Boycott of G-Technology

 

G-Technology

While G-Technology has been one of my most favored and most recommended companies for well built, professional hard drives, due to a recent experience I can no longer lend my support to the company.

From the mid-2000’s G-Technology has been a leader in high quality products and service. I built my first home edit system on a stack of G-Raid drives because they not only made a solid product, but they were focused on the video pro. They didn’t just talk about data rates and drive speeds, they broke it down into editing lingo – the number of real time streams you could expect – and they guaranteed it. 

At one point I had some issues with some G-Raid drives that I had purchased, and they were always very fast to respond and in one case pre-shipped me a replacement drive even before I had sent them back the problem drive. 

For me personally, a really sold product means nothing if the company does not stand behind it with good people and exceptional customer service. And that’s where my relationship has now changed. 

Change Is Not Always Good

In February 2009 G-Tech was acquired (indirectly through Fabrik) by Hitachi. At the time I thought this was great, because for a long time Hitachi drives have been the best in class, and the most reliable drives on the market. So it seemed like a good idea. But now, two years later it appears this change in ownership has translated into terrible customer service, especially if your warranty has run out. 

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 Over the last 5 years I have spent over $25,000 on two maxed out G-Speed XL systems (around 25TB of combined space). We’re not talking about little desktop drives, we’re taking about making a serious investment in a company, especially for a small boutique post house. I was a very early adopter of the very first units they shipped in January 2007 and even did a post on SuiteTake and The Creative Cow about my experience with the drive. I was very happy with it, and just over 3 years ago purchased a second one for the other edit room. Based on my experience with the company over the years I had no worries. 

The Dead Power Supply

A funny thing happened a couple of weeks ago, however. The power supply in the newer drive system went bad and as it’s supposed to, was beeping pretty loud to get the attention of anybody within 20 feet. No big deal, things happen and after all it’s the reason why it’s built with a backup power supply. The drive was still running smoothly, but no longer with a safety net.

I filled out the on-line tech support form at G-Technology like I’ve done in the past, and a day later (mind you this is a serious problem) I get a email telling me that my unit is out of warranty. Figures, it’s always just after it expires that something goes wrong.  

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G-Speed, Un-boxing

About 2 years ago we decided that we wanted to start taking steps to move toward a shared network of storage. But when you look at what it costs to do everything at once, it is just outrageously expensive for a small post house like Edit Creations. So, we decided to break it down into smaller purchases that over time would reach our goal. 

Step one, we purchased the newly released (at the time, early 2007) G-Speed XL, 8TB, 16 drive 4 Gbit Fibre system, a new ATTO Celerity FC-42ES Fibre card, and a new Quad MacPro to hook it all into. The result was a super fast edit system that could handle anything we threw at it. 

Here we are just over a year later, and faced with almost all of our jobs going to HD (Mostly the Panasonic DVCProHD format) and continuously running out of drive space, we decided to buy a second unit. We went with another G-Speed based on our great experience, but this time bought a 12TB system. Once formatted you have about 10TB of usable space. We purchased another ATTO card, ran about 50′ of new fibre and were ready to receive the drive! 

One thing I didn’t do the first time was take “un-boxing” photos. This time, I remembered. I know it’s a bit geeky, but the video geek in you will enjoy it. 

So now we have two dedicated RAID system, and two rooms that can handle all of the HD jobs coming up. What’s the next step? A fibre switch, management software, and a media controller computer. Not this year though, that sounds like a nice 2009 upgrade.