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First Look: Small Tree GraniteStor Titanium4

Posted by: NicSmith on 22/10/2012

Ever since people have using been shared storage available there have been two main issues: Portability and Noise.

SmallTreeUsing shared storage where there is infrastructure is fine but how do you get a shared storage unit out to set for only a few days? How much is it going to cost to ship? Will it be safe? I don’t have a server room and my storage sounds like a hairdryer, what do I do with it? Is it ok for me to leave this unit sitting on the floor? Shouldn’t it be in a rack?

Well, enter Small Tree Communications with the GraniteStor Titanium4.

These are the guys everyone has been using for their 10 Gigabit Ethernet HBA’s for the last few years but their storage solutions have started to cause a little bit of a stir in recent times too. Their entry level product is especially interesting as it’s entirely unique. It’s a NAS (Network Attached Storage) but as opposed to most options on the market it’s small, light and quiet, comes in its own case with four Ethernet ports built in which can give you 4 direct connects or can be bonded to supply 2 high-speed streams. This makes it a little more than a NAS, it’s an entire storage solution in a box.

What this really means is there is now a shared editing storage solution that you can take out to a location for a few days. There is now a under-desk storage solution for small design/VFX/graphics groups that is small enough and quiet enough to go unnoticed (and robust enough to take the occasional whack from a stray foot).

The Titanium4 is capable of working with the major networks sharing protocols (AFP, Samba (CIFS), NFS, FTP, FTPS, SFTP) so you can happily mix and match workstation OS’s. It has a built in power supply (which makes its mouse like noise level even more amazing) and comes in 8TB, 12TB and 16TB configurations (2, 3 and 4TB drives in its four slots) with the common RAID levels (0, 1, 5 and 10) necessary to protect your data in the case of a drive failure.  Testing its single port network bandwidth gave us a rock solid 110MB/sec. Control and configuration is done via a simple web-browser interface that is the same used on the entire GraniteStor range. Installation is made easy by a simple to use wizard that generates mounting scripts on the client system to make sure the Titanium4 appears every time you power up.

Small Tree guarantee it to provide 9 streams of ProRes 422 SQ (amongst other codec/count combinations) which gives it more than enough grunt to power a four man team on any project. We also had great results in our testing with XDCAM HD, DNxHD and RED 4K (at 24fps from the RED One). All in all, a system much more powerful than it looks.
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