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Heavy Pretty Pictures

High fashion, strong coffee, and a love of the cinema. These things describe Paris - a place where I recently helped with an install of a Facilis network for a premier cinema lab and 2K/4K color grading facility - Arane.

The heavy lifting was done by two 72TB 24D TerraBlock units, capable of supporting multiple 2K and even 4K 16bit 24fps streams. The grading systems are Assimilate Scratch and Scratch LAB. The Assimilate products have always been highly optimized for SAN performance, and they report the best numbers for attached clients on TerraBlock. Over-cranked 4K will saturate the dual 8Gb pipes at ~1580MB/sec. We got a sustained 36fps 4K (16:9), or a sustained 24fps along with another 16bit HD 444 at 24fps, on each server. The HD 16bit DPX sequence was on a Multi-user Write volume to boot.

I don't want to describe the Arane workflow in detail, because that is the property of the talented engineer designing the environment. Suffice to say there is a combination of fibre channel and Ethernet clients; Multi-user Write and Single-user Write volumes; Windows and Mac workstations; online and nearline/backup data locations. All of this combines for a very slick process, scan to screen. I was just getting used to the coffee when the job was done. I hope to be back for the inevitable network expansion, and to see more pretty pictures.

Posted by: James McKenna on Dec 4, 2012 at 7:55:16 am 4K, Film
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After 10 years of watching the storage wars take it's toll on manufacturers in the media and entertainment space, it amazes me how many options there still are. I would not want to be in my prior position as chief engineer today. If you stay true to the same brand name across multiple workflows and disciplines these days, there better be a darn good reason for it. Adapt and change, or be leapfrogged by the guy down the street without your lease overhead. Facilis is 3rd party to everyone, so we have no choice but to stay ahead of the market, and keep the technology moving.
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