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Storage, 4K ready

The use of storage with own equipment occurs in small and medium-sized companies, while the largest user is migrating to the cloud. The usual thing is that not everything is in the cloud, only specific topics that for cost does not justify having on disk.

Richard Santa

The development of image quality, moving from SD to HD, now 4K and starting to talk about 8K, makes companies in the industry must have a storage system with increasing. Today there are several options on the market to make a decision when it comes to expanding their capacity, including defining whether to adopt solutions based on hardware, software or hybrid.

About these solutions, TVyVideo+Radio consulted Fernando Barrientos, representative of the Qnap company for the countries of Unasur, who stressed that storage solutions are divided into two types, one in the cloud that is offered as a service and the other is by hardware that provides a computer and the user has greater control over the solution and does not require an additional payment after acquiring the equipment and that also offers connected solutions.

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There are three aspects that differentiate each one and that a company must take into account when deciding on one. The first is the initial cost of the solution. The second is the cost of maintenance and/or licensing. And the third is the technical and additional resources that each solution can provide, most hardware solutions provide options for cloud connection.

Safety is another essential factor. Currently available options start from something basic like user and password access, and other more advanced solutions like computer address certificate requirements for file transfer. Finally there is the management of storage, which must have mechanisms of automatic copy of all files periodically. 

In Latin America specifically, the market is divided between the two solutions. According to Fernando Barrientos, medium and small companies are those that seek to have greater control over their content, for a matter of trust and security, and prefer hardware solutions, while large companies have a hybrid between the two solutions and tend more to rental or payment for service tools.

Available solutions
In the industry there are several companies that offer storage solutions. Here are some of the most commonly used in the radio and television industry:

Thunderbolt technology redefined external storage with its speed and versatility in bandwidth-intensive applications. Thunderbolt 2 builds on these advances and doubles the speed potential to 20 Gb/s, allowing you to edit and view 4K RAW video files simultaneously.

Therefore, one of its most recent novelties is 8big Rack Thunderbolt™ 2, which is aimed at working with 4K video. It features Thunderbolt 2 speeds of 48TB in a 1U rack. In addition, the addition of a hardware RAID controller and 7200 RPM disks results in sustained speeds of up to 1330 MB/s that accelerate 4K workflows, transfers, and file backups.

With this level of speed, videographers can work directly from RAW files in Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, and get the full ability to record and view edits in real time. There is no need to convert the video to a lower resolution. 

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LaCie RAID Manager software provides a centralized and powerful way to configure and control all LaCie 8big Rack disks that are connected to a workstation. From an application, you can control RAID mode, system monitoring, and email alerts. 

Promise Technology
VTrak A-Class is promise technology's storage solution for media. It provides shared storage that can be entered and captured in post-production workflows starting at 32 TB and scaling out more than 7 PB. Allows simultaneous editing of multiple users to improve workloads from months to weeks, or from weeks to days.

For 4K work, VTrak A-Class uses Pegasus2 Thunderbolt 2 desktop RAID storage with which 4K streams can be downloaded from cameras at over 1300 MB/s.

According to the company, larger files that signify 4K images and above, imply that rendering, composition, coloring and editing require a lot of bandwidth, and can increase workload productivity time intervals, making it difficult to meet deadlines. Their solution aims to solve these problems.

GB Labs 
This company developed the FastNAS storage solution, which provides single and multi-user access, editing, sharing and distribution of 4K streams for post-production and broadcast environments. This solution integrates with four solutions of the company, among which is Dynamic Expansion, EX, which offers external SAS connectivity, which allows its expansion through a FastNAS EX unit. The capacity of the original drive can be increased up to 160TB. 

Another technology is Velocity RAID Engine, VRE, optimized for AV use and low latency response. VRE is at the heart of the FastNAS experience offering excellent random access performance using minimal system resources. VRE RAID technology offers dynamic capacity expansion, meaning there is no downtime and no need to waste time copying large amounts of data in and out of your storage just to increase your capacity.

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TVS-1582TU is a hybrid solution from Qnap, which offers USB 3.1 connection and offers 10 gigabyte connection with ports enabled for Ethernet or fiber optic connections. It allows you to have a much wider platform for high-speed platforms.

Providing a triple Thunderbolt™/NAS/iSCSI SAN solution, with four wide-bandwidth Thunderbolt™ 3 ports to optimize online 4K video transfer and editing. It's a perfect match for Thunderbolt-equipped Mac and Windows users for 4K workflows, file storage, and high-speed sharing. 

The compact rackmount form factor makes the TVS-1582TU especially useful for live TV production environments via mobile TV/satellite units that require frequent relocation. The TVS-1582TU adopts 7th Generation Intel 14nm multi-core processors and has been designed around the concept of tiered storage, application-based partitioning, and network traffic distribution to meet critical tasks with sophisticated capabilities.

Amazon web services, AWS
One of the companies that is leading the most in cloud storage systems is Amazon, with solutions for different industries and applications. The company highlights that the film and entertainment sectors are moving content production and post-production to their solutions in order to take advantage of highly scalable, elastic and secure cloud services, which allow accelerating the production of content and reducing capital investment in infrastructure. 

The AWS Cloud System provides cloud-based tools for collaborating, dynamically editing and scaling content production and visual effect rendering, reducing content production times and fostering collaboration with contributors around the world.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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