ETHERNET SAN TECHNOLOGY
What does DDP mean?
DDP – Dynamic Drive Pool – refers to pools of storage, which can be added on the fly as Data Locations. Pools of storage can be SSD and HD packs, DDP storage arrays or DDPs themselves.
What is the technology behind the DDP?
Simply put, the DDP is a storage server, which connects to standard Ethernet and provides high bandwidth project and file level based sharing. The iSCSI experts at Ardis Technologies developed AVFS, the Ardis Virtual File System, which is the technology behind the Dynamic Drive Pool. iSCSI is just like FC a block I/O technology. Because iSCSI exclusively uses Ethernet, there is only one network infrastructure to consider: standard Ethernet with standard Ethernet switches. AVFS is the metadata controller responsible for managing access on the Ethernet SAN, providing parallel simultaneous read and write access for everyone. Applications supported include Avid, Apple, Adobe, Autodesk, Digital Vision, Grass Valley, Resolve, DVS, Digidesign, Nuendo, Sequoia, Fairlight and more. All out of one box - with sustained data rates 2-3 times higher than regular NAS systems.
How does the DDP work?
DDP conceptually works with one virtual volume / filesystem, which holds folders with volume properties, so called Folder Volumes. Data itself is stored in Data Locations. Quota can be assigned to each Folder Volume to manage capacity. Also Data Locations can be assigned to Folder Volumes. When “balanced” is selected, incoming media is distributed over Data Locations. SSD caching off and the different cache modes are also properties of the Folder Volumes. Data Locations can be packs of SSD and HD storage, storage arrays or multiple DDPs. With a DDP cluster consisting of multiple DDPs the desktop accesses the data parallel of each DDP.
Ethernet SAN and NAS – DDP with SMB Access
The DDP is a SAN using Ethernet. Thus very fast and easy to install. But do all your operators need fast access?
Especially with a large number of operators, some use low bandwidth material and/or push/pull. These operators can benefit from DDPs NAS functionality and simply use the SMB protocol already available on each Windows, Mac and Linux desktops. Therefore, no drivers need to be installed on the desktop. DDP Folders and Folder Volumes can be accessed simultaneously by desktops using the SMB protocol and by desktops using the DDP protocol.
Except the lower bandwidth are there other limitations when using SMB?
Some. To collaborate on Avid projects, to use bandwidth limiting, to use multiple bandwidth support, the DDP protocol is necessary. Hence DDP drivers must be installed. So the use of SMB comes in handy for an office department or desktops not involved in the core activity.
But is access rights management easy when using SMB with the DDP itself?
Yes! No matter how many users collaborate. Both in the SAN and NAS realm the administrator always has a good overview who has access to what, for how long and with which access rights.
Desktops in SAN mode with DDP drivers installed automatically can get their Folder Volumes on the desktops when a user logs in. Desktops in NAS mode – for example on Mac – log on to the DDP volume or Folder Volumes via Finder. Then a list of the DDP Volume and Folder Volumes is shown. The user then selects the ones needed from this list. These shares with the proper access rights then appear on the desktop. For Windows and Linux this procedure slightly differs.