Smaller Productions Receive a Bigger Infrastructure Boost with the Introduction of Single-Node Storage Solutions

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

Like other market segments, the motion picture and video production industry is dominated by smaller productions and facilities. Until now, the only option for this portion of the market to take advantage of the performance, fault-tolerance and ease of management of a modern scale-out storage platform was to invest in a storage cluster consisting of three storage nodes and at least one metadata controller. While this configuration is ideal for mid- to large-sized productions, the typical 96TB capacity of the smallest three-node cluster was often far beyond the requirements and financial means of smaller facilities and media shops.

That all changed in 2017.

EditShare, one of the early pioneers of intelligent shared storage solutions, introduced a single-node scale-out storage solution, inviting smaller productions to implement a platform traditionally slated for the enterprise workflow.

Why this is important for the many small to mid-size productions out there:

Small to mid-size facilities are beginning to tackle high data rate projects in HD and Ultra HD and often do so using a single-write, multi-read limited storage infrastructure that really isn’t up to the task. The introduction of a single-node configuration allows facilities to manage these media intensive projects with greater efficiency in terms of performance needs – bandwidth, scalability, reliability – in the “right-sized” infrastructure configuration. Furthermore, they can do so with the ability to easily expand to address future media storage needs or as their existing old storage is phased out.

In a nutshell, the single-node shared storage platform will enable small and emerging studios to migrate their workflow into a modern scale-out environment that can grow as their business expands. And, EditShare has made the expansion very straightforward with its new single-node EFS systems – simply add one or more new storage nodes to expand capacity and bandwidth. The approach allows facilities to step in at a price point and platform configuration that is best suited for the stage of their production and, more importantly, their budget.

Another very enticing feature of the new single-node EFS system is that each unit ships with Flow media asset management and Ark media archive applications. Flow allows users to find and track all their valuable assets within the organization, saving hundreds of man hours spent trawling through drives trying to find that elusive right clip. Ark secures the long term viability of those valuable assets with its simplified and powerful archiving system. The integration of Flow and Ark within the EFS shared storage environment provides a robust foundation that can be customized to aptly support today’s modern end-to- end workflows. So, a facility can really augment the system to meet its current media demands whilst allowing the ability for the facility to grow when their needs do, adding high availability metadata servers, design workflow automation, and integrate QC. They can configure workflows to manage and automate movement/transcoding of valuable content from the time it arrives into the facility to when it’s archived and utilized again. The extensibility and adaptability of these systems and surrounding workflows is nearly endless. Add in the forthcoming Quales QC Flow module and facility’s will be able to cut down on the last minute “fix in post” requests.

In addition to the expansion and customization, the single-node EFS system offers a straightforward administration setup, making it much easier for facilities, especially ones without dedicated IT engineers, to administer the storage. Regardless the size, the single-node EFS systems always present as a single namespace (or single file system), eliminating the need to balance project workloads on multiple raids, luns, volumes or file systems – an onerous task that is common with legacy SAN and NAS storage setups. And, unlike many SAN storage solutions, the performance of the single-node XStream EFS doesn’t decrease as storage use increases. It remains constant throughout the production. Its standard l 10GbE network ports and EFS Native Client driver for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, which replace legacy SMB and AFP network protocols, deliver a much higher and consistent performance boost every time.

But key for every production out there regardless of their size is reliability. This is where the EFS architecture shines. The hardware based RAID 6, which protects against as many as two drive failures in each chassis, and redundant hot-swap power supplies, boot drives and fans ensure that single-node EFS systems support around-the-clock, mission-critical production operations.

EditShare offers two XStream EFS single-node models –

XStream EFS 200

XStream EFS 300

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  • Yantram Studio said…
    Monday, September 04, 2017 2:20 AM
    Outstanding blog article. New technology has been interesting for a long time.
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