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Storage Supplement 2017

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t's understandable if post professionals have a hard time making up their minds about which storage solutions best fit their needs. After all, there are numerous options available that can meet both a studio's immediate and future needs. It's important for post pros to think about a system that can not only address the types of projects they're working on now, but one that will also grow with them to handle 4K, 8K, high frame rate and HDR workflows. Here's a look at some viable options available today or that will be introduced at this year's NAB show. PANASAS Although Panasas ( is known as a storage provider to the high-performance computing market, it is a new player in the media and enter- tainment (M&E) space, which it sees as "a great fit," according to David Sallak, vice president of products and solutions. "We researched M&E and determined that our product solves the emerging performance challenges experienced by content creators. "Panasas ActiveStor allows production profession- als to break free from complex traditional shared-ac- cess storage workflows by offering a scale-out NAS with high performance that increases with scale. Ac- tiveStor supports the highest data transfer require- ments while maintaining the highest availability and a single point of data management across all users," he explains. One reason Panasas pursued the M&E market is the trend of increased bandwidth requirements and larger data sets. "Everything is bigger," he says. "We're getting feedback from Japanese broadcast- ers who are aiming for 8K broadcast for the 2020 Olympics. And other customers have told us that while they're currently delivering product in HD, some outlets are considering 4K and HDR delivery later this year. So they need to invest in a shared-ac- cess storage platform that will scale to support larger media production formats." Panasas offers "an ideal way to experience infra- structure that supports HD pipelines and will scale up bandwidth and performance easily without introduc- ing greater complexity," Sallak says. "We've historical- ly done this in high-performance computing markets and now bring these benefits to the M&E industry." ActiveStor is a capacity-based NAS platform that incorporates hybrid flash/SATA storage nodes to accelerate workflows while simplifying data man- agement. ActiveStor appliances are configurable by customers to meet their needs for performance and budget and offer from 50TB to more than 200TB of capacity per unit. Last summer, Panasas introduced ActiveStor 20, which features a 65 percent increase in flash and 25 percent increase in hard drive capacity via 10TB helium-based hard drives. Scalability increases from hundreds of terabytes to dozens of petabytes in a single namespace and performance ramps up to 360 Gigabytes per second and 2.6M IOPS. "Improvements have also been made to our PanFS file system, coupled with our DirectFlow par- allel data access protocol to deliver a higher-perfor- mance pool of storage under a single global name- space," adds Sallak. Later this year, Panasas expects to introduce an updated version of ActiveStor focused on improved file system data handling. "As asset quantities in- crease and the volume of assets becomes greater, it's a metadata challenge to track everything and handle it at the speeds at which artists work," he notes. "We look forward to delivering an improved architecture for this." 3 STORAGE SOLUTIONS MARCH 2017 I Panasas ActiveStor 20 PROVIDERS OFFER THE M&E SPACE A WIDE ARRAY OF HIGH PERFORMANCE, HIGH- CAPACITY SYSTEMS BY CHRISTINE BUNISH STORAGE SOLUTIONS

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