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UC Irvine adopts GB Labs FastNAS Nitro

Republished via GBLabs.
Located in Orange County, the University of California, Irvine, (UCI) is a major research university that offers a total of 222 degree programs for more than 36,000 students to choose from.
The UCI Paul Merage School of Business thrives on engaging and training students in the understanding and application of technologies in today’s digitally driven world, and those on the horizon. Located in the heart of the business community of Orange County, CA, the ninth largest economy in the world, the Merage School cultivates relationships with large and multi-national organizations and provides innovative education based on cutting edge research.
The recent completion of the school’s state-of-the-art, 78,000-square-foot Charles Schwab Trading and Technology Lab – a new, dynamic trading floor and technology facility – mimics a live securities-trading floor with real-world tools and technology such as interactive trade stations, including TV monitors that stream global financial news and tickertape.
  Additionally, the building includes a 300-seat auditorium; 70 and 90-seat case study classrooms; a multi-
  purpose classroom; an executive conference room; and 20 group study breakout rooms. These facilities
  enable students to learn how to best serve their future clients by integrating technology and best practice
  workflows, all of which require data acquisition, storage, and rapid retrieval for educational and academic
  productions being created from a number of edit suites.
  University officials and faculty members soon became aware that their existing storage system used for
  film editing on – at the time, five edit stations – was woefully inadequate to cope with either the capacity or
  data rate. They realized that they would soon need additional speed and performance, particularly in light
  of the accelerating move to 4K production.
  The Merage School knew that those rapidly growing demands on the existing storage system meant that
  they had to find a new, collaborative solution. One that could not only provide the performance and
  capacity they required, but could handle multiple types of workflows. As well as be readily expandable, the
  system would need to grow with the ongoing requirements of training pupils in the media editing and
  production  process, plus many other real-world media and data usage applications for years to come.
  This is important because, for example, the majority of the rapidly growing amount of 4K content being
  ingested is arriving from smart phones and drones rather than video cameras. With that kind of portability
  and popularity, it was easy to see a massive traffic jam for the existing system looming straight ahead.
Enter GB Labs Nitro NVMe
Following consultation with GB Labs’ Hollywood-based solution provider, RFX Inc, the school opted for GB Labs’ FastNAS F-16 Nitro, which would upgrade their performance from their existing 1Gb to 10Gb for existing users; and by utilizing a 16-port 10Gb Smart Managed Switch, would easily enable the school to bring more edit stations online. That would track with the anticipated growth of respective business school department’s need to record and repurpose lectures, symposiums, training videos and similar high-value content.
Value for Money
It’s no secret that many production companies, for example, opt for single-drive systems because they are relatively cheap and cheerful, only to soon discover that it’s a false economy and they simply can’t cope with the demands placed on them.
The FastNAS F-16 Nitro, on the other hand, is a new concept in shared storage that isn’t built solely for high end post-production and broadcast facilities. It is an ideal, and highly affordable, storage platform for any organization that needs a high-performance NAS with the added benefit of a unique hybrid disk technology powered by GB Labs’ CORE.4 OS Lite.
FastNAS F-16 Nitro’s blistering performance is thanks in part to GB Labs’ revolutionary Nitro hybrid boost NVMe technology and proprietary Velocity RAID Engine, which together provide up to 3000MB/s throughput. Nitro delivers dramatic improvements to collaborative media workflows with a very near to pure SSD experience, but at far less cost.
Moreover, the inclusion of GB Labs’ new Mosaic automatic asset organizer, was highly attractive to those at the school who were evaluating GB Labs’ offering, and soon sealed the deal.
Mosaic is an industry-first combination of AI and intelligent storage that is a vastly enriched way to automatically track, organise, and find media assets. Mosaic does that by scouring all in-built metadata and integrating it with a professional AI tagging system, therefore eliminating wasteful manual tagging. Mosaic’s content search results are a much closer match to the search terms, which saves substantial amounts of time and money.
“GB Labs gave us the best value for the type of system we were looking for, with an equally sound solution for
expansion. The GB Labs FastNAS F-16 Nitro has provided the capacity, speed and expansion options we were looking for, and did it all within our budget.
 
“In the time we have had it, FastNAS F-16 Nitro has proven to be very reliable; and the transfer speed has helped streamline our post-production workflow as well as enable multiple editors to collaborate on the same project.”
Geraint Bell
Digital Learning Department Multimedia Producer
 
Nitro is especially advantageous for the business school because it serves as their non-volatile memory express (NVMe) layer, which, because it is so fast, enables them to not only do multiple streams of 4K, but buffer any complicated workflows that might – and often do – get thrown into the workflow mix. That additional performance boost provides yet another level of comfort for stable and secure storage and data management growth that is much advanced over spinning disks. This is all due to a GB Labs performance algorithm that is unique in the industry.
Additionally, what The Paul Merage School of Business did not expect, is that they wouldn’t have to endure the disruption of transitioning from their old system to the new one. They could in fact keep the existing system and continue using it on a near-line basis while the new FastNAS F-16 Nitro system was installed and commissioned. Both systems run alongside each other today.
Stacked for the future
The ability to dynamically expand its FastNAS storage system without first having to offload data proved to be so useful that the school soon doubled its capacity by investing in FastNAS F-16 EX, an easy and cost-effective expansion option that enables the school to expand storage while keeping existing data safe, secure, and in place.
The ability of FastNAS F-16 Nitro and Mosaic operating on the CORE.4 OS Lite to help leverage what was already in use is a huge advantage. GB Labs is the only company that provides organizations like UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business with the tools and technologies that can migrate its existing server system to work with its new one, thereby continuing to make the most of past and present investments.
And that’s just good business.

GBLabs powering Tasmanian Parliament’s broadcast archive solution

GBLabs was recently integrated into a full solution for Tasmanian Parliament’s new Television Broadcast System (TBS).
The original HD broadcast platform had reached the end of its working life. Techtel designed and implemented a solution equipped with sophisticated software which can control the equipment throughout seven broadcast-capable rooms and deliver the output to six media booths, the new system provides the Parliament with the flexibility to control any broadcast venue from any of four mirrored control rooms.
Techtel, the integrator working with TBS, designed a solution which includes 4 x Telemetrics’ RCCP 1-A control panels coupled with the LGS (Legislative Government System) software application. Each control system integrates with the cameras and equipment in all seven broadcast capable rooms and chambers as well as six media booths; together they enable four concurrent production and/or broadcasting sessions. Each RCCP-1A can control unlimited number of cameras at a time, replacing the need for dedicated camera control units and supporting the Parliament’s future production needs.Developed specifically for legislative proceedings, Telemetrics LGS software displays a legislative seating chart on the touch screen GUI, thus automating the camera control and triggering graphics. To complement the world’s best legislative software control system Techtel selected the Grass Valley Kula Vision Mixer to become the mission critical focal point for the vision.  The Kula is the most powerful vision mixer in itsclass offering customers UHD upgrade capability through its FormatFusion3 technology.
For the archive solution, the GB Labs FastNAS™ High Performance Storage is at the heart. Recordings are initiated via Bluefish444’s IngeSTore Server complete with an Epoch | 4K Supernova S+ capture card.With 24/7 support from Techtel’s technical experts and project managers, the project was rolled out in several consecutive phases: foundational design, detailed systems design with documentation including CAD drawings and cable schedules, ongoing project and site management, installation, commissioning and testing. At completion, handover processes involved FST, UAT and Operator/Technical training.
Together with Telemetrics’ LGS Software, Grass Valley Kula Vision Mixer and GBLabs’ high performance storage solution, we provided future-focused workflow configuration based on best-of-breed technology and applications”, said Mal Chandler, Techtel CEO. “This new Television Broadcast System will enable Tasmanian Parliament to maximize the potential of their content immediately but also they now have many options to adapt and add further system enhancements in the future.

GB Labs to launch new extreme performance, Hybrid, cost effective shared storage range

This year at IBC, GB Labs will be launching a groundbreaking shared storage range called FastNAS which seamlessly combines the benefits of hard disk drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD) in one box.

The FastNAS range is the result of GB Labs eight years of pioneering SSD shared storage and Hybrid disk technology. This research and development puts us well ahead of our competition with a pedigree in proven technology.

This turnkey content creation system, with features of our larger systems is ideal for anybody interested in ultra high performance combined with large capacities. The range has an incredible price point starting from only $9,999.

With performance up to 3000MB/s, 1Gb, 10Gb and 40Gb Ethernet options, capacities up to 320TB and dynamic expansion built in as standard. Our unique Nitro* technology combines two very different disk characteristics to provide the benefits of both. Nitro works in harmony to intelligently streamline demanding digital media and entertainment workflows.

Users can work collaboratively with virtually all creative software in a cross platform environment without requiring extensive IT knowledge. Easy to use, easy to support and backed by a global support team.

FastNAS features Core 3 Lite, a new version of our award winning Core 3 OS, which has been perfected to giving users incredible tools and outstanding performance combined with ultimate stability.

Find us on stand: 7.J15 at IBC 2016

GB Labs and Comprimato to Unveil Single File, Multi Resolution Storage Workflows with Adobe Premiere Pro CC

— Intelligent software simplifies file management and minimizes storage space requirements for 

complex high-resolution video production pipelines —

GB Labs have partnered with Comprimato, a high-resolution video compression technology company, to offer intelligent, resolution-agnostic live transcoding software for GB Labs media storage, enhancing and simplifying workflows for Adobe® Premiere® Pro Creative Cloud users. The new solution provides users with a single file available at multiple resolutions, for easier file management and reduced storage space requirements. With the new technology, video editors and post-production professionals will be able to streamline their projects and infrastructure for a more efficient production pipeline

One file, one path, multiple resolutions.

For complex production workflows, decoding media files saves hours of re-versioning or multiple copy creations to satisfy proxy editing at one end of the production workflow and finishing workflows at the other.

Our technical partnership with Comprimato will greatly enhance the user experience for both Adobe Premiere Pro CC users and those who manage the storage they work from.
Dominic Harland – CEO of GB Labs

“We are very excited about this partnership. By integrating the Comprimato video compression technology with our partners, GB Labs, we significantly enhance video editing workflows.”
Jan De Waard – VP of Sales, Comprimato

Both GB Labs and Comprimato will be attending IBC and will be available on stand 7.J15 to discuss the technical partnership and answer any questions.

GB Labs Launch Echo36 with complete failover at IBC 2016

Echo 36 is the big brother of GB Labs Echo nearline storage product. The Echo36 with our new Cloak DR software offers complete failover for power/disk failure and localized disaster. This makes Echo 36 a bulletproof storage solution for large broadcasters where data availability is paramount.

Two Echo 36 units working together provide unparalleled security and high availability with no single point of failure through storage and networking layers. Our unique Core operating system writes to both units simultaneously and in real-time, even when the units are up to 10Km apart.

Should one Echo 36 unit be completely destroyed, the same data is available in seconds from the other. Users on the network would be unaware because our operating system manages this transition over a single virtualized IP address, leading to no downtime and no relinking of media or other servers.

About GB Labs

The Space product range built by GB Labs, represents 16 years of storage innovation in the media industry, serving our customers needs from ingest to archive and everything in between. We empower creative workflows worldwide to some of the best-known names in media and entertainment.

Eureka Pacific is the exclusive GB Labs representative in Australia, New Zealand and South Asia.

Aardman Animation and CalDigit workflow

VR2

Paul Reeves, Technical Engineer – Aardman Animation:

“We originally bought two CalDigit 3TB VR external hard drives back in 2010 to use with two camera crews who went off shooting live action segments around the world for a production we were working on called ‘Wallace and Gromits World Of Invention’. These drives went to North and South America, Europe, Israel, Kenya, and the far east. They were used to offload all of the camera cards, and then as media drives for two portable edit laptops that were also sent with the crews. All using firewire 800 interface, and set in RAID 1 mode. For failure we bought a spare 1.5TB dive module, but have never needed to use it.”

“After that job they became stock hard drives, and were used as general transfer drives, and then when extra projects came in they were used as specific media drives for those projects.

Over the last few years, a lot of our other brand drives have failed both on their interface boards, and the spinning discs inside, and we have disposed of then, because we have been able to rely on the CalDigits and also moved a lot of general file transfers over to file servers.
The drives have been used now as the DIT drives when I work on our live action parts of shooting our commercials. In 2011 we got a Guinness world record for shooting the largest canvas animation on Pendine beach in South Wales (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fza5QdTfyxs). The drives were used to off load both camera boxes, and then on the return journey I separated out the drives from the enclosures so from the RAID 1 there were four copies of the data in separated vehicles returning to Bristol.”
“Separately last year we also purchased a CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 to add to a PC in our Edit department to enable high speed USB 3.0 and e-SATA drives from external production houses to be connected to, and then quickly transfer our content across to their drives.Now our two VR2s live specifically as fast on-set DIT media drives to transfer original and transcoded footage from our studios to our Edit suites at the end of a shooting day.”

Overcoming Growing Pains with Space

Editology is a 9-time Promax and 4-time NY Emmy award winner for editing and design. As a dynamic and creative boutique post production company it has been highly successful over a 17 year period. Its client list including City Bank, the New York Giants, Google and Nickelodeon is proof of the quality of their output.

A few years ago when data management became a real issue…

“Editology is well established and respected and as a result we keep on growing. But we came to a critical point a few years ago when data management became a real issue, a real hindrance to growth.” Comments CEO Ron Humer.

At the time Editology had multiple HD projects stored on individual Mac Pro workstations. This was a way of working with a serious downside. Sharing projects between team members, maintaining working space on each system and ensuring any level of data security involved slow, manual processes, with hours spent each evening consolidating projects.

“There was no natural solution out there,” says Ron. “SAN storage systems were complex and convoluted. They were OK for organizations with full time technical support that could run metadata servers, administer expensive client licenses and manage a fibre channel installation. But they were simply way too costly for us. So our time was filled with data copying and our family life really suffered.”

It’s lightning fast…  we have stable power available on tap…

A visit to NAB and the subsequent acquisition of GB Labs Space network storage system changed everything for Editology. With the assistance of New Media Hollywood, the company installed a 48TB Ethernet shared storage device giving edit stations access to centralized media projects.
“It’s lightning fast and performs as well as it did during the demo we saw at NAB. When editing jobs arrive, we have stable power available on tap. We can simply pull up an Ethernet cable and the editors can start work. It really feels glorious.” Enthuses Ron.

Editology’s typical workflow centers on Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Cinema 4D. The team works either with ProRes HQ or uncompressed files for the ultimate picture quality, with Space supporting multiple users at full speed. “One of the things we also like about Space is that it’s Linux and Windows compatible. It’s comforting to know that any client workstation can just plug in to the data and get working with no loss of performance.”

All our projects concurrently without endless data shifting…

As Editology moved from ad hoc data management to a centralized system, Ron was concerned to future-proof the network and ensure that it would be ready for a second phase which will focus on data security. “GB Labs have expansion units for our original system that just seem to plug in and work from the get go. They also have lower cost nearline appliances that are also Ethernet-based for media archiving and data back-up. We’re in the process of weighing up our options now.”

Corporate, broadcast and event work are all core Editology activities. “Content for a football game or  Syfy Channel movie promos can have a very short deadline; work for  fashion image campaigns like Argyleculture may have longer lead times. Central storage gives us the flexibility to work on all our projects concurrently without endless data shifting. Now we can do our work and still get home in time to see the family.”
Editology’s work is located at vimeo.com/editology. Visit www.editology.com for more details.

Transmitting Love… Live with GBLabs Space

LoveLive loves Space
The Transmitter project forms an important part of the work of the LoveLive team. The video crew needed to upgrade its post production infrastructure to cope with the massive influx of media files and video clips that have to be turned round fast to share with the eager online audience.

“At any one time, the team is working on anything from five to 20 projects.” Remarks Kevin Molloy Head of TV. “Our existing editing workflow badly needed updating to cope with the increased workload and to safeguard our content. One thing we were clear about was that sticking with directly connected storage was creatively very limiting and security-wise was an accident waiting to happen.”
Initially, the team looked at SAN options, but were quickly put off by the cost of licences and lack of scalability. Next up for consideration was an Ethernet-based NAS system, as Molloy explains:
“On paper it’s very attractive. It makes sense to share files over a LAN and we assumed that transferring data to and from archive would be a simpler process. But we didn’t realise quite how true this would turn out to be.”
LoveLive turned to GB Labs’ Space, a scalable and easily expanded NAS storage system which delivers very high concurrent stream counts. Unlike generic NAS devices, it is optimized for media ecosystems and can sustain its performance even with multiple users attached, simultaneously reading and writing 4K, HD and proxy video clips and high bitrate audio files.
The ability to support any format has been essential. LoveLive uses a variety of cameras from DSLRs and ENG camcorders, up-to large sensor 3K and 4K cameras. Mac Pro workstations connect to the tier one storage, running Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, and Avid ProTools. A key advantage for users is that Space integrates easily with third party systems. For LoveLive this means that their EVS multi-channel recorder can capture directly to the system, with editors cutting content even as HD files are still growing. Molloy contends:

“As you can imagine, there’s a lot of file and project management involved, so Space’s common sense approach to data management is very welcome. We purchased a GB Labs LTO Space four-tape central back up system and the archiving and restoring of projects is fast and very straightforward. Transmitter is growing so quickly that we’re not sure what the next stage will be from a technical standpoint – we’re interested in their nearline offering as well as their super-fast SSD online platform. Time will tell what we do next.”

Much of the LoveLive’s work involves filming in the field with multiple cameras. This posed a particular issue, namely, how to turn around content fast when the crew is in a remote location, such as at the Leeds and Latitude festivals. To address the problem, LoveLive again turned to GB Labs, and its portable Midi Space RAID storage system. Based around the same principle as the rack-mounted Space, the desktop version is light enough to be used in a temporary studio or OB van, giving fast, sustained performance to multiple concurrent users. The improved productivity is matched only by the enhanced security offered by Midi Space: data saved to the drive of a laptop is highly vulnerable compared with the protective environment of a RAID system.
LoveLive Music Channel

LoveLive Music Channel

Molloy concludes: “With our huge workload and painfully short turnaround times, we push Space and Midi Space very hard. But we’ve never lost any data, even when we suffered a hard drive failure. And even with a disk out of action, the editors were still able to do their job – it’s a very impressive system.”

Formula E races around the world with GB Labs and Tools on Air

Aurora Media approached GB Labs having won the Formula E inaugural season broadcast contract. The requirement was for a mobile storage platform to centralise video ingest, as well providing an editing and broadcasting facility. The solution would have to be robust and portable, as it would be following the season’s races across four continents.

What was more, the editors would need to edit the coverage as it was imported to enable them to push out the race highlights quickly. As the organisers of Formula E were determined to satisfy television and social media audiences, this meant they would need to produce an engaging highlight show and then broadcast live after the race, whilst still on location.

Existing solutions on the market lacked the portability and level of functionality the crew required. Critically, none could accommodate the customer’s budget requirement. GB Labs took up the challenge with a combination of its new Midi Space 3RU, and industry leading ingest and playout technology from Tools on Air.

The result was a bespoke video editing and broadcast solution housed in a single flight case. This would serve four Adobe Premiere edit suites and allow the editors to immediately work on the footage during capture, thanks to the HD chase editing capabilities of the ingest solution and the simultaneous read/write performance of the Midi Space 3RU.

The single flight case met our post production, media management and live playout needs. Thankfully, it is light enough to be transported with ease and has the power to support multiple simultaneous media editors in the field. We were pleased GB Labs were able to supply us with a unique solution that met both our needs and budget.” 
Mike Scott – Formula E Series Producer

Easy transport to each venue and reliable operation during a broadcast were all-important. Equally, a reliable internal power source was essential, particularly when working in different worldwide locations, often in ill-equipped ad hoc studios. Consequently, back-up batteries were included! The system has now been in operation throughout the 2014/2015 whole season of races. It has operated without a glitch, delivering live and near-live programming to audiences across the globe.

What’s in the box?

GB Labs Midi Space provides 32TB high-speed shared storage, at a fraction of the cost of competing platforms. It is at the heart of the rack and integrates with a variety of third party solutions, including Mac Mini Servers running Tools on Air and Mac Pro editing workstations.

Midi Space 3RU is a shared storage system optimized for media environments. Designed to be easily scaled and expanded, its NAS architecture allows users to attach to the storage using standard Ethernet connectivity and supports multiple OS workgroups. It has the sustained speed to support multiple online editors, graphics designers, sound engineers and playout operators.