LaserFilm Optimizes Storage for 4K Workflows with a Scalable, High-Performance Quantum StorNext Solution

LaserFilm—a full-service audio and video post-production facility in Rome—is taking on an increasing number of projects in 4K resolution, mainly based on DPX format. To store large, uncompressed media files from these projects and support high-performance workflows, the studio needed a robust, scalable storage platform. By implementing the StorNext File System with Xcellis appliances, LaserFilm has accelerated post-production work and gained scalability for the future while simplifying collaborative access to files.

Solution overview

  • StorNext® File System running on Xcellis® appliances

Key benefits

  • Accelerated workflows with high-performance storage that can support uncompressed 4K media.
  • Gained a scalable storage solution for fast-growing volumes of high-resolution content.
  • Implemented a tiered environment for end-to-end processes, integrating disk, tape, and eventually cloud storage.
  • Simplified access to content from any workstation, enabling teams to tap into centralized storage from anywhere.
  • Improved user compliance with storage policies by offering a fast, easy way to store and access content 

Italy’s LaserFilm post-production studio has experienced a steady rise in 4K projects. TV and film production companies are shifting to 4K and other high-resolution formats in large part due to evolving consumer expectations: Whether audiences are watching blockbuster films on cinema screens or 4K displays in their living rooms, they want immersive experiences with pristine, detailed visuals.

LaserFilm is deeply committed to supporting cutting-edge technologies, including the latest DPX formats. But working with uncompressed DPX files presented the studio with data storage challenges. LaserFilm’s existing SAN could not handle the bandwidth required for supporting those large files.

Team members required high-performance storage that would allow them to work with large files for tasks ranging from color correction to effects rendering. At the same time, the studio needed a scalable environment that could support continuously growing data volumes.

The studio’s storage system also needed to provide fast, simple access to files regardless of what operating system and applications team members use. And to facilitate efficient collaboration, the storage environment had to be centralized. Using disparate storage systems would make it difficult for post-production teams to collaborate throughout the full postproduction workflow.

As the studio began exploring possible storage solutions, the leadership team also wanted ways to improve storage discipline. The team wanted to make it simpler to store files in a centralized location instead of using a mixture of internal storage and external hard drives.

Implementing centralized storage with Quantum

LaserFilm worked with Video Progetti, a solution provider and system integrator for media studios, to evaluate potential storage solutions. Video Progetti recommended a Quantum StorNext storage solution.

StorNext is a file system and data management platform that provides high performance and scalability for demanding workflows, including 4K post-production. StorNext also provides the foundation for a centralized, tier storage environment that integrates high-performance disk, high-capacity disk, digital tape, and (eventually for LaserFilm) cloud storage.

“We selected Quantum as it is the best performing storage solution and delivers an exceptional quality-cost ratio,” says Andrea Di Nardo, managing director of LaserFilm. “The Quantum StorNext solution enabled us to centralize extremely fast storage, provide easy access to files from all workstations, and enforce some discipline for using storage as part of the creative process.”

Video Progetti helped deploy the solution and incorporate existing systems. With deep expertise in audio and media solutions, the Video Progetti team also helped ensure that key workflow applications used by LaserFilm team members were seamlessly integrated with the Quantum solution.

Enabling 4K workflows with high-performance storage

StorNext allows LaserFilm team members to work efficiently with large, uncompressed 4K files. They now have a highly responsive experience as they complete editing tasks, color grading, visual effects processing, and more. That responsive experience helps them meet the extremely fast turnaround times that clients require.

Providing fast, simple access to files

With a centralized storage environment, team members no longer need to spend excessive time searching for or retrieving project files. Instead, they can find files quickly, across tiers—from high-performance storage disk storage through a tape-based archive.

Because StorNext supports a full range of post-production applications and workstation operating systems, team members can tap into the storage environment without altering their workflows. They can access files from Windows, UNIX, or Linux workstations just as easily as from Mac workstations.

Simple access to files from a variety of workstations has been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the StorNext solution, LaserFilm employees have been able to stay productive, collaborate efficiently, and meet tight deadlines—all while working from home.

Having a simple way to store and access files is also helping to enforce storage discipline. Users are more likely to comply with internal LaserFilm policies and processes now that they have a centralized storage environment that is easy to use.

Gaining scalability for the future

StorNext enables LaserFilm to scale its environment seamlessly as the number and resolution of files continue to grow.

LaserFilm can scale capacity and performance independently, expanding to hundreds of petabytes of capacity and multiple terabytes per second of performance.

StorNext scales under a single file system and is used by many service-oriented post-production houses like LaserFilm. As the studio takes on more and more 4K projects, LaserFilm can store all of the files in one place and continue to provide easy, collaborative access for all of its team members. 

About LaserFilm

Headquartered in Rome, Italy, LaserFilm is a leading audio and video post-production company that offers a wide range of services—from dubbing and mixing to color correction and media restoration. Since 2001, LaserFilm has been a favorite of national and international TV and film companies—including RAI, Mediaset, Sky, Netflix, and Amazon, as well as Warner Bros, Paramount, Sony, and Universal.

The studio combines deep expertise and world-class experience with a commitment to offering cutting-edge technologies to its clients. LaserFilm is the only European facility with two screening rooms equipped with Meyer Sound EXP Dolby Atmos sound systems and 3D 4K projectors.

About Video Progetti

In business for more than 20 years, Video Progetti is a leading distributor, solution provider, and system integrator for TV, cinema, and telecommunications businesses. With deep expertise in the latest technologies and knowledge of current industry trends, the company can help clients with every stage of an implementation project, from planning through deployment and subsequent support.

About Quantum

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