I Fast Photo Editing Directly on Your Storage | Synology

Fast Photo Editing Directly on Your Storage | Synology

 Hey everyone, it's Alex from DGTL-Craft post production. And today we're going to talk storage. If you're working in the creative industry, let's say as a videographer, photographer, or like me, in post production. Chances are that you're always in the need for more storage. And with cameras pumping up the resolution every six months or so, and the files weas creators have to work with are getting bigger and bigger, that storage better be fast.

 My main editing drive up until this point was a one terabyte SSD. I would have all my recent projects on it, and as soon as something is done or I run out of space, I would offload my media to atraditional NAS drive or an external USB drive. This creates two problems.

 When my SSD is very fast, its storage capacity is very limited, and when my NAS drive has a lot of capacity, it's way too slow to edit off. So how can you put these two things together? Most NAS devices are using a 1GbE connection which is fine if you're using normal hard drives. But it is a real bottleneck when you're using SSDs. What we're planning to do, but more on that later. For this project, we are using a Synology DS1618+ which is a 6-bay NAS that has just the perfect combination of features while also maintaining a relativelysmall footprint which is always welcome in a tight room of the space.

 The DS1618+ additionally has a PCIe expansion slot, that you can either use for an SSDcache or more importantly, to add a 10GbE adapter card. And this is where the magic happens, since 10GbE is able to provide up to 1.5GB per second read and write speed.

 That's off the limitation of a slow connection to a NAS, but we still need to find a way to saturate at connection. Traditional hard drives simply do not have the performance so SSDs are obvious choice. With SSD price's going down considerably, this option slowly became viable over the last year or two Seagate was kind enough to provide a set of their brand-new NAS SSDs and with capacities of nearly 2TB for each drive. You will have plenty of capacity even in RAID 5.

 Since I don't have any PCs or Macs at hand that have a native 10GbE connection, we need to use a Thunderbolt 3 adapter, these things don't come cheap, but they are essential if you want to utilize a 10GbE connection on your laptop. After the initial setup, which thankfully to Synology's amazing software, only took like 30 minutes or so.

 I had some tests transferring some recent projects of mine to NAS and it was able to max out the reads and writes of my external SSDs, no problem. Usually offloading a project or even a whole shoot is a very time-consuming process. But with the speeds like this, you can come home from a production hook up your SSD or your laptop transfer your files get a quick coffee and get back to work. Editing on the DS1618+ is a breeze as well. It's as fast as my external SSDwith no problems or slowdowns whatsoever. And the read speeds are even faster, so opening huge Photoshop files like I have to use several times a day is much faster than before. Another huge advantage of using a NAS device as an edit solution is collaboration.

 My good friend is a photographer, we are working together on a lot of different projects and jobs. Usually she would make a selection and pass that selection on to me via an external hard drive or overour normal Network. This is a very time-consuming and annoying process and it also doubles our files, which is a very ineffective way to use our storage. Now we can simply connect to the same NAS device by a 10GbE. She can do her selection without any slowdowns, and I can go into the same session and capture one and start editing right away. While this whole setup isn't the most affordable solution. For me it's a very effective and elegantway to manage my office storage, and with SSD prices going down and a more widespread adoption of 10GbE adapters or native connections, I'm sure the situation will improve in a very near future.

 I found myself definitely do not want to go back to handing a bunch of these, and with the Synology DS1618+ and 10GbE, it's definitely the way to go forward for me when it comes to storage.

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