Quantum StorNext 5 storage family.
Rapid changes in 4K video technology and the business surrounding it have had a major effect on storage acquisition, driving Quantum Corp.’s quarterly sales in September to an annual run rate of more than $100 million.
Driving the demand for new storage products is Quantum’s StorNext 5 shared storage and Lattus extended online storage, which were purchased by several large customers including MLB Networks, BBC Sport and UFC, the sports brand.
Last fall, Quantum announced a completely new generation of the scale-out shared storage file system, which was re-engineered for rapid changes in both video technology and 4K editorial workflows. StorNext 5 provided a much faster streaming file system and tiered software for automatic and intelligent storage of large-scale content. The new system’s 4K workflows outperform clustered, scale-out network attached systems.
StorNext 5 features improved ingest and transcode performance, high-speed archive and data management, SAN and LAN client workflows, performance and capacity up to five billion files, policy-based automated migration for tiered storage and archive, full support for SSD, disk, object storage and LTO/STFS tape and compatibility with the entire media production ecosystem.
Also, in partnership with Adobe, Reach Engine and Telestream, and using both StorNext and Lattus, Quantum introduced a new technology for enabling end-to-end media production workflows in the cloud. Teams can share content in real time over multiple, geographically dispersed locations and maintain a single asset repository, or replicate assets among multiple sites for resiliency and faster access.
Geoff Stedman is Quantum's SVP of StorNext Solutions.
“We are seeing an awful lot of momentum in the market and are involved in some very large projects,” said Geoff Stedman, Quantum’s senior v.p. of StorNext Solutions. “4K production is having a major effect. The amount of content continues to increase. The resolution and formats of that content continue to increase. Yet the deadlines to get that content finished continue to shrink. It’s all putting a lot of pressure on our customers’ existing storage infrastructure. They are now looking for storage that’s more specialized to help meet these pressures.”
The feature set of StorNext 5 —after three years of R&D — was radically improved last fall, allowing new and more efficient workflows to be constructed by end users. The re-engineered system is up to ten times faster, and scales to support up to five times more managed files than even previous versions.
StorNext uses a metadata controller server/client architecture. The controller server is deployed in fail-over, highly redundant pairs and manages the shared storage and access to the files on that storage for connected clients which can be on a wide array of client operating systems including OS X, Windows and many Linux operating systems.
Recent new media and entertainment sales included UFC, one of the world’s most largest sports brands, who purchased a Lattus extended online storage solution to enable faster, easier access to older video content for monetization. BBC Sport contracted with Trams, a Quantum reseller, for a four-year deal centered on StorNext 5 that also leverages the close integration of the software with Dalet’s Galaxy media asset management platform.
Other customers selecting StorNext 5 storage solutions included one of the largest video game companies and a top online video streaming provider, as well as a major newspaper publisher that adopted StorNext Pro 4K and two state universities that needed to refresh their Apple Xsan environments for managing video.
StorNext technology is about 20 years old and has more than 100,000 customers. From the beginning it has been an open platform. The original name of StorNext was CentraVision File System (CVFS). It was created by MountainGate Imaging Systems Corp to provide fast data transfer between Windows and SGI's IRIX computers.
Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) acquired MountainGate in September, 1999, added additional client types and changed the name to StorNext File System. The first new clients were Solaris and Linux. In August, 2006, Quantum acquired ADIC.
Today, customers who have deployed StorNext products include Turner, Canal+, Optimus, Mediaset and Park Road Post Productions. Companies who have integrated their workflow applications with StorNet’s APIs include Dalet, Vizrt, Apple, Telestream, Fork, OpenText, Autodesk, Adobe and Cinegy. Snell and Grass Valley have integrated StorNext support into certain products.
Stedman said the intersection of several new features has dramatically improved StorNext 5’s performance. Those features include the speed of the file system, scalability of the system by simply adding components, added network flexibility and improved topology support.
“One of the key attributes of a StorNext managed environment is the ability to have the system automatically migrate content from one tier of storage to another,” said Stedman. “You can create an environment where you have high performance storage for your real time activity, your editing and your ingest. You can then extend that environment with our Lattus storage online to a cloud system. You can further migrate it off to a tape archive. All of that is managed automatically with the intelligence of StorNext.
“Where you see the benefit of that intelligent management is when you want to access content,” he continued. “You don’t actually have to know where the content is. Your application simply goes to StorNext and you browse for the content you are looking for. You find it and retrieve it. You don’t have to keep track of what content is on what tier of storage. You have a common presentation layer for all of your content regardless of which actual system that content is physically residing on.”
The term “scale-out” means users can grow StorNext’s file system in terms of capacity and performance by simply adding modular components. There are no big break points when the size of the system is increased. There is no need to do a data migration or a major change out of file system controllers.
“Once you have a base system you scale that out by adding additional components,” said Stedman. “The software will simply grow with the added components.”
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