FotoKem is a 40-year-old post-production studio that often works on hundreds of projects simultaneously, ranging from creating digital masters to color correction. Recent credits include the digital processing of film trailers for the 2004 Oscar winner Monster and a variety of other motion pictures.
To address the requirements of its digital intermediate (DI) processes, FotoKem needed to upgrade its existing storage systems, which include a mix of SAN and NAS configurations. A typical DI project may include creating thousands of digital files-averaging 13MB each-that are accessed, processed, and rapidly moved throughout the workflow at 24 frames per second. FotoKem’s SAN-NAS environment supports Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Irix servers and includes multiple digital asset management and creation tools.
“While our SAN is certainly good at some tasks and applications, it did not scale very well when it was loaded with multiple concurrent jobs,” says Paul Chapman, FotoKem’s senior vice president of technology. “We needed something that could handle more than 10,000 large files in a single directory.”
FotoKem opted for an Isilon IQ storage system, which Chapman says is “optimized for sequential, linear reads and writes and delivers the high performance that is required in our digital content environment.”
The studio manages more than 25TB of digital content at any one time, with up to 8TB of content moving in and out of the 8.6TB Isilon IQ cluster in the editing process. The storage cluster handles the daily workflow of creating, processing, and editing film content and manages hundreds of thousands of files in the DI process.
According to Chapman, other advantages of the Isilon IQ storage system include the ability to scale capacity and throughput quickly to accommodate workload spikes; a single view for managing all content in the system regardless of the size of the storage pool; and support for heterogeneous platforms.