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Different Workflows, Different Products Complicate Collaboration
As a leading creative services agency, Optimus moves each video project through a complex series of creative and production steps to get to a final product. Optimus was looking to optimize the entire workflow across all these tasks and platforms to maximize efficiency and reduce delays for the 100-person development and production team. A key challenge was that the steps in this pipeline were disjointed. Individual departments were brought to a crawl waiting for tapes to be created and ingested, and digital files had to be copied and moved between workstations so different team members could work on them.
The solution turned out to be StorNext®data management software. StorNext creates a unified common storage environment that all the workstations can use, so instead of working from local copies scattered around different workstations, everyone uses the same resources.
“The Difference is Night and Day”
Explains Knox McCormac, Director of Operations, “StorNext is the key to our end-to-end workflow. It lets everybody—both Mac and Windows users—see and work on the same set of files, so there is no more copying and moving big pieces of data, no more worrying about which the right file is. The time savings is huge, and it also dramatically reduces our disk needs. Before, if we had three editors working on a one-terabyte project, each one needed [his or her] own terabyte of disk. Now they all use the same files, and we only need one terabyte of capacity. It’s a great improvement.”
StorNext Archive Saves Thousands of Dollars a Month
Optimus recently expanded their StorNext installation to solve another major problem: how to store, protect, and re-use content from the hundreds of commercials they process a week. In the world of commercial production, it’s critical to save and protect finished projects. In the old system, Optimus wrote each project off to its own, format-specific videotape and stored it offline. The costs were high and accessing the data was slow—each tape had to be manually retrieved and re-ingested in order to be used. But all that changed when they installed StorNext’s archiving software and a Scalar®i6000 LTO library. The new system created a separate, file-based storage area that includes two tiers—144TB of nearline disk and over a petabyte of archive capacity in the tape library. Now, finished projects are dropped to the nearline disk array, and StorNext automatically creates two copies—a primary and a backup copy—on digital tape in the library.
“StorNext touches every piece of workflow at Optimus,” McCormac says. “It doesn’t have any trouble keeping up with us—and that’s what we were looking for.”
Optimus is a multi-faceted creative services company with locations in Chicago and Santa Monica. Owned and operated by five partners/
employees, Optimus currently has a staff of about 100 full-time employees. The Chicago office combines a full-service video post-production house with an in-house stage and production arm, while Santa Monica is a creative boutique. As an integrated, collaborative team of directors, editors, designers, graphic artists, colorists, audio engineers, and online editors, Optimus can deliver any form of video content, from script to finished project.