L ike most video production and post-production studios, your organization is probably implementing new tools to meet rising demand for finished content in multiple, high-resolution formats. Perhaps you are upgrading software or buying powerful new editing platforms that can manipulate and master such large files. However, to ensure your workflow doesn’t have any bottlenecks in streaming 4K content, especially in an all-IP storage environment, understanding what kind of performance your storage infrastructure can deliver should be a top priority.
First, it’s important to understand how much aggregate performance is needed by your staff, which can be influenced by multiple factors: client OS type, the resolution and format of your content, and number of simultaneous data streams that need to be delivered. Once this is understood, you can configure an optimized storage solution to deliver this performance by manipulating several variables; including drive type, storage array capacity, networking topology and file system performance tuning.
In this blog, we’ll focus primarily on networking, and how much performance StorNext can provide in an all-IP workflow. Here are three key findings from the testing Quantum engineers conducted with our Xcellis storage appliances:
- Xcellis delivers outstanding per-client performance.
Testing showed strong per-client performance for the Xcellis solution, supporting workflow bandwidth requirements for several high-resolution formats up to and including uncompressed 4K. Testing showed that a single NFS client accessing Xcellis Scale-out NAS over 40GbE could achieve peak performance of 2.1 GB/s. And when Xcellis is connected to a distributed LAN client, performance can reach 4.8 GB/s – which is enough performance for all but the most demanding media workflows. Working in 16K and want to go even faster? Using two 100 GbE connections, and leveraging NVMeoF technology, peak performance can reach a blistering 17 GB/s.
- Xcellis outperforms the competition.
Compared with Dell/EMC Isilon and Qumulo (two solutions designed for creative workflows), Xcellis Scale-out NAS came out ahead—even when using the strongest published performance numbers for these competing solutions. In fact, in a single-stream comparison, Xcellis Scale-out NAS achieved two times the performance of the competition using standard NFS and SMB connectivity, and 3.5 times the performance using the StorNext distributed LAN client (DLC) over Ethernet.
- Xcellis controls costs and complexity.
With Xcellis Scale-out NAS, you can achieve this strong performance without a huge footprint. To deliver 12.4 GB/s throughput, a Qumulo configuration might require up to six times the network ports and up to two times the rack units of a modest-sized Xcellis Scale-out NAS node. Fewer infrastructure components mean less administrative complexity and lower data center costs.
So could Xcellis Scale-out NAS be the right solution for your 4K and higher workflows? Testing certainly shows that Xcellis can deliver the performance required to handle the larger file sizes of high-resolution formats without requiring you to buy or manage a ton of equipment.
A lot of the magic in these results has to do with our StorNext file system, which is extremely efficient in aggregating the performance of the underlying disk arrays, and also provides flexibility to connect clients by both NAS and SAN. And while Fibre channel still makes sense for the most demanding media environments, the performance Xcellis can deliver in an all-IP environment is redefining the performance trade-offs that used to exist.
Quantum Xcellis Scale-out NAS will be the right fit for many video production and post-production studios. For more details and a more thorough explanation of our recent Xcellis testing, download the white paper, “Quantum’s Xcellis Scale-out NAS: Industry-leading IP Performance for 4K, 8K and Beyond.”