[Tig] DI workflow, capabilities and requirements

Christopher Noellert chris
Tue Mar 29 00:51:26 BST 2005

On 3/28/05 7:53 PM, "Steve Shaw" <digital.praxis at virgin.net> wrote:

> Although SAN systems are getting to the stage where they can provide some
> impressive speeds, there is always the possibility of a playback failure.
> And they are rather expensive, especially when the required metadata
> management is included, which few companies yet do correctly - BrightSystems
> being the best to my mind.

For the record, Bright is using the ADIC Stornext filesystem for their
filesystem and then tweaking the metadata controller(s) to eek out the best
performance possible.  Under the hood it's all Stornext though.

SAN being expensive is rather incorrect.  For a decent NAS setup the only
additional overhead is the actual SAN licenses for the machines you want to
use on the SAN.  This cost is around 2k? for a Wintel machine, 1K? for Linux
machines.  The performance of SAN over NAS is well worth the cost as well.
This is if you're going for a fibre NAS of course.

I do agree with Steve though.  For the time being DAS is the way to go for
mission critical processes like... playback.

> The iQ has a nominal 3TB storage locally, fully raid protected, and MotionFX
> have about 25Tb of NAS as nearline storage.
> MotionFX have a dual fibre network connecting the NAS discs to the iQ, and
> push and pull data to/from them in the background, while continuing to
> perform the DI work on the iQ. This data movement is totally transparent to
> the operator and can be manages via a 'data monkey' from a separate PC on
> the network. MotionFX get about 12fps at 2K.

This is essentially how we're working as well on the iQs.  When we scan
material on the Northlight I've generated push scripts for moving all of the
material from each labroll in either full, half or QuicktimeDV res to
whichever Q box the material needs to go to with the correct TC, name, tape
name and KC.  When the operator wants to conform a show he navigates in a
windows explorer window to the project who's material he wants to drag in,
goes to the scripts folder, picks the Q box he's working on, then the res
(full, half, QT) then what material (feature, trailer, SFX) then what
labroll or "ALL".  He double clicks on the script and the material floods
into the machine in the background.

With the SAN we're getting in S16 and 3perf 35 in faster than realtime.
4perf and Techniscope come in around 18-20fps.  The issue is the iQ's bus
speed, but hopefully that will be fixed when the new platform arrives.

This ingest could also be done from a remote pc or laptop if the operator
shouldn't be disturbed.
> I do agree with Chris that iQ needs to get its operational speed to be
> real-time, which is something I know Quantel are working on. However, it's
> far more important to me for any DI system to be able to perform the
> necessary functions first, with speed being something that can come later.
> Speed on its own, without the necessary tools and capabilities, is rather a
> waste.

You're agreeing with me?  Nice to read ;)

We'll see what they show in the whisper suite in Vegas....


Chris Noellert
Frithiof Film to Video. AB
Sturegatan 58 
114 36  Stockholm

Tel: +46 8 545 678 78
Fax: +46 8 545 678 79
Mob: +46 735 32 00 03
AIM: cmnoellert

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