German post house is first in Europe to install Facilis Hub Server

Neal Romanek
Post Production
September 25th 2017 at 11:26AM : By Neal Romanek

The Cologne-based company

German post house Schnittwerk will be expanding its Facilis shared storage. The facility, based in Cologne, will be the first in Europe to install Facilis's new Hub Server product which was exhibited for the first time at this month's IBC in Amsterdam.

Throughout the project, Facilis worked with local partner, Systempiloten. Schnittwerk bought its first Facilis system in 2012, a TerraBlock 24D 24TB with a 64TB expansion. This system enabled collaborative editing on a new non-fiction production where they worked simultaneously with six Avid Media Composer systems in online quality, as well as color grading and retouching.

At the beginning of 2017, Schnittwerk started a third major TerraBlock expansion with the addition of a TerraBlock 24EX/32 256TB storage system for high-resolution color grading, VFX and mastering. Having already deployed 440TB in facility among three separate server chassis, Schnittwerk ordered a Hub Server as soon as it was available.

Facilis Technology is focusing on broadcasters and facilities seeking to grow their content-creation infrastructure on a limited CapEx budget. Ballooning media file sizes and 4K, HDR and VR workflows are putting pressure on facility infrastructure. The Facilis Hub Server is aimed at protecting customers’ current storage investment and providing the most future-proof new systems available. The Hub Server architecture optimises drive sets and increases the bandwidth available from standard TerraBlock storage systems. In addition, Facilis is also shipping SSD and Hybrid systems with 12Gb/s components that are the fastest shared storage systems in the smallest form factor available.

“Even at this time, the Facilis system was extremely reliable, high performance and flexible,” commented Marc Czessack, head of technical post at Schnittwerk. “Especially the access to material on a cross-platform and cross-application basis was one of the main reasons for adopting the TerraBlock system.”

“It did not take long before we expanded the capacity of our TerraBlock system to provide additional production capacity,” continues Czessack. “The extension was very easy to accomplish because only one expansion chassis had to be attached to the existing system.

“The decision to invest in Facilis systems was easy. There are not many shared storage systems that allow real Avid project sharing and Bin locking,” said Czessack. “Avid's own storage solutions were not appropriate since they are not designed to work with third-party applications, which come from other manufacturers. Also, EditShare was also not suitable for us because the performance of their product was not good enough.

“There are certainly cheaper solutions available, but they are far from flexible and fast. Now, with our TerraBlock and Hub Server system, we are able to access all volumes at every workstation and in multi-user write mode. This means that the storage space can be used much more effectively: no copies and versions have to be created and the individual workstations can also be used more flexibly for several applications. Most workflows have been simplified and automated in many ways.”