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Discreet Launches High-Performance SAN Solution for Non-Compressed High-Definition Film and Television Post-Production (22/9/2004)

Discreet's stone shared Turnkey, Collaborative, Cross-Platform Shared Storage Solutions Based on SGI InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS and DataDirect Networks Storage Systems

Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) is pleased to announce stone(R) shared storage system, its high-bandwidth, fully scalable, real-time storage area network (SAN) for high-quality non-compressed film and television post-production. stone shared storage system scales to provide multi-user collaboration with simultaneous access to multiple uncompressed 4K, 2K, HD and SD projects from a single storage location within the facility.

stone shared storage system is based on the SGI(R) InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS(R) and DataDirect Networks' Storage Networking System and will be branded, sold and distributed by Discreet under its OEM relationship with SGI. stone shared storage system disk arrays are based on fibre-channel disk technology— the industry standard in high performance — combining extremely fast read/writer speeds, low latency, RAID data integrity, and high I/O bandwidth to deliver large-scale connectivity to multiple high-definition workstations.

Marc Petit, vice president of product development at Discreet, said, "stone shared storage system represents a major technology innovation coming from the unique partnership of three industry leaders. It removes the last barriers to non-compressed, data-centric workflows by delivering the performance and scalability required for collaboration at HD and film resolutions. Now, the industry can finally bid farewell to the limitations of shared storage technologies that rely heavily on image sub-sampling and codec compression to deliver multi-user collaboration."

stone shared storage system features a unique parallel data access capability that provides far more performance and scalability than generic switched-based SAN architectures.

"The film and television market has been looking for collaborative workflow solutions that ensure high interactivity and data availability," said Martin Vann, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for Discreet. "In particular, our customers were asking us to leverage our strength as the leading provider of the highest quality RGB 4:4:4 HD and 2K/4K digital intermediate workflows, and bring that expertise to bear across the facility. We chose the SGI CXFS Shared Filesystem and DataDirect Networks' unique SAN architecture because, combined, they deliver as much as 50 percent higher performance than traditional SANs, ensuring that our clients don't lose the hallmark interactivity associated with Discreet's systems."

Standard configurations for stone shared storage system range from 5 to 20 terabytes, but can be customized to provide far higher capacities with Discreet and SGI Professional Services. stone shared storage system allows Discreet customers across multiple operating systems, including SGI(R) IRIX(R) and Windows(R) XP, to be able to instantly share data, thereby eliminating time-consuming and costly data transfers and copying. The end result is that facilities can experience better collaborative workflow, allowing digital artists more time for creativity. This enables users to move projects through their facilities faster, and to have more simultaneous projects going through their production pipeline.

"SGI is pleased to further extend its long and successful collaboration with Discreet by providing this new line of turnkey high-performance storage solutions," said Chris Golson, senior director, Market Strategy, Media Industries, SGI. "This new OEM relationship allows us to bring the latest technology of SGI and DataDirect Networks—two companies at the forefront of innovation in high-performance data management and storage—to a very large and discerning mutual customer base. Today's digital media producers are looking for ever-more productive workflows. SGI's expertise in delivering highly scalable visual computing and storage solutions gives Discreet's clients a unique competitive advantage when implementing next-generation data workflows."

SGI will supply Discreet with a completely integrated SAN solution incorporating DataDirect Networks storage as well as SGI InfiniteStorage shared filesystem CXFS pre-loaded on metadata servers, CXFS client licenses and pre-configured Fibre Channel switches.

"Until now, film studios and post-production facilities have lacked an integrated storage networking solution that provides multi-stream, real-time access to the same film-resolution or high-definition content," said Paul Bloch, president of DataDirect Networks. "We are delighted to collaborate with SGI in bringing a complete solution to Discreet customers; one that is easy to configure and manage, cost efficient, powerful and robust. Discreet's stone shared storage system will allow facilities to harness the power of DataDirect Network's S2A storage, coupled with the all-platform integration capabilities of SGI's CXFS."

Available in November 2004, stone shared storage system will be sold through Discreet and its authorized resellers.

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