Cisco UCS and Quantum StorNext: Harnessing the Full Potential of Content

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1 Solution Brief Cisco UCS and Quantum StorNext: Harnessing the Full Potential of Content What You Will Learn StorNext data management with Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS ) helps enable media companies to meet consumer expectations for multiscreen content. The combined solution allows media companies to: Automate content workflows across the entire production chain to manage a massive influx of content and myriad delivery formats Enable collaboration across geographically dispersed teams Improve productivity, enhance quality, and reduce IT costs Content Complexity In a world where media consumption is exploding across traditional analog and digital screens, entertainment and media companies must satisfy growing demand for unique content across a widening array of distribution outlets. A new set of skills and technology solutions is required to meet consumer expectations for content whenever, wherever. As the volume and variety of content escalates, its storage, production, and archiving becomes increasingly complex. The number and type of incoming media sources continues to multiply, from high-definition (HD) footage captured with high-end cameras to consumer video coming from mobiles and wearables. Individual file sizes are getting larger as well, making media storage and management a growing challenge. Facing the need to process, edit, and transform high volumes of media into compelling shows, games, and other content, many companies are increasingly relying on dispersed contributors and teams. Regardless of their locations, teams must simultaneously collaborate on media assets whether they are editing footage, completing visual effects, or creating graphics. They must quickly locate the right assets and work swiftly to meet increasing consumer demand for timely information and entertainment. The Issue with Proprietary Hardware Given these trends, media companies need more flexible, powerful media-processing, storage, and archiving platforms to improve productivity, enhance quality, reduce costs, and shorten production schedules. They have traditionally used purpose-built hardware workstations with dedicated local storage to support content production and management. These single-purpose systems are typically deployed for siloed processes such as ingest and media asset management, making it more difficult to share assets among teams and automate media workflows across the entire production chain. Dedicated hardware may lack the ability to scale and meet the growing performance needs of high-volume workflows; and even if it can be scaled, it doesn t benefit the entire workflow. It may not support capabilities such as virtualization, which can accelerate provisioning or help to enable teams to rapidly adjust workloads as production deadlines and priorities change Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public. Page 1 of 5

2 Proprietary hardware also puts greater strains on IT. When media companies assemble their computing and processing environments from individual components, their IT administrators spend significant amounts of time manually accomplishing integration tasks rather than focusing on more strategic initiatives. They often find it difficult and time consuming to increase or decrease capacity in response to unplanned or planned media events such as the ramp-up or finale of a sports season. A Unified Content Management Platform To increase their agility, many companies in the industry are transitioning away from rigid platforms and moving toward more flexible, integrated, and virtualized environments that keep workflows fluid and responsive. By standardizing on the Cisco UCS environment, media and entertainment companies can increase productivity by accelerating media workflows to make more content available to users, faster and across a wide variety of geographies. Cisco UCS is a next-generation data center platform that combines computing, networking, storage access, and virtualization into a cohesive system designed to reduce TCO and increase workflow speeds and agility. With digital and Internet technologies disrupting the media landscape, media companies need to modernize their media production chains, from remote production through distribution. Cisco UCS provides the flexibility and scalability required, all with lower cost and greater simplicity. Streamlined IT Setup and Management on Cisco UCS Management is embedded in all the components of the system, enabling the entire solution to be maintained as a single entity through Cisco UCS Manager. Cisco UCS Manager provides an intuitive GUI, a command-line interface (CLI), and a robust API to manage all system configuration and operations. Cisco UCS Manager implements role- and policy-based management using service profiles and templates. This model allows IT professionals in media and entertainment to shift priorities and deliver computing and storage resources on demand to fit changing deadlines and production requirements without hardware set up. Cisco UCS is ideally suited for both virtualized and nonvirtualized environments that require exceptional performance, giving media companies a high degree of flexibility to meet any deadline. Shared, Collaborative Storage on Cisco UCS Cisco UCS with Quantum StorNext Pro Solutions provides media and entertainment companies with robust, shared storage. All StorNext solutions, from StorNext Pro Foundation for small workgroups to StorNext Pro Production designed for entire facilities, offer media professionals fast, easy, and complete high-performance storage for complex collaborative workgroups. StorNext Pro Solutions, including appliances, are fully integrated around StorNext 5 file system software and include redundant components for continuous operation. But StorNext Pro Solutions are not just about performance and reliability; with StorNext Storage Manager, files can move automatically based on policies and priorities to keep the most-needed assets immediately at hand. Rarely used assets can be reallocated to lowercost storage while maintaining file visibility and access for applications. StorNext Pro Solutions also include StorNext Connect, a single console for storage environment monitoring and management. StorNext Connect allows users to deploy and update clients, and monitor capacity and bandwidth usage system-wide. As highlighted in the image below, the powerful StorNext environment simplifies complex production processes as media companies look to transform traditional strategies for content creation, management, and delivery Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public. Page 2 of 5

3 Figure 1. StorNext Pro Solutions Span Critical Content Management Processes StorNext for Cisco UCS offers several benefits for media companies, including: Shared content access: A collaborative, shared storage solution, StorNext uses a single file system for the entire graphics and production department one that can be simultaneously accessed by editors, rendering computers, and other entities requiring computing resources and assets. Shared access to content across edit and render operations improves productivity and accelerates production schedules. Exceptional performance: High-performance ingest, transcoding, and output are extremely important to today s media companies and are a tremendous strength of StorNext Solutions for Cisco UCS. Because metadata is separated from actual block-level media assets, ingest and processing can be accomplished in parallel at very high speeds. StorNext is also capable of streaming data to and from many media clients simultaneously. Near-instant asset retrieval: Users can quickly retrieve just the right materials from terabytes of data, based on flexible search parameters or directly from their applications. They can pull up clips and other assets immediately to assemble unique, timely content based on breaking news, sports, politics, and other topics. Global collaboration: StorNext for Cisco UCS supports global collaborative workflows for editors, managers, administrators, and media-processing systems. The system allows production staffs to access and work on the same media assets simultaneously, while automatically managing changes to avoid conflicts. Asset movement and prioritization: Tiering and storage management capabilities in StorNext Solutions for Cisco UCS make it possible to prioritize workflows and processes. For instance, when high-profile, fastturn projects loom, the required assets can be directed to the fastest disks, while assets for lower priority projects might be stored on tape. Asset movement and prioritization remain fluid as deadlines, trends, priorities, and other factors change. Flexible storage options: StorNext Solutions for Cisco UCS work with industry-standard storage systems as well as tape backup devices. Storage can be centrally administered through Cisco UCS Manager and StorNext Storage Manager to streamline storage provisioning, prioritization, and management Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public. Page 3 of 5

4 Multiple Cisco and Quantum partners form a comprehensive ecosystem that supports the complete media acquisition and production workflow, one that can be tailored to each company s unique needs. The following image highlights the integration across Cisco and StorNext Pro Solutions. Figure 2. StorNext Solutions for Cisco UCS Deliver a High-performance Platform for Managing All Phases of Media Production Workflows Together, Cisco UCS and Quantum StorNext Pro Solutions transform standard production architectures in media and entertainment. By moving from a strictly hardware-defined workflow to one powered largely by virtualized elements, and powerful software and associated appliances, IT managers can substantially reduce space, power, equipment, and personnel requirements. At the same time, companies can manage and allocate resources according to changing business needs. Conclusion Content proliferation is the norm, not the exception, at media and entertainment companies. Those that can harness the full potential of their assets by successfully moving from ingest through final production quickly and collaboratively will win in a world that is increasingly competitive, digital, and global. Cisco UCS and Quantum StorNext Pro Solutions provide media companies with superb asset ingest, retrieval, and global collaboration for media production all within the context of a flexible, responsive, simple, and cost-effective IT infrastructure Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public. Page 4 of 5

5 For More Information For more information about Cisco UCS solutions, visit For more information about Quantum StorNext Pro Solutions, visit Printed in USA 3/ Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public. Page 5 of 5

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