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StorNext Boosts Production Fourfold at BYU–Hawaii
When Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYU–H) decided to transition from standard to high-definition video, its storage infrastructure could not provide the necessary capacity, transfer speeds, and flexibility. The university met the storage challenges by implementing Quantum StorNext data management software. The result: A tenfold increase in data transfer rates and a fourfold increase in video production.
HD Content Overwhelming
Founded in 1955 and located on the island of Oahu, BYU–H has 2,500 students from more than 70 countries. The university produces a wide variety of videos, including live broadcasts of athletic events and concerts, web streams, online classes, documentaries, and promotional materials.
To help improve the quality of its videos, BYU–H made the move from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD). However, HD files are much larger, which caused a litany of problems related to insufficient storage capacity and transfer rates. For example, the university would run out of space mid-project and have to decide what older content to erase to make room for new material.
These challenges were multiplied by a complex workflow: Film was captured on tape and ingested onto external hard drives using Firewire 800 before being transferred again to editing workstations. This transfer process took hours, according to Russell T. Merrill, Director of Instructional Media & Production.
Benefits: Integration Options, Scalability
Merrill examined several solutions, but none offered the same integration options or expansion capabilities as Quantum’s StorNext data management software. In conjunction with deploying StorNext, BYU–H moved from its direct attached storage architecture to a SAN-based one with two IBM DS5000 disk arrays.
StorNext has helped BYU–H enhance productivity, a key goal for Merrill. Because it provides high-speed content-sharing capabilities and data archiving, there isn’t a need to spend time cobbling together products from multiple vendors. StorNext acts as a metadata controller for the SAN, and enables multiple professionals to work on a file simultaneously. In addition, every project can now be in HD without worrying about space restrictions. The software can cope with vast amounts of additional storage and users without strain.
“In effect, StorNext has future-proofed our environment,” Merrill says. “Prior to StorNext, the university’s weekly shoot took two full days to complete. Now it takes only half a day. And while that shoot is happening, staff can edit as the file is transmitted straight to the SAN in the proper format, thereby eliminating videotape.”
Merrill concludes: “Our experience with StorNext and working with Quantum has been terrific. We’ve been able to do what we had hoped to do and more, and we know we have a great partner in Quantum.”
As a producer of live sporting events, such as basketball and volleyball games, BYU–H broadcasts over 70% of home games across campus and on the parent BYU network. Rather than invest in a costly EVS sports video instant replay system, BYU–H connects up to six cameras to four real-time edit bays, with one edit station dedicated for highlight reels. The university uses StorNext to enable live capture and editing of events, with the additional benefit of highlights for the entire season kept on the shared SAN. Editors can piece together content on a quick timeline with video from previous games to provide filler material for halftime shows and end-of-broadcast highlights.
In addition to enabling live sports programming, StorNext is used as the key infrastructure for playout displayed on digital signage outside the stadium, which provides continuing access to the game regardless of where students may be.