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ProMax Platform Gets Nearline Options, Adds Speed and Scalability

Windows and Mac Clients Can Submit After Effects Renders to Servers with GPU Cards

ProMax has introduced a new nearline-storage option as part of the newest updates to its Platform shared-storage server line-up. The Platform Nearline storage server is designed to make disk-based back-up of online media fast and convenient with dense and cost-efficient tier-two storage.

The performance of Platform Online has been improved in new versions of the hardware, ProMax said, with streaming bandwidth increasing by up to 20 percent. And a new feature, Platform AE Render, allows Windows and Mac systems to submit Adobe After Effects renders to Platform servers, which can be expanded with GPU cards. Sysadmins designate a storage volume, or Platform Space, as an After Effects render location, and users with access to that volume can submit render jobs that are managed through Platform's render-node software.

In addition, ProMax has updated the Platform software to enterprise-level support, with scalability to thousands of users accessing hundreds of PB of storage..

"This version now takes us from a managing a studio or large facility up to managing an enterprise," ProMax CEO Jess Hartmann told StudioDaily. "It gives you the option to grow your facility with multiple systems connected together between different geographical areas, replicating data across facilites, and being able to move projects from online to dense, cheaper nearline storage very quickly."

The core system, Platform Online, has 16 drives per chassis, while Platform Nearline has 36 drives, Hartmann said, noting that the Nearline RAID controller has been tuned for copy speed rather than streaming media files in real time. At the same time, copy operations are manageable via bandwidth controls that let users make sure that nearline back-ups don't steal any performance from online editing, where speed is critical.

The idea was to develop a powerful nearline solution that was also affordable, Hartmann said. "I haven't seen many [competitors] try to come out with this size and density of nearline products that connect to an online system and still have it be reasonably priced," he said. "I'm not sure Platform Nearline works for really small facilities — an entry-level box is 108 TB. But at those numbers, the price per TB will really come down."

ProMax: www.promax.com

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