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Blue Post Gets a Handle on 4K and HDR with Quantum and Digistor

Blue Post is one of Australia’s leading long-form post-production facilities renowned for its technical knowledge, creative flair and collaborative approach. The company prides itself on employing the industry’s best talent to operate state-of-the-art equipment and consistently provide world-class services to Australia’s leading production companies. Recently, the company had a requirement for a major new storage solution and for that it turned to Digistor.

As Blue Post’s Peter Millington (pictured) explained, “Digistor sold us a storage solution approximately six years ago. This served us well but it was time to upgrade to a new solution that met the current day requirements of 4K and HDR workflows.”

 Blue Post’s requirements were comprehensive and well documented and the company decided to approach the market and put out a request for tender.    

 Millington continued, “Digistor responded to the tender putting forward two solutions, one of which was Quantum. When we assessed all the options, we believed that Quantum was the right solution for Blue Post and awarded Digistor the tender.”

Blue Post had extensive requirements for their new storage solution. As Millington stated it had to be able to handle 4K uncompressed workflows incorporating editorial, VFX and finishing capability.

He continued, “The new storage solution also had to have easy and predictable scalability. It then had to support BP Codecs including 4096 x 2160 (4K) 16Bit DPX 1.89:1, 3840 x 2160 16bit DPX 4K UHD, ProRes 4444 XQ – 4K and REDCODE 8:1 – 8K. There needed to be 200TB of storage as a minimum, the ability to scale up to petabytes and to see a linear increase in performance. We wanted simple admin and management for volume creation, fault identification, notifications and a strong support presence locally in Australia. When all was evaluated, Quantum met the technical requirements and Digistor met the support criteria.”

The solution Blue Post chose and Digistor installed was Quantum’s SAN powered by the StorNext File System. This solution delivered a multi-tiered, easily scalable, high-performance storage solution. There was also a coincidental benefit in choosing this system as the company’s incumbent storage system which had reliably performed as the company’s workhorse, was built with Quantum’s StorNext File System facilitating a simple transition.

Millington added, “Quantum SANs are industry-recognised as meeting the high-performance workflow requirements of 4K editorial and finishing. Their solutions are expertly sized and architected by their in-house specialists to meet the performance and capacity requirements our industry demands.”

Blue Post’s new StorNext solution virtualises disk and intelligently manages data to sustain the bandwidth and latency required for large sequential file ingest, playback and post-processing in real-time – significantly outperforming NAS-based solutions. Its StorNext filesystem can be accessed natively by Windows, Mac, Linux and UNIX client systems with full security, access controls and file locking. Quantum solutions also scale, both in capacity and bandwidth, without the need for additional volumes, reformatting or re-architecting.

Now, all of Blue Post’s non-linear editing, file Ingest, file delivery, finishing and colour grading workflows use the new Quantum solution.

Millington added, “Our new Quantum solution provides us with enterprise-class features performance and reliability, offering the best of both worlds (SAN+NAS) with HSM that can tier to cloud storage and tape. The Quantum unified storage which supports both file-based NAS and block-based SAN access from the same storage system enables us to consolidate our storage and eliminate storage silos. This gives users the choice of using either IP or fibre channel protocols, depending on the workflow’s performance requirements and is a major benefit of the new system.

“The new Quantum’s Xcellis High-Performance Workflow Storage solution provides us with flexible access, capacity, performance and easy to scale building blocks and coupled with proven the reliability we have come to expect from StorNext-based solutions. Digistor provide us with great service and support that underpins the new solution and validates our decision to purchase it.”

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