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.
Video production is entering yet another major transition – the move to 4K. Much like the move to high definition (HD) several years ago, the new ultra-high definition (UHD) 4K-resolution formats have the potential to disrupt workflows, strain existing infrastructure and require costly unplanned upgrades. Those who remember how bumpy the change from SD to HD was are understandably nervous about what this looming 4K transition will bring. With lessons learned from the past, the industry is ready to make the change from HD to 4K. The technology has evolved, the tools have evolved and workflows have evolved. The challenge, however, is to make sense of all this change and put the right pieces together to enable a successful transition. The following five key tips will help you to make a smooth transition to full 4K production.
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."
The pressure is real. It’s hard enough to remain efficient in an industry where higher resolutions, new camera formats and a growing range of delivery options are emerging faster than ever before. Add in the complexity of sharing content across distributed teams and archiving content securely, and many traditional workflows fail to stay efficient, at a time when efficiency matters most. Tight project timelines aren’t getting any longer just because your workflow can’t keep up. It’s time for the cloud. Here's how collaboration and archive are heading to the cloud.
It’s so exciting to see today’s announcement that Quantum will be taking on a larger role in selling Dot Hill storage. This is not just another storage channel deal – let me explain why. The partnership of Quantum and Dot Hill began in workflow storage. Quantum enjoys a unique position in the market in serving the needs of the most demanding workflow storage applications – from video production to surveillance, cybersecurity and research. These applications have storage needs which are quite different from traditional corporate applications. They need different solutions. Both companies have noticed that there are adjacent markets and customer needs where tighter collaboration between us—leveraging the technology of Dot Hill and the technology and channel reach of Quantum—can deliver broader value to our customers and partners. Which brings me to the announcement today: Quantum is becoming the branded face of Dot Hill storage.
There’s never been a bigger rush to transcode and deliver content worldwide to more distribution channels than today. A broad range of new delivery platforms and new audiences can bring new value to legacy content, but only if your workflow supports it. If you’re not ready to release content quickly when a new distribution opportunity arises, re-process it for special features, or even re-use content in a new project, you’re leaving money on the table. And that’s not so easy to explain to your boss or your investors. Unfortunately, most workflows are poorly set up to access, transcode and deliver content created years ago. The good news is that StorNext 5 workflows built with Quantum Lattus have specific capabilities that enable real-time and non-real-time operations to occur efficiently in the same storage infrastructure. Here's how.
By now I’ve participated in quite a few lab validations with industry analysts, many of them testing the DXi-Series. It has been interesting to see the progression of the DXi as deduplication has evolved to take a more vital role in data center workflows, extending data protection to the cloud. Recently Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com awarded the DXi6900 the Silver medal in the 2014 Products of the Year backup hardware category, adding to the industry recognition the DXi has garnered since its introduction, and highlighting the role of the StorNext 5 file system in the appliance. Industry analyst Tony Palmer with ESG Lab has conducted more DXi lab validations than anyone and truly understands the deduplication marketplace, so he recently put the DXi6900 through its paces in a lab testing.
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.
I love telling the StorNext 5 story. It’s satisfying to see a customer sit up straighter in their chair when the light bulb goes off, when they grasp what StorNext can do for them. To see them lean forward when they figure out how StorNext can address their challenges managing high-performance workflows, at scale, within budget. Without dropping a packet. Without dropping a frame. This week we rolled out a new and compelling set of StorNext 5 Scale-out Storage pages on our Quantum dot com website. If you already know and love StorNext 5, I hope you will think we did it justice. If you are wondering what StorNext 5 is, I hope the new pages answer your questions—clearly and cogently.
ACRI-ST, a space agency partner of the European Commission and the European Space Agency, provides satellite mission solutions, including simulations and environmental forecast prototyping, and operates environmental data centers that provide vital decision-making support to public agencies and local authorities. To manage and preserve the massive amount of valuable sensor data collected by Sentinel-3, ACRI-ST chose a Quantum StorNext 5 scale-out storage system. StorNext is a proven, cost-effective choice for these types of hard data management challenges that require scale, speed, and sharing.
In one of my favorite bits from Cheers!, Diane quotes Henry David Thoreau, “Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify! Simplify!” Coach ponders for a beat and replies with possibly the first deduplication joke: “Couldn’t he just use one ‘simplify’?” I’ve been thinking a lot about simplicity this week as Quantum simplifies the DXi family. Now with just three deduplication appliances – the DXi V-Series for virtual environments, the DXi4700 for SMBs, and the all-new DXi6900 for mid-range to enterprise environments – Quantum’s new dedupe family covers the same range of data protection TBs that the industry sales leader covers with nine products. That in itself is a magnificent act of simplification for customers sorting through purchasing decisions for multisite implementations. The announcement sparked a flurry of industry conversation.
Today, Quantum announced an enriched and simplified DXi®-Series deduplication family, including a new DXi6900 appliance, to serve as the foundation for next-generation data protection. The DXi6900 is powered by Quantum’s DXi software with StorNext 5 technology at its core to optimize performance, scalability and manageability for enterprises and service providers. When combined with Quantum’s Q-Cloud™ Protect services, the new DXi-Series enables customers to build data protection workflows that extend across sites and to the cloud. Check out Quantum’s Director of Product Marketing as he introduces the DXi6900 and talks about how Quantum’s latest DXi offering enables industry-leading scalability and faster backups,all while easing the strain on network bandwidth and reducing overall operating expenses (video).
In the weeks since NAB Quantum has seen incredible interest in these three solutions because they resonate with the pressing issues that many broadcasters and post-production facilities face. Take 4K as an example. Many organizations know that they will move to 4K but they are not yet ready to replace their legacy systems. With Quantum’s StorNext Pro 4K solution, broadcasters and post-production facilities can quickly launch a new 4K workflow or add 4K capabilities to an existing Xsan or StorNext deployment. When there is an opportunity to move 100% to 4K the Quantum StorNext Pro 4K solution will easily scale with them. To be sure, Quantum is not the only vendor that has announced support for 4K workflows. However, just because some vendors say that they support 4K are they truly up to the task?