When moving to its new, 95,000-square-foot facility at Worldwide Plaza in New York City, WNET, the premiere public media provider for the metropolitan area, sought to streamline its editing workflow to provide its post-production team seamless access to critical digital assets. With more than 14 editing rooms and over 50 desktop editors throughout the new facility, WNET acquired multiple 10GbE switches, 10GbE network adapters and GbE switches with 10GbE uplinks from post-production experts Small Tree to optimize the editing team's workflow.
While supporting three different public broadcasting stations, including WNET-TV Channel 13 in New York City, WLIW-TV Channel 21 on Long Island, and New Jersey Television, WNET is also a major producer of broadcast and online media for local, national and international audiences. Notable programs created by WNET for national distribution include Great Performances, Nature, and Need to Know. WNET's existing Ethernet Network Attached (NAS) shared storage solution supports three to eight editors working on multiple episodes of these programs at one time. According to Craig Thomas, senior director of IT for WNET, Small Tree's expertise with Ethernet NAS systems made them the ideal resource to implement a more fluid infrastructure surrounding their existing storage solution.
"At our old facility, storage would be patched for an editor's use instead of having a network that was interconnected," Thomas said. "At our new location, we've moved away from that configuration so that accessing data is more instantaneous. Small Tree's storage and networking experts understand post-production workflows and how to efficiently move Server Message Block (SMB) and Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) data over Ethernet networks. SMB and AFP file sharing over Ethernet is more ubiquitous, easier to manage and use, and is less expensive to implement as opposed to complex shared file systems such as Xsan and metaSAN."
In addition to providing WNET with technology to substantially improve its post-production infrastructure, Small Tree also optimized their existing NAS shared storage and Mac Pro editing workstations to increase performance even though WNET purchased its shared storage system elsewhere.
"It says a lot about a company when they are willing to go the extra mile for their customers," Thomas continued. "When doing benchmark testing to validate flow control and that the network layer was performing as expected, Small Tree was able to give us basic guidelines on how to configure SMB to achieve better system performance."