Accelerate your video team with 10 gigabit ethernet

by Matthew Mister, on Apr 8, 2020 8:20:41 AM

At any given moment, millions of bits of data are being transferred over networks. This data can range from Word documents and Excel spreadsheets to someone streaming videos on YouTube.  The speed at which the data transfers is dependent on the size of your files and your network bandwidth. 

Professional video teams face a unique challenge with their data. Video files contain a large amount of data. Transferring these files over standard gigabit networks can be a major bottleneck to your video production workflow.

In order to overcome these lags in data transfer speed, upgrading your network infrastructure to a high-speed network can provide the performance boost your video team needs. Many offices and homes run on a 1GbE network. For general applications that is plenty of bandwidth, for transferring video files that is not nearly enough. To support their workflow, video teams should upgrade from their older 1GbE infrastructure to 10 gigabit networking standards.

Is a 10GbE network for you?

Upgrading infrastructure to support high-speed network applications can bring immediate value to any business. The main thing to consider here is whether the performance boost is worth the time and money. 

Businesses that work with large media files will notice a major performance improvement by upgrading their network to 10GbE. Transferring data from workstations to a shared storage server after a shoot will be noticeably faster over a 10GbE network, a 500GB transfer would take roughly 15 minutes.

Setting up your 10GbE Network

In order to upgrade your network to 10GbE, you'll need to start by making some changes to your network infrastructure. Before you start buying hardware, make sure you do plenty of research on what components you need. The worst thing you can do is build an entire network, only to see you ordered the wrong parts.

The biggest requirement to reach 10GbE performance is having the right 10GbE adapters. For PC users, you'll need PCIe card based adapters in most cases. Mac users will need a Thunderbolt to 10GbE adapter or PCIe cards that can go into a Thunderbolt enclosure.  If you use a Mac, the gold standard is the Sonnet Twin 10G adapter with the Intel X550 chipset. Another great option are the Chelsio cards. You'll also need 10 gigabit ethernet switches.

Once you have the proper switches and adapters, you'll need to connect everything. Having the proper cabling is critical at this part in your setup. You'll need to decide if you are planning on using fiber or copper cabling.

If you plan to use fiber you'll need to decide between single mode fiber and multimode fiber. You'll also need to measure the length you will be running the cabling to make sure you have the correct type. For copper connections, you'll need  Cat 6a or Cat 7 cablings.

10GbE Impact on Shared Storage

Video production companies that utilize shared storage systems can expect to notice some major performance boosts if they connect it to a 10GbE network. Shared storage that integrates seamlessly with a 10GbE network like ProMAX Platform can improve the performance of each editing workstation on the network. 

Having a 1GbE connection is a bottleneck for any SAS hard drive. If your storage is connected to a RAID set, that 1G connection is spread across those drives creating easily 6-8x the bottleneck. By switching to a 10G connection, you are removing that bottleneck and opening up the full performance of that storage system. Just note that the performance boosts you see is dependent on the number of drives you have. 

Conclusion

Upgrading a video production team from a 1GbE connection to high-speed network can provide many benefits. Improving your connection speed will allow your team to share and transfer video files much faster than they could before. Enabling your team to start working on projects sooner and hitting your deadlines.

One thing to remember, 1GbE has been around for about three decades so we have had a lot of time to make everything compatible. Many systems you can pull out of the box and easily connect to and get the full performance of a 1GbE connection. 

While 10GbE has made many advancements over the last few years, there is still a lot of fine tuning the network in order to get the full performance of a 10GbE connection. You can be using the same adapter as someone but if you're settings are evenly slightly different you can easily experience varying performance. 

If you think improving your network could help your video team call (800) 977-6629 or contact us here. Our team of video workflow experts is available to answer any network design or performance questions you might have.

Topics:10GbE networking

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