In the face of demanding deadlines, Wink Inc., a full-service media company with facilities in Denver and Jackson Hole, installed GraniteSTOR ST-RAID, a cost-effective, Ethernet-based shared storage system from Small Tree, to improve workflow at both locations. System performance improved immediately, leading the company's founder and owner, Jason Winkler, to wonder why he hadn't made the switch to Small Tree's shared storage sooner.
"I don't think you realize how much time you're spending duplicating and moving media until you stop doing it," Winkler said, in reference to his company's previous practice of swapping around drives to share media. "Our workflow improved immediately with ST-RAID in that you bring media into the system and everyone is able to access it at the same time. There are no more outputting and compressing files for viewing and approval. All of that can be done while the editors are still working on the project."
Wink Inc. is a new age, Final Cut Pro, post-production company, featuring seven permanent work stations handling editing, color and graphics. Much of the company's work revolves around mainstream factual programming and digital asset management, delivering programming throughout the world in a variety of formats.
According to Winkler, a surprising benefit of the Small Tree technology was that it allowed Wink to develop a "mobile server." By utilizing Small Tree's shared storage, Wink can view RAID-protected media and have up to six editors working concurrently in the field.
Impressed by Small Tree's system performance, Winkler was just as pleased by the company's commitment to customer service.
"Small Tree's customer service is great," Winkler noted. "We've rarely had any issues with the system we installed, but in those instances where we have, they were able to take control of our work screen and make the necessary adjustments. They also spent time teaching us how to make the adjustments so that we could go into the system and take care of the situation on our own. There's tremendous peace of mind in dealing with a company that has such technological expertise and cares about its customers."
As Wink Inc. continues to grow, scalability was a major priority for Winkler when considering which storage solution to commit to. The ability to easily add to their current system was crucial.
"The scalability of Small Tree's shared storage is awesome," Winkler commented. "The ability to add single work spaces or another SAN is huge - it's been easy and really cost-effective for us. I just can't believe that we are able to move media this effectively over Ethernet. That you can literally be on a high-speed Cat5 or Cat6 network and plug in and work immediately is mind blowing to me."