I t’s time to step up the 4K planning. More and more frequently, your clients are asking for 4K video so they can meet end-user demand for ultra-high-definition content. Even if you’re still delivering some SD and HD video, moving to 4K workflows now can help you future-proof your work—you’ll be able to remaster your production files more easily in 4K tomorrow if you work in 4K today.

Of course, transitioning to 4K involves more than changing a software setting. You’ll need to bolster your storage environment so your team can work with large compressed or uncompressed 4K files at high frame rates. Your storage environment must provide robust multi-stream performance, facilitate collaboration, and offer the flexibility to support multiple operating systems and applications.

But the storage selection process can be daunting. Where do you start?

Quantum has developed StorNext 4K reference architectures to simplify the selection and deployment of new 4K storage solutions. In creating these reference architectures, we drew from deep knowledge of 4K workflows, worked closely with our partners and conducted extensive testing with real-world workloads.

To help you hone in on the right reference architecture for your organization, we also created a 4K reference architecture estimation calculator. It’s a fantastic new tool that focuses on the four key requirements that can help determine which architecture is right for you:

Content bitrate (MB/s): Do you plan to work with compressed or uncompressed 4K content? Will you use 30 or 60 fps? These decisions help determine the performance and capacity required for your 4K storage environment.

Number of seats: Do you have a small local team or a sprawling, geographically dispersed organization? Performance and capacity requirements can vary greatly depending on whether you need to support 10, 50 or 100 seats.

Seat type (OS): Do your editors use primarily Linux, Mac or Windows operating systems? If you’re considering other vendors’ solutions, you’ll need to be sure your choice enables editors to continue using their preferred operating systems and applications. Fortunately, all StorNext 4K reference architectures give you the flexibility to support a full range of client systems and applications.

Streams per seat: Do your editors work with multiple streams? How many simultaneous streams do you need per person? If you plan to work with compressed 4K video and need to support extremely high stream counts, you might benefit from all-flash arrays. In many cases, however, more economical, higher-capacity hard disk drives will be a better choice, even with multiple simultaneous streams.

The Results Are In

Just make a few simple selections for those four key requirements and the estimation tool will recommend the Quantum 4K reference architecture that’s right for your operation.

  • StorNext Base 4K is best for small groups working primarily in compressed formats.
  • StorNext Performance Disk 4K is the right choice when you need high stream counts and capacity with scalability.
  • StorNext High Capacity 4K can help you support very large volumes of content, such as uncompressed 4K video at 60 fps.
  • StorNext All-Flash 4K is the best pick when you have extremely large stream counts with uncompressed 4K video.

Simply adjust the input and recalculate to see how the recommendation changes.

Depending on your input, the tool might recommend two reference architectures. For example, you might be able to meet your performance needs with either the All-Flash 4K or the Performance Disk 4K architectures. Or the tool might recommend a custom approach. If you need something that doesn’t fit neatly into one of the existing categories, you can work with our team of 4K experts to create an architecture that will address your specific requirements.

Take the Next Step Forward

Your move to 4K can’t wait any longer. Take the next steps toward implementing 4K workflows right now with the 4K reference architecture estimation tool.

To dig deeper into the reference architectures, please read our white paper, StorNext 4K Reference Architectures.

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