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Setup advice for small studio collaboration?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:34 pm
by dev_willis
If someone would be willing to give me feedback on this I'd appreciate it. I'm a tech-savvy guy but IT is not my field. :D

My wife and I own and operate a small business doing web and media work. Video is becoming a bigger and bigger part of what we do and we need to be able to work on the same project at the same time. So we want to build a second desktop and set up a collaborative environment. From my research, there are two basic approaches to this:

The first and most common is a traditional network. I assume our existing Cat5e (1Gbps) infrastructure is insufficient and I'll need to step up to Cat6 (10Gbps) components. Or would I be better off with Cat6a? These machines will be in the same room together so the extra distance 6a provides isn't relevant to us but the extra bandwidth might be. And I'll need a third machine, a Windows server, to run Resolve Project Server and host the source files which I currently keep on a USB-connected external RAID array, yes? Does this server need to be anything special? We don't have a specific budget but a $30,000 Jellyfish is out of the question.

The second and far less common approach is a virtualized environment. Instead of two desktops and a server we build one really beefy machine and host it all using something like Unraid or Xen where each VM gets direct access to a physical GPU installed in the system. This eliminates the physical network and I would think the virtual network would be much more performant given that it's really all internal to the one machine. In this situation, would I even need to set up a third VM for Resolve Project Server or could I run that on one of the desktops and continue to use my external RAID array for hosting source files?

The former is the more tried-and-true method but seems less performant overall. The latter seems tricky to set up and maintain but more performant in the day-to-day use. Thankfully, I have a friend who owns an IT business who says he has experience setting up VMs for video editing and is willing to build and support this kind of system for us.

Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance!