Digitizing Archived Media Requires Scalable, High-Performance Storage

Like many post-production houses, Studio Hamburg Postproduction GmbH must accommodate steadily growing volumes of high-resolution content. Recently, a large-scale digitization project created a tipping point, driving the studio to upgrade its storage environment to increase performance and capacity.

In addition to providing post-production services for new TV shows and films, Studio Hamburg Postproduction helps organizations revitalize older content. For example, Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR)—a public-service broadcaster—asked the studio to digitize its entire film archive, which includes approximately 11,000 hours of 16-mm and 35-mm film.

“The project will last ten years,” says Tammo Steinmetz, CEO of Studio Hamburg Postproduction. “We knew that digitizing all that content would require us to invest in new technology.”

In particular, the studio needed storage that could deliver both high performance and scalability to accommodate a 4K digitization process. The storage solution needed to quickly ingest large volumes of data and provide post-production team members with fast access to content for editing, color correction, and more.

Gaining Performance and Scalable Capacity with Quantum
Studio Hamburg Postproduction selected a new multi-tier Quantum solution to handle the rigorous requirements for ingest and post-production tasks. With help from Quantum, the studio transitioned from the previous storage environment while minimizing downtime.

By customizing the transition process for the studio’s specific requirements, Quantum helped the studio avoid technical challenges that might have affected productivity. “A post-production house like ours is focused primarily on creativity,” says Steinmetz. “Staff members should not have to give a single thought about whether the different technical components can work together—and with Quantum, they didn’t have to. It was a great relief.”

Accelerating Ingest and Speeding Data Access
For the BR digitization contract and future projects, Studio Hamburg Postproduction required storage that could ingest digitized content rapidly and provide robust performance for continuous post-production processing. “We scan and postprocess in two shifts for up to 16 hours a day,” explains Steinmetz.

With Quantum Xcellis Workflow Storage and Quantum QXS Hybrid Storage, the studio has gained two storage environments that deliver the outstanding performance required. During initial testing, the studio achieved performance of approximately 3.2 GB/s from each solution—6.4 GB/s overall.

“The Quantum solutions provide trouble-free operation even when several films are being processed at the same time,” says Steinmetz. “Quantum Xcellis and StorNext are genuine pillars of support for our daily workflows.”

Scaling Storage On-demand
Taking on new work such as the BR digitization project requires a highly scalable storage infrastructure. Traditionally, upgrading systems could be expensive and time-consuming. But with Xcellis Workflow Storage based on StorNext, the studio can add capacity and scale performance without major infrastructure overhauls.

Streamlining Data Management with StorNext
With studio editors, sound designers, colorists, and other team members spread across numerous work sites, managing data can be a complex undertaking. Working with a wide variety of file formats and applications adds further complications. Fortunately, the self-service approach of StorNext lets the creative staff access required files without IT involvement—no matter where those files are stored.

StorNext also helps keep content continuously available, providing reliable, 24/7 access to the storage systems for the studio’s day and night shifts. “With Xcellis Workflow Storage and StorNext, we now have the continuous access our teams need to be productive around the clock,” says Steinmetz.

Preparing for the Future with Quantum
Steinmetz believes the studio is well positioned for whatever lies ahead. “There are always new file formats and technologies that we’ll have to accommodate,” says Steinmetz. “With the Quantum solution, we are more than adequately equipped to meet future challenges.”