Metus certifies GB Labs' SPACE for archive and ingest storage

Metus certifies GB Labs' SPACE for archive and ingest storage

Metus has announced that it has certified GB Labs' storage for its workflow software

The Metus range includes Ingest, a multi-channel, multi-format product and MAM, an enterprise-level media asset management solution. Both products have been tested exhaustively to ensure full compatibility with GB Labs’ range of NAS storage.

“We develop powerful software that pushes many storage systems beyond their limit.” Said Ugur Kavalci, Sales Director at Metus. “SPACE gives our customers the speed, capacity and reliability they need. The scalability of their storage means that it can grow as our users needs’ change: no matter how many channels of video they want to capture, stream or store, the SPACE range handles it with ease.“

Recording to SPACE, INGEST can capture up-to 8 channels of HD video

Metus INGEST can record up-to 8 channels of HD video if paired with a RAID array that has the speed and reliability to cope with very high bitrates. Uniquely, SPACE gives users the headroom they require, with EX expansion units available to deliver additional capacity (up- to 1.7PB) as well as supplementary performance.

GB Labs’ ECHO (16 bay) and ECHO (36 bay) are high efficienct nearline systems that are ideal for massive video archives. With a maximum 4.6 petabyte of storage instantly available to network clients, data can be exchanged rapidly with tier 1 and central LTO devices. This makes the GB Labs range an ideal platform for Metus MAM which gives users the ability to track, search and securely retrieve every asset and video project throughout the storage network at high speed. The system also provides transcoding and image processing tools for complete control over every clip and file, delivering significant workflow efficiencies network-wide.

“The advent of so-called big data can be a massive challenge to video workgroups: it’s become all too easy to lose control of their precious assets. Metus MAM helps SPACE users track clips, share files more easily and send completed projects to low-cost offline storage. The relationship between Metus and GB Labs gives customers all the control they need.” Said Steve Carpenter, International Business Development Manager at GB Labs.

Getting Storage ready for IBC 2014

Getting Storage ready for IBC 2014

Storage at IBC 2014: A crossroad

Q: Has IBC come at a good time for the electronic media industry? Why?

The certification of UltraHD is giving the industry the confidence to invest. In the early days of HD, the industry was agonising for years over 720 vs 1080; as soon as the industry made up its collective mind, there was a rush to upgrade. The 4K standard coming along so quickly should make the move to the higher resolution a less drawn out process.

Q: What do you think are the key developments in, or threats to, your market sector at the current time?

In terms of storage, there are few shared systems that can truly sustain multiple 4K channels, let alone DPX streams. The fear is that buyers will assume that this means that online workgroup-based UltraHD editing is currently unachievable. And that’s not the case.

Q: Why should delegates visit GB Labs at IBC?

Because we have new solutions for cost-effective tape archiving and shared 4K storage with no compromises – even on location. What makes our SPACE systems different is scalability, not just in capacity, but also in speed. Find out how we can give HDD systems a massive performance boost to sustain incredible data rates.

GB Labs launches new 4K DIT system

GB Labs launches new 4K DIT system

Total storage platform for 4K film production - on-set

GB Labs’ 4K Duo On-Set is a game changer for high end 4K location production. It delivers a lightning fast ingest station, an UltraHD storage platform and a secure high-speed data LTO backup solution. For the first time, it opens up the potential for 4K project sharing and archiving in the field, with the option for editors, audio technicians and colourists to work simultaneously on the same project. With multiple clients connecting using 1Gb, 10Gb or 40Gb Ethernet, this will deliver significant time savings and help the director to shape the production as never before.

While digital technicians are used to handling digital assets in the field, the size of 4K files means that transferring data from card to primary storage is slow, while laptop drives or vulnerable external drives are quickly filled to capacity. GB Labs incorporates two super-fast SSD card readers and dual LTO drives as the solution.

“We have implemented the LTFS format for 4K Duo On-set’s LTO drives.” Stated Ben Pearce, Sales & Marketing Director of GB Labs. “This means that users can import data via the SSD disk readers, transfer media immediately to the online platform for grading and send files and projects to tape to create dual secure copies simultaneously.”

4K Duo On-Set features a 6.4TB SSD-based RAID that can sustain performance levels above 2GB/s, many times faster than competitive systems. The system’s dual LTO-6 drives can run at their full speed (a combined performance of 320MB/s) making archiving and ongoing backup a simple operation. The ingest stage itself is often a bottleneck; 4K Duo On-Set features twin SSD disk readers that can import data at an aggregate speed of 1GB/s. The unit also features USB 3.0 as standard and optional SAS and eSATA ports to connect other readers.

“Most DIT carts are ill-equipped for high bitrate 4K. Ingest is slow, primary storage lacks real- time editing performance and back-ups are unsafe. With 4K Duo On-Set, it’s like having a post facility on set. It’s fast, safe, and includes advanced features to verify data ingest and export, offload camera cards and work effectively with third party editing, transcoding and grading tools.” Concluded Pearce.

4K Duo On-Set will launch at IBC 2014 and be available worldwide from selected resellers.

GB Labs' HyperSpace brings SSD performance levels to HDD NAS storage systems

GB Labs' HyperSpace brings SSD performance levels to HDD NAS storage systems

HyperSpace 4K Storage Accelerator launches at IBC 2014

With its new HyperSpace technology, GB Labs brings broadcasters and post facilities a next generation storage technology for IBC 2014. HyperSpace uses a unique, ground-breaking SSD enhancement technology to accelerate the SPACE tier 1 HDD NAS system to unbelievable levels of performance. This provides users the capacity of the HDD range with the ultra-high data rates that the company’s SSD range can provide, at an incredible price point.

Ben Pearce, Sales & Marketing Director of GB Labs remarked “Many of our customers require large capacities - up to 1.7PB - and very high performance for demanding media applications and large workgroups. Our new SPACE HDD platform has fulfilled these needs for most clients. However certain deployments require DPX image sequence capabilities or very large HD stream counts for concurrent editing, transcoding and rendering. The random-access capabilities of HyperSpace are ideally suited to these environments.”

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HyperSpace’s SSD hardware and control software combine to preserve the life of the disks and intelligently manage the way the system uses its resources. Unlike the earlier generation of hybrid HDD / SSD disk systems that were designed for general IT deployments, HyperSpace is optimised for heavy duty usage in media environments. The GB Labs' system incorporates entirely new technology which easily outperforms the offerings of existing hybrid storage manufacturers, in terms of real-world media usage and long-term reliability.

The latest SPACE HDD platform, announced at NAB this year, will greatly benefit from the ability to connect the low-profile rack-mounted HyperSpace. Available in three different capacities, the system will dramatically improve the dynamics of the SPACE HDD storage solution.

The SPACE platform can already scale its performance significantly using additional RAID controllers and more SPACE EX units. The new HyperSpace unit will improve performance even further regardless of the scale of the original configuration. The HyperSpace-enabled system can be expanded dynamically in the same way as every other SPACE and archive storage unit.

Greener Storage means lower costs

Greener Storage means lower costs

Eco: Economical and environmental

Whether you’re a small company or a transnational enterprise, you run the risk of losing control of your data and buying more and more disk space. You may be storing many copies of each file on multiple external drives, possibly in several locations. You may be clogging up your fast tier one storage with completed projects. Put aside the data security issues for a moment and consider the practicalities of keeping thousands of hours of content on fast spinning disks, running 24/7: every drive independently powered and individually backed up. It’s incredibly inefficient.

Even big data centres suffer. Reports by Gartner and by McKinsey & Company have shown that most data servers sit idle; they are rarely used to process files. Requiring cooling, maintenance and back-up generators, data centres can be massively wasteful of electricity.

According to JISC, data centres in UK universities use around 8% of the institution’s entire electricity consumption. And according to its 2012 report, the BBC’s average footprint is 8.3 tonnes of CO2; per production hour, a figure that could be reduced by getting to grips with its media storage.

850m of tape

The simple answer is perhaps to shift data to tape. Our SPACE LTO-6 systems can copy files fast (an aggregate speed of 620MB/s) giving a durable and very energy efficient archive. The benefit of LTO is that it is highly expandable: drives can be added to a network to meet the facility’s needs. Each tape is also scalable: files and projects can be spanned over multiple tapes, meaning that there’s no limit to the capacity that libraries can hold. Nevertheless, tape storage is an incomplete answer. It’s linear, delivers comparatively low file access speeds and often involves a manual process. Therefore, it’s perfect for deep archive but too slow for time pressured environments such as breaking news, sports or live TV.

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Dynamic capacity

The fundamental issue for broadcasters and media organisations, however, is that they require very high-performance storage platforms for HD and 4K editing. These tier one systems will necessarily be power hungry. The key therefore is to maximise the efficiency of these devices, which can be achieved by using asset management tools to identify unwanted duplicate files, migrating completed projects to tape and shifting old files onto economical archive storage. With GB Labs' SPACE, these processes can be automatically handled according to rules the user sets: data is dynamically moved from tier one SPACE, to tier two ECHO and off to SPACE LTO for deep archive.

Keeping data alive

Many system administrators fall foul of the temptation of simply moving files to external hard drives for deep archive. Not only does that make file management difficult, but it jeopardises the data: hard disks unused for prolonged periods of time can develop mechanical faults, rendering them useless. We advise customers never to leave valuable archive content on unpowered external drives. LTO tape with its 30-year archival life span is far preferable and much more energy efficient.

For archived content that you need to access regularly, an archive server is ideal. It is safe and can double as a complete back up system for your tier one editing platform. Recent developments in disk technology means that 6TB drives are now available for archive systems: their huge capacity means that a single RAID server, such as our ECHO (36 bay), can host as much as 192TB. Running one large appliance, rather than multiple low capacity units is very energy efficient in itself.

4K Post Production Workflows - NOW!

4K Post Production Workflows - NOW!

4K Production at NAB

Quite predictably, NAB 2014 hosted the launch of a raft of new 4K and UltraHD cameras.

There were much anticipated releases from the likes of Panasonic and Blackmagic Design as well as the AJA’s surprise with its Cion. Producers now have a whole spread of high- resolution camera systems, from the pocket friendly DSLR to the full cinema rig.

However, while capturing 4K footage may now be relatively straightforward, the editing and archive process is still a cause for concern for many. HD editors have become accustomed to cutting full resolution files and sharing data seamlessly over networks. With 4K, the post industry seems to have taken a backward step, adopting a proxy-based approach to 4K editing, fearing that their central storage, network and client workstations cannot cope with the high bandwidth required for online.

Thankfully, things are starting to change: the latest workstations and professional laptops are now up to the task of 4K content creation and NLE developers are all beginning to support native 4K editing. Even the concern that the new Mac Pro was limited to 1Gb Ethernet has been addressed, with a third-party Thunderbolt 2 expansion chassis offering access to very fast network adapters. The final piece of the jigsaw has been the acceptance of new SSD- based central storage systems as a reliable editing platform.

Introducing Super Tier One

Traditional tier one storage units cannot cope with simultaneous multiple read/write operations in a shared 4K environment. This is why we at GB Labs introduced the concept of Super Tier One. This offers 10Gb and 40Gb Ethernet options, highly optimised SSD RAID technology, a new approach to intelligent data caching and industry-leading networking speeds. In our real-world tests, SPACE SSD is capable of stunning performance, supporting as many as 250 concurrent ProRes 422 HD streams.

We are now going a step further: at Broadcast Asia 2014 we are launching SSD Ultimate,which is capable of supporting 8K workflows.

Cost control

However, 4K online storage systems are still relatively expensive and lower in capacity compared with the expandable 96TB HD platform that we offer. Currently, it’s not realistic for workgroups to invest in hundreds of terabytes of 4K SSD-storage, so a data management process is essential. Thanks to intelligent storage technology, our 4K platforms can work autonomously to back up projects and replicate files onto tier one (online HD platforms) and tier two (nearline units). Furthermore, completed projects can be moved away from Super Tier One and securely archived on lower cost, high capacity drives, or offloaded to LTO-6. Crucially, this leaves users the capacity to handle new 4K jobs.

In the real world

This 4K workflow is already proving itself: GB Labs’ customer Crystal CG is very experienced in higher than HD environments. For the London 2012 Olympic Games, the company was tasked with supplying thousands of motion graphics in resolutions up-to and beyond 4K. Its 80 creatives needed simultaneous access to the storage so we installed a 28.8TB system that could sustain in excess of 6GB/s. The scale, time-sensitivity and importance of the Olympics meant a no-compromise SSD approach, working in tandem with tier one and two SPACE RAID arrays. Crystal CG’s success in delivering the most visually stunning event in history is testimony to the power and potential of today’s 4K storage.

World's first 8K shared storage system launched

World's first 8K shared storage system launched

SPACE SSD Ultimate offers post production teams the first shared storage system for online editing, compositing and grading of 8K files

GB Labs introduces SPACE SSD Ultimate, the first networked storage system for 8K grading, editing, compositing and motion graphics. Part of GB Labs’ SPACE family, SPACE SSD Ultimate offers broadcasters and post production companies a new super-charged storage system with more than double the performance offered by previous SSD RAID systems.

Launching in the wake of the announcement by Japanese broadcaster NHK that it is to begin trialling 8K TV broadcasts in 2016, SPACE SSD Ultimate is a shared storage system that allows online editing of Super Hi-Vision files. It is tuned and configured to provide unmatched IOPs for simultaneous read and write operations without degrading performance. Its 6GB/s can handle of up-to 44 streams of uncompressed HD, 10 streams of 4K DPX or 4 streams of 8K video, with multiple workstations addressing the storage over 40Gb Ethernet connections.

Ben Pearce, director, GB Labs said: “With broadcasters undertaking 8K television trials and graphics professionals routinely working in 4K at very high frame rates, there’s already a compelling case for SPACE SSD Ultimate. The speed of the system is breath-taking, but the cost of ownership is kept in check thanks to inclusion of SPACE’s data management tools. These enable users to immediately offload completed 8K projects onto larger capacity, lower cost storage securely and at high speed.”

With plans in place to roll out a commercial 8K service in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and with the launch of the 8K Cube Camera at NAB 2014, television at 7680 × 4320 resolution is fast becoming a reality. SPACE SSD Ultimate is ready to provide the content creation platform for this new and exciting broadcast format.

For more information on SPACE SSD Ultimate, visit GB Labs at Broadcast Asia, on booth 5E1-01.

SPACE CORE OS hits 3.1

SPACE CORE OS hits 3.1

The latest update to the SPACE operating system, CORE.3.1 is now available

The new version introduces:

• Bandwidth control

A feature guaranteeing quality of service for attached clients. Administrators can now assign bandwidth controls and data rates at the read and write level (MB/s) and for each client at an individual IP address or range of addresses. Critical, high impact jobs can be now prioritised over routine back-ups and lower data rate processes, such as audio editing.

• Supercharged NAS delivery engine

BlueShift technology has been developed by GB Labs to deliver incredible networking speeds for all sharing protocols. All acceleration is done server side with no client software required. This allows extreme performance without the support headache of installing and configuring your workstations. The result of this new and enhanced version is even faster networking performance, with AFP, NFS and SMB/CIFS via 1Gb, 10Gb and 40Gb Ethernet connections.

• Simultaneous read / write performance gains

IDA (In-flight Data Acceleration) and Chaos Cache are exclusive GB Labs' technologies which combine dynamically to great effect. Dramatic performance gains are achieved, for example, when users continue to work using SPACE while media is ingested or copied to the central storage. IDA automatically controls all layers from disk platter to network and works intelligently with Chaos Cache, our new smart cache technology. We are very proud of the algorithms we use to achieve this within SPACE and are confident you will feel a marked difference.

Please note - IDA is now standard on all MiniSPACE, MidiSPACE, SPACE and SPACE SSD models.

• Improved support - CLI (Command Line Interface)

For advanced level usage and powerful technical support, all SPACE units running CORE.3.1 can now be controlled and interrogated at this level without the necessity to use the web GUI. The CLI is available from the VGA port at the back of the unit and through SSH* over an internal network or accessed remotely.

* Secure Shell (SSH) is a network protocol for data communication, remote command-line login, remote command execution, and other services between two networked devices.

GB Labs doubles the speed of shared storage

GB Labs doubles the speed of shared storage

The fastest HDD SPACE central storage ever to be unveiled at NAB

At NAB 2014, GB Labs will release a new range of its SPACE central storage with dramatically enhanced read and write speeds and unprecedented performance under extreme stress.

100% performance gain

“Tier one storage has to move forward. It’s not just about the volume of data that’s now stored and shared centrally. It’s also the number of users connected to the NAS and the huge variety of file sizes that the network handles – from a few kilobytes to many gigabytes. The new technology in SPACE delivers up-to 100% performance improvement in our real-world tests.” Ben Pearce, Sales & Marketing Director at GB Labs.

The new SPACE incorporates significant innovation including IDA (In-flight Data Acceleration) for sustained speed under extreme stress and BlueShift technology to deliver incredible networking speeds for all sharing protocols. SPACE Bandwidth Control is a new feature guaranteeing quality of service for attached clients. Administrators can control bandwidth and data rates at the read and write level and for each client; critical, high impact jobs can be now prioritised over routine back-ups and lower data rate processes, such as audio editing.

“While it’s easy to be carried away by pure performance figures, it’s important to remember what this means for editors and content creators: users can work with full resolution files with no need for time-intensive proxy transcoding and conforming. Projects can be worked on by multiple editors with no fear of system slow-down. It’s a real breakthrough.” Noted Pearce.

SPACE can now handle as many as 100 concurrent HD streams – more than twice the number supported by the last version.

Expanding credentials

Other advances include the manufacture of larger capacity units; new 80TB and 96TB models are now available. As with the earlier version, SPACE can be expanded in minutes with EX units up-to a total of 1.7 petabytes. In common with all GB Labs storage SPACE can reside on mixed OS networks, with no need for special client adapters, drivers or licenses.

Bigger, greener and more affordable: Archive Storage in 2014

Bigger, greener and more affordable: Archive Storage in 2014

GB Labs innovates to bring massive storage capacities at a new price level and with a lower environmental footprint

With ever growing archives, broadcasters and content owners globally are having to invest continually in new tier two storage. The growth in nearline systems is also having an enormous impact on power consumption and environmental cooling requirements.

Energy-efficient Storage

At NAB 2014, GB Labs, a leader in multi-tier network attached storage (NAS), unveils a new range of Eco archive storage systems. Suitable for local or cloud installation, the new ECHO (16 bay) (Eco) and ECHO (36 bay) (Eco) are very high capacity tier two systems with the speed needed for instant clip previews and high-speed data transfer either to tier one storage or into deep tape archive. With new generation system architecture in play, both achieve up-to 45% power efficiencies compared with the previous version.

With cooler running for lower air conditioning costs, ECHO (36 bay) can host up-to 192TB from a single 4U chassis, a further saving on rack space and energy usage. Both factors are important considerations for broadcasters in their total cost of ownership calculations and come on top of the comparatively low initial investment.

New 1 Petabyte price point

Ben Pearce, Sales and Marketing Director at GB Labs comments: “Not only is ECHO 36 (Eco) the most cost-effective nearline storage that we’ve ever produced, but it also has the lowest environmental footprint and it’s the largest capacity system in our history. We can now offer a Petabyte of fast tier two storage for under $300,000, which is unprecedented.”

ECHO (36 bay) (Eco) uses new high capacity disks for native capacities up-to 192TB. With dedicated expansion units, this can be increased non-destructively to 3 Petabytes. SPACE tier two storage can be scaled instantly to meet the ever-growing archive needs.

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