NAB 2017: Quantum’s New StorNext 6 Combines Best-in-Class 4K Performance, Advanced Data Management
Quantum (Booth SL5705, SL5810) has introduced StorNext 6, a major release of its award-winning StorNext platform, adding new advanced data-management features to the industry-leading 4K performance of the company’s workflow storage solutions portfolio.
With this combination of performance and automatic, policy-driven management, StorNext 6 is engineered to overcome the challenges of ever-growing, higher-resolution content and capitalize on the opportunities to re-monetize or repurpose that content. Features include more-efficient and cost-effective ways to meet project performance demands, share and access content across geographically distributed teams, and manage and protect archived content. Quantum delivers all these benefits in an integrated, multi-tier storage solution encompassing flash, spinning disk, object storage, tape, and the cloud while maintaining optimized performance, visibility and access at every tier.
Increasing Demand for Storage Performance and Agility
The industry’s ongoing shift to higher-resolution formats, its use of more cameras to capture footage, and its embrace of additional distribution formats and platforms are putting unprecedented pressure on storage infrastructure. For content creators and owners to take full advantage of their content, storage must not only deliver scalable performance and capacity but also ensure that media assets remain readily available to users and workflow applications. StorNext 6 is engineered to address these requirements and more.
Quality of Service: Optimizing Performance to Support 4K Work
Leveraging extensive real-world 4K testing and a series of 4K reference architectures developed from test data, Quantum’s StorNext platform provides scalable storage that delivers high performance using less hardware than competing systems. With StorNext 6, Quantum delivers a new quality-of-service (QoS) feature that empowers facilities to further tune and optimize performance across all client workstations and on a machine-by-machine basis in a shared storage environment.
Using QoS to specify bandwidth allocation to individual workstations, a facility can guarantee that more-demanding tasks, such as 4K playback or color correction, get the bandwidth they need to maintain uncompromising video quality. At the same time, QoS allows the facility to set parameters ensuring that less timely or demanding tasks do not consume an unnecessary amount of bandwidth. As a result, StorNext 6 users can take on work with higher-resolution content and easily optimize their storage resources to accommodate the high-performance demands of such projects.
Collaborative Workflows via Shared Archive With FlexSpace
To address the challenges of global “always on” production workflows, StorNext 6 offers a new feature called FlexSpace. It allows multiple instances of StorNext — and geographically distributed teams — located anywhere in the world — to share a single archive repository, greatly facilitating collaboration with the same content. Users at different sites can store files in the shared archive and also browse and pull data from the repository.
Because the movement of content can be fully automated according to policies, all users have access to the content they need without having it expressly shipped to them. Shared archive options include both public-cloud storage ― Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud via StorNext’s existing FlexTier capability ― and private-cloud storage based on Quantum’s Lattus object storage or, through FlexTier, third-party object storage, such as NetApp StorageGRID, IBM Cleversafe, and Scality RING. In addition to simplifying collaborative work, FlexSpace also makes it easy for multinational companies to establish protected offsite content storage.
Multi-Site Synchronization With FlexSync
FlexSync is a powerful new capability in StorNext 6 that provides a fast, flexible and simple way to synchronize content between multiple StorNext systems in a highly manageable and automated fashion. FlexSync supports one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-one file-replication scenarios and can be configured to operate at almost any level: specific files, specific folders, or entire file systems. By leveraging enhancements in file-system metadata monitoring, FlexSync recognizes changes instantly and can immediately begin reflecting those changes on another system.
This approach avoids the need to lock the file systems to identify changes, reducing synchronization time from hours or days to minutes or even seconds. As a result, users can also set policies that automatically trigger copies of files so that they are available at multiple sites, enabling different teams to access content quickly and easily whenever it’s needed. In addition, by providing automatic replication across sites, FlexSync offers increased data protection.
Copy Expiration and Selectable Retrieve
StorNext 6 gives users greater control and selectivity in maximizing their use of storage on an ROI basis. When archive policies call for storage across disk, tape, and the cloud, StorNext makes a copy for each. A new copy-expiration feature enables users to set additional rules determining when individual copies are removed from a particular storage tier. This approach makes it simpler to maintain data on the storage medium most appropriate and economical and, in turn, to free up space on more expensive storage. When one of several copies of a file is removed from storage, a complementary selectable retrieve function in StorNext 6 enables users to dictate which of the remaining copies is the first priority for retrieval. As a result, users can ensure that the file is retrieved from the most appropriate storage tier.
StorNext 6 offers valuable new capabilities for facilities that subscribe to Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rules for content auditing and tracking. The platform can now track changes in files and provide reports on who changed a file, when the changes were made, what was changed, and whether and to where a file was moved. With this knowledge, a facility can see exactly how its team handled specific files and also provide its clients with details about how files were managed during production.
Online Stripe Group Management
As facilities begin to move to 4K production, they need a storage system that can be expanded for both performance and capacity in a non-disruptive manner. StorNext 6 provides online stripe group management, allowing systems to have additional storage capacity added to existing stripe groups without having to go offline and disrupt critical workflows.
Focused Mac Finder Results
Another enhancement in StorNext 6 allows StorNext Storage Manager to automate archives in an environment with Mac clients, effectively eliminating the lengthy retrieve process previously required to access an archived directory that contains offline files, which can number in the hundreds of thousands or even millions.
Availability and Pricing
StorNext 6 will begin shipping with all newly purchased Xcellis and StorNext M-Series offerings, as well as Artico archive appliances, in early summer. It will be available at no additional cost for StorNext 5 users under current support contracts.
Says Jason Kranitz, SVP, sales, Integrated Media Technologies Inc., “My customers are some of the most demanding StorNext users in the world, and StorNext 6 is arguably the most significant advance in the system in many years. Besides better performance, this version incorporates features that are simply not offered on other storage systems. From the ability to share a storage pool among locations to client-based bandwidth control and file-system auditing that extends to archives — not to mention offline file browsing for Mac systems — StorNext 6 is solving real workflow challenges and will make customers more productive and reduce their overhead.”
Says Dave Frederick, senior director, media and entertainment, Quantum, “Quantum designed StorNext 6 to empower content owners and creators in overcoming the cost and complexity challenges presented by modern media workflows so they can fully capitalize on opportunities to drive greater value from their media assets. With this in mind, we’re excited about bringing the enhanced performance and management benefits of StorNext 6 to customers and enabling them to interact with their content in new ways.”