Specialized Bicycle Components Enlists EVO Shared Storage Server to Enable Collaborative Workflow

All Roads Lead to Awesome, the tagline for the Specialized Road bike collection, could easily be referring to the video content produced for its website. Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc., more commonly known simply as Specialized, is the global leader in designing and manufacturing high performing bicycles, cycling components and apparel. Click on any page of Specialized’s website, www.specialized.com, and you’ll find loads of information, stories, resources and rich media content brilliantly representing the Specialized brand which signifies both advanced technology as well as a strong and growing community made up of world-class cycling champions and enthusiasts.

specialized-bicycle-logo-smallAmazingly, a small team of in-house production professionals produces all of this content, which consists of upward of 200 videos per year and loads of images. Their biggest challenge is how to manage and store all of these growing assets. When they needed a solution to better streamline their production workflow, Specialized turned to SNS EVO shared storage server.

“Though we produce an enormous amount of high-quality content, it’s not a traditional production house,” stated Aaron Vogel, Video Specialist, Specialized. “I started as a one man band under our Web department working off direct connect hard drives to a Mac tower. It was fine when it was only myself but as we’ve expanded our production team, the need for sharing capabilities has become much more necessary.”

Specialized workflow had one major business problem, organization. The workflow consisted of three Mac workstations running entirely Apple FCPX and direct-connect storage. To solve the organizational problem they brought in CatDV for media asset management. Then they needed an additional SAN solution to share and organize assets outside of CatDV. But it quickly became apparent that the SAN solution they chose created a new problem, incompatibility. The SAN system would not work with Apple OS X shortcut files that FCPX used to reference media.



“We tried getting Final Cut Pro X and CatDV working with another storage solution,” explained Vogel. “For some companies, the other system may have been acceptable, but we needed a solution that would enable our whole team to collaborate on projects with centrally stored media. The previous solution just wouldn’t allow us to use FCPX and CatDV the way we needed. Running EVO with Xsan and FCPX over Ethernet with iSCSI works precisely as I had envisioned, allowing us to grow our team and collaboratively log and edit our massive library of Specialized media.”

EVO allows media professionals to augment and upgrade their existing Xsan installations over Fibre but also purely over Ethernet. This capability was the perfect fit for Specialized. They can now connect directly to their Xsan using multiple 1GbE or 10GbE uplinks on EVO. And as the Specialized in-house production unit continues to grow, rather than forcing all Ethernet traffic through an Ethernet Gateway server, they can connect iMacs, Minis, laptops, and PCs etc. to the shared file system via iSCSI, easily and inexpensively expanding their workflow.

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In addition to FCP X sharing, EVO offers Avid project and bin sharing, Adobe project sharing, and ProTools sharing. With a new cataloguing system in place and EVO enabling a truly collaborative workflow, Specialized is poised to continue producing more and more compelling and engaging media content for its global community. “At the moment we don’t do a lot of massive rendering with motion graphics. Our videos are only 3-5 minutes at a time,” said Vogel. “But as we’re growing, we will need to upgrade to 10GbE and it’s nice to know EVO can get us there.”

The newest version of EVO, EVO v5.5 introduces a new rich client interface enabling users to search across all EVO storage as well as local, offline, and other network disks. Files can now be indexed on the fly, and users can more easily find, preview, and share media assets and projects–giving the capability to securely ingest and migrate data using built-in verification tools.

About Studio Network Solutions (SNS)
SNS shared storage solutions are at the core of optimized video workflow for professional content creation workgroups worldwide. The SNS EVO shared media storage server combines high-performance with extensive connectivity, including 10Gb/s Ethernet and Fibre Channel. With EVO’s included ShareBrowser asset management software, you can search, index, preview, tag, and verify video and project assets with no additional software required. NAS, SAN, or both at the same time, EVO is designed for online real-time video editing with leading video/audio applications including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro/CC, Final Cut Pro (FCP), Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), DaVinci Resolve, Pro Tools, and others.

Read more user stories or contact SNS now to see how the EVO shared media storage server can help your company.