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Storage needs of Mexican production studios supported by Quantum

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EFD International’s new flagship post-production studio was able to kick-start its collaboration capabilities and storage backup process with Quantum’s StorNext file system, enabling the company to create a complete network for sharing and duplication files in just four months.

EFD International is a video production equipment rental company with 20 years of experience and offices in Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Germany and the United States. The company has contributed to numerous Latin American movies and TV shows, as well as some American productions, including Baccalaureate in paradise and the 2015 James Bond film Spectrum.

Roy Santoyo, post-production director and COO at EFD, joined the company late last year with a simple directive from his bosses: set up a modern production studio that others will want to emulate and use.

“Connecting everything was, and still is, a big challenge,” Santoyo said. “Building a studio takes a long time, and [we] wanted to be ready in four months. “

Modern production houses have to handle heavy read and write workloads from rendering programs like Maya. Santoyo noted that it’s not uncommon for many production studios in Latin America to work with storage technology from 10 years ago.

Santoyo and EFD, however, found Quantum’s StorNext file system to be the best value for money to maintain both current production standards and the sustainability of their storage needs.

The core we’ve built can’t wait to be Mexico’s fastest and biggest studio.

Roy SantoyoPost-production director and COO, EFD International

“The core that we’ve built is looking forward to being Mexico’s fastest and biggest studio,” he said. “We have different environments like Windows, Mac, and Linux, and they work perfectly in the same space.”

StorNext is Quantum’s scalable file storage data management platform and provides comprehensive file lifecycle management, including metadata and tagging requirements, as well as access to those files regardless of their location. StorNext is sold as stand-alone software, an offering released last year, or bundled with Quantum’s own Xcellis storage arrays.

Santoyo said Quantum sets itself apart from other storage vendors because of the company’s knowledgeable responses to its questions during the purchasing process. Quantum has also mapped out how its studio can grow and maintain the speed of its storage going forward.

“That was my first question for them: ‘How can we improve and how can we prepare for the future?'” He said. “The guys at Quantum sent in a lot of documentation and got the basics right, which is a lot.”

Configuring EFD with StorNext allows the studio to manage nine editing rooms, 15 visual effects workstations, and a handful of color grading rooms without compromising on accessibility and file speed.

The team records workloads and frequently accessed files on NVMe drives in Xcellis arrays while backing up older data to tape archives. These arrays also perform multiple backups of working files, a feature that Santoyo requested based on painful past experiences.

“The biggest nightmare is not being able to deliver on time,” he said.

Santoyo said he plans to eventually expand EFD’s capabilities to meet audio post-production needs and manage nearly 7PB of data within three years.

“I am really impressed with the solution because it is very stable and user friendly,” Santoyo said. “We are growing with Quantum; This is a very good product. “

Quantum is no stranger to managing enterprise file workloads and is a frequent supplier to media and entertainment companies, particularly with its tape storage division.

“There are a lot less players who offer cassettes [storage] in the market today, ”said Andrew Smith, research director at IDC. “For the most part, Quantum could supply many of these partners as well. “

Although EFD has focused its setup on localized production and file storage, StorNext also supports S3 cloud object storage or localized object storage. Tape will remain a popular option for media backup, but Quantum and other storage management companies will continue to improve their backup offerings in hybrid or public clouds.

Randy Kerns, senior analyst at Evaluator Group, said media companies will need to prepare for the storage needs of employees around the world as remote working continues to become mainstream.

“The area that I’ve seen a lot of movement in is global collaboration, especially valuable in editing and post-production,” Kerns said. “Products like Ctera and Nasuni are considered by many players in this industry. This allows a very valuable acceleration of collaboration between a wide range of specialists scattered around the world.”


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