Archive for December, 2011

Monitoring Xsan with Nagios and SNMP

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Monitoring a system or device using SNMP (a SonicWALL, for instance) is simple enough, provided you have the right MIB. XSNMP is an Open Source project that provides a simple Preference Pane to manage SNMP on OS X, and it also includes an MIB developed by LithiumCorp. This MIB provides OS X’s SNMP agent to gather and categorize information relating specifically to Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, and Xsan.

XSNMP-MIB can be downloaded from GitHub, or directly from Lithium.

Download the XSNMP-MIB.txt file and put it in /usr/share/snmp/mibs. You can verify that the MIB is loaded by running snmpwalk on the system, specifying the XSNMP Version OID. If snmpwalk returns the version, the MIB is installed correctly. If it returns an error about an “Unknown Object Identifier”, then the MIB isn’t installed in the right spot.

bash$ snmpwalk -c public -v 1 my.server.address XSNMP-MIB::xsnmpVersion
XSNMP-MIB::xsnmpVersion.0 = Gauge32: 1

The fact that the MIB was developed by Lithium doesn’t stop us from using it with Nagios, though. You can define a Nagios service to gather the free space available on your Xsan volume by adding the following to a file called xsan_usage.cfg. Put the file in your Nagios config directory.

define service{
host_name xsan_controller
service_description Xsan Volume Free Space
check_command check_snmp!-C public -o xsanVolumeFreeMBytes.1 -m XSNMP-MIB

The host_name should match the Nagios host definition for your Xsan Controller. The service_description can be any arbitrary string that makes sense and describes the service.

The check_command definition is the actual command that’s run. The -C flag defines the SNMP community string, the -m flag defines which MIB should be loaded (you can use “-m all” to just load them all), and the -o flag defines which OID we should return. “xsanVolumeFreeMBytes.1″ should return the free space, in MB, of the first Xsan volume.

Final Cut Server EOL’d – What do we do now?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

318 has been working to provide our clients with a strategy to replace Final Cut Server, now that FCS has been EOL’d by Apple. We are proud to announce a comprehensive strategy and solution in the form of CatDV Enterprise Server and Client, by Square Box Systems, LTD.

The first question should always be, “Do we need to implement a new solution?” In many cases, and at least for now, the answer may be “No, not yet.” There will come a time, however, when the needs of the workflow, software, hardware, or some other factor will necessitate a new Digital Asset Management (DAM) System implementation.

Once the decision has been made to deploy a new DAM, many additional questions will arise. How do we keep our metadata intact? Can we re-use our clip and edit proxies? How do we keep our current automations? 318 can work with you to address these issues. We are asking ourselves the same questions with an eye towards minimizing the hassles associated with migrating such a major piece of infrastructure.

318 has spent the last year evaluating many of the DAM solutions in the marketplace, with an emphasis on whether or not the solution is an appropriate replacement for Final Cut Server in terms of cost, functionality and scalability, and after many internal discussions, CatDV best matched these criteria. In terms of cost, CatDV is one of the most affordable solutions in the marketplace. In terms of functionality, CatDV matches or exceeds the functionality of Final Cut Server. In terms of scalability, CatDV far exceeds the capabilities of Final Cut Server.

The final link in the chain is migrating data and recreating workflows from Final Cut Server to CatDV. 318 has the facility and ability to migrate your metadata with a minimum of user intervention. We also have the ability to analyze your Final Cut Server workflows and re-create the functionality in CatDV, including shell scripting and highly customized workflow integrations for ingest and archive.

We are a CatDV authorized reseller, and have staff trained by CatDV personnel. 318 stands ready to spec, deploy, configure and maintain your CatDV solution and help you with the transition from your Final Cut Server to CatDV. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a demo and discussion of what CatDV can do for your video workflows.

Finally, 318 is working with other vendors to continue expanding our portfolio of SAN and DAM solutions. Keep on the lookout for what will hopefully be a few other additions once our thorough vetting process has been completed! If you would like further information on any of this, please feel free to contact your Professional Services Manager or if you do not yet have one.

The Tech Journal is now on Google Currents!

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

We’ve created an edition in the new Google Currents app listed in the iTunes App Store and the Android Marketplace. It’s a great and easy way to get the latest Tech Journal articles in an easy to read format that is available for offline viewing.

You can download Google Currents for your device here.

To add the Tech Journal to your library in Google Currents, follow this link in the browser on your device.

Happy reading!