Technicolor Deploys A/V SAN PRO™ to Link Sixteen Rooms

July 30, 2002 – Technicolor, a leading provider of creative/post-production, cinema distribution and digital cinema services, uses A/V SAN PRO to link sixteen of its audio production areas, including two Foley/ADR stages, two pre-lay/sound design suites, two mix stages and a central machine room, at the facility’s sprawling headquarters.

Storage Area Networking (SAN) technology is an evolving storage architecture that enables more efficient use of storage capacity by de-coupling server and storage connectivity within a dedicated storage network. The primary advantage of a SAN is its scalability and reliability, making computer storage resources less expensive to implement and easier to manage. The demands of Technicolor’s wide variety of audio projects, from audio restoration to full-scale theatrical mixing, created the initial interest in the A/V SAN PRO system because of the technology’s ability to access centrally stored Pro ToolsÒ audio files by multiple users at speeds up to 400 MB/s.

Notes Bruce Graham of Technicolor, “A/V SAN PRO technology represents a significant step forward for the way digital audio is stored and accessed. Studio Network Solutions works particularly well for us because we need an end-to-end storage solution that is powerful and scalable. The A/V SAN PRO also integrates seamlessly with our Pro Tools and Sonic Solutions platforms. The fact that we can finally pull 128 tracks of Pro Tools audio from a single drive was ultimately what convinced us that the SNS solution would provide the horsepower we require.”

For Technicolor, SNS deployed nearly four terabytes of total storage capacity. The system was also configured with a storage RAID device in order to provide a near-line storage cache for frequently accessed data. For long-term archiving, Technicolor uses LTO tape storage, which is also available on the A/V SAN PRO network. As a result, backups may be performed at any time without disrupting data flow or restricting throughput.

Technicolor’s Chief Audio Engineer Rick Austin also expresses confidence in the new storage network technology. “Ultimately, the A/V SAN PRO offers us a higher level of flexibility and performance for our on-line, near-line and off-line storage, which is critical in a post production environment like ours where multiple projects are worked on concurrently. With over a dozen Pro Tools and Sonic Solutions systems operating 24/7, we need a system that is as reliable as it is powerful.”

Fibre Channel provides the A/V SAN PRO infrastructure at Technicolor. Fibre channel blends gigabit-networking technology with I/O channel technology in a simple, integrated applications family. This technology is unique because it serves as the disk drive-to-workstation link. The data requirement for Pro Tools is actually very low compared to the massive bandwidth that fibre channel possesses and thus becomes an ideal medium to permit fast access to stored data by multiple users simultaneously.

Gary Holladay, President of SNS, concludes, “SAN technology allows for the high-speed connection of multiple workstations via fibre channel to a centralized hard disk network, allowing each workstation to access any drive from any location (control room) on the network. The availability of A/V SAN PRO for the audio and post-production arenas is providing new levels of manageability, flexibility, performance and cost efficiency never before seen. The continued increase in disk capacity combined with the decreasing cost of drives, workstations and software will continue to make A/V SAN PRO a viable storage solution for the pro audio and post production communities.”

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

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