An aging Xsan infrastructure was presenting productivity challenges for a New England media organization that creates content for various distribution channels. The six-year old infrastructure was challenged in handling the larger file sizes of 4K and HD assets, and much of the workflow was manual—it could take up to four days to retrieve archived assets.

As it investigated new storage architectures, the primary goal was to implement a modern workflow that allowed the organization to work in HD and 4K while having very fast, automated access to archived files.

Scale-out NAS Comes Up Short

While the company liked the collaboration and user experience of Xsan, it tried deploying a well-known, 10Gb-rated scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) solution, but it did not perform as expected and was too limited in capabilities. The media group realized it needed a solution that was media-savvy like the aging Xsan, but more modern and with the capabilities to handle increasingly large files and room for future growth.

Media integrator 1303 Systems had the answer, recommending Quantum’s StorNext® Pro 4K solution. This bundled solution delivers an Xsan-compatible foundation to address performance, along with a StorNext AEL Archive using LTO-6 tape for cost-effective asset preservation. The integrated solution provides all the performance needed for real-time 4K ingest, editing, and finishing, and shrinks the time needed for archive retrieval from days to minutes.

Solutions That Work

The StorNext Pro 4K system that 1303 Systems recommended integrates StorNext 5 collaboration software on a Metadata Appliance, high-performance Quantum RAID storage, and an AEL library with options for scaling capacity in the future. It was designed to support modern workflows, providing the bandwidth and I/O required for high-resolution content and both SAN and LAN (IP) clients.

“The StorNext Pro Solutions provide an easy-to-implement foundation to address current challenges while providing a roadmap for scalability,” says Chris Collum, President of 1303 Systems. “Quantum products and solutions are rock-solid and stable. We knew they would work.”

Simplifying Migration

The media organization could not afford any downtime; the approach was to build a secondary system, copy all the data, and cut over to the new solution very quickly. The data and all the applications, including the Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro editing suites and Cantemo Portal media asset manager, were transparently available to the team and there was no interruption in workflow.

Infrastructure to Align with Strategic Goals

The StorNext Pro 4K solution has provided the media organization with a powerful workflow solution. The StorNext 5 at its core facilitates file sharing and movement of files throughout the workflow. StorNext Storage Manager automatically moves files to and from the archive, giving editors direct access to its nearline capacity and eliminating the need to manually retrieve tapes.

High-throughput disk and an upgrade from 2Gb to 8Gb Fibre Channel provides the performance for real-time editing that the 10Gb NAS product failed to deliver. And the AEL Archive library manages costs, preserves valuable assets, and gives editors fully automated access to archived content.