Film School Studio FAMU Taps Quantum for Remote Access and Content Preservation

Studio FAMU – part of the Czech Republic’s Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts – has deployed a Quantum storage solution consisting of Quantum StorNext scale-out file storage, a Scalar tape archive, and integrated media library asset management. The platform delivers scalable, centralized storage with simple, remote access to files while providing long-term preservation of student work.

“The Quantum StorNext solution enables us to centralize our storage, provide easy access to files, and enforce some discipline for the use of storage as part of the creative process,” notes Ondřej Šejnoha, Director, Studio FAMU.

A New Storage Solution Befitting a Modern Studio

One of the oldest film schools in the world, Studio FAMU offers extensive film production and post-production resources to support a world-class education at the Czech Republic’s Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). The school provides the video storage for approximately 450 class exercises and large-scale film projects produced each school year. Because those projects increasingly use high-resolution and 4K video formats, Studio FAMU requires a large, scalable storage environment. Without a centralized approach, managing and protecting data and ever-growing video archives became extremely challenging.

When the studio began a major physical renovation project, they saw an opportunity to start a new era for the facility with centralized storage supporting the production and post- production workflow, from ingest through post-production, playout, and archiving. FAMU also wanted easy access to files, scalable capacity for large volumes of high-resolution media, and integration with an archive solution for long-term preservation of projects. In addition, the new storage solution needed to work with a media asset management (MAM) system to simplify the management and organization of media files while making it easier to share files.

With help from IT Service provider Agora PLUS, Studio FAMU chose an end-to-end Quantum StorNext solution, with a Quantum i500 tape library powered by the StorNext file system and data management platform. The environment is seamlessly integrated with an ELEMENTS Media Library MAM.

Scalable Capacity and Simple Remote Access to Support Hundreds of Projects

The studio deployed a high-capacity environment that could accommodate rising volumes of high-resolution files plus a growing archive. They initially planned for a 2 PB environment—80 percent for production and 20 percent for archiving. Today, students now have sufficient dedicated space on the StorNext file system to keep raw materials, and completed projects are archived to tape.

“With the StorNext file system and the integrated MAM system, students can access their work wherever they are—at home or the pub—from any kind of device. They can see files, make changes, and show their work to other people who need to see it,” says Šejnoha. “Professors can also view and evaluate work remotely. It’s much more convenient than moving around flash drives or external hard drives in a backpack.”

Remote access to work proved to be essential when the coronavirus pandemic reached Europe. “We’ve been very happy to have the Quantum solution during this challenging time. With  Quantum’s StorNext solution, it’s very easy to share anything with students, professors, and other organizations—wherever they are in the world,” says Šejnoha.

Protecting Projects and Teaching Storage Discipline

Centralizing content helps Studio FAMU protect the projects in which students invest so much of their time, and Scalar Extended Data Life Management (EDLM) capabilities help ensure that data remains available for years to come. This modern approach also enables Studio FAMU to implement consistent policies.

“Storage is a necessary part of the whole production process. Students can’t jump over storage,” says Šejnoha. “With the StorNext solution, we can make sure students are no longer hiding data somewhere. They learn the importance of proper storage behavior, which they’ll need in the real world.”

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