Quantum 4K Reference Architectures Optimise Storage Performance

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Quantum has developed purpose-built 4K video reference architectures that use the company's StorNext disk- and flash-based workflow storage systems to achieve 4K stream counts and performance levels as high as possible given the user’s specific performance, capacity and cost requirements. Based on comprehensive testing with regular metrics, the new reference architectures aim to help media facilities make better-informed investments in 4K storage infrastructure.

According to Quantum, although 4K may be the primary driver of storage-purchasing decisions for media companies, identifying the best medium and system configuration is challenging. Given the wide variety of stream counts and media formats used across different facilities, it's not necessarily obvious or automatic what type of storage will deliver the best mix of performance, capacity and cost for a specific workflow or use case. To answer the question, Quantum conducted tests to accurately characterise performance and find the optimal drive form factors for various media types.

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Flash can achieve very high performance. Quantum's testing showed that flash storage is affordable for media workflows in which a high number of compressed streams can make use of the random I/O performance of flash, and where high capacity is not as important. In contrast, flash does not significantly improve performance when a high number of uncompressed streams begin to put pressure on capacity. StorNext performance optimization applies equally to flash and disk, so that users keep the option to choose the infrastructure that best fits their performance, capacity and cost requirements.

Quantum's testing involved 14 different storage configurations using six media formats under commonly encountered conditions — for example, arrays filled to 85 percent of capacity using high-quality RGB data, not YUV data at 30 percent, which is less demanding. Quantum used the test results to determine stream counts and performance levels for its StorNext-powered disk drives and arrays, when and where flash is the most cost-effective medium for high performance, higher-resolution workflows, and when a spinning disk configuration performs better performance for less money, ultimately resulting in four 4K reference architectures.

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Based on StorNext-powered Xcellis storage systems – which combines the power of a SAN system with low cost NAS connectivity in a scalable SSD hardware system - these reference architectures are sized for specific stream counts and can scale up as needed to provide further capacity and performance.

StorNext Base 4K suits small workgroups working in compressed formats and supports up to 15 streams of compressed and two streams of full-aperture 10-bit uncompressed 4K. For groups that need extra primary storage capacity, StorNext High Capacity 4K supports up to 24 streams of compressed and up to six streams of full-aperture 10-bit uncompressed 4K. If higher stream counts and capacity are required, StorNext Performance Disk 4K supports up to 28 streams of compressed and up to five streams of full-aperture 10-bit uncompressed 4K.

StorNext All Flash 4K yields the maximum compressed stream counts and has uncompressed support for high-value content production, handling up to 66 streams of compressed and up to six streams of full-aperture 10-bit uncompressed 4K. This all flash configuration will be on display at the 2017 NAB Showwww.quantum.com