As we approach the 10th anniversary of Avid’s ISIS storage product line (Unity ISIS first shipped in Q3 of 2005), it is amazing to reflect on our journey. The range and amount of content that has been created and stored on an Avid shared storage system is incredible and inspiring—from movies to television shows, documentaries, streamed media, sporting events and news programs.
Over the years, the Avid engineering team has worked hard driving new, innovative and industry leading capabilities. As a result, ISIS is as relevant as ever with a remarkable number of media organizations depending upon their ISIS storage systems as a comforting and critical component of their work environments.
With all of the great new features we have been adding, I wanted to take a moment to highlight 10 facts you should know about your ISIS storage system.
Avid ISIS is more affordable than ever!
Did you know that you can purchase an ISIS | 5500 for as low as $27k? That gets you the ability to hook up to four 1 GbE and one 10 GbE clients who are directly connected, with no need to purchase an external network switch. For $990 more, you can add four additional directly connected clients (for a total of eight 1 GbE and one 10GbE). Need to connect a higher number of clients? No problem. You can use an external switch.
ISIS | 5500 systems can grow with your needs by allowing you to add additional Storage Engines (up to 12). Unlike other low cost solutions, adding Storage Engines will increase the storage system’s capacity AND bandwidth.
We continue to perform the industry’s most comprehensive testing of collaborative media production workflows.
Avid has made unmatched investments in performance, interoperability, scalar, and workflow labs that enable us to torture test ISIS using the most demanding workflows. When Avid says your workflow will work, we know it will work because chances are, we’ve already tested it.
When we say you can have 330 clients simultaneously editing off of an ISIS | 7500, we mean it. We tested that. When we document how many simultaneous streams of DNxHD 220 will work, we mean it. We tested that. When we talk about third party applications or UHD resolutions, we mean it. We tested that.
You can rest assured that your workflow will work each and every day. Have no fear, ISIS will deliver no matter what project you’re working on.
ISIS has been tested and qualified with the latest third party media applications and hardware including Adobe Premiere, Apple FCPX, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, Autodesk Smoke, Baselight Filmlight, Newtek and others.
This may seem like an easy task, but the interaction between media applications and storage is complex. Frequently, small changes to how an application opens, reads and caches media from storage can make a drastic impact to editing and playback performance. We have worked closely with many third party applications to optimize and characterize their performance on ISIS.
But it’s not only media applications; we have also been working closely with third party hardware vendors such as NewTek. The NewTek TriCaster Pro is now fully certified, enabling new affordable and dependable live production workflows. For more information, check out Ed Harper’s blog announcing support.
Screaming performance with Adobe Premiere and ISIS.
As a result of the growing partnership between Avid and Adobe, the ISIS file system has been put through the wringer producing a dramatic increase in performance of Adobe Premiere running on ISIS. Check out the “hot off the presses” news about the partnership and the results that we are delivering to our mutual customers.
One thing to be aware of is Adobe Premiere’s implementation of local caching. This caching uses storage that is local to the workstation requiring workstations to be provisioned with a larger quantity of local hard drive space or an SSD. It also causes bursty bandwidth demands on the shared storage system.
With ISIS, you have the choice of either caching on the workstation or centralizing the cache onto ISIS. By centralizing the cache onto ISIS, you reduce the need to provision more storage on every workstation, while maintaining maximum editing and playback performance.
Either way, the combination of the latest versions of Adobe CC combined with the latest versions of ISIS provides a high performance solution for both editing and playback of shared media files.
Envious performance with Apple Macs running OSX.
With the latest improvements to ISIS, our testing is also showing fantastic performance for customers who choose Mac. When Apple introduced the latest Mac Pro, we were as intrigued as many of you were. Now that we have had them in our labs for a while, we can report that they work awesome. With performance that may even make your friends running Windows jealous.
ISIS is tested and ready for demanding UHD workflows that use DNxHR, Apple ProRes and other formats allowing you to use the workflows of your choice.
With the release of version 4.7*, ISIS has been tested with a wide range of media applications including Avid Media Composer, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, Filmlight Baselight, and Autodesk Smoke using a wide range of formats including DNxHD, DNxHR, Apple ProRes, AVCHD, XAVC and others. Check out the latest published ISIS Performance Guide for supported stream counts.
*The current and recommended version of ISIS software is version 4.7.4
You can build an ISIS system that is larger than ever to meet ever-growing production needs.
With the release of version 4.7, ISIS | 5500 systems can be expanded to 12 engines in order to deliver not only increased capacity, but also increased bandwidths.
ISIS | 7500 is now available with i8000 ISBs to increase maximum engine capacity to 128 Terabytes, enabling a maximum system size of over 3 Petabytes and 9.6 GB/s of bandwidth.
Looking for the highest density storage system built specifically for media production environments? The ISIS | 2500 provides 360 Terabytes in 5 rack units and can be combined with up to 4 other engines for a total system capacity of 1.28 Petabytes at a lower cost per Gigabyte.
ISIS | 2500 is fully qualified and supported by Avid Media | Director and Avid Interplay | MAM.
Along with its density, ISIS | 2500’s integration with Interplay and ISIS | 7500 and 5500 storage systems make it an ideal solution for ingesting a broad range of resolutions and formats. Paired with Avid Media | Director, ingest workflows will be as efficient and cost effective as ever.
The testing of ISIS | 2500 with Interplay | MAM was completed over a year ago. Having been through Avid’s extensive testing process and come out the other side, it is the perfect building block for designing a large storage system for Interplay MAM.
Avid has qualified new Dell Networking 2000 and 3000 series switches for use with ISIS | 5500.
The Dell Networking N3000 series includes the N3024 24-port and N3048 48-port switches, providing 1GbE copper client access and 10GbE network, client and engine connectivity. ISIS | 5500 and ISIS | 2500 10GigE and 1GigE Zone 2 and Zone 3 client and engine connections are supported.
This switch series is the replacement to the Dell Networking (previously Force10 Networks) S25 series. The N3000 series offers a number of advantages over the S25 switches including: built-in 21 Gbps stacking interfaces to allow interconnection of switches and 4-ports of 10GbE simultaneously, front to back airflow for improved cooling and simple rack installation (no tools required).
Avid resells selected networking switches to simplify the ordering process and speed installation.
Many of the world’s largest and most complex media workflows continue to be powered by ISIS.
I love reading how our customers are installing ISIS as part of their Avid Everywhere deployments. You can read about them too. Check out the Golf Channel, The Hobbit, San Francisco Giants, Qatar TV, RTVE News, NBC’s The Voice, and how NBC used ISIS for their Olympics coverage.