First contact from a guy with some Video editing workflow needing some help

Hi there. I have some specific needs but have no idea where to start. This is a new approach and needs lots of knowledge to get it planned, setup and maintained. Let me explace a bit about it. Yel let me know what you think and if you can help me with anything.

The salute: Hi there. Roberto Ocampo here from one corner of the world. This time to ask you about a recipe to get multiple servers with the same information replicated in multiple locations. So multiple editor cann access video data for editing purposes.

The problem: I have a team of video editors around the world 3 in Mexico, 2 in Venezuela and here in at my headquarters I have 3 fully loaded workstations connected to our main 1 (and only one for now) Data storage via a 40GB network which is connected online by a 1GigbDOWN / 100MbisUP. System its a Dell PowerEdge R730XD and Has 12x 8TB on Hardware RAID60 (wonder if I should use software base data pools for better and longer usability or data integrity thinking on ZFS and/or BTRFS) Current server has Rockstor distro in place but could be TrueNAS Scale as well. I am planning on using 2 similar servers with RS or Tnas plus 2 smaller for Mex/Ven offices for this approach). Our one system is fully in operations with its 40GB, 10GB and 1GB nics. Part of the Integration: I am editing content for multiple photos/video studios throughout the states. And we are sharing chunks of video works and re-works to multiple editors and clients around the globe. The video recordings from events like Weddings and Quinceañeras. This footage contents are 4 to 6 hours per 2 to 4 cameras, audio from 2 or 3 off camera mics, drone footage, music, event photos, studio photos, video preview, highlights and such. Total nominal space per raw footage per event is about 400 to 900Gb pero video to be edited per customer.

Scenario: In my small town Wenatchee WA. I have 2 counties splete by Columbia river. These are Chelan and Douglas counties. Douglas, which gives me for $78 symmetrical 1GB up/down fiber. But I only have limited space there. While in Chelan county where I do live, I also have my small DataCenter where our One RS server lives, the same place as the video/photo studio We have with the 3 workstations… Here in Chelan my ISP only gives 1Gbit down by 100Mb up for a much much higher price. At the Office in Mexico we have 250Mb/65Mb fiber. At the office in Venezuela we got 150/150mb symmetric fiber too.

Approach: I am willing to collocate One of the R730XD Server at Douglas location to gain on the 1Gb by 1Gb symmetric fiber, because of the speed to receive files from multiple customers around the states. As mentioned before, data files are dozens and dozens of videos.mp4 per studio is usually 400 to 800GB (Planning on using NextCloud for syncing from customer to server -Suggestions accepted). All this videos are recording from about 2, 3 or 4, audio recorders and such like FullHD, 120fps, slowmos and more like audios.wav, photos.raw, music.mp3 and slideshows from live recorded events like Weddings and Quinceañeras. All this information We wanted to have replicated to our headquarters where it will be rendered and proxy files be created. These files are much smaller (60 to 130GB instead of 600-800gb). These smaller versions that usually will be downloaded similar or smaller replicated servers in Mexico and Venezuela at editors location to use as proxy footage and editing material. We all use Premiere Pro. Once editing is done. We will render/export finals at our headquared using original footage and submit it back to the end customer for review and approval. If changes are needed then we loop again in the process and continue till fulfil. .

Details: I know this many need a lot to go to get it running, but I’m all for it and really really need your help on how to get it operational. I just can’t get it done by myself. Also need a solution to remote access, manage and update these remote RS servers as I’m the only one that knows something about this behind the scenes networking and systems needed for all this. The remote location has fiber Internet but will have only dynamic changing IP and also behind a nat. Can do any upto 4 port forwardings as is limited by the ISP. What would you recommend me to use for remote accessing these servers? if they are behind the nat somewhere in the world. I do have public static ip and domains for both fiber locations at our Studio in Chelan and the small Douglas space.

Help wanted:

  • Recommendations of hardware RAID60 vs BTRFS VS ZFS?
  • What will be the best way to use replication and if it is good or not to use NextCloud with Rockstor as I have been having issues with NextCloud accessing my NFS shared folder currently?.
  • What should I do for remote management of the servers if they are going to be set behind a NAT?
  • Regarding the multiple users and access, what should I do to control undesired people from accessing our data?
  • We are pro users and won’t mess with each other’s projects and data. But at some point I will have to prevent users from accessing: How could I create editors accounts and manage that for multiple locations?
  • Will anyone recommend a good way for backups? What will you recommend?

Please let me know if you will be interested on help me with this.

Now that’s a project abd it’s going to be expensive. 1. TrueNAS Core for data sore get in touch with iXsystems 2. consider a colo for ingest from remote clients where there is a big pipe 3. look into a CDN 4Backblaze offers not only back up but distribution via CDN on Cloudflair. 5. Hire a consultant who knows your type of business. 6 Don’t try to do it all at once.

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Cut everything down to proxy files and conform the edits back to full resolution later on location. That’s how Avid would set it up unless you have a very fast connection to the internet. Shifting 100mbps files around is just a losing proposition unless you have 10gb/10gb.

Alternate approach is build several onsite editing computers and have people remote into them. Guacamole and RDP works fine on Windows, full screen playback could be done over NDI or SRT (again Avid Media Composer). I’m not sure if any other editors allow full screen “client/producer” monitors over IP (NDI or SRT). For right now, SRT is only available to Media Composer Enterprise, we only have ultimate here so I can’t even test.

You will still want 1gb upload with the remote workflow to make sure multiple people could get in. When I was looking at this for work, I figured the absolute minimum was 200mbps/200mbps to get 18-20 people running and I would need about 24 cores in the server to handle this. It was based on testing to 10 clients through Guac (on a 12 core server) so it may not scale exactly the same. I did not test streaming to full screen monitors though, so my above suggested workflow would not be covered in the 200/200. Faster is almost always better here. But the nice thing about the Guac HTTP to RDP was it worked from my home garbage internet connection for a single connection to one of our workstations, only 70/6mbps at home.

One note, in order to record audio onto the remote computer, you will need a secure web connection to the Guac server. Chrome worked best but would not allow me to send my audio to the remote computer without an HTTPS connection in place. There are directions on the Guac pages. Also note that Adobe DOES NOT allow the remote use of their products! We checked really hard on this when all of our students got sent home in 2019. If you do this, you are technically breaking their licensing contract. What you do with this warning is up to.

And finally, the last choice could be this… Rent storage and editing in the cloud. I believe Adobe has their system back up and running, but I know Avid has full capabilities in the cloud, you can edit from a web browser. I forget the cost, not exactly as cheap as on premises, but it is a choice. I believe the Avid solution will work with Premiere as a client, this will shift proxies back and forth. Something you’d need to look into as I don’t really follow Premiere.

if you are using Resolve, then a proxy or remote workflow might be your only choice. Since they have remote color grading working (full studio version on each end), then I’d like to think they have editing available the same way. I haven’t looked into this enough for any real guidance, so you are on your own here.

If you choose to go with Avid or Adobe cloud products, I would suggest you contact your regional office for Keycode Media, they have technical people to help guide you, and sell many different products including Avid and Adobe products. I’m fairly sure they can sell the cloud products and worth a call if you decide on this choice.

And I’ll echo, this could be a very expensive project depending on how you want to do it. But I strongly suggest that you do not try and move full resolution files around the internet. It places a large burden on your editors to have a fast connection. It could also require them to own large fast storage servers that could automate shifting these files during non-working hours. This local server to local server transfer is another workflow that I know about, but it is the last choice unless you are really making money. NBC does/did this for the Olympics, they (have in the past) connected an Avid Nexus on site that through Interplay ingests everything, and more Avid Nexus in New York pulling that data back in for editors. They also had at least a 10gbps connection between the two locations. It works, it works well, and it is costly. But for them less costly than having to house and feed all those editors for the duration of the event.

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You might want to look at Iconok.

I would go with Resolve and avoid all the Adobe hassle. Also IxSystems has a partner relationship with a firm specializing in moving video files, check it out.