Connecting Content-Creation Workgroups with the ProMAX Platform Portable Y - Tutorial from Streaming Media Producer and Videoguys.com
Whether you need to connect multiple workstations together with shared storage or multiple storage devices to a single workstation, the ProMAX Platform Portable series has you covered. Small content-creation workgroups who have a large investment in external FireWire and USB drives will appreciate the legacy support, while those who require modern connection protocols for faster connectivity will love the ProMAX Platform Portable for its eight USB 3.0, two eSATA, and two Thunderbolt 2.0.
The Platform Portable lets small workgroups solve the problems associated with the sharing of external portable hard drives. This shared storage solution doesn't require a costly reinvestment to replace and upgrade legacy external hard drivers, and it offers so many storage expansion port options. It frees creative types from having to worry about the technical compatibility details that are common when working with content in different file formats, including FAT32, exFAT, HFS+, and NTFS.
Platform Portable Model OptionsThe Platform Portable series is available in X and Y models. The X model starts at $5,995 at videoguys.com, and the Y model features a faster processor and a 2 TB on-board SSD RAID, which is great for video workflows that require proxy generation, transcoding, and After Effects and Cinema 4D rendering.
All you need to do to get started is to connect your Platform Portable to your workstation via ethernet. You can do this over your existing Internet network but you can also connect one of the additional ethernet ports on the back of the Platform to your workstation, provided it has a secondary network card.
with 3 Port 1GbE$8,995.00
with 5 Port 1GbE$9,690.00
with 2 Port 10GbE$10,665.00
Introducing the ProMAX Platform Portable
Share Anything, with Anyone, Anywhere.
The ProMAX Platform Portable is a unique mobile server that allows you to connect existing storage devices and transform them into a simple but sophisticated shared editing environment. Content from your USB and FireWire drives can be easily shared among the workgroup and media streamed directly from the drives over video optimized 1GbE and 10GbE connections.
Turn Your Hard Drives into Shared Storage for VideoConnect existing storage devices and share content to the workgroup over video optimized 1GbE and 10GbE connections. Platform Portable delivers high quality video streaming performance for consistent online editing with Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer.
Support for Multiple Devices and File Formats Storage devices can be attached via Thunderbolt, USB, eSATA, FireWire and SAS, and all common file systems including Apple HFS+, FAT32 and NTFS are supported.Catalog & Search Your Media Media across all drives can be indexed by the server and files catalogued for easy searching regardless of whether the drives are online or offline. Custom tags can be added to existing metadata to further define searches. Ready to Travel, Anywhere You Need to Share ContentPlatform Portable features rugged steel construction, but at L (12.3”) x W (18.4”) x H (2.93”) and 10.75lbs it is lightweight and small enough to take on the plane or in the car, wherever you need to share content.
More on the ProMAX Platform Portable
Configuring the ProMAX Platform
The first step in configuring the ProMAX platform is to navigate to platform1.Local. Once you're there, you need to install the ProMAX Platform Listener. This is available for Windows and Mac.
The Listener is what allows you to interact with the Platform and to mount the drives locally on your computer or workstation. Just follow the series of prompts and accept all of the permissions. Once the installation is complete, you'll see a red icon in the bottom-right corner of your screen . That means that the listener client has been installed and then once you log in, it will connect.
Next, go to platform1.local again. The default password in your manual is admin and ProMAX 1, 2, 3 with a capital P
Locating Your Devices
Once you're logged in, you can see all of the connected devices that are called storage groups. As you can see in below, Archive 16 and 18 are my external USB devices, and Storage Group is the internal SSD.
Under Platform Spaces, I can see tabs for each of my connected devices, as well as the internal SSD. Currently, they're dismounted. When I mount the individual Platform Spaces, they connect to my local network and I can open these folders and navigate as if they were locally mounted hard drives on my computer.
Adding UsersThat's the start of getting the ProMAX Platform set up. Next I’ll add an additional user. I'll add Shawn, and enter in my password. Doing so allows me to share this content and these mounted drives with other users on the network who aren't at this particular workstation.
You can assign permissions based on users . There are a lot of powerful controls available.
You can view all of the different connections in the Connections tab. We're connecting via the Internet connection but there are, as I mentioned before, additional network cards on the platform itself and you can directly connect to your individual workstations.
When multiple users connect to the Platform, it becomes a shared resource, and it's important at that point that the administrator has the ability to allocate resources based on an individual user basis.
Mounting and Sharing Storage
Storage Groups are individual hard drives that are connected to the Platform. Platform Space is like a virtual drive that can contain multiple different hard drives or individual folders within a drive. When we add a storage group to an existing platform space, you can view all of the individual folders on that hard drive and you can mount them individually
Doing so will assign a drive letter to that folder This can be very useful if you don't want to mount the entire hard drive and share the entire hard drive. However, be aware that you're limited to mounting 26 devices, virtual or physical, because that's all the letters there are in the alphabet.
Below, we can see this individual folder and we can mount it. It'll occupy the W letter, and we can now see it under our network location and access the content within that folder there on the hard drive that's physically mounted to the platform.
Now if you're like me, you may want to mount the entire hard drive in one go. So I’ll dismount the folder and remove the Platform Space . Essentially, we’re undoing what we just did in the previous step.
Now I'm going to mount that same 2013 archive 15 hard drive onto my workstation directly, create a new folder called 2013 archive 15, and take all of the folders that are sitting on the root of that hard drive and bring them into that new folder that I've created. I'll unmount the hard drive and reconnect it to the platform now. When I refresh, I can see the hard drive under the storage groups and I can add that entire folder of 2013 archive 15 into my existing platform space.
We can see this individual folder and we can mount it. It'll occupy the W letter, and we can now see it under our network location and it'll be visible under My Computer. I can navigate to it and access the content. The only change is that there is a new file that's been created by the platform.
Now I’ll log out of the administrator access, dismount all of the hard drives, and log in under that new user that we created. I just need to enter in my username of Shawn and my password from the remote user login. Below, I can see the three drives that are available and I need to individually mount them so that they'll be available on my remote computer or workstation.
Now you'll see that there are fewer options available on the left hand side here, but one of them that's especially useful is the Search function. I can type in a file extension, and I’ll find all of the files that are on that hard drive that have a proxy file that have been created for them. The proxy file will be denoted by a little play button on the left. The platform creates a proxy file for all of the video files that are located on the mounted drives.
This happens automatically in the background using the processing power of the platform. Search functionality is really useful when you're looking for content on mounted and unmounted drives. The proxy files reside on the Platform and you can play them in a preview window. You will notice in the preview window in Figure 19 that the display isn't showing a proper widescreen, so there is some cropping happening. Hopefully ProMAX will fix this in a future update.
Once you've located the file that you want to work with, if the file is mounted, you can right-click an open folder and locate that file on the hard drive itself. I'm going to copy this over to a new folder on my workstation itself so I'm working off of the Platform.
In general, you're limited to a gigabit ethernet connection speed, which is about 120 MB/sec. In addition to simply copying files across the network, you can also play back files from hard drives that are mounted directly to the platform. There's plenty of transfer speed to play back files that are up to 110-120 MB/sec.
When you're logged in as the administrator, you can navigate to the performance tab and view the Platform’s System Utilization. This includes tabs for the CPU utilization, the storage groups, which are the mounted hard drives, the connections, these are the ethernet connections, as well as on an individual user basis.