17 Apr CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY FOR EVERY BRAND
A shared storage facility capable of handling 8K projects with multiple creators is essential for P2 to create content at pace. P2 Senior Art Director and Designer, Josh McEvoy explains why in this exclusive interview with leading content and technology publisher:
As creators of standout content, Sydney-based agency P2 are always looking for great new technology to give their clients the best outcomes. Recently the company decided to upgrade their shared storage solution and for that they turned to Digistor who supplied and installed an EditShare XStream EFS 300 Node 128TB and multiple 8TB drives
P2’s senior art director, designer and partner Josh McEvoy explained, “We had worked off a central server for video and design work for five years using a Smalltree 40TB NAS. While it was a revelation at the time having come from working off individual workstations and having to pass around the projects which wasted a lot of time, the Smalltree server was starting to show its age with things beginning to get slow and the ten workstations we run off it were lagging. This was especially noticeable working in 4K, which is the minimum resolution our footage is now shot in, with 8K it was unworkable. Seeing the writing on the wall for our old server we approached Olivier Jean from Digistor as our long term technology partner to recommend a suitable solution for our needs. Olivier recommended EditShare as the added speed and reliability of their solutions definitely fit with our best of breed technology model.”
P2 required something fast enough to run ten workstations using 4K ProRes, with the priority going to their five edit suites. The five workstations used for design also needed to be moved from a one gigabyte to a ten gigabyte connection due to the larger video file sizes the company now deals with.
Security a Big Consideration
McEvoy continued, “Security was a big consideration with the new server as we were after granular control over users, what they have access to and how much speed they can utilise. Also, coming from a server with 35TB of usable space which our needs had outgrown, we needed to account for future use with large formats and higher resolutions. We were constantly having to keep on top of archiving and more than once came close to running out of space when a large shoot’s footage came in. This was another key reason for going with the capable EditShare solution.”
With plans for fast growth in the next few years, P2 also didn’t want to be caught out by buying something that would not suit their needs as they expanded. The capability to grow their server as needed would also give the company further longevity which was a large consideration for the boutique agency.
McEvoy added, “We were particularly after a system that is widely used in Australia so that support and parts would be readily available. We also wanted the comfort of knowing we could rely on more comprehensive services as we used the new system on a bigger scale. Digistor offered us all of this.”
Having backups integrated into the new server software to allow for easy automated backups was a must-have for P2 as their previous workflow involved a “very manual way of doing things” according to McEvoy. He also made the point that the need for remote work had come up in the past and while not frequently, the company now wanted to futureproof their setup with a solution that could also fulfil this capability.
“The EditShare EFS solution Digistor supplied has fulfilled all of our requirements and added extra capabilities which we have found most useful”
McEvoy continued, “The EditShare EFS solution Digistor supplied has fulfilled all of our requirements and added extra capabilities which we have found most useful. The new faster bandwidth allows the ten workstations to operate without any lag while working on large video formats. The producers who frequently access the project files from their laptops over a slower network connection have also noticed an important speed bump. Using the EditShare interface means security is easy to adjust and update as we go, we can easily give people access to specific folders or files as needed and make them read-only or whatever we require. Having freelancers coming and going we can easily add and remove users and only give them access to what they need to work with.”
Supporting Larger Projects
With over 100TB of usable space in the new EFS, the capacity of P2’s storage almost tripled overnight, allowing the company plenty of leeway for larger projects and enabling them to plan their archiving more strategically rather than having to constantly maintain it on a day to day basis.
McEvoy said, “EditShare has a great system of connecting different chassis to create larger combined storage volumes. Thus as we grow, the plan is to expand on our current storage with more modules as needed. The great support that Digistor provides for EditShare and the fact that it’s widely used by large companies and in education gives us peace of mind that should any issues arise a solution is only a call away. Also parts are widely available and as a result, long periods of downtime are extremely unlikely and Archiware comes installed on the server which has simplified maintaining our system.”
Uniquely P2 have developed an in-house video and digital production project workflow over a number of years that EditShare fits seamlessly into whilst adding its capabilities to the company’s arsenal.
McEvoy explained, “For smaller jobs, we follow our streamlined process which utilises the speed and solid performance that EditShare provides. Larger jobs’ tasks can be split up between assistants, ingesting the footage into Flow and tagging it with relevant metadata and producers can then put together a shot selection from their browser. All of this can be imported into Premiere seamlessly by our editors who will then tighten up the edit and provide files to the design team for design, VFX, and sweetening. All of this is done via the EditShare system, each workstation is easily replaceable if it goes down and daily backups to external drives provide redundancy for projects.”
P2 did a lot of research before committing to the new EditShare solution. They looked at many other systems, none of which provided the complete coverage and core capabilities of speed, efficiency, reliability and storage size that the EditShare solution boasts.
Excellent Sales, Service and Support
Josh McEvoy concluded, “Our new EditShare solution allows us to be future-ready whilst not letting go of the techniques and workflows we have built over the years. It also lets us augment our specific workflows with the latest offerings in security and automation. Having been a long term customer of Digistor’s and Olivier Jean’s we have always enjoyed their excellent sales, service and support. Leaning on their expertise in our field of work has been incredibly valuable and they are always available to sort out any small issues that may arise from time to time. Greg Taylor, who installed our new EditShare solution, has been so thorough with his training and documentation that almost any questions we have can be answered by referring to the information he supplied us with. On the rare occasion we have any other questions I know I can just ask Greg or any member of the Digistor support team and get the answer almost immediately.”
Josh McEvoy, Senior Art Director / Designer / Partner, P2.