• AIT
  • SAN Infrastructure

Alliance Integrated Technology has engineered and design Sans Infrastructure solutions that have enabled many prominent Media and Entertainment companies to stream 4K workflows. In addition to the capabilities it adds for companies in the Media & Entertainment space, there are several benefits to installing a SAN for all industries.

AIT’s Sans Infrastructure solutions

SAN(S) allow for high performance, block level, and heterogeneous access to all clients on the network. They also permit multiple writers, not only to the same volume, but also to the same file. Allowing all client seats to see the same files at the same time eliminates the need to copy data from one client to another. Latency issues introduced with most file level application(s) (NAS / Scale out storage) are eradicated, and a massively scalable storage and file system infrastructure is created.

Alliance Integrated Technology offers SANS solutions to reduce the complexity of managing multiple vendors with inconsistent methodologies.

Chapman University

BACKGROUND

Established in 1861, Chapman University is a private, non-profit university located in Orange, California. Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges ranging from Film & Media Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business & Economics, Science & Technology, Performing Arts, and Law. For the 2010-11 academic year, Chapman University enrolled 6,398 students. Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, created in 1996, is one of seven schools that make up Chapman University, and offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees in media and entertainment fields.

The founding dean at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Robert Basset, led a campaign to ultimately raise $52-million to build and equip a new building, and the vision was to propel Chapman ahead in film education and to be one of the pioneers in the education sphere to be completely digital and tapeless. Began in 2000, it took six years and several attempts to streamline and integrate the system. It was not until they collaborated with Alliance Integrated Technology that they were able to accomplish their goal of a completely digital workflow for their program and students.

move top
HigherEducation_CaseStudy_Chapman

CHALLENGES

Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (DCFMA) wanted to create a digital driven learning environment for its students to anticipate the industry’s use and dependence on digital technology. DCFMA wanted to be proactive in educating their students for the future of film and media by giving them experience with leading edge technology and a great return on investment for their education. Once the new building was opened, DCFMA had the resources but not the right solution and alignment. DCFMA started with an Isis, which is a network based storage solution purpose built for AVID environments, in the old building before the new facilities had been completed.

Justin Lutsky, digital post production engineer of Dodge College explains:“the problem is that no one quite understood the concept and only around the capacity of a terabyte. It was all analog and getting into mini digital tapes not analog like before, but still it was all capturing and tape. This required laying out tape and all that comes with that process and editing on fire wire drives basically.”

DCFMA’s first attempt to improve their system and achieve their tapeless workflow vision was by the installation of a new storage solution from Facilis. The hope with the Facilis was to continue film scanning, however they were going to have completely tapeless dailies. The results were unable meet expectations, because they got a Datacine and not a Telecine, and the concept was to scan film and create dailies from that completely digitally. The practicality just wasn’t there because the Facilis wasn’t able to meet the demands to build a heterogeneous workflow. It was a need to scan from Linux and read files on a Windows or Mac platform simultaneously from the same file system. At the time the Facilis was a volume based that were the file systems based on the operating system and not truly heterogeneous.

Then by installing and replacing the Facilis with a proper OS independent System Area Network (SAN), allowing the ability to scan the same volume they were sharing the dailies from possible. One piece of the tapeless puzzle that the new SAN resolved was the ability to play uncompressed material directly from the SAN, create a digital cinema package, DCP, or almost any file necessary for viewing in the theatre without having it go to any sort of tape format. The challenge was that this still wasn’t the capability they needed to have the high resolution of their need to be a purely tapeless and digital workflow with the demand of today’s high-resolution images.

SOLUTIONS

Chapman’s team met with Alliance Integrated Technology to discuss what could be done to finally make their ambitions a reality. Chapman brought the heterogeneous workflow into play the next challenge was to improve speed and capacity and drive to bring the school’s program well ahead into the future of film. Billy Russell, VP of Technology from Alliance Integrated Technology was brought in to help create and implement a 4K workflow, and implement the 16 GB core infrastructure. This was to replace client’s 4gb fiber infrastructure they currently had that was just up to 2K. Allowing the ability to have the bandwidth for students and faculty alike to be able to work with multiple clients simultaneously while color correcting, editing and etc. With the 2K the client could only utilize at most 4 to 6 clients simultaneously at best, and that was only if nothing else was putting a demand on the SAN.

“That was about it, reliably anyway, scanning was also not that reliable. There were a lot of hang-ups and having to restart [scans]. It wouldn’t make it through entire reels all at once. Especially, if there was a lot of other work going on the SAN.” said Lutsky of Chapman University.

Alliance collaborated and actively worked with its technology partners to provide top of the line products and solutions for Chapman. The products used were selected for quality and effectiveness not just to meet a bottom line, but also to create solutions. This in part is the versatility and experience Alliance has, and ability to create a variety of solutions that are not limited to any one manufacturer or product. Alliance designed a customized solution, delivered and installed the 16gb infrastructure successfully and updated necessary client and servers to the latest software versions. Once this installation was complete, the network speeds at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University have been recorded at over 3,000 megabytes per second, providing sufficient throughput for multiple systems playing back at 4k, and up to 10 and 2K speeds. “Tremendously improved the ability to collaborate, which is essential to film making” said Lutsky of Chapman University.

move top

RESULTS

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University made major advances in technology and workflow with the advice and knowledge provided by Alliance Integrated Technology. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Dodge College is ranked 7th in films schools across the U.S. It is leaving its impression while helping shape and advance the future of film one student at a time. Alliance Integrated has been and integral part of Chapman past, present and will continue to partner to help bring their future visions into reality.

download
  • For more information, please contact:
  • Billy Russell
  • VP, Technology
  • Alliance Integrated Technology
  • 877.629.3020 x 1003
  • billy.russell@allianceitc.com
  • www.allianceitc.com
move top
Contact us
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Company: *
Job Title: *
Email Address: *
Business Phone: *
Comments:

The Brocade DCX 8510 and Brocade DCX Backbone families

The Brocade DCX 8510 and Brocade DCX Backbone families are designed to unleash the full potential of private cloud storage. With unmatched scalability, performance, and reliability, they are the strategic platforms for transforming current SAN fabrics into cloud-optimized SANs.

Read more