Quantum StorNext, CatDV Facilities Content Storage for Motorcar Parts of America

Quantum announced that Motorcar Parts of America (MPA) has deployed a combination of Xcellis workflow storage powered by StorNext and CatDV Media Asset Management software. The resulting high-output video production environment enables more agile collaboration and provides quick automated archiving and retrieval capabilities.

Video Training Makes MPA a Trusted DIY Resource
MPA distributes its products across the U.S. and Canada, and its supply chain, manufacturing, and test facilities span the globe, while maintaining a common quality standard throughout its operations.

One key to MPA’s success has been an early commitment to delivering quality video training, creating, and editing its own content to help both professional mechanics and DIYers correctly install and maintain the company’s products. The company produced high-quality content on their Apple workstations, but when they struggled to share that content between editors and re-use existing material they decided to upgrade their production and editing systems.

Finding a Better Solution
The MPA team sought help from Sunset Studios, an integrator specializing in helping clients set up production facilities, to meet their media workflow requirements. The Sunset Studios team helped MPA create and modernize a studio that includes four-camera recording in a two-bay garage facility that is now supported by a high-performance data sharing and archiving storage capability.

“Our phase two of this project entailed a Fibre Channel network with media asset management software, as well as the need for a modern and full-featured production storage and archive solution,” says John Edwards, Sunset Studios principal. “At the end of our evaluation, we chose Quantum and CatDV.”

MPA’s system is based on Quantum’s Xcellis scale-out workflow storage and CatDV media asset management from Squarebox. The Xcellis storage appliance is designed to give media production teams high-speed shared access to critical data to increase collaboration, simplify management and accelerate production timelines. The system includes an Xcellis Workflow Director for management and client connectivity, Brocade Fibre Channel networking and Quantum QXS RAID storage. The StorNext file system enables the entire team to continually share and access files from a centralized data pool. As MPA’s content repository grows, the team can cost-effectively add an archive tier of storage within the same global namespace.

Tight Integration Between Xcellis and CatDV
The Xcellis solution is tightly integrated with the CatDV Media Asset Management toolset that MPA selected as their asset management and workflow control software. CatDV is an end-to-end asset management solution that allows digital media content to be tracked, tagged, archived, and re-accessed quickly and easily in a shared storage environment.

“CatDV enables editors to build custom tags for recalling the content that they’re looking for when they need it, and it happens very quickly over the Fibre Channel network,” says Edwards. “We chose CatDV and Quantum because they are two proven solutions that work seamlessly together.”

Creating a High-Output Video Production Facility
The new system simplifies edits in low-res proxy formats, which can make the initial editing faster and easier. Once the program is set, the CatDV system automatically pulls the high-res content from the Xcellis archive and builds the final version. A second important feature for MPA’s team is the system’s ability to provide web-based collaboration for projects that involve private-label clients using Akomi software with CatDV.

MPA’s new facility and its video capture, editing, storage, and archiving systems helped the company launch its own YouTube Channel in 2016, and allows the team to more rapidly create even better content, and keep up more effectively with product changes and new customers.

“Basically, everything that we do now is going to YouTube because most installers, especially do-it-yourselfers, are going to YouTube to find a solution,” says Micallef. “Now we can pull content from previous shoots and do it quickly using CatDV and Quantum. Having an advanced storage architecture powered by StorNext has really allowed us to collaborate like never before, and it’s made our training videos the talk of the industry.”

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