Pixit Media, the leader in storage solutions built specifically for media workflows, today announced that Oscar-, Emmy-, and British Academy Film Award-winning creative studio Framestore has deployed Pixit Media's PixStor software-defined scale-out storage solution at its Los Angeles, London, and New York sites as central production storage for the advertising part of its business. The deployment gives Framestore guaranteed performance and consistency across all three sites, a cost-effective and simplified approach to disaster recovery and business continuity, and a modular infrastructure that is easy to manage and expand to support multiple workflows.
"We've tried many flavours of NAS and SAN offerings, and we were really impressed with Pixit Media's PixStor. It provides speed and quality of service while giving us the freedom to purchase our own hardware," said Beren Lewis, Framestore's global head of integrated advertising technology. "With PixStor, we get exactly the right balance of everything we need guaranteed performance, the ability to control hardware costs, and the reassurance that we have a partner that really understands our workflow and applications all in a model that we can easily reproduce globally."
Renowned for its postproduction and visual effects work on blockbusters such as "Gravity," "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," and movies in the Marvel franchise, Framestore is also behind the advertising campaigns for global brands such as Intel, Stella Artois, BMW, and Samsung. Seeking to push the boundaries of what is possible from available technology, Framestore chose PixStor not only to meet the exhausting demands of its current commercial-production workflow, but to grow and adapt with the business and its ambitious expansion plans.
PixStor offers the fastest and most tightly integrated storage platform for media workflows, with flexible scalability and predictable performance that works with hardware of the customer's choosing. In Framestore's case, the solution combines Pixit Media's media expertise and file-system tools with best-of-breed hardware components, such as NetApp E-Series storage arrays and network infrastructure from Mellanox Technologies for the back-end storage network. Each of Framestore's sites uses multiple NetApp E-Series E5660 storage arrays with a mixture of 10K SAS drives and larger-capacity SATA drives, for a total of about 500 terabytes of usable storage per site.
NetApp E-Series is the storage array preferred by many post houses and broadcasters because it is the only production storage array with 99.999 percent reliability. Large broadcast production workgroups and boutique 4K facilities, which have zero tolerance for dropped frames, rely on NetApp E-Series. Operations can choose between RAID resiliency schemes, including Dynamic Disk Pools that dramatically reduce disk rebuild time, provide more consistent performance, and eliminate the need for hot or cold spares. Use of flash in hybrid arrays optimizes support for ancillary transcoding and rendering workflows. "Phone-home" features alert NetApp of potential disk failures before a hard disk fails, allowing the vendor or systems integrator to replace the drive without any impact on the production workgroup.
With the PixStor systems now online in three locations, Framestore is next planning to take advantage of the solution's built-in intelligent sync tools to implement lightning-fast disk-to-disk copy for disaster recovery and business continuity.
"We've earned our customers' trust through our consultative approach, proven technical competence, and added value," said Ben Leaver, CEO, Pixit Media. "The fact that Framestore is one of those customers is significant because it is one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the industry. This deployment is a real endorsement of what we offer the market."
Pixit Media will demonstrate the PixStor solution using the NetApp E-Series storage array at BVExpo on Stand J15 in Hall S1-8. Also, at the 2017 NAB Show, ATTO Technology will demonstrate the E-Series storage array in Booth SL9611.