remote desktop software like HP Anyware, you can edit in remote storage or in the cloud without the need for costly and time-consuming egress transfers. Def: When evaluating storage solutions, what are the key cost considerations filmmakers should keep in mind, especially in terms of long-term value? RW: Overall value for money is ultimately what a choice comes down to, but don’t try and shoehorn one product or solution to fulfil every requirement, as too many compromises will be made. Consider multiple products or solutions to ensure you address each of your requirements appropriately. And when making a choice, think about the support level you require or expect. It’s all too easy to make a cheap purchase but get let down by product reliability, technical support services or warranty handling processes. CL: Hidden costs like cloud egress fees and ongoing, per-user licensing fees should be considered in the cost evaluation. Beyond the initial cost, it’s also key to consider scalability, reliability and support. Can the system adapt as you grow, or will you need to trade it in for something bigger a year later? Does the technology align with your usage plans, or are there concerns about its durability and warranty? If issues arise, is the support team reliable or lacking adequate customer service? All these facets should factor into the total cost of ownership and long-term value of your system. SS-B: When deciding on your storage solution, the basic guide is to determine how much storage space you need and what performance speed you need to support the project. We have a full suite of offerings, each with a step up in terms of performance (speed and memory size). There are savings to be made when buying the higher capacities, as when you step up in specification, the RRP doesn’t double along with it. For example, a 4TB is cheaper than two 2TB SSDs. Def: How can filmmakers effectively scale their storage solutions to accommodate the increasing demands of high-resolution formats and larger production files?
TAKE A STEP BACK Simply throwing away the tape and putting your full force into the cloud may not be the best solution – research the whole spectrum of storage that’s out there
CL: Resolutions are only going up, and we recently increased our storage capacities to accommodate this continued growth, well into multiple PBs. Implementing a tiered storage infrastructure with online, nearline and/or hybrid cloud working together can effectively scale your storage solution. On the other hand, editors aren’t always editing with the highest-resolution formats, as even the NLEs struggle with them at times. A better workflow can be to transcode your media and work with proxy files, allowing editors to work with lightweight files while maintaining large, high-resolution media on the storage server for final render. RW: Finding the right balance between storage mediums is important – and often overlooked. It’s been far too easy since the industry first went ‘tapeless’ to throw more disks at storage needs, and in the last few years that can also be said about increasing capacity in the cloud. Symply offers disk, tape and cloud storage solutions, and every independent filmmaker, production or post-production company should use at least two of these mediums. Disk storage (be it HDD or NVMe) is ideally suited to storing media that is being worked on at a given time, whether individually or collaboratively – but source material,
finished assets and project data that just need to be secured and not accessed immediately can reside on LTO. Not only is tape a secure and long-term medium, but very inexpensive per TB. Cloud capacity (depending on what you use and are willing to pay) can be working, back-up or archive storage, and is ideal for geo-collaboration. Investing in each to balance your data across mediums most effectively is hugely beneficial to overall costs and spreading risk. ST: EFS storage is designed for scalability – if you need more space for larger files or higher shooting ratios, it is simple to add it without even shutting down the running servers. The cloud, of course, is inherently scalable infinitely. As new resolutions and formats evolve, it is vital to keep the file management software updated to cope, but scaling is not a technical challenge today. It is also important to understand that the performance of storage depends on a range of factors that include the client, the network and the server. These need to be optimised for the high throughput required for higher resolutions. Our next- generation storage systems, for example, will utilise NVMe to provide significant increases in throughput over disk and SSD systems.
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