Studio Network Solutions (SNS), manufacturer of workflow-defined shared storage solutions for film, video, VFX, graphic animation and audio workgroups, today announced a new deployment of its EVO Shared Storage Server. The latest 5.7 version of EVO includes new workflow integrations with cloud services from Adobe, Box, and Microsoft, plus more scalability and performance for production teams of any size.

The EVO v.5.7 release brings many new features such as a recycle bin, support for devices like card readers and USB storage, and enhanced LDAP/AD integrations. EVO has the capability to scale to 480TB per node, and can be ordered with up to 24 CPU cores and 512GB RAM for the largest environments.

Built for Editors, by Editors is the tagline in the edit suites at Sydney based boutique post-production studio ZigZag Post, who recently installed a new EVO shared storage server. Prioritizing their editors takes precedence and it’s reflected in the exceptional quality of work they produce.
With projects like the widely popular Coast Australia, a spin-off from the popular BBC series Coast, ZigZag Post is proof that regardless of company size or budget, great artistry will emerge.

Choosing the right solution to both enhance their Avid based workflow and fit their budget was a task not taken lightly by ZigZag Post. The decision paid off as SNS EVO expanded their production capabilities allowing editors to focus on their creativity.

The Challenge
“We desperately needed a good shared storage solution,” said Rob Sarroff, Director, ZigZag Post. The hybrid shared storage solution we were using allowed us to project share within the Avid workflow, but like other non-Avid storage solutions there were too many compromises — extra tech support and unhappy editors. With Avid’s storage being a big financial outlay, we discovered EVO and took a big chance bringing it on board. EVO worked perfectly right out of the box. I was surprised how well it integrated into our process, particularly with Avid Media Composer. If you didn’t know any better you would think you were working on Avid’s native storage.”

In addition to Coast Australia, produced for Foxtel and the BBC and airing on the History Channel Australia, ZigZag Post produces an array of impressive television series and documentaries. With any given production, a variety of different formats may be required. EVO provides the bandwidth needed so the facility can function without proxies, allowing everyone to view the same native footage. Additionally, EVO has enough Ethernet (and Fibre Channel ports) to directly connect every workstation in the studio from offline edit suites to finishing and Color Grading systems.

The studio has a 16 Bay EVO, which connects to six edit suites, two Pro Tools suites via 1GbE, an online/color suite via 10GbE and several daily and producer suites connecting via 1GbE into a 10GbE switch. Coast Australia consists of 8 x 60 minute episodes edited from just under 25TB of rushes, all Avid DNxHD Media. Seamless integration with their Avid workflow as well as accessibility to files are must-haves as the editors, producer, colorist, online editor, and other production team members all need to access the media assets, often simultaneously. EVO unlocks the sharing capabilities of Avid Media Composer — with several editors in the same Avid project, teams can easily collaborate by using shared bins, exchanging access to media and sequences directly within Media Composer. Additionally, with EVO’s included ShareBrowser software, a unified file/project/asset management interface, editors can search across all EVO storage as well as the studio’s local, offline, and other network disks for a total collaborative production workflow.

“There are two steps that editors want to take: one, turn on your machine and two, start cutting,” explained Sarroff. “That’s all you need, all you want to do. No one knows the EVO is there, it’s invisible. That’s how it should be.”

ZigZag Post’s customized style of producing projects demands a solution that reflects their level of integrity — exceptional quality without excessive cost. SNS EVO is that solution. EVO is purpose-built for workflows in need of flexibility and expansion and designed specifically to help media teams work and collaborate more efficiently. As the facility grows, EVO can accommodate ZigZag with up to 28 direct connect GbE ports, 12 x 10GbE Ports and 12 Fibre Channel ports.

“Our office is like a family,” stated Sarroff. “We want a production team to be comfortable and enjoy their work environment and feel their job is efficient and more creative as a result of coming to ZigZag. We need our equipment to mirror that philosophy. That’s why we chose EVO. At the end of the day, EVO means we spend more time on the business of creating great content for clients vs. spending time troubleshooting technical problems.”