting Australia is a once in a lifetime journey for many of us in North America. It's a 14 hour (very expensive) flight from LAX and because of the timezone shift, if you leave on Saturday, you arrive on Monday. You can forget Sunday ever existed. (Although on the way back, you arrive in LA before you even left Australia). ...


Tips for Happy Shared Storage Workflows
By: Steve Modica on Jun 24, 2013 at 12:45:15 pm

1. When you have lots of media coming in from various cameras to your shared storage, make sure you are ingesting that media using appropriate software. ...


Thunderbolt on your Mac
By: Steve Modica on May 24, 2013 at 12:13:41 pm

Apple has always been on the leading edge of connectivity for their systems. ...


NAB Sneak Preview from Small Tree
By: Steve Modica on Apr 5, 2013 at 10:33:47 am

I’m getting ready to head out to Las Vegas this weekend to get the Small Tree booth all setup (SL6005) and I’m really excited. ...


Gigabytes per second or Giga-buts per second?
By: Steve Modica on Mar 24, 2013 at 1:57:50 pm

Every year as NAB approaches, the marketing once again begins. Oh the marketing.... ...


Biscardi Creative Upgrade!
By: Steve Modica on Mar 4, 2013 at 4:19:18 pm

Very recently, Small Tree had the opportunity to go down to Atlanta and visit Walter Biscardi and upgrade his data center and edit suites. In conjunction with this trip, we also did a presentation on the upgrade for the Atlanta Cutters and showed off a new SSD based Titanium shared storage system we put together. This new Titanium SSD was able to move 1.2GB/sec of *realtime* video to Adobe Premiere with no dropped frames. This is faster than you can go with 8Gb Fibre Channel and the fastest realtime video I've ever seen displayed live without a net! ...


It's Important to to have a good time. Always.
By: Steve Modica on Feb 5, 2013 at 9:49:43 am

If you use Adobe Premiere for post-production projects, then you may have come across the problem where the application re-conforms and recreates peak files for projects every time the project opens or when changing back to Adobe from using another application, i.e. hide/show. ...


The Power of Ethernet
By: Steve Modica on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:18:35 pm

Storage is a tough market and customers are always willing to pay a little less to get a little less. My take away is this: In the war between Ethernet and EtherNOT based storage, such as Fibre Channel, the one that delivers the best value for the lowest price is going to win. As Warren Buffet likes to say, "In the short term, the market is a popularity contest. In the long term, it's a weighing machine." People need to buy based on value over time. ...


Another step in the Commodity Hardware Revolution
By: Steve Modica on Jan 21, 2013 at 12:48:34 pm

Not too long ago, I was asked to write up my predictions on storage and networking technology for the coming year. One of those predictions was the rise of new, combined file system/logical volume managers like ZFS and BtrFS. ...


Busy busy busy
By: Steve Modica on Dec 3, 2012 at 9:48:38 am

When I used to work at SGI, I would often wonder what "C" level officers did. I once got to ask Ed McCracken what he spent most of his time doing day-to-day. At the time, he was CEO of SGI. ...


Clone Detectors!
By: Steve Modica on Nov 26, 2012 at 9:52:33 am

Not the Star Wars kind tho... ...


By: Steve Modica on Nov 19, 2012 at 11:10:31 am

Many years ago when I was a "smoke jumper" support guy for SGI, I got to see some of the strangest problems on the planet. Mind you, these were not "normal" problems that you and I might have at home. These were systems that were already bleeding edge and being pushed to the max doing odd things in odd places. Further, before I ever saw the problem, lots of guys had already had a shot. So reinstalling, rebooting, looking at the logs, etc., had all been tried. ...


Warning: Advanced Technology Ahead
By: Steve Modica on Nov 5, 2012 at 8:29:22 am

I remember the days when CPUs were stuck in a rut. They were barely hitting 1Ghz. Networks were running at 1Gb and beyond and CPUs and storage just could not keep up. Clients wanted redundant, failover capable servers that could handle 600 clients, but SGI was running out of ways to do that. We couldn’t make the bus any wider (128bit computers?) and we couldn’t make the CPUs any faster. What should we do? ...


Avid shared projects
By: Steve Modica on Oct 30, 2012 at 12:30:01 pm

Ever since Apple blew up the happy world of FCP 7, we've been running into more and more people moving to Adobe and Avid. ...


Oh... That’s a compiler bug
By: Steve Modica on Oct 22, 2012 at 8:26:47 am

The worst possible answer to a customer problem is that it’s a hardware bug. Hardware bugs are expensive to fix. You not only have to replace the hardware, you may also have to replace everything you’ve got on the shelves. You can’t do this until you’ve “fixed” the problem, which might cost millions of dollars and take months. Hardware problems suck. ...


Military Muscle
By: Steve Modica on Oct 16, 2012 at 9:25:02 am

Military Muscle ...


Scaling IT
By: Steve Modica on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:56:04 am

Just about everyone can have a free web page. You get them free when you open cloud accounts or purchase internet service. This has lead to a proliferation of cat pictures on the Internet. ...


10Gb is Coming
By: Steve Modica on Oct 4, 2012 at 11:04:51 am

You've all read that 10GbaseT is on the way. It's true. Very soon, you will be able to plug standard RJ45 connectors (just like on your Mac Book Pro) into your 10Gb Ethernet cards and switches. You'll be able to run CAT6A cable 100m (assuming the runs are clean runs) and have tons and tons of bandwidth between servers and clients. Who needs Fibre Channel anymore?! ...


Hard Drive Shortages to Drive Up Cost of Video Editing
By: Gary Bettan on Nov 2, 2011 at 9:02:00 am

Over the past year the hard drive producers have been hit by a one-two punch that has them scrambling to find ways to produce enough hard drives to satisfy demand. Hard drives prices are expected to jump up by 20% or more over the next week, with no end in sight. ...


Ethernet SAN Primer
By: walter biscardi on Jun 7, 2011 at 4:30:57 am

Ok, I got a bunch of emails yesterday asking to explain exactly how an Ethernet SAN works. I've done a full article on this in the past, but here's a quick primer on how it works. ...


RIP Firewire
By: David Roth Weiss on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:11:36 pm

I'm not a big fan of firewire storage for video editing, especially pre-manufactured drives in sealed enclosures, such as those from LaCie. These types of drives are great for backup and for transporting files and projects, and they're certainly convenient, but for day to day editing they are a perfect example of what I like to call "false economy." ...

Final Cut pro

Uncompressed HD via Ethernet? It just might be!
By: walter biscardi on Apr 18, 2010 at 1:47:52 pm

Most of you know that we're running an ethernet based SAN here at BCM. It's the Maxx Digital Final Share SAN which runs a combination of their drive arrays with Small Tree ethernet wizardry and some stout Atto Host Bus Adapters. We generally get around 100 - 120MB/s to the 7 workstations that are connected to the SAN. More than enough speed to cut using Apple's ProRes codec all day long. At the moment we're cutting two feature documentaries (over 300 hours of material), 3 PBS series and a multitude of other projects all on the SAN simultaneously. It's been a...

maxx digital

Ethernet SAN has limits - UPDATED
By: walter biscardi on Jan 11, 2010 at 2:18:00 am

In December of '08 we installed a Maxx Digital Final Share SAN system consisting of a 16TB array that is shared to 6 workstations via high speed ethernet connectivity. You can read a full article I wrote on the installations at the Creative Cow website. The primary purpose for this installation was to allow a shared editing environment for three feature length documentaries. We have in the neighborhood of 450 hours of footage (and growing) for all three and our first doc, Foul Water, Fiery Serpent is using around 100 or so hours. All footage is digitized at Apple ProRes 720p/60...

maxx digital

Just one of those days.....
By: walter biscardi on Nov 30, 2009 at 4:51:51 pm

Today's just been one of those days where the Final Share SAN isn't working right, the AJA Kona 3 isn't working right and FCP isn't working right either. Just as we're about to finish our first feature documentary. It's one of those days where you wonder what the hell you invested all of this money for and if you should just switch over to something else.......

maxx digital

High Speed SAN via Ethernet. It's True!
By: walter biscardi on Feb 16, 2009 at 8:38:33 pm

To paraphrase a famous author, "I have seen the future of shared storage and his name is Ethernet." Last month we invested in the new Final Share system from MaxxDigital and after some tweaking, we now have 16TB of shared storage supported a high definition workflow with 6 workstations all running Apple's ProRes HQ in high definition, both 720p and 1080i. And actually it's not "workstations" in the traditional sense of the word, since we're running ethernet, we can connect any Mac computer to the array. So in our case, we have three Final Cut Pro desktop workstations and three iMac's all...


Fusion-io: Improving storage performance by up to 1,000 times
By: Ronald Lindeboom on Oct 18, 2008 at 10:09:56 am

Well, it seems as if we just passed the 900,000 totally unique users a month marker (according to Google Analytics) and here we are, a month later and we are now past the 940,000 marker. Insane. It seems as if we are always buying more servers and adding more backbone infrastructure to the COW. How do we keep up with it all? Our technical director, Abraham Chaffin, is constantly researching new ways and ideas that keep us ahead of the rapid growth of Creative COW. In his latest foraging on the Net, he came across a powerful new technology that...


The PCIe Based Storage Revolution in Creative Content Creation
By: Andrew De Lara on Sep 19, 2008 at 3:02:38 pm

The PCIe (PCI Express) standard will have a disruptive impact on the business and workflow processes in video/production/post production/etc. Leading storage vendors are catching on to the idea as we speak. The industry currently faces technology challenges in dealing with the continual purchasing of storage equipment to keep up with the rising needs of performance and archiving...

mac os

Calibrated {Q} Another native MXF importer
By: Noah Kadner on Jun 27, 2008 at 1:43:23 pm

Here's something interesting. An app that gives you native MXF in all QuickTime applications including FCP. Calibrated Software's unique solution successfully joins the separate video and audio P2 MXF files so that Final Cut Pro sees them all as ONE file - complete with TimeCode and Reel Name. PullDown can also be removed or added for select frame rates. And you're not just limited to Final Cut Pro, you can also natively import files in Compressor, Motion and Sound Track Pro. ...


How to Label DVD-Rs 2008 Edition
By: Noah Kadner on Jun 9, 2008 at 9:18:42 am

This question comes up a lot- how does one label a DVD-R? I would never use a print on inkjet disc- because they smear with just a droplet of moisture nor stick on labels because they peel and jam. Instead- I'd go for one of three technologies- depending on budget and how professional the labels need to look: 1. Sharpie. This is cheap as dirt and works like a charm for sending to replication houses and for internal backups. But not so much given to clients- looks decidely ghetto for that... 2. LightScribe - this is a type of DVD...

mac os

New version of XDCAM EX Transfer Software Available
By: Noah Kadner on May 1, 2008 at 9:43:56 am

If you're having any problems with Sony XDCAM EX footage the latest version of the XDCAM transfer software might be a big help. It has some new error correction built in that can recover corrupted material. ...


By: Shane Ross on Apr 28, 2008 at 3:23:26 pm

It hasn t been a good week for my hard drives.On Wednesday my old G-Raid...the one I bought four years ago...finally gave up the ghost. It had begun clicking over the weekend when I was copying footage to and from it, which is not a good sign. It did this before, when I owned it for about a year. But, I took it to G-tech in Santa Monica and in two days, I had it back in my hands. The same thing happened back then...clicking when copying. Well, after a few days of the decided not to show up on...


Mexico Goes to China - Part 2 of 2
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 23, 2008 at 3:38:36 pm

I wrote two articles for the Final Cut Pro User's Group Supermeet at NAB. They appeared in the SuperMag magazine(which I named btw). Here's part two of the first article looking at an Apple network system that is being used at the Beijing Olympics this summer in China. For part one click here. ...

mac os

Mexico Goes to China - Part 1 of 2
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:00:43 pm

I wrote two articles for the Final Cut Pro Supermeet at NAB this year. Here's part one of the first article looking at an Apple SAN network system that is being used at the Beijing Olympics this summer in China: ...

mac os

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