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How to use a QNAP Thunderbolt NAS with Windows to build a High-speed Media Editing Environment for Adobe Premiere® Pro?

1. Challenges and Solutions

Limited data transfer speeds can pose a challenge to studios looking to store and edit a large amount of audiovisual materials. With high-quality materials (like 4K videos) needing more storage space and bandwidth to work with them on-the-fly, a QNAP Thunderbolt NAS is the ideal storage solution that allows:

  1. Creating a network drive that can be directly accessed in your workstation.
  2. Transferring stored materials using a high-speed 20Gbps connection.
  3. Editing your media directly on the Thunderbolt NAS.
  4. Compatibility with mainstream editing software including Adobe Premiere® Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro® and Cyberlink Power Director®.

* All titles, content, publisher names, trademarks, artwork, and associated imagery are trademarks and/or copyright material of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

2. Introduction

2.1. What is a QNAP Thunderbolt NAS?

Equipped with Intel Thunderbolt 2 Technology, a QNAP Thunderbolt NAS can delivers up to 20Gbps throughput. By combining the high transfer speeds of DAS and the convenient accessibility of NAS, QNAP Thunderbolt NAS is a flexible and efficient storage solution for creative media professionals looking to streamline large 4K UHD video and design workflows.

The throughput of Thunderbolt compared to other methods.

*Transfer speeds may differ based on usage environment.

3. How to Start

3.1. Set up the Thunderbolt NAS with a Windows PC

If the NAS is directly connected to the PC via Thunderbolt, simply go to "Network" on the left side of Windows Explorer.

*If being used for the first time, you must first initialize the NAS by going to https://start.qnap.com/.

In Windows Explorer, go to "Network" and find the Thunderbolt NAS under “Storage”. Or you can view files on the NAS by accessing the NAS listed under “Computer”.
If being used for the first time, you must first initialize the NAS by going to https://start.qnap.com/
You can use your Thunderbolt NAS to store data through “Network”.

3.2. Created shared folders to store your materials

To create a shared folder and store your data, double click on the Thunderbolt NAS in “Network” > “Storage” to open your web browser and log into QTS. In the Control Panel, select “Privilege Settings” > “Shared Folder” > “Create” > “Create Shared Folder” to create a new shared folder.

Create a shared folder specified to save the media project file.

3.3. Map the Thunderbolt NAS to the PC

Some media editing software does not support opening files from “Network”in Windows Explorer. To get around this limitation you must map the NAS to your PC.

To do this, go to "Network" on the left side of Windows Explorer and open the NAS. After opening, right click on a shared folder, select “Map network drives”, modify the settings and click “Finish”. You will need to enter the login details for your NAS when prompted, and the system will automatically connect to the Thunderbolt NAS. After the connection is completed, a new network drive will be included in your computer using your specified drive letter.

Go to "Network" on the left side of Windows Explorer and open the NAS. After opening, right click on a shared folder, select “Map network drives”
After specifying the drive letter, click "Finish" to map the network drive.
The shared folder on your Thunderbolt NAS will then be displayed as a drive on your computer.

4. Use the Thunderbolt NAS with Adobe Premiere®

4.1. Use a Thunderbolt NAS with Adobe Premiere® to open projects

When using Adobe Premiere® Pro to create a new project, you can select the Thunderbolt NAS network drive as your project’s folder.

Open Adobe Premiere® Pro and select “New Project”
You can either select the Thunderbolt NAS from “Network” to create your project on the Thunderbolt NAS.
Or you can select the network drive you mapped earlier to save your project file to the Thunderbolt NAS.

4.2. Import your media from Thunderbolt NAS

You can directly import your media without saving them to your PC from the Thunderbolt NAS by using “Import” or the “Media Browser” function. With a transfer speed of up to 20Gbps, the media files in your media editing software will not show any delay even if multiple files are streaming simultaneously.

Import media to your Adobe Premiere® Pro project directly from the Thunderbolt NAS network drive or use the “Import” function.
Use the “Media Browser” to use the media stored on the Thunderbolt NAS with the mapped network drive.
Previewing the media stored on the Thunderbolt NAS will be just as is smooth as previewing those stored locally.
For example, the mapped disk read & write speeds are both over 500 MB/s with a Intel® Xeon® 2.40GHz Dual-core CPU and 32GB RAM PC which connected to the Thunderbolt NAS equipped with 8 sold-state drives under RAID 5.

4.3. Export your finished work to Thunderbolt NAS

When finished, you can also export your product directly to the Thunderbolt NAS and use the features on QTS to quickly share it with others. To do so, select the network drive in the Export Settings while exporting your work.

When you are finished editing, directly export your work to Thunderbolt NAS by selecting the network drive.

After saving it to the Thunderbolt NAS, your work can be shared easily to other computers on the network. The data can be simultaneously accessed from using both Thunderbolt and Ethernet connections. Other users can connect to the shared folder where your finished work has been exported. Additional permissions can be set to this folder to other users from the Shared Folder menu:

To give permission to other NAS users, open “Control Panel” > "Privilege Settings" > “Shared Folder” then edit the permissions of the folder where your work is stored.
When others need to map a folder on the Thunderbolt NAS, they can input their login details accordingly.
Your work is now directly accessible by other users from their workstations.

 

You can also select other options in File Station such as Email or Share Link to share your work.

5. Manage the Thunderbolt NAS network

5.1. Ensure to connect with Thunderbolt connection

If the Thunderbolt NAS and the Windows workstation are connected both via Thunderbolt and Ethernet, Windows may switch to using Ethernet instead. To avoid this, and to always benefit from Thunderbolt’s speed, it is possible to connect using the Thunderbolt IP address instead of the NAS name.

5.2. Find your Thunderbolt NAS

If the Thunderbolt NAS does not show correctly in Windows Explorer's “Network” after you connect it to your workstation, you can directly enter the IP address of the Thunderbolt NAS. To do this, connect to the NAS via Thunderbolt, and press the “Select” button on the front of the NAS to identify its Thunderbolt IP address.

Press the “Select” button on the front of the NAS to find its Thunderbolt IP after connecting to your workstation.

5.3. Connect to the Web administration and Network Shares using the Thunderbolt IP

After identifying the Thunderbolt IP address, open your web browser and enter this IP address. If necessary, you can also add the port number. This will allow the computer to open QTS on the Thunderbolt NAS. You can directly access data on the Thunderbolt NAS by entering this IP address in the address bar of Windows Explorer. 

* Please insure that your Windows is up to date and the latest drivers are installed so your workstation can connect to the Thunderbolt NAS using Thunderbolt IP.

You can enter the Thunderbolt IP into both web browsers and Windows Explorer to connect to the NAS via Thunderbolt.

5.4. Set a fixed IP

In some cases, it may be necessary to set a fixed IP address for the Thunderbolt interface. For example, some video editing software requires you to connect to the Thunderbolt NAS using iSCSI. In the “Thunderbolt Management” section of the NAS, you can monitor the upload and download speeds and set a fixed IP for your Thunderbolt NAS interface. To do this, just click the “Edit” Icon in “Thunderbolt NAS Management” in the QTS Control Panel.

Monitor upload/download speeds in “Thunderbolt Management” and change the Thunderbolt IP address in QTS.
Click the “Edit” icon in “Thunderbolt Management” to set a fixed IP for your Thunderbolt NAS.
Release date: 2015-09-01
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