How to Scale a Media Storage System

By in Video Editing

The following is the seventh in a series of blog posts from members of the Avid storage team discussing how ISIS shared storage overcomes challenges in an era where media is created and consumed everywhere.

 

A few weeks ago, my colleague Dennis Mahoney wrote a great Cornerstone of Collaboration article about how easy and flexible Avid ISIS storage systems are to use and manage. Dennis provides a great overview of the architectural components of the ISIS File System.

The ISIS architecture is a result of our design philosophy. Avid has always understood that media storage systems need to be designed to meet the unique and constantly changing needs of video and media professionals and the collaborative environments they work in.

Storage systems must be able to grow and shrink as projects move from early stages with small teams and file quantities, to advanced project stages with many creative collaborators and exponentially growing quantities of media, to waning stages where unused media is moved off of real-time storage onto archive storage.

Most storage systems do an ineffective job of adding to existing configurations.

Growing Media Storage Systems

Most storage systems do an ineffective job of adding to existing configurations. They fail to redistribute media onto the new storage components. Since every hard drive can play back media with a given amount of bandwidth, until material is moved onto a hard drive, their bandwidth remains unused.

The beauty of the ISIS architecture is that it not only redistributes media onto the new drives, but also intelligently spreads the media across all drives in order to deliver the full capacity and bandwidth of the system. Without this ability, you might find that adding on to your storage system doesn’t provide the expected boost to your workflow.

 

Shrinking Media Storage Systems

Many storage systems make it difficult – if not impossible – to remove elements once they have been added. In order to shrink a storage system, there must be a mechanism to redistribute media off storage elements that you wish to decommission. Without a built-in mechanism, you will have to manually move media or perform configuration tricks throughout the project to maintain the system in a state that makes it possible to decommission unneeded capacity and bandwidth.

You guessed it; ISIS has the ability to redistribute media from the storage elements you wish to discontinue using, and intelligently distribute the media across the remaining drives.

 

Scaling Capacity and Bandwidth For Individual Projects

Do you share a single storage system across multiple projects or product teams? You are definitely not alone. Many Avid customers build a single storage system and then use storage groups and workspaces to dynamically partition the system to meet the needs of individual projects.

The ability to control how much bandwidth or capacity is available to individual projects or teams prevents having a project use more than its fair share of resources, leaving projects with impending deadlines unable to finish their work. It’s not sufficient to be able to partition resources statically. When a project runs out of space two hours before airtime, you need the ability to dynamically increase the capacity of the workspace without kicking off users.

There is no other storage solution on the market that provides the same flexibility.

As you may have guessed, ISIS was designed with these sorts of situations in mind. In fact, ISIS has a dozen patents that we use to address these problems. There is no other storage solution on the market that provides the same manageability, scalability and flexibility. The ISIS architecture enables ISIS storage systems to quickly adapt to the daily demands of media professionals and organizations.

If you’re interested in learning more about the architecture used to deliver industry leading performance, scalability, flexibility and manageability, I highly recommend reviewing Dennis’ article.

To learn more about Avid ISIS products, please reach out and contact us.

As a senior Product Manager for Avid shared storage, I get to talk with a wide array of passionate creative professionals that simply want a scalable, fast, reliable and easy way to manage massive quantities of digital media. Translating those needs and wants into Avid's next great product is one of my passions and my job.