No Down Time for Mode Project with Small Tree's GraniteSTOR Shared Storage Solution

Mode Project, a Chicago-based creative design and production company, might be a small shop, but as their impressive client portfolio shows, they're big on talent. Tapped to lend their expertise to some of the world's most well-known brands, such as Kellogg's, Kraft, Nintendo, AT&T and UPS, among others, Mode Project recently installed an Ethernet-based shared storage solution from Small Tree to improve its workflow.

Specializing in solving tough creative challenges for agencies, brands, and digital media companies, Mode Project features six dual-purpose editing and design workstations consisting of Apple Power Macs and iMacs running Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Suite and Autodesk Maya. Before implementing Small Tree's 16TB GraniteSTOR ST-RAID, the company used local Fibre Channel storage systems. The Fibre Channel systems' limitations forced Mode Project's team to duplicate media across all systems, leading to unnecessary redundancy and less time spent on creative work.

After conducting extensive research, decision makers at Mode Project decided unanimously on the GraniteSTOR ST-RAID because of the technology's affordability, scalability and ease of installation. With Small Tree's stellar tech support, installation was a snap, while the system's ability to use the existing Ethernet connection between the workstation and switch made changes to the company's infrastructure unnecessary.

Mode Project's decision to turn to Small Tree paid immediate dividends, as shortly after installation the company was asked to create five three-minute commercial films under a tight deadline. According to Colin Carter, principal at Mode Project, meeting the client's deadline would have been impossible before turning to the shared storage technology.

"You're always nervous when upgrading or reconfiguring your facility, especially when busy, but our timing couldn't have been more fortuitous," said Carter. "With 26 hours of 4k footage from the RED camera, the subsequent conversion of that footage to ProRes and management of the four editors dedicated to the project, there is no way we would have met our client's deadline without the Small Tree gear. There was no down time working with the shared storage. It worked flawlessly and the client noticed."

Mode Project recently received a Gold Award in the PromaxBDA North American Design Awards competition, as well as the New York Festival's Silver World Medal for their film "David Plouffe: The Art of the Possible."

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 or follow Small Tree on Twitter @SmallTreeComm.