New Platform Portable Connects Up Your Existing Storage On Set

ProMax at IBC launched ProMax Platform Series 4, adding media-asset management and browser-based workflow management to the latest in its line of shared-storage systems for video, as well as Platform Portable, a new mobile server designed as a highly portable device for enabling on-set workflow using existing storage.

"Platform Series 4 is moving us from where we've been playing in the world of shared storage to the world of what we call 'workflow servers,'" ProMax CEO Jess Hartman told StudioDaily. "We've been working for a while to get to this place, and I think we're there with the launch of Series 4."

The new servers include asset management, a built-in transcoding engine, and a newly developed web interface that allows the system to be managed from a single Mac or PC workstation anywhere on the network. The asset-management features include the option to ingest with automatic proxy generation, custom metadata, search and preview. The new transcoder can handle multiple jobs in sequence or can handle up to 24 tasks simultaneously with an optional upgrade.

Key to the support of 4K workflows is ProMax's new "Share Extreme" module, which the company says doubles streaming performance when compared to its standard modules — making the system fast enough to handle up to five users doing full-resolution 4K editing or up to 10 streams of UHD ProRes 422.

"It's a redesigned, high-performance RAID system utilizing 12G [SAS] drive sets and RAID controllers," Hartman explained. "Out of a single chassis, we're getting 1.3 GB/sec, and that's pushed out to the client. That's a pretty massive improvement. In addition to that, we can get up to 96 TB on 16 6-TB SAS drives on a single node. We can utilize the same thing on nearline with 36 drives, getting up to 216 TB in a 4RU chassis. Capacity is not going to be a problem for people going forward."

An Enterprise module adds Active Directory integration, automatic failover, and other features designed for facilities that are integrating Platform with their existing storage infrastructure.

Platform Series 4 is expected to start shipping in mid-October.

The Platform Portable, meanwhile, is designed as an on-set device that turns whatever storage devices you have at your disposal into a reasonably well-tuned shared storage system.

It measures 18-inches by 12-inches with a thickness of 2.5 inches and sports a range of storage expansion ports including eight USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and two eSATA ports standard, with Thunderbolt 2 and FireWire 800 ports available as options.

"It's a conduit to storage," Hartman said. "You plug in your FireWire drives, your eSATA drives, your Thunderbolt drives — so many of our editors already have storage. This won't be quite as fast as a full online rackmount serever because we can't guarantee the shared-storage performance, but generally it will be fast enough to do what you need to do in an on-set environment."

Network access includes up to six GigE or 10 GigE ports for client connections, two onboard Gigabit LAN controllers, and Wi-Fi. An on-board two-drive 2 TB RAID-0 SSD is another storage option.

The Platform Portable will start at a base price of "around $5995," the company said.