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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jul 26

Written by:
7/26/2010 6:46 AM  RssIcon

Teton Gravity ResearchAs one of the fastest growing brands in the action sports industry, Teton Gravity Research (TGR) has developed a reputation for capturing edge-of-your-seat HD and 3D footage exploring the physical and emotional limitations of world-class athletes that is as exhilarating as it is jaw-dropping. Unfortunately, as film projects continued to come in, TGR's team of editors faced workflow limitations as challenging as any mountain or wave the athletes in their films faced. To alleviate those limitations, TGR recently installed Small Tree's GraniteSTOR ST-RAID, a Mac-based Gigabit Ethernet shared storage solution.

Founded in 1996, TGR has produced 25 award-winning feature length films, as well as numerous television series for Showtime, NBC, Fox Sports and Fuel TV. While working on a project a few years ago for Fuel TV, the company was contracted by Showtime for a 13 episode series. At that time, executives at TGR decided to install an Xsan system to streamline the increased workload. The Xsan did enable the team to complete the projects, but not long after, the company's continued growth had them on the hunt for a storage solution that was more easily scalable and more affordable.

"What was most attractive about the GraniteSTOR system was its affordable scalability," said Todd Jones, TGR founder. "We went from 8 TBs to about 20 TBs with the shared storage installation, and if we need more storage moving forward, all we need to do is buy a box, plug it in and we get the kind of accessibility our editing team needs to maximize creativity and productivity."

Critical to TGR was a system that would allow its editing teams to work on multiple projects simultaneously without crippling the workflow. Prior to installing ST-RAID, TGR had four edit bays using Mac G5 systems. Today, because of Ethernet's ubiquity, the company's editing capabilities have grown by a factor of three, as the facility now features 12 work stations, including six laptops and a group of new Intel-based Mac Pro's that could not be used previously with the Xsan without a complicated and expensive upgrade to the system.

"To integrate the new Intel boxes with the Xsan upgrade would have cost a minimum of $40,000, which was well beyond our budget," said Danny Holland, post production supervisor at TGR. "The Small Tree system was nearly one third the cost, significantly easier to install and the support we have received from Small Tree since installation has been outstanding. Most importantly, as far as capabilities, the GraniteSTOR solution has held up amazingly well."

Another cost saver for TGR, according to Holland, was the ability to utilize an existing Mac Pro as its server. "We just took a Mac Pro we already had and dedicated that as our server, which meant we didn't have to make a separate investment for that technology. All we had to look at was the new storage, the network card and the switch and we were up and running. Any other solution was a more cost-prohibitive investment to get off the ground."

Designer of simple-to-install, affordable Mac-based networking and shared storage products, Small Tree is the premier multi-port Ethernet networking technology provider for OS X customers, enabling cost effective Ethernet shared storage technology. For more information about the company and its products, please call 1-866-STC4MAC (1-866-782-4622), or visit www.small-tree.com or follow Small Tree on Twitter @smalltreecomm.

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