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Fast-growing Brand Developers handles product development, marketing, call centers, and distribution of consumer products sold through direct television campaigns. Market success has meant fast growth in content, and that created major problems for the post-production group—storage costs were rising rapidly and traditional protection strategies didn’t work.
“Our storage strategy—which began with a single tier of NAS storage—couldn’t sustain our business model anymore,” explains Callum MacEwan, Video Engineer and Senior Editor. “And we knew that protection was important, but we suddenly realized that we were protecting the outcome of a $500,000 production shoot by sticking it on a $250 disk—it didn’t make sense.” The company decided to look for a solution that could manage growth, improve protection, and give the team shared content access.
More NAS or Storage Tiers?
The first option proposed was adding more NAS.
“There was a lot of hand-waving and ‘blinding us with science’ from one vendor, but we didn’t want to go down that road,” MacEwan says. “The costs were way too high, and we would still be back in the position of needing to protect and use older data.”
So the team decided to look for a system that could include a layer of tape storage as an archive, and engaged an experienced systems integrator, Factorial.
StorNext End-to-End Shared Storage and Archive
The answer was an end-to-end Quantum solution: StorNext® high-performance disk for the primary work area, StorNext metadata appliance for file sharing, and StorNext tape archive. Only 40TB of capacity is needed for the high-speed post-production work; all the projects are centralized, and older content is automatically protected and preserved on the tape library.
“Now everything is copied to tape as an integrated background process,” explains MacEwan. “The beauty of the StorNext system is that data on tape is part of the standard file catalog, and our editors can get it back again to reuse it without any problem at all. We use much less disk; the content is protected; we can access it on tape transparently to our users; and the cost is much, much lower than the NAS-only option.”
“Installation only took five work days,” reports Tim Benson, Director and Technology Evangelist at Factorial.
An Open Approach and High Performance
The Quantum solution set included two more key attributes: an open systems approach and high performance.
“We use both Windows and Mac editing stations, and are transitioning from using Avid tools to Autodesk,” says MacEwan. “The fact that StorNext can transparently support both those platforms was key to us….”
“The other big advantage was increased speed," he continues. " Editors were always complaining about performance with the old system. StorNext is giving us 7 to 10 times faster throughput on a single editing station….”
“Quantum was great to work with throughout the whole process,” MacEwan says. “They listened to what we wanted, helped steer us toward the right solution, and helped with the roll-out. We don’t worry about our storage anymore. It’s rock-solid, and I recommend Quantum and the StorNext solution to anyone who will listen.”
Brand Developers Limited is Australasia’s leading Direct Response Television Company, specializing in product development, infomercial shopping, and multi-channel retail distribution. Operating from offices in Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, the company continues to push the boundaries of traditional home-based TV shopping.