Broadcast Beat Magazine 2018 BroadcastAsia Special Edition - Page 33

Rethinking SAN and NAS High-resolution, high-vol- ume media workflows such as collaborative 4K editing and visual effects cre ation demand extreme per- formance and scalability from the underlying stor- age infrastructure. To meet these requirements, con- tent creators have tradi- tionally used high-through- put storage attached net- works (SANs) as the de facto solution for demand- ing tasks such as color cor- rection, visual effects and collaborative editing. Fibre Channel SANs have offered the necessary guaranteed, predictable bandwidth between workstations and shared storage that such operations demand. Due to network process- ing overhead that can cre- ate latency, conventional Ethernet-connected NAS solutions have traditionally been best suited for opera- tions unaffected by latency, such as file transfers and non-real-time activities. In spite of performance limita- tions, NAS systems do offer benefits in terms of ubiq- uitous client access since popular NAS protocols are built right into the operat- ing systems of the client workstations and servers. Simplicity has also been a traditional benefit of many NAS systems. For exam- ple, adding capacity is as simple as plugging in a new NAS node, and clients enjoy immediate access to that new storage resource. While in the past, NAS per- formance has not stacked up well against the perfor- mance of high-throughput SANs, new enhancements to NAS offerings for the media and entertainment industry are reshaping the role that NAS systems can play in modern media work- flow. Indeed, there is no shortage today of NAS solution pro- viders. But despite the need for robust, high-performing on-premise storage in the form of NAS, these pro- viders largely have fallen short in providing com- plete offerings. They simply don’t address the full set of requirements associated with modern media work- flow. While some solutions offer essential features and management tools in an end-to-end solution, they often lack a flexible, cost- effective path for scaling. Those that do offer cost- effective scaling cannot always deliver on features and management tools. Many NAS users have found that they have needed to adjust their workflows to work around the limitations of their storage infrastruc- ture. To realize critical improve- ments in performance, media organizations must look to a new and improved generation of multiproto- col, multiclient NAS solu- tions. Using NAS to Address Modern Performance Demands By uniting shared storage with robust data manage- ment, the latest scale-out NAS offerings not only support demanding collab- orative workflows but also ease users’ transition to all- IP workflows. Using a parallel file system to distribute data across the nodes in scale-out stor- age — essentially a build- ing-block architecture — today’s NAS offerings can spread data access loads across all the resources available in a system, sim- plifying the scaling of both performance and capacity. Within an advanced NAS solution, a cluster can scale performance and capacity together or independently to reach hundreds of pet- abytes in capacity and more than a terabyte per second in aggregate performance. Leading solutions can also support dual 40-GbE con- nectivity, with 50- and 100-GbE speeds on the horizon. Some NAS offer- ings even deliver the same performance and capac- ity as a SAN at a frac- tion of the cost. The math is simple: upgrading to an 8- or 16-Gb fiber backbone can cost up to three times more than a comparable Ethernet fabric. Finally, the most advanced NAS solu- tions are able to combine both NAS client access and SAN client access into a single shared storage sys- tem, thereby allowing users to customize their storage to any requirement of their Broadcast Beat Magazine • www.broadcastbeat.com • 33