With upwards of 20 Mac-based workstations handling projects simultaneously from major clients such as iTunes, Netflix and Hulu, the decision to shift to Ethernet shared storage technology from Small Tree to replace the endless array of independent drives throughout their facility was an easy one for Premiere Digital Services (PDS).
Located in the heart of Los Angeles' Miracle Mile, PDS is a digital distribution and encoding facility that can deliver media anywhere in the world. The company's talented staff of post-production artists and technologists ingest, quality control (QC), fix, encode, package, transcode, store and distribute digital content - including movies, television, music videos and songs - to online retailers and end users around the world and across all platforms.
Before installing three of Small Tree's robust GraniteSTOR ST-RAID II systems to help facilitate workflow by connecting all of the facility's users, PDS worked off a rotation of independent drives in an assembly line atmosphere. Content would be captured to a drive, which would be handed off to a QC agent, then to a correction agent and finally to fulfillment where the project would be transcoded, packaged or delivered to the client.
"While we were able to manage with our previous system, it was not ideal," said Erik Anderson, CEO and founder of PDS. "Now, with the Small Tree shared storage everything is centralized and we can automate our workflow. This has provided a major uptick in productivity, which has allowed our business to grow incredibly as we're able to take on more projects and do more for the clients we already have."
As part of its ongoing business growth, PDS recently moved into a new 7,000-square-foot facility featuring a dedicated server room with instantaneous UPS power back-up and a 2,000-square-foot anti-static floor production space.
When searching for a solution that would improve the company's workflow, Anderson did consider Fibre Channel, but given the number of seats the facility has, putting a Fibre Channel card in each machine would have been cost prohibitive. Additionally, given that the facility's QC team works on Mac Mini's, Fibre Channel wasn't a viable option as you cannot add an expansion card to the Mini. Ethernet access, however, is available on the Mini.
"Ethernet's ubiquity was attractive from an installation and cost perspective," Anderson said. "We're able to connect all of our Mac machines to the ST-RAID II, whether it's a G5, iMac, MacBook or Mini. The flexibility the Small Tree system provides in addition to its performance and infinite expandability are ideal for facility's that need maximum throughput at an affordable price."
Offering real time editing for Final Cut users by supporting 16 streams of ProRes 422HQ with 16 TB increasing to 24 streams with 32 TB with no dropped frames, ST-RAID II provides reliable performance over Ethernet networks and is configurable from 16TB up to 144TB of total storage capacity with the appropriate expansion unit.
For more information on Small Tree and its line of Ethernet-based shared storage products, visit www.small-tree.com or call 1-866-782-4622.