NAB 2013 News:
GB Labs’ new SPACE Bridge, enables SAN owners to convert their existing and legacy storage units into network attached systems, adapted to a new vital role.
Until recent years, fibre SAN storage dominated the world of shared editing platforms. Now superseded by more practical Ethernet-based solutions, they are gradually being replaced as tier one solutions across the broadcast and production community.
GB Labs’ SPACE Bridge is a rack-mounted unit that connects fibre or SAS systems to standard IP protocols for instant deployment on a network. Sales and Marketing Director, Ben Pearce summarises the rationale “Many companies have already invested heavily in storage that would have been considered state of the art only a few years ago but cannot sustain performance levels required in today’s multi-stream HD editing environments.
“Maintaining SAN systems is notoriously challenging, time consuming and costly and we find many companies are actually considering discarding their older systems. We wanted to help companies get more out of their original investment and to enjoy the benefits of network attached storage.”
The result, SPACE Bridge, is an upgraded storage system that resides on Ethernet networks and can be addressed by any mix of Mac, Windows or Linux computers, without the need for adapter cards, drivers or client software licences. The adapted storage also benefits from the fastest possible implementation of protocols such as NFS, SMB and AFP, as well as Active Directory Authentication for instant integration with Microsoft server environments. While SPACE Bridge cannot increase the fundamental performance of the array, it significantly improves the user experience and delivers considerable data workflow benefits.
“SAN systems rarely match the performance of SPACE tier one storage,” continues Pearce, “so we expect devices converted by SPACE Bridge to be used primarily in a nearline or backup role alongside SPACE. In doing so, not only is the life of the original unit extended, but users gain valuable additional workgroup storage on the network.”
SPACE Bridge also delivers the advantage of GB Labs hierarchical tiering software tools that allow the storage to be used with other SPACE products, media assets to be cloned or archived automatically from other GB Labs' systems. SPACE Bridge-converted arrays can work equally well in tandem with GB Labs’ SPACE LTO archiving racks, with files or complete projects being transferred at high speed to secure tape over Gigabit networks.