At Pixcom’s post studio, EditShare networked storage serves as a centralised workflow hub, ensuring that producers and editors have material on their workstations as soon as they need it

EditShare Pixcom productions

Canadian production company Pixcom in Montréal operates their audiovisual, digital, dubbing and post-production services with a permanent team of about 50 staff, and employs over 5,000 freelance artists, technicians and production team members.

At the company’s in-house post studio, a large networked storage system has recently been installed to serve as a centralised workflow hub. With all media in one spot, their engineers can control the system sufficiently to ensure that the producers and editors have the material they need on their workstations, as soon as they need it. The editing software the teams use, Avid and DaVinci Resolve, is also tightly integrated into the storage network.

Having already worked with EditShare storage for more than a decade, they chose to stay with the brand when they saw it was time to refresh the hardware. “We are very comfortable and familiar with the EditShare system,” said Charles Laflamme, Technical Supervisor at Pixcom. “EditShare and their local partners DXM Technologie showed us the upgrades in connectivity and security in the new EFS devices, developed to make workflows simpler and ultimately, more productive. At the same time we maintain complete control over all the material for our productions.”

Editshare dxm 5

This installation centres on six EFS450 scalable shared storage appliances, each with 392TB of disk storage, plus two MDC metadata controllers, giving Pixcom both high availability plus advantages of the EditShare FLOW production asset management software. The metadata controllers manage file locking, space allocation and data access authorization. They control movement and connections to deployments of multiple EFS nodes. Because they control and distribute data across the EFS Parallel files system on all nodes, they prevent any single point of failure from occuring.

The network includes four EFS 40NL nearline storage nodes totalling 1.5PB of storage, plus two backup 672TB EFS 40NL nodes. The nearline nodes work as storage to park media that is currently in production but doesn’t need the same rates of throughput as the online storage, accessed by the production workflows. Consequently, it costs less than production-speed storage, although it shares the same global namespace as the EFS online storage.

Workflow tools built into the EditShare suite can be used to move material between online and nearline storage specifically as required. Under Universal Projects, using FLOW as the central asset management system, the editing and post tools – including DaVinci Resolve and Avid Media Composer – are pulled into a single workflow environment, and integrations transfer the necessary project data such as sequences, clips, bins and markers between editing tools, transparently.

Editshare FLOW Auto Workflows

Editors can continue working on their regular tools, and use EditShare for asset tracking and native drag-and-drop, without transcoding. All files are indexed and centralised regardless of where they are stored – FLOW makes them searchable and accessible through a UI. FLOW Automation adds some intelligence to the system through its ability to orchestrate workflows and replace repetitive tasks like copying, moving, deleting, transcoding and organising projects or media spaces. Alternatively, various processes can be triggered at regular times.

The new storage network was installed over the northern summer of 2023.