3RU EditShare System with 10GB HP Procurve Switch

South Seas Film and Television School is one of New Zealand’s most respected Film and Television training institutions. Their graduates work in every NZ broadcast network, and in a large proportion of the country’s production and post production companies.

At the heart of SSFTV’s post production training program is a fleet of Avid and Final Cut Pro systems. And now at the heart of that fleet is an EditShare collaborative storage system.

The Challenge

SSFTV recently installed eight new Avid Media composer systems and needed a streamlined way of making lesson material available to all students at the same time. The suites are very busy with multiple shifts of students working on multiple projects, the ramifications of managing local storage for each student were horrendous -- a system was needed where quotas could be set, user lists managed centrally, common material shared, and each student’s own work protected.

The Solution

SSFTV ordered a 3RU EditShare system with room for 16 media drives. In the initial configuration it was decided to half populate the system with 8 x 500GB drives, leaving the remaining slots available for future expansion. The disk array has full-time hardware RAID5 protection.

The EditShare system communicates through a single 10GB network card, attached to an HP Procurve switch, which in turn provides 24 Gigabit Ethernet connections. The Avids attach directly to this, and also have access to the other LAN resources, output watch folders for content repurposing, and network administration functions via IP routing. The 10GB connection is a big enough pipe to make all of the EditShare’s bandwidth available to the suites, without load balancing issues or bottlenecks.

While SSFTV’s usual workflow involves DV25 resolution, the testing process involved running uncompressed streams on the Avids, and this worked without a hitch. EditShare’s proprietary software control system looks after user and media space assignment, and provides many other checks and measures required to keep multiple Avid systems running reliably. SSFTV have another six Avid Express Pro suites which they plan to add to the EditShare system later this year.

Personnel

The EditShare system was spec’d and supplied by AV Intelligence, with integration by James Gardner and Matt Dwen of Group 6 Technologies. James and Matt have masterminded SSFTV’s Broadcast and IT systems for the better part of a decade, and have developed many ingenious solutions to editing and production requirements over the years. An experienced editor himself, James knows how to get the most out of Avids, both in the driver’s seat and under the bonnet.