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Storage in the new Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro is now a reality for everyone. Many may still be waiting to receive it, but the vast majority of the specialist press have already been able to test it (especially the Americans) and the first impressions of its performance and price against the competition are more than positive .

But if there is one thing that characterizes the criticism of this machine, it is its storage capacity, which cannot go beyond a TeraByte . Apple’s explanation is simple: we have many high speed USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2 expansion ports. But for many professionals this has two problems: the first is the high price of disks with Thunderbolt 2 (the fastest protocol) and the second is the bottleneck that is generated since external disks never have the same performance as internal storage.

Storage in the new Mac Pro
Storage in the new Mac Pro

So is it really a problem that the new Mac Pro only has a maximum of 1TB of internal disk? Not really, because what no one is counting on, although Apple does in its official explanations, is what’s called network storage. What few have taken into account to understand why the new Mac Pro is the process of operation that currently exists in most professional companies that are dedicated to music or image: working locally is crazy, everything is on the local network .

Today’s companies, of these characteristics and many others, operate with the philosophy of “divide and conquer”. Nobody (unless they are professionals) today edits a whole project on a single machine with a single copy of its contents. As we all know, this is an unnecessary risk. Nowadays we work with network storage: big servers with disk cabins that move the information and create information repositories to which we connect, we download the small piece we are going to work on and when it is done we return it to the server .

In addition, they do not need to be large and expensive servers. There are great high-performance NAS solutions (like those from Synology or Western Digital) that provide very low-cost disk enclosures with complete data loss security, very high speeds, multiple parallel Gigabit network ports for better performance, and all kinds of supported applications and communication protocols .

I myself have a networked library with all my stored projects and libraries for Final Cut Pro X or Logic Pro X, I replicate on the local disk what I’m going to work with and then I return it to the server when I’m done. Even for development, I have a GIT server installed on the NAS so we always have the project we are working on in development, up to date on all machines. This is the most efficient and intelligent way to work , with a local disk making copies of the most important folders from the NAS and a remote external storage server (in my case Amazon Glacier) that saves the information outside it automatically.

That’s why the workstation concept makes so much sense with the new Mac Pro and with the vast majority of new systems from other brands that they understand that everything is networked, that the room is for the small piece or project that we are working on at the time and that the storage has to be left to whoever understands about it : booths or servers with disk redundancy, with local or remote backup programs and high-performance communication protocols.

That’s why Apple incorporates SMB 2 as the default network communication protocol in OS X Mavericks instead of the current Apple Foundation (AFP). SMB 2 is much faster and more efficient . I have been able to test it myself since the NAS I work with supports it, and the performance difference has been abysmal.

Apple Developer Evangelist and Technologist. Technical Director (CTO) and founding partner of Gabhel Studios, responsible for, partner in Applesupportphonenumber and WinPhoneMetro. Analyst, executive producer, community manager, audiovisual production, programming and technology consultant. Dubbing actor, voice over artist, actor, music composer and writer. Developer and producer of video games and apps.

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