Finding Balance without Sacrifice in the World of Storage Architecture

More than ever, our culture today seems to be a land of extreme viewpoints. You’re either a Liberal or Conservative, either a Leaver or a Remainer, a climate change believer or think the whole thing is one vast conspiracy, etc, etc. Perhaps it is the age we live in with various algorithms designed to highlight […]

Quantum Partner Stories: Swordfish, Advanced Systems Group and StorNext

I love working with customers that we’ve watched grow and evolve. One of my favorite success stories is Matt Silverman, who founded motion design studio Swordfish in San Francisco with one Mac Mini and some direct attached storage. These days, Swordfish has an impressive client list that includes Sony, Microsoft, and Apple, and their growing team works on projects where 4K footage and large 3D renders are commonplace. Data is the core of Swordfish – like so many other companies, lost data means lost business. As a motion design studio, however, Swordfish has different storage needs than your traditional post house. They needed a robust, redundant network backbone that was compatible with many professional graphics and video software applications.

Reinventing The Video Server

Another year, another new format – or ten! Broadcasters are now surrounded by a sea of formats. Everything from HD-SDI, streaming formats, 4K/UHD and last but by no means least the many variants of IP based transport mechanisms like J2K or SMPTE 2022. It’s an increasing challenge for the industry to handle the mixture of all these sources especially when distributing content to the many output channels a broadcaster needs to address on a daily basis. Adding custom graphics and branding to the video forces us to have multiple versions of the same clip, eating up storage space and increasing the need for video management. Meanwhile broadcasters are often still stuck having specialised devices for singular tasks - video server for video, graphics servers, audio systems and vision mixers to name just a few. This isn’t anything new but a solution is urgently needed as we’re seeing these new formats arrive constantly. As we gear up for IBC 2015, let's take a look at these basic concepts and the understanding of how an efficient broadcaster should ideally operate, and dive into the creation of a new video, graphics and audio workflow centered on Viz Engine as a powerful video playback system.

From the Dalet Academy: Shared Storage Workflows, PT.2

Video editing has always placed higher demands on storage than any other file-based applications, and with today’s higher resolution formats, streaming video content demands even more performance from storage systems, with 4K raw requiring 1210 MB/sec per stream—7.3 times more throughput than raw HD. In the early days of non-linear editing, this level of performance could only be achieved with direct attached storage (DAS). As technology progressed, we were able to add shared collaboration even with many HD streams. Unfortunately, with the extreme demands of 4K and beyond, many workflows are resorting to DAS again, despite its drawbacks. With DAS, sharing large media files between editors and moving the content through the workflow means copying the files across the network or on reusable media such as individual USB and Thunderbolt-attached hard drives. That’s not only expensive because it duplicates the storage capacity required; it also diminishes user productivity and can break version control protocols. In this blog, we'll look the key differences between major storage technologies and well as general usage recommendations.

Reasons to Upgrade to StorNext 5: Evolving Beyond the Ad Hoc SAN

Remember those heady days of standing up your first SAN? In those days SAN’s were were small, and likely built up with 2Gb FibreChannel and 250GB hard drives. We found a way to make those small SANs work because we were likely ingesting from camera tape systems - and writing back finished project files to tape as well. It was chaotic – but it worked – and we evolved ever more elaborate file and folder structures to keep track of projects, customers and assets – and a growing shelf of tapes that we hoped were cataloged and tracked correctly. As simple file based workflows gave way to the modern, content-centric workflow model - several key lessons emerge. Here's the biggest lessons and how to understand them so you can "evolve beyond the adhoc SAN."

Field Report – HDR Video at the Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat

At the recent Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat the conversations and reporting centered on the expected technologies: 4K/UHD, laser cinema projection and the latest cameras. But one topic was a surprise: HDR video. This kind of ‘better than real life’ imagery is exactly what creative professionals are looking for. Imagine this complete range of dynamic lighting for imagery applied to an entire clip of video and you start to see why people are excited. But can this HDR technique be applied to post and broadcast video workflows?

Reasons to Upgrade to StorNext 5: Liquid Metadata

When you work in a StorNext collaborative environment every day, you can take for granted what goes on behind the scenes to make its cross-platform, simultaneous workflows possible. How do you manage user access and file transfers to the shared storage seamlessly? It turns out that managing users wanting to access to files on a shared resource is one of the hardest computer challenges and a direct, high-performance, controlled group access to shared folders requires a Storage Area Network or SAN. The way StorNext delivers this "magic" is by ensuring that a highly redundant ‘controller' managers the users, permissions and file traffic. And with the recent release of StorNext 5, the critical area of storing and managing this metadata received a dramatic performance improvement thanks to three main innovations.

A Deeper Dive Into StorNext 5

Since we announced our next generation StorNext 5 Appliances three weeks ago, we’ve been getting requests for more background about how we’ve achieved such significant increases in performance, scalability and flexibility. To dive deeper into how we built StorNext 5 from the ground up, I’ve tapped Skip Levens, director of technical marketing, to detail some of its core design features.

NAS and SAN: Two Solutions for Shared File-Based Workflow Storage

Many companies in the Media and Entertainment industry come to us for help with their storage needs. Because video editing places higher demands on storage than any other file-based application, it requires high-performance shared storage systems. Usually this leads to one of two options: either shared Storage Area Network (SAN) file systems or scale-out Network Attached Storage (NAS) file systems. Each system offers advantages and disadvantages that should be carefully considered.