Post-Production Shared Storage Wars

title_banner (16)Dennis Kutcherea over at the COW wrote this in-depth article on shared storage and his companies journey getting there. He went to NAB last year looking for a shared storage solution to support their 4K projects. He took a good hard look at all the options and the good, bad and ugly of each. Post-Production storage represents a major portion of your spend and if you're planning on going to NAB looking for shared storage, this guide is a must read. Dennis ended up going with a Tiger Technology Tigerbox and it's working great for them.
Creative COW by Dennis Kutchera

Navigating the Land Mine of Centralized Media Storage

As NAB is rapidly approaching, I am going to save you a lot of footsteps if you are looking for workgroup storage solutions for post production. Last year, we were faced with the beginning of full 4K post-production with seven TV series, all shot and finished in UHD. Our OWC Thunderbay raids (these are absolutely amazing for local storage) and a 1 GbE network plus sneaker-net were not going to cut it. This is my own experience, shopping for our specific needs and workflows. Your requirements may be quite different from ours, so our final selection in no way diminishes the value of other products on the market. Storage and media asset management are probably the biggest category you will find on the floor in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Two of us focused a lot of time on this category and were overwhelmed by what confronted us. Tiger Technologies has a nice compact set of offerings that as, their slogan states, “Its so advanced, its simple”. You can buy Tigerbox, a compact all-in-one storage appliance, or the Tiger Serve storage controller with massive scalability. But there are even more options with Tiger that few other vendors offer. Big Iron Storage Unbundled In spite of Tiger Technology being better priced than everything else we looked at, we still could not afford the space we needed for multiple 4K TV series. So we decided to look at a simple 10 GbE network connected to an off-the-shelf server with loads of fast commodity storage where we could link to the camera files stored there and transcode or move to local drives, much like Final Cut Server used to do. This would work, but then we discovered that for not a whole lot more money, we could add project management software that would allow us to organize into project based workspaces and work directly off the SAN as well as guard and maintain data integrity. It was proposed that we use Tiger Store SAN software without their branded hardware. What? You mean they will sell you just the software and support? Wow! Even in the basic configuration, Project Store Free manages Media Composer projects with Avid bin locking. But I was unconvinced. I mean after all, if everyone else was selling big iron priced boxes, how can a software solution with commodity server hardware be as good? read more...

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