Tag Archives: editing

Final Cut Server Network Infrastructure

Using Final Cut Server to edit over a WAN?

Maybe you will, maybe not… In terms of how it taxes the network, clips will typically be 5 to 25MB per second (big B there By the Way) according to how many frames per second and other design considerations. Obviously even if there is a 5MB pipe, the clips are likely too big to edit given a live master asset so you’d need to cache locally, which means for each clip (and however many clips in a project) you’re talking about that much data caching to the local host before you can start editing.

To put this into a pseudo-real-world scenario (taking collisions, encryption and network latency out of the equation):
You are at home and sitting at your desk in your boxers, having just fixed a cup of coffee. You have 5 minutes of talking heads, classroom instruction or a reel that you’re going to cut down into a 2 minute Quick Time movie. You open the Final Cut Server desktop app and find the clip you want (assuming you’re not combing through clips looking for the one you want, which would take longer of course – so use good keywords) and click on add to cache. 5 minutes is 300 seconds, which is anywhere from a gig and a half to 7.5GB. Your home Internet connection gives you 2 Mb/s. You need to download (on the smaller side) 12 gigabits per second (1.5GB * 8 bits/Byte) which is around 12,000 metabits. At 2 of those per second it will take you 6,000 seconds, or 100 minutes before you can get to work. Obviously a 100 Meg connection from Comcast or a FIOS line helps with this if you guys have a fat enough pipe at the location with the actual Final Cut Server – but competing with other types of traffic might hurt… You can sync volumes (or their dedicated folders on volumes) to their homes and do WAN acceleration (which mostly just helps to cache commonly used files as compressed video isn’t gonna’ compress much more) as well.

Note: These are rough numbers, more specifics would require a bit more math, which I’m not in the mood to do right now.

Now, you can tweak it to do progressive downloading and edit in place and stuff like that. But even low res video you’re talking about tryin’ to drink a milkshake through a cocktail straw (thanks to KK for that analogy) in a lot of cases, which is going to be frustrating much of the time. You can also do a good number of automations with Final Cut Server to have the server upload items at night rather than during peak traffic times. But you are often talking about a lot of work to be done planning and testing before you try to go live. That’s testing and planning done with a network admin and an editor sitting together, two of the most A.D.D. profession around…