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Facilis at NAB

An alternative for MacOS Servers By Ko Maruyama
One of the studios I lead for recently switched to FACILIS TECHNOLOGY for their storage upgrade.  It's obvious that studios are going to need more space as video footage continues to require more space and faster connections. Despite some bumps, I was glad to get quick feedback and news while at the show. 

It's been a few years since I looked at Facilis Technology (http://www.creativemac.com/article/TERRABLOCK-Solution-326091), but NABShow allowed me an opportunity to talk with them again - and having used their storage for 4 months now has given me a little more insight to what it's like to use their Terrablock solution on a Mac.

Here's what Facilis Technology has in store from NABShow...

While Facilis Technology may run well in a PC based environment, there are many Mac users who are using the storage solution with their MacOS network.  I had some questions about irregularities the studio was experiencing, and being able to talk face-to-face with reps at NABShow, was able to get some answers immediately. 

I also was able to find out about their workflow specifically targeted to Adobe PremierePro users that takes advantage of the Adobe project management.

At NAB, on booth SL8811, Facilis, a leading international supplier of cost-effective, high performance shared storage solutions for collaborative media production networks is unveiling some of the new features that will be added in 2016 to its TerraBlock shared storage system for content creation and post production. With 32Gbps Fibre channel connectivity and 12Gbps SAS SSD (Solid State Drive) hardware, Facilis remains the performance leader in shared storage networks. For Adobe Premiere Pro users, Facilis is integrating Adobe's project management to share and collaborate on projects and associated metadata in real time. Also announced is support for user groups in the TerraBlock interface, for easier permission management.

The integration of SSD technology significantly increases the available shared bandwidth for heavy 4K+ production workflows. Facilis takes this a step further, and offers methods to correctly and efficiently utilize SSD technology in a broadcast or post workflow.

'While SSD technology continues to evolve, Facilis remains focused on best practices for post production workflows,' said James McKenna, VP of Marketing and Pre Sales at Facilis. 'Simply adding high-performance SSD drives to a storage environment is not enough. Using Facilis' virtual volume system, and hybrid approach with HDDs in a tiered design, Facilis offers proportional bandwidth and throughput equal to the requirements of the job, instead of the overly-complex SSD-caching solutions that can fail to deliver the required bandwidth when it's most needed.'

Hardware that further optimizes the SSD performance includes 12Gbps SAS controllers, for double the throughput of 6Gbps SAS, and 32Gbps Fibre Channel, made possible with ATTO's latest Gen 6 Host Bus Adapters. 32Gbps Fibre Channel infrastructure can remove bottlenecks between the fastest SSD storage and connected workstations. 'Facility owners are already beginning to feel the pressure to deliver more 4K+ HFR content,' said McKenna. '32Gb fibre channel delivers the fastest and lowest latency access to 4K+ HFR media that a lot of facilities are still wondering how to manage.'

'ATTO and Facilis have been working together for more than 10 years, providing affordable storage solutions for film and television production and other data-intensive work environments,' says Tim Klein, CEO of ATTO Technology, Inc. 'By integrating ATTO's Fibre Channel and SAS products with the TerraBlock storage array, we create top-of-market, industry-proven technology developed by industry veterans and backed by outstanding customer service. We're happy to be featuring the Facilis TerraBlock 24D with our Celerity Fibre Channel HBA at NAB in Las Vegas next month, a solution which provides the 8K throughput rates required for 8K video editing today.'

Post professionals in New York City will be given a sneak preview in advance of NAB at a special event at Penthouse 45, 432 West 45th St., Thursday, March 24th at 6:30pm. This event will also feature a preview of 12Gbps SSD (Solid State Drive) technology incorporated within Facilis' Hybrid24 and SSD8 products. Also participating in the event will be StorageDNA® to discuss the latest advances in archival and retrieval of digital media assets.

Also showcased in NYC will be the shipping version of the Facilis FastTracker, a new application designed for cataloging, searching and viewing many media types within Facilis Shared Storage, including all major QuickTime, MP4 and MXF codecs, along with popular image sequence formats, still images and audio files. Cloud integration will be demonstrated for the first time with FastTracker enabling efficient cloud workflows.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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