Post Magazine

Storage Supplement 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 15

10 STORAGE SOLUTIONS MARCH 2018 STORAGE SOLUTIONS After enduring years of disruptive changes in produc- tion operations, Media & Entertainment companies now understand the accelerated dynamics of how today's work needs to get done. Faced with rapid turnaround times and ever-growing data volumes driven by new media formats, M&E companies seeking greater profits must find new ways to increase work- flow efficiency and speed, while maintaining maximum creativity for their artists. Enhanced capabilities in utilization of storage and compute are foundational for improving modern work- flows. Any media production pipeline — that is, one that supports parallel creative activities, high resource demands from multiple creatives and raw speed and simplicity — can only be as successful as the knowl- edge and insights that drive the infrastructure sup- porting these activities. There are many ways in which enhanced storage ca- pabilities drive the continued evolution of today's M&E workflows. We are going to look at two examples, VFX and video editing, to illustrate how improved creative outcomes are possible for large teams of artists collab- orating on multiple productions. VFX at the speed you need: Massively data-intensive media rendering and anima- tion productions require powerful processing. As the sheer complexity of these assets continues to increase — with higher resolution, more colors and faster frame rates — VFX shops need flexibility to support the inclu- sion of these creative elements. That's where enhanced storage comes into play. Without the right parallel storage processing capacity to handle mixed-file rendering workloads, teams of artists will become bogged-down when dealing with these new file characteristics. Not all media enhance- ments behave the same — so it's important to identify a storage approach that lets you scale your storage capability up or out so you can balance large-file and small-file rendering workloads across all storage nodes, optimizing your entire infrastructure. There are lots of examples of why scaling-out storage infrastructure benefits VFX shops. Most critically, it helps reduce the congestion across multiple "vectors" — like, bandwidth and capacity. Scale-out storage addresses this by supporting small-file I/O requirements across multiple flash-based components, while parallel access to larger files such as IMF containers for DPX or EXR elements improves responsiveness to artists seeking to load and process shots rapidly. Finally, it's important not to forget that inadequate storage approaches for VFX rendering also have a hu- man toll, requiring labor-intensive administration. This not only impacts your bottom-line, but it shifts focus from where it needs to be: on the craft and creativity of your production facility. Coordinated workflows for video editing: Today's media timelines demand an all-hands-on-deck approach. It's essential that multiple editors, artists and post resources have the access and agility to tap into the same media simultaneously. Complex post activities require coordination of workflows among all production artists — and the inability of storage to meet that demand compromises your ability to deliver exceptional content on time and under budget. Shared-access storage that's optimized for parallel access improves application responsiveness by being able to quickly adapt to changes in multi-format media compositions. Clustered storage improves availabili- ty for work teams, avoiding situations where editors aren't able to reach their data. The ability to host unique workloads simultaneous- ly on shared storage and infrastructure means that storage should also be able to scale in the way users need it — whether it's balanced for all users, or along a single performance axis targeted to a single user's need. The result is better application metadata respon- siveness via distributed caching that's coordinated between clients and storage. And, what about online and nearline editing? The right storage infrastructure enables streamlined work- flows that let you edit from your highest resolution me- dia — one that's ideally matched to the delivery format. Bringing enhanced storage capabilities to modern media workflows allows everyone in the creative value chain to work faster and smarter. The right storage enables workflow optimization that drives more jobs through a facility. More work throughput keeps deadlines on track, reduces the risk of being over-budget and most importantly, increases top-line revenue. For artists and creatives, the same efficiency frees-up their ability to concentrate on artistic quality, without having to worry about the storage in the background. ENHANCING STORAGE'S CAPABILITIES FOR MODERN MEDIA WORKFLOWS BY DAVID SALLAK VP AND CTO FOR MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT PANASAS SUNNYVALE, CA PANASAS.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - Storage Supplement 2018