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Sonnet Unveils Shared Video Storage Solutions

Sonnet Technologies is now offering the Fusion Fibre-for-4 package, positioned to meet the needs of video editors in workgroups of up to four users who want shared access to common data files, have heavy bandwidth requirements, need expandability, and require robust data protection. Everything needed for setting up four users is included in one box.

The new solution offers the Fusion RX1600Fibre rackmount 16-drive RAID 6 Fibre Channel (FC) shared storage system with a 4-port 8Gb FC interface, four 1-port 8Gb Fibre Channel PCIe host adapter cards, four fiber optic cables, and a 4-seat Tiger Technology metaSAN software license.

Optimized for video editing, the Fusion Fibre-for-4 package provides four users direct high-speed access to stored assets through its 8Gb Fibre Channel ports without the need for a dedicated server. It supports multi-stream, multi-user collaborative workflows, and does so without the cost, complexity, cabling, rack space requirements, and power consumption of an added Fibre Channel switch. The Sonnet solution supports virtually any computer with an available x4 PCIe interface slot and a Gigabit Ethernet port. A dedicated Gigabit Ethernet switch is required for metadata communication.

"The Fusion Fibre-for-4 package maintains high aggregate stream capacity for multiple simultaneous clients, and delivers stellar performance for video editing workgroups," said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies. "MetaSAN's innovative file sharing, native OS file system plus access rights management, and dynamic metadata master arbitration model further enhance the RX1600Fibre storage system's value, combining to deliver great performance and usability to multiple users without the complexity of a traditional SAN setup."

Tiger Technology's metaSAN, a high-speed file sharing Storage Area Network (SAN) management application, sets the new standard for cross-platform workgroup collaboration, the company says. Available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, metaSAN enables multiple users to simultaneously access a common pool of data files as easily and transparently as if the content was stored on their computer's local drive. Unlike more common volume-level based sharing that imposes serious workflow restrictions, metaSAN's user-friendly file-level sharing capability offers far more flexibility. The software relies on a floating master architecture to manage the SAN — because metaSAN requires very little CPU to manage the SAN, it is possible to let any member act as the SAN master — enabling the user to create a SAN without a dedicated server.

"Performance, simplicity and reliability are key to providing the best overall value and a rich user experience," says Bernard Lamborelle, director of sales at Tiger Technology. "The feedback we've received from Sonnet's resellers and end-users for this new package has been excellent. The ability to connect four workstations directly to the RX1600Fibre storage system without an additional Fibre Channel switch greatly simplifies SAN setups for small high-performance, cross-platform, file-level sharing workgroups. And as metaSAN leverages open standards and native file systems, editors can benefit from a whole new workflow instead of learning complex procedures for configuring and maintaining their SAN."

The Fusion Fibre-for-4 package provides great storage pool configuration flexibility. The storage system features a simple Web browser-based GUI with easy-to-use integrated system setup, management, and diagnostic tools that can be accessed locally or remotely. RAID group partitioning support increases storage efficiency by providing more logical unit numbers (LUNs) without the need to use lower-capacity RAID groups. MetaSAN manages shared storage access the same way as for any local drive; there is no need to create or manage special user accounts, nor to use special disk formatting or management utilities. Standard OS account management tools are used to grant or deny access to the individual users. Integrating additional storage capacity is economical and as easy as attaching a Fusion RX1600 Expansion system with two cables. The Fusion Fibre-for-4 package also scales to support many more users with the addition of a server and Fibre switch, plus a Fibre controller and metaSAN license for each additional seat.

The Sonnet Fusion Fibre-for-4 package is compatible with Mac OS® X and OS X Server Versions 10.4.8+ (including Snow Leopard); Windows Server 2008, 7, Vista, Server 2003, and XP Professional; and many Linux operating systems. It works with mainstream video editing applications including Apple Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere Pro.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.