David Austerberry /
12.10.2008 03:16 PM
Avid releases ISIS 2.0, supports 384TB storage

Avid recently released version 2.0 of its Unity ISIS storage system. Rather than using the standard arrays of drives in a typical SAN, ISIS is built from racks of intelligent storage blades. Active storage allows better performance and scalability over NAS and SANs, especially for media applications with the very large files and high data rates.

Kevin Usher, head of product management for Avid EMEA, explained that, at the component level, advances in disk technology mean that they can put two 1TB drives on a single blade, “that doubles the capacity of the ISIS engine from 16TB to 32TB.” The maximum capacity has also doubled to 384TB. In mirrored mode, this will enable customers to store up to 300 hours of uncompressed HD or 6300 hours of 50MB/s compressed HD. “We have enhanced the 10GB and 1GB networks, so the system can support uncompressed HD,” Usher said.

These two enhancements open up the product to new markets. ISIS v1.0 was very much aimed at broadcast markets, where larger broadcasters wanted to run many concurrent seats, especially in news production. The new version will also appeal to the post-production market with its high-bandwidth capabilities.

The system director has been upgraded with the new Intel SR2500 processor, which allows the asset management to handle up to 10 million files, triple the number of the ISIS v1.0, and the system can scale to up to 330 real-time clients with full system monitoring.

Ian Burling, head of technical support services at British post house Films at 59, has been beta testing ISIS v2.0. Films at 59 has more than 40 edit rooms from Symphony and DS down to Media Composer, Xpress Pro and Final Cut Pro. Most of his work is long form, including HD wildlife programming. Films at 50 was the UK’s first online HD facility, and staff have 10 year’s experience cutting HD. Up until now, nonlinear HD editing has used conventional SCSI direct attached storage. “We have been looking for a shared storage system for the HD projects that would allow users to schedule a project across more than one suite; the directly attached SCSI drives are proving a limitation,” Burling said.

Avid Unity ISIS is a blade-based storage subsystem that features intelligent dual-drive storage elements, integrated Ethernet switching and redundant power and cooling. The Unity ISIS architecture distributes data and metadata so each intelligent storage element can make instant decisions that collectively optimize the performance, capacity and health of the entire system.

The new ISIS provides a 10GigE client that supports resolutions up to uncompressed HD and 2K, made possible by performance of up to 400MB/s per ISIS Engine; 12 engines can stream 4.8GB/s, which equates to 32 streams of uncompressed HD, or 240 streams of compressed HD.

For more information, visit www.avid.com.

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