FAQ: Avid NEXIS | Pro 20TB and 40TB engines

FAQ: Avid NEXIS | Pro 20TB and 40TB engines

In November 2017, Avid announced that they would be discontinuing the Avid NEXIS | Pro 20TB engine, and replacing it with the 40TB model they had premiered at IBC. With stocks of the 20TB model now critically low, we looked at the key questions you need to ask before moving to the 40TB engine. 

Avid_NEXIS_PRO

Will my existing 20TB engines still be supported? 

Yes. Avid will provide support for any 20TB NEXIS | Pro covered by a support contract until 31st December 2022, so your hardware should be safe for the rest of its usable life. It will continue to qualify for maintenance software releases, including bug fixes and client OS compatibility updates.

Will I be able to continue using my existing hardware? 

Again, yes. See below for specific compatibility information.

How does the price compare to the existing 20 TB engine? 

The new, larger engine is actually better value per TB, offering you twice the storage capacity for a relatively small uptick in price (the base model of the 40TB unit is currently £1000 more than the base 20TB model).

Are there limits to how I can configure my NEXIS | Pro system? 

Essentially, the same limits apply to NEXIS systems built from the new storage model as follows:

– Up to four Media Packs (in this case up to four engines) can be merged into one NEXIS | Pro system which uses the embedded System Director service mode of NEXIS File System.

– Up to 30 clients can be connected to the NEXIS Pro storage system simultaneously.

– Up to 24 clients can be actively connected to the system accessing storage Workspaces simultaneously.

– NEXIS Pro Engine Media Packs can be bound to the file system in either Scale Out Storage Group (SOSG) mode or in High Performance Storage Group (HPSG) mode. For systems containing more than one engine, both modes can be used (starting, perhaps, with one Media Pack in SOSG mode and one Media Pack in HPSG mode), and up to four Storage Groups can be configured as follows:

– Up to four engines can be connected and from one to four Storage Groups can be created with each engine’s Media Pack bound to the file system in SOSG mode delivering up to 400 MB/s bandwidth per Media Pack. Storage Groups can be sized according to bandwidth requirements, and further Media Packs added later if expansion is required (subject to the four Media Pack system limit).

– Up to four engines can be connected and one Storage Group can be created with each engine’s Media Pack bound to the file system in HPSG mode delivering up to 600 MB/s bandwidth per Media Pack bound in this mode. Additional Storage Groups can also be created if required; however, these must use SOSG bound Media Packs.

Can NEXIS | Pro engines be mixed with NEXIS | E ones? 

NEXIS | Pro storage cannot be mixed with NEXIS | E series engines, although a NEXIS | Pro based system and one or more NEXIS | E series based systems could be run in the same network environment if required, and from a common client base.

Can I add NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines to my NEXIS | Pro 20TB system?

Yes, you can do this safely, although the total number of NEXIS engines in a NEXIS Pro engine-based NEXIS system cannot exceed four, and you will need to be running at least NEXIS software v7.10.1. This may mean that a software update must be performed on the existing NEXIS | Pro 20TB engines and all clients accessing the storage prior to adding the new NEXIS engines to the system.

Ideally, NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines would be added to a new Storage Group separate from any existing Storage Groups consisting of NEXIS | Pro 20TB Engines in order to optimise available storage capacity.

Can I add NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines to my ISIS 1000 system?

Yes, although the ISIS 1000 system would need to be upgraded to NEXIS | Pro 20TB engines and NEXIS v7.10.1 software or above before the new storage was added.

Can I add NEXIS | Pro 40TB Engines to my ISIS 5000 system?

No. However, NEXIS systems can be run safely alongside an ISIS system and both storage systems can be accessed from a common Avid Shared Storage client. So if you need to expand your available storage capacity or increase the storage bandwidth available to clients, a suitably configured Avid NEXIS system can be established in the same network as your existing ISIS system. In this case the ISIS system must be running a minimum version of ISIS v4.7.5 software (although the latest v4.7.11 is highly recommended) and the existing ISIS client software can be updated to the Avid NEXIS client software.

What level of storage protection is offered by NEXIS | Pro series engines?

Administrators can select to have data protected in NEXIS | Pro based file systems with either One Disk or Two Disk protected Workspaces. In the case of the One Disk protected Workspaces, data located in these Workspaces will remain available to users in the case of one disk in the NEXIS Media Pack failing. In the case of the Two Disk protected Workspaces, data located in these Workspaces will remain available to users in the case of up to two disks in the NEXIS Media Pack failing. Administrators can also elect to create Workspaces with no data protection enabled, although we recommend that users only select this option if they have an effective onsite backup workflow in place.

Is NEXIS engine mirroring available as a data protection scheme in NEXIS | Pro based systems?

No, this advanced data protection scheme requires use of the NEXIS System Director Appliance (SDA) and is only available in NEXIS |E Series engine-based configurations.

Have we missed a question? Ask yours in the comments, or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 210 or at broadcast@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

Meet the experts: Phillip Boettcher

Meet the experts: Phillip Boettcher

Many of you will already be familiar with Phillip’s dulcet tones from his time with our tech support team, or have met him while he was our main onsite engineer for media customers, whose Avid storage solutions he has been expertly installing for several years. Now, as a Technical Architect, he helps our customers design their custom workstations, storage setups and rendering solutions. 

High performance

“I spend a lot of time working on high performance storage for editing, and speccing workstations for creatives who need a specific build. If you need rendering workstations to do grunt work around your facility, I can help there, too. I’ve been an ASCR Elite, which is Avid’s highest support qualification, so if you need help putting together your Avid workflow and designing the systems that support it, I’m a good person to ask.”

Disaster aversion

“I definitely think working my way up through tech support has helped me because, having seen how badly things can go wrong, I know all the things that can crop up after a build is complete and the amount of preparation that it’s best to take before diving into a project. When I’m scoping things out with customers, I can see where people have gone wrong in the past, and steer them away from that from the get go.”

The rise and rise of Resolve? 

“I’ve installed and provided workflow advice for a number of quite high-powered Resolve systems in quite demanding post-production environments, so it’s interesting to watch version 14 develop and see the new tools relating to the collaborative workflow emerge. It’s pretty clear that Blackmagic Design want Resolve to become a one-stop shop that you visit when you’re acquiring your media, when you’re starting your edit, when you’re finishing and when you’re colouring, for audio and for delivery – and they’re allowing you to do a lot of it in the free version, without even having to buy the studio version. I know some people will always want to use tried and tested software that their regular freelancers already know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw young talents working their way up as Resolve all-rounders.”

The easiest way to start your asset management regime…

“Avid’s new Media Central Editorial Management is going to be the next big thing that I’ll be discussing with customers who are considering (or already using) the NEXIS storage platform.  It’ll be a really good product for small to medium production businesses who are trying to get things in order from the start, and want to make sure they’re working the right way from the beginning. It has a fair number of integrations with existing workflows, it will be an easy one to incorporate into their setup.”

Future-proofing the media industry

“I like the installs we’ve done for universities, particularly things like the Resolve suite we did at Falmouth. I went in to install that and it was nice to bring that kind of technology to students and see them get into it. Even though it wasn’t all that long ago, the difference between the kit available when I was at university and the things that universities are providing for their students now seems huge; we’re installing Rohde & Schwarz SANs, NEXIS, Resolve, huge storage estates and things I’d never have encountered in education a few years ago.”

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Avid NEXIS 7.6 introduces High Performance Storage Groups

Avid NEXIS 7.6 introduces High Performance Storage Groups

Avid have rolled out the latest update to the NEXIS shared storage system, boosting peak performance to 2.4 GBps. The new updates allows NEXIS | Enterprise users to build shared storage systems of up to 48 Media Packs, giving them nearly 3PB of storage and a maximum bandwidth of 28GBps or 600MBps per Media Pack – enough bandwidth for 375 streams of XAVC-Intra UHD, or well over 1000 streams of DNxHD. 

They’ve also added support for High Performance Storage Group and Workspaces (HPSG). Historically, when you’ve bound together Media Packs in your NEXIS setup, they’ve been optimised for even performance and reliable, consistent bandwidth. The new High Performance bind setting is designed to give a small number of users the maximum bandwidth possible, so if a small number of your team are working on an ultra-high-bandwidth project, you can bind together Media Packs for them to monopolise, while the rest of your team carry on as normal.

Even NEXIS | Pro users can get in on the action, scaling up to 600MBps – 2400MBps maximum bandwidth (it was previously 400MBps – 1600MBps). Pro units will even be able to support HPSG, though not to quite the same capacity as Enterprise units.

Do all my Media Packs become ‘High Performance’ if I upgrade? 

No. The setting for large-scale, predictable bandwidth provision is still the default, but has been renamed ‘Scale-Out binding’. If you want to create a HPSG, you will need to upgrade your NEXIS system to 7.6, then add new Media Packs in the High Performance configuration. Only packs added after the upgrade can be bound in High Performance mode.

Does that mean I need to buy new Media Packs? 

Again, no, but you will need to remove Media Packs from your existing system, unbind them, upgrade then rebind them. If you’re worried about safely migrating your data or backing up your Storage Group while its media is offline, get in touch with us. We have Avid Certified Support Representatives on staff who can advise you on the safest and quickest way to update your NEXIS setup.

Can any Media Packs be bound in this way? 

High Performance binding is available for 20TB and 60TB Media Packs. Avid recommends that you bind together Media Packs of the same size, so for the best possible performance you would bind 20TB Media Packs to other 20TB Media Packs, and 60TB ones to 60TB ones, rather than mixing the two.

Are there any restrictions on the availability of HPSGs? 

A few, High Performance mode is not available on the NEXIS | E5 engine. Mirroring is not supported in HPSGs. Any NEXIS File System can only support one HPSG of up to eight Media Packs (said group will deliver up to 4800MBps performance for its users). For the moment, Avid recommend not adding more than 10 clients to a workgroup, but we understand that to be a conservative estimate which is likely to grow as the system matures.

If you want to know more about NEXIS 7.6, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

What’s new in NEXIS?

What’s new in NEXIS?

Avid have continued their trend of releasing clusters of updates for their NEXIS shared storage system, with recent additions taking us from NEXIS 7.1 to 7.4. Here’s what you’ll be able to enjoy once you’ve updated…

Avid NEXIS 7.1.1

The Avid NEXIS 7.1.1 patch releasencludes an important fix for Avid NEXIS systems with clients that inadvertently attempt to connect through a 100Mbps Ethernet connection. Anything other than 1Gb or 10Gb is not a supported connection speed, and the client would fail to connect. However, beginning with v5.0, the client’s attempt to connect at an unsupported speed caused the Storage Manager to assert and the Avid NEXIS system to become temporarily unresponsive. This fix prevents the system from asserting, and rejects the unsupported client connection. Those clients must modify their connection speeds to connect to Avid NEXIS.

Avid NEXIS 7.2

The Avid NEXIS v7.2 release includes support for adding Media Packs to a mirror-capable Storage Group during a maintenance window (no client I/O to Workspaces in that Storage Group). However, there are a few parameters: the Media Packs must be the same capacity as those already in the mirror- capable Storage Group, and each Engine you are adding to the mirror-capable Storage Group must have the same number of Media Packs as the Engines already in it.

For example, if a mirror-capable Storage Group contains three Avid NEXIS | E4 Engines each with two 60TB Media Packs, you can add another Avid NEXIS | E4 Engine with two 60TB Media Packs to the same mirror-capable Storage Group.

The update also adds: support for macOS Sierra (v10.12.2) clients; support for Avid NEXIS File Gateway software on an AS3000 Server, and open access to Avid NEXIS workspaces using the Avid NEXIS | File Gateway installed on that Avid AS3000 Server running Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. This allows access to Avid NEXIS from clients and infrastructures that do not have the Avid NEXIS Client installed.

The Avid NEXIS File Gateway server and software are available now and documentation is available on the Avid Knowledge Base. When interface checking in relation to redundant controller configurations, the default gateway IP address must be reachable by a ping command, otherwise the interface is disabled. This can cause the Avid NEXIS Engine or System Director Appliance to become disconnected from the network. Before upgrading to Avid NEXIS v7.2, make sure there is a default gateway IP address configured, and that it can be reached by a ping command. For more information, see the Avid Knowledge Base.

Avid NEXIS 7.3

With the arrival of NEXIS 7.3, the Avid NEXIS Client Kit is now available to download from the Avid Download Centre. Avid ISIS and Avid NEXIS customers can download and install the latest Avid NEXIS Client software, which connects to both Avid NEXIS and Avid ISIS (v4.7.5 and higher) systems.

Avid have fixed an issue introduced in Avid NEXIS v7.2 where the System Director was using the ping command to determine the presence and connectivity of the default gateway IP address, and counting on a valid address being configured. The ping command is no longer used to determine the presence or validity of a default gateway address. Avid recommends updating to Avid NEXIS v7.3 from v7.1 or earlier to avoid the possibility of losing access to the interface if no default gateway is configured, or if it is configured incorrectly.

They have also fixed an issue where the hardware status on the Agent was displaying incorrect or no information for the power supplies and fans in an Avid NEXIS | E5, an ‘Edit While Capture’ issue where constant reads of a data chunk led to a delayed write failure.

They have also added support for the following Myricom 10GbE Rev C NICs for use in Avid NEXIS clients: 10G-PCIE2-8C2-2T, 10G-PCIE2-8C-T and 10G-PCIE2-8C2-2S. The Myricom driver bundled with the Avid NEXIS kit works for these NICs.

Avid NEXIS 7.3.1

The Avid NEXIS v7.3.1 release fixes an issue in Avid NEXIS 7.2 and 7.3 where under some circumstances, including intermittent network connections, external user authentication using LDAP would fail. Update all client systems to Avid NEXIS Client v7.3.1 before updating the Avid NEXIS system to v7.3.1. The Avid NEXIS v7.3 client cannot connect to a system running Avid NEXIS v7.3.1 or higher.

Avid NEXIS 7.3.2

The Avid NEXIS v7.3.2 release fixed a timing issue where in some circumstances, an Avid Interplay Media Indexer would assert (blue screen).

Avid NEXIS 7.4

The Avid NEXIS v7.4 release adds support for CentOS Linux version 7.3 as a client operating system. Clients running CentOS and the Avid NEXIS v7.4 client software can connect to an Avid ISIS system running v4.7.5 and higher, and to any Avid NEXIS system. The CentOS client kit is available in the Installers page in the Management Console and also in the Installers_Client\ folder in the Avid NEXIS kit, and is named AvidNEXISClient_el.centos.x86_64_7.4.0_5.bin.

Avid Client software for Linux now displays and connects to more than 10 remote System Directors. Previous versions of the Linux client limited to 10 the number of remote System Director connections (and the number displayed in the Client Manager’s Systems pane). The Client Manager now displays and connects to as many remote System Directors as are configured in the Remote Hosts dialog box.

The release also fixes an edit-while-capture workflow problem involving clients using dual 1Gb connections to the Avid NEXIS.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

In an Avid environment? Get certified on Avid Nexis, ISIS and Interplay with our training

In an Avid environment? Get certified on Avid Nexis, ISIS and Interplay with our training

Our friends at root6 are Avid Learning Partners, meaning that they’ve got Avid’s seal of approval to deliver training.  

As well as delivering official Avid qualification courses (the kind with an exam and a certificate), they have training programmes of their own (no certificate), and can develop bespoke training courses for your team on request (we can make you a certificate if you really want one).

What do these courses cover?

Avid Interplay for editors A four hour ‘essentials’ course for editors who need to interact with the Avid Interplay workgroup environment through the editing application. Designed for those of you new to using a NewsCutter or Media Composer on Avid Interplay. It looks the same but the rules have changed.

Course cost: £375 per person at Berwick Street,or a  £1750 flat fee to train up to six people at your site.

This course is scheduled on demand – just give us a call to book a session.

 

Avid Interplay System Administration A far more in-depth three day course designed for administrators responsible for the day-to-day operation of an Avid Interplay environment.Covers administrating the Avid Interplay Engine and Avid Archive Engine (if applicable), and how to work with databases in the system. Additional topics include naming conventions, deletion strategies, deletion protection, daily and weekly maintenance, and archiving. This course (or equivalent experience) is a required pre-requisite of the Interplay ACSR path.

Course cost: £1185 per person at Berwick Street, or a £5250 flat fee to train up to six people at your site.

This course is delivered periodically – the next set of dates is to be confirmed.

 

Avid NEXIS System Administration This classroom course provides an in-depth understanding of how to administer and maintain an Avid NEXIS system. The course covers a range of administration topics such as how to create and manage workspaces, check system status, troubleshoot issues, create and understand user accounts, connect to clients, mount/dismount workspaces, configure a multi-engine system, and deal with hardware failures. The course also covers basic maintenance and troubleshooting of the Avid NEXIS|PRO, E2 and E4 hardware.

Course cost: £400 per person at Berwick Street, or £400 per person if delivered onsite – although this requires a minimum of four and a maximum of six.

This course is delivered periodically – the next set of dates is to be confirmed.

 

ACSR Avid NEXIS System Support In this three day course, students focus on the installation, administration, and architecture of the Avid NEXIS system, learning to connect, configure, and troubleshoot the system. Lab work and exercises give students practical experience in integrating systems and applying troubleshooting techniques.

Course cost: £1500 per person at Berwick Street (not including the exam).

This course is delivered periodically – the next set of dates is to be confirmed.

 

Avid ISIS 5000 Administration In this two day course students will learn how to administer their Avid ISIS 5000 system. You’ll review how to replace a failed data drive and configure storage groups and workspaces, as well as learning basic maintenance and troubleshooting on the System Director and ISIS Chassis hardware.

Course cost: £750 per person at Berwick Street, or a flat fee of £3500 to train a maximum of six people at your site.

This course is delivered periodically – the next set of dates is to be confirmed.

 

Avid ISIS 5000 System Support In this three day course, students focus on the installation, administration, and architecture of Avid ISIS 5000, learning to connect, configure, and troubleshoot the system. Lab work and exercises give students practical experience in integrating systems and applying troubleshooting techniques. This certification course culminates in an exam. Candidates meeting the Avid ACSR Program pre-requisites and who pass the exam are Avid Certified Support Representatives (ACSR) for Shared Storage.

Course cost: £1220 per person at Berwick Street, or £5250 to train a maximum of six attendees at your site.

This course is delivered periodically – the next set of dates is to be confirmed.

Where are the the courses held?

Most courses are held in our new training facility in Berwick Street, Soho, but many can also be provided at your own premises, by prior agreement, if you can provide an appropriate space for us to park our training machines.

Where do I find out more?

You can see root6’s full course list (and get in touch with them) here on their website.

If you want to know more about Avid training, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

NAB 2017: Avid NEXIS now delivers unparalleled performance, scalability and Pro Tools support

NAB 2017: Avid NEXIS now delivers unparalleled performance, scalability and Pro Tools support

New software release, available to all new and current customers of Avid NEXIS, delivers greater system bandwidths, enables scalability to larger storage capacities, and now offers support for Pro Tools to optimise professional audio production workflows.

Avid announced the upcoming availability of the latest version of Avid NEXIS, the world’s first and only software-defined storage platform for media. Like all Avid applications and solutions, Avid NEXIS is powered by the MediaCentral Platform, the most open, tightly integrated, and efficient platform designed specifically for media.

With the latest software release, Avid NEXIS and Avid NEXIS | PRO systems will provide the fastest, most efficient and reliable workflows for real-time media production, including highly intensive professional post-production and broadcast environments. It also introduces new collaborative shared storage workflows for professional audio production with support for Avid Pro Tools. Avid will showcase the new version of Avid NEXIS at the Avid booth during NAB 2017 (Booth #SU902).

Unrivalled performance, scalability, and reliability for every production environment

For larger post and broadcast environments, Avid NEXIS enterprise-class storage systems (E5, E4, and E2) offer greater performance for finishing and specialised media workflows, providing up to 28 GB/s of bandwidth with new high-performance storage groups. For smaller environments, Avid NEXIS | PRO professional-class storage provides the industry’s most comprehensive collaborative capabilities while also delivering real-time 4K performance at up to 2.4GB/s, all at an even more cost-effective price point.

Avid NEXIS and Avid NEXIS | PRO also provide real-time creative team collaboration using not only Avid Media Composer, but other editorial and creative tools including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Apple Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve and more, as well as allowing for easy integration with third-party asset management systems.

New collaborative workflows for audio production

Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard digital audio workstation, is now qualified on Avid NEXIS, enabling audio creative teams to also leverage the industry’s most efficient and powerful media storage environment. With Pro Tools combined with Avid NEXIS, users can share projects on a centralised pool of media storage, turning work around faster by eliminating the time wasted moving files between different systems.

“Media organizations of all sizes need to produce great content on extremely tight timeframes, and they have to contend with more media than ever before,” said Dana Ruzicka, chief product officer, Avid. “That’s why we’ve put so much work into making sure the new version of Avid NEXIS brings performance, scalability, collaboration, and production speed to a whole new level. And because Avid NEXIS is a software-defined storage platform, customers will continue to see a steady stream of innovation in the form of simple software updates.”

Major new features in the upcoming version of Avid NEXIS include:

– High-performance storage groups, with each media pack capable of data rates up to 50% faster at 600MB/s, providing the performance needed for high-volume 4K/UHD, HD, and bandwidth-intensive media workflows.

– Capacity to play back over 215 streams of DNxHR-encoded 4K media at high quality, or almost 1400 streams of DNxHR-encoded 4K media at standard quality.

– Scalability enhancements that double the capacity of Avid NEXIS | Enterprise systems to support up to 48 media packs across a single scale-out networked system. Customers can mix and match a combination of Avid NEXIS | E5, E4, and/or E2 engines, providing nearly 3PB of storage capacity and 28GB/s of high-performance bandwidth.

Availability

The Pro Tools software version, which adds optimised workflows for Avid NEXIS, will be available late Q2. The new version of Avid NEXIS is available in Q2. The latest software updates will also be available to all current Avid NEXIS owners who have an active annual support and software maintenance plan.

If you want to know more on the biggest and best NAB Show releases, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our roundup post.

Four questions to ask yourself when you’re choosing NAS

Four questions to ask yourself when you’re choosing NAS

If you’re currently relying on a cupboard full of hard drives to provide your creative team with storage, here are a raft of benefits that come with moving to network attached storage (NAS), including increased productivity, easier collaboration, and a reduced chance of a version control error ruining a print run or someone accidentally deleting your files. 

However, these benefits are going to be pretty short lived if you opt for a sub-par NAS system. Ideally, you need intuitive management software that allows you to work with your assets in the way you want to. So, when looking for NAS solutions, there are a few things we recommend asking yourself…

1. Is it scalable? 

It’s important to choose your NAS based on not just your requirements now, but where you predict your business will be in the future -some NAS setups have limits on the amount of storage capacity or throughput available to you, making it difficult to scale up if your business expands.

Keep an eye out for scale-out NAS systems, which can provide greater redundancy and can scale in a linear way. Scale-out NAS is designed to be modular, and by adding more nodes of storage you can increase capacity, throughput and resilience without greatly increasing the amount of management work you need to do.

2. Is it redundant? 

Data redundancy – the ability to use drives in whatever RAID configuration you prefer – is important, and you should ensure that your NAS setup has enough capacity to allow you to do this, even as you expand. But you’ll also want a NAS solution that supports hotswapping, so you can switch out bad drives without powering everything down if something goes wrong.

It’s also important to opt for a NAS setup that and has redundant power, as a power failure will stop your entire NAS dead in its tracks and you’ll lose access to everything, not just one disk. Having a redundant cooling setup is also recommended, as this prevents your power supply (or indeed the drives themselves) overheating and failing.

3. How piecemeal is it? 

If your NAS’s server, housing, drives and software aren’t engineered to work together, you’re unlikely to get optimal performance for any given element. While it can be tempting to cut corners on elements like drives and housing in order to keep your initial outlay down, the risk of them failing (and needing to be expensively replaced) and losing you valuable uptime is far higher.

Ideally, you want to chose a NAS setup where each element has been engineered to work together. Although very few companies offer everything you need, keep an eye out for long term, strategic partnerships between any software and hardware vendors whose products are compatible; you’re going to get much better results going with them than trying to put something together piecemeal yourself.

4. Does the management software do what you need it to? 

Based on the kind of assets you’re storing and the level of expertise you have available in-house, the features you’ll need in your NAS control software will vary. Check how it handles back ups and make sure you’re preferred workflow is supported, whether that’s backing up to a cloud service like AWS, or to another NAS device.

If you have mobile workers, check that remote access to the NAS is supported, and whether there will be any restrictions that could prevent people in key roles getting the data they need, when they need it. Other common considerations include what kind of antivirus and security protection your NAS system can offer, and whether third party plug-ins for third party services are available, as this will allow you to consolidate your existing functionality into a centralised, more easily managed system.

Want to know more about storage and bandwidth, or want to book your Infrastructure Review? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com, or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Quiz: Is it time you upgraded your storage infrastructure?

Quiz: Is it time you upgraded your storage infrastructure?

Are you struggling with storage, or quite happy with your hard drives? As businesses grow with new employees, projects and devices, and take on new and more diverse creative work (which usually means increasingly large file formats), it can put a real strain on old storage systems and networks. 

So could your business do with souping up in the storage stakes? Take our quick quiz to find out, and don’t hesitate to get in touch to quiz us on all things storage too!

 

Take the quiz…

How well is your storage network performing?

A. It’s chugging along just nicely, with plenty of bandwidth to cope with our editors working on high end video, thank you for asking.

B. As we’ve taken on more work involving increasing file sizes, resolutions and frame rates, we’ve noticed data transfer is getting slower, meaning less productivity.

C. Our network has ground to a halt – our storage is over 80% full and we’re forever juggling storage, archiving and retrieval.

Are your staff collaborating as best as they can?

A. Our employees are like one singular, living, breathing collaborative entity.

B. It would be great if staff had access to all our shared digital files remotely from home and other offices as well as our office, so they could work and edit together more collaboratively.

C. Does shouting across the office count as collaboration…?

Is your storage hardware arranged effectively?

A. Our storage estate is optimised for space, power and multiple platforms, and is protected against any eventualities.

B. We have lots of disparate shared drives and racks and would ideally like to consolidate them into one resilient storage estate that allows for hardware failures.

C. We have a cupboard with some hard drives in…

Do you have the storage capacity to cope with business growth?

A. We’ve just incorporated 4K, and are coping with storing larger assets.

B. We’ve only just moved creative in-house, and could do with more storage as we’re finding winning new business and creating rich media such as videos is meaning a lot more unplanned data.

C. We can’t really pitch for new business as we just don’t have the storage capacity to take on rich media projects.

 

How did you get on?

– Mostly As: Well done, you. Your storage sounds like it’s in good shape, but do get in touch if you need any advice.

– Mostly Bs: Not bad, but room for improvement. Talk to us about how you can improve your storage infrastructure going forward.

– Mostly Cs: Yikes. Sounds like you could do with some help! We’d recommend calling us for an Infrastructure Review – see below.

What to do next

Whether you’re looking at making your storage fit for purpose for your creative files and workflow, bringing video in-house or scaling up to 4K, the best thing you can do is talk to a qualified systems architect or solution designer. Our expert team can pop in to take a look at your existing setup, and give advice on how storage can accommodate your workflow and bring you the best benefit – all for just £450 ex VAT!

Want to know more about storage and bandwidth, or want to book your Infrastructure Review? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email thrive@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

IBC 2016: Avid introduce NEXIS | E5 and Avid NEXIS High Availability

IBC 2016: Avid introduce NEXIS | E5 and Avid NEXIS High Availability

New high-density, high-availability Avid NEXIS solutions enable large-scale broadcast and post-production organizations to accelerate production and increase efficiency.

Avid today introduced new innovations for Avid NEXIS, the industry’s first and only software-defined storage platform specifically designed for storing and managing media. Leveraging the power of the Avid MediaCentral Platform, Avid NEXIS provides dynamic virtualisation, adaptive protection, and media-savvy collaboration so media organizations of all sizes can accelerate production and increase efficiency. The newly extended Avid NEXIS family now includes high-density and high-availability solutions that provide unrivaled reliability and performance for the most demanding environments.

“Across the industry, we are seeing an unprecedented explosion of content, which drives the need for more robust storage infrastructure, greater reliability and control, and closer collaboration,” said Avid Chairman, President and CEO, Louis Hernandez, Jr. “To address these key customer issues, we delivered Avid NEXIS earlier this year, and the adoption from media organizations of all sizes has been incredible. Now we are continuing to innovate with new high-density and high-availability Avid NEXIS solutions that help the largest broadcast and post-production organizations to increase operational efficiency and maximize the lifetime value of their assets.”

Introducing Avid NEXIS | E5 and Avid NEXIS High Availability

Avid NEXIS | E5 is an enterprise-class, hyper-dense storage engine that offers real-time editorial collaboration and the highest levels of scalability, performance, and client connections for large-scale broadcast and post-production environments. Avid NEXIS | E5 provides 40GbE connectivity and 80–480 TB of storage capacity per engine, with the ability to scale up to 1.4PB of capacity and 9.6GBps of bandwidth, supporting more than 2000 Avid DNxHR HD streams or 500 Avid DNxHR 4K streams across over 300 connected clients in a mere 17U of rackspace.

Avid NEXIS High Availability options increase the reliability and performance of Avid NEXIS E-class storage systems for the most critical deployments. The Avid NEXIS Redundant Storage Controller, Redundant System Director, and Redundant Networking options protect against potential hardware performance issues, while the Media Mirroring option protects an entire Avid NEXIS system against up to five simultaneous disk failures, and even an entire engine failure.

Thanks to the openness of the Avid MediaCentral Platform, Avid NEXIS solutions work with all top media creation applications, including Media Composer, Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Grass Valley EDIUS, and many more. Production teams can quickly access a shared pool of virtualised storage resources, which dramatically increases their efficiency.

Avid NEXIS enables fully virtualized storage so media organizations can adjust storage capacity mid-project, without disrupting workflows. Customers can select components that meet their current needs, and easily grow as their needs change. Avid NEXIS is the only scale-out storage solution that enables customers to dynamically tune the system to ensure that high-priority workflows always have the capacity, performance and data protection levels they require. Customers can give critical projects maximum performance, while throttling back on less critical workflows. This ability lets teams react quickly to changes, adjusting performance and protection levels to match the needs of a project at any stage in the workflow.

Availability

Avid NEXIS | E5 is available now
Avid NEXIS Redundant Storage Controller option is available now
Avid NEXIS Redundant System Director option is available now
Avid NEXIS Redundant Networking option will be available in Q4 2016
Avid NEXIS Media Mirroring option will be available in Q4 2016

For more on the latest IBC releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Moving from Avid ISIS | 1000 to NEXIS | PRO? Here’s what we know…

Moving from Avid ISIS | 1000 to NEXIS | PRO? Here’s what we know…

As you’ve probably heard, Avid have announced that they’re launching the NEXIS family of shared storage products and phasing out the ISIS range. The smaller ISIS | 1000 has be rebranded and given a software update to become the NEXIS | PRO!

For those of you who were about to buy an ISIS | 1000, have just bought an ISIS | 1000 or have based your entire storage setup around the ISIS | 1000, this might have been slightly unwelcome news, but actually the move to NEXIS seems pretty simple. Here’s what you need to know.

Are ISIS | 1000 and NEXIS | PRO hardware that different? 

No. Actually they’re identical. The difference is that existing ISISes (ISIii?) run v5 ISIS control software, whereas NEXIS | PRO systems will ship with v6 NEXIS software. If you have an Avid Support subscription, you’ll get v6 NEXIS software as a free update via your Avid Master Account as soon as it’s released, effectively turning your ISIS | 1000 into a NEXIS | PRO.

But it’ll still say ISIS on. 

If this really bothers you, you can order a new bezel from Avid, so that your storage has the right name on.

I’ve got an ISIS | 1000 unit in the post. Will I actually receive a NEXIS? 

No. Avid are clearing their stock of ISIS | 1000, so if you have just placed an order then you’ll receive an ISIS unit and a NEXIS sticker to put on the bezel should you wish to do so. The ISIS | 1000 will run v5 ISIS software out of the box, and you can update it to NEXIS software via your Avid Master Account as soon as the update is released.

Can I connect NEXIS and ISIS | 1000 units? 

According to the Avid FAQ, “You can simultaneously connect clients to both Avid ISIS and Avid NEXIS systems in your workflow using the Avid NEXIS 6.0 client software. However, ISIS storage engines cannot be physically mixed with Avid NEXIS storage engines in the same system to form one pool of storage.” NEXIS units can be added to your current ISIS VLAN.

Can I use NEXIS | PRO and NEXIS Enterprise systems together? 

Similar to the above. PRO and Enterprise systems can’t be combined to create a single pool of storage.

But I can combine multiple PRO systems? 

You can combine up to four PRO systems to create an 80TB pool of storage, but this pool can’t be combined with any of the larger NEXIS Enterprise systems.

Do other applications already work with NEXIS? 
MediaCentral Platform applications do (that includes Media Composer, Pro Tools and Interplay), plus third party solutions including Premiere Pro, FCP X and EDIUS. NEXIS will work with Mac, Windows and Linux systems.

What protection do I get against drive failures? 

Again, we’re going to hand over to Avid to field this one:

“With the release of Avid NEXIS 6.0 there are three Workspace Protection types offered:

Two Drive Protection – 2 parity blocks are written for each stripe of data – RAID 6 Fashion. This allows for two media drives to fail within a Media Pack (10 drives) before media is not recoverable.

One Drive Protection – 1 parity block is written for each stripe of data – RAID 5 Fashion. This allows for 1 media drive to fail within a Media Pack (10 drives) before media is not recoverable.

Unprotected – No parity blocks are written – RAID 0 Fashion. Any drive failure will cause data loss

IMPORTANT: A failed media drive should be replaced without shutting down the system.

Avid NEXIS is “Media Aware” – Only the actual media on the drives will be rebuild, reducing rebuild times.”

What should I do if I still have questions? 

Get in touch with our Avid-accredited engineers, who can help you plan your move to NEXIS, or help you configure any new units you have one the way.

For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.