by Tom Coughlin
ATTO has long provided important infrastructure technologies for storage supporting companies making digital storage supporting video workflows. At the 2014 IBC the companies equipment was being used in over 50 workflow demonstrations at many partner company exhibits. Some of these demonstrations used Atto’s MultiPath Director, a feature rich driver found in Celerity™ Fibre Channel host bus adaptors (HBAs) when paired with enterprise class storage systems, provides a completely redundant, high-performance storage solution for workstation applications in digital video, audio and content-creation environments. Other live demonstrations streamed 4K through the new ATTO ThunderLink™ FC2162, a Thunderbolt™2 desktop device that connects Thunderbolt-enabled workbooks and workstations to a Fibre Channel SAN.
Avid Everywhere was announced just before the 2014 NAB show and like at the NAB Avid had a pre-conference event just before the 2014 IBC involving their customers from the Avid Customer Association. At this Avid Connect Europe event the company firmly embraced 4K workflows, announcing native 4K editing with Media Composer and 4K support for their ISIS storage product. The company also announced DNxHR, a high-resolution codec with variable bandwidth capabilities. Even more interesting the company said that they were creating a new resolution independent architecture for working with material of any resolution, up to 4K to day, 8K in the near future and eventually 64K and even 128K!
EditShare had a number of storage-oriented announcements at the IBC. Their EditShare v7 is a Linux kernel powering their shared storage platform (XStream EFS). This system provides a high performance redundant scale out file system that can scale to a very large library including both HDDs and, eventually, SSDs. The system ensures that real-time activities such as video ingest and playback receives the highest network priority. The Project Profiles feature allows easy management of multiple projects. The system also supports storing Apple FCP X libraries, events and projects on AFP-mounted storage volumes—allowing NAS access to Apple SAN features. The system supports SMB 2.1 networking protocol, enabling uncompressed 4K over 40 Gb Ethernet as well as improved 1 Gb and 10 GB connections. The company also was showing their Field 2 portable rugged shared storage system with SSDs. This system, made for field work, provides high performance storage for high resolution video projects, while meeting carry-on airline regulations.
EditShare XTream EFS
EMC was showing collaborative editing workflows using their EMC Isilon storage system and the FIlmPartners MXFServer (used for storing editorial metadata and project information). EMC was demonstrating support for workflows with uncompressed 4K video using SMB 3, with NFS scheduled for 2015 in a native Hadoop Data Lake.
EVS’s was showing its new XStore Production shared storage platform at the IBC and this system was a key element in the 2014 IBC TV. The XStore platform comes in three different types. One is a near line NAS system focused on archiving. The second is an on-line high performance product meant for sports applications. The third is the XStore HE, a SAN system for a combination of high bandwidth and high capacity. The company said it isn’t using SSDs yet in its performance systems yet due to concern with endurance in a high write environment. EVS storage, MAM and other systems were used for HD recording at the World Cup this year
Facilis TerraBlock shared storage solution (SAN) supports 8 Gb and 16 Gb FibreChannel and 1 Gb and 10 Gb Ethernet through the Facilis Shared File System. The company pointed out that its solution is being used in many film and video production companies around the world. At the Facilis booth they had a demonstration of Archiware’s P5 suite of software running on Facilis’s TerraBlock Shared Storage and SynBlock disk and tape-based backup and archive system. P5 provides the opportunity to keep replicated media closer to the tier 1 virtual volumes, where it can be restored in a hurry from managed indexes if needed. Archimedia also demonstrated their advanced playback system that also allowed some repurposing of content without having to use more complex editing systems.
NetApp was showing its Clustered Data ONTAP NAS platform supporting Ethernet and Fibre Channel as well as SATA, SAS and flash memory drives at the IBC. This system scales from a few terabytes to five petabytes and according to NetApp is useful for rendering, transcoding, small broadcast production, proxy serving, metadata and media management. It has high performance in random I/ intensive shared media workloads, particularly with flash memory included. The company’s E-Series storage family has a new resiliency protocol, dynamic disk pools.
Promax announced its mobile workflow server for on-set video production and post-production. The server allows connection of existing attached storage devices to make a shared editing environment. Sonnet and HGST’s G-Tech were demonstrating thunderbolt storage products for the video industry. G-Tech has a 64 TB 8-drive RAID system with dual Thunderbolt 2 connections capable of 1,350 MB/s data rates.
G-Tech 64 TB RAID
About Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates is a widely respected storage analyst and consultant. He has over 30 years in the data storage industry with multiple engineering and management positions at high profile companies.
Dr. Coughlin has many publications and six patents to his credit. Tom is also the author of Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics: The Essential Guide, which was published by Newnes Press. Coughlin Associates provides market and technology analysis as well as Data Storage Technical Consulting services. Tom publishes the Digital Storage Technology Newsletter, the Media and Entertainment Storage Report, and other industry reports
Tom is active with SMPTE, SNIA, the IEEE (he is Director Elect for IEEE Region 6 and active in the Consumer Electronics Society) and other professional organizations. Tom is the founder and organizer of the Annual Storage Visions Conference (www.storagevisions.com), a partner to the International Consumer Electronics Show, as well as the Creative Storage Conference (www.creativestorage.org). He is the general chairman of the annual Flash Memory Summit. He is a Senior member of the IEEE, Leader in the Gerson Lehrman Group Councils of Advisors and a member of the Consultants Network of Silicon Valley (CNSV). For more information on Tom Coughlin and his publications. go to www.tomcoughlin.com.