Broadcast Beat Magazine 2018 NAB Show Edition - Page 71

What if a NAS performed as well as a SAN? By André Kamps, CEO, ELEMENTS A tremendous boost in Ethernet performance could outrun expensive Fibre Channel The broad consensus in the post-production and broadcast industry about the crucial importance of high-performance media storage in every media workflow ends rather abruptly when it comes to the connectivity. The question “SAN or NAS?” is almost religious, and supporters of each camp usually advocate their respective opinions vehemently and relentlessly. However, latest developments may turn the tides, and tip the scale in favor of the more cost-efficient Ethernet topology – by adding lightning fast NVMe storage. The idea behind storage area networks (SAN), providing block-level access instead of file-level access, is to segregate storage traffic from the rest of the traffic in the network, aiming to increase both efficiency and performance. While in a SAN all workstations share the cumulative storage capacity, allowing for both the manage- ability and the allocation of storage resources is easier and more straightforward, SANs have a considerable downside though: comparably high investment costs. A pure Fibre Channel set-up requires pricey switches, and with only two noteworthy vendors of Fibre Channel switches left in the market, there is hardly any price competition. The amount of investment is often too high for smaller post-production facilities or production islands. Broadcast Beat Magazine • • 71