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Avid Launches Next Generation of Unity

Avid Technology (opens in new tab) this week debuted a new version of its Unity storage system media production and broadcast. Avid Unity ISIS (Infinitely Scalable Intelligent Storage) uses a distributed intelligence architecture to avoid the bottlenecks that can occur in storage systems that use centralized architecture. The new design enhances workflows by offering unlimited storage headroom, resiliency and vast client connectivity.

Comparing the design of ISIS with parallels seen in nature, Avid CEO David Krall described the new system as almost "lifelike."

"It's adaptable... it's got layered protection, it's intelligent and it's vast," Krall said at an unveiling in New York this week. "We think ISIS is the first in its class of an entirely new breed of storage architecture. It's a system that mimics nature to give incredible power with incredible simplicity."

Version 1.0 of Avid Unity ISIS comes equipped with storage capacity of up to 64 TB per system with the ability to link multiple Avid ISIS Engines to one another; connectivity of up to 100 clients working in real-time over standard Gigabit Ethernet, native compatibility with available Ethernet technologies, including products from Cisco Systems, and the flexibility to hot-swap any storage component, even in the midst of data transfer, to ensure uninterrupted access to information for all users within the facility.

"ISIS architecture solves the complexity of shared storage workflow in a way that gives it incredible resilience but maintaining incredible simplicity," Krall said. "With ISIS, we take four core elements: the disc, the CPU, memory and a switch and then we take those four elements and repeat them over and over to build a more powerful array."

Development on Avid Unity ISIS began shortly after Avid Unity was introduced in 1999, according to Krall, who emphasized the new design of ISIS.

"Our rigid blade design minimizes vibration," he said. "We're improving workflow, eliminating all internal cables, integrating switching. We're minimizing everything that could possibly go wrong."

Among the first customers for Unity ISIS is CBS News, which recently announced a multimillion dollar deal to install Avid digital newsroom systems in its New York City headquarters and London news bureau. The first stage is currently underway and the entire project is expected to be complete by December 2006. On the post-production side, Avid announced that Avi-Drome, a leading Netherlands-based post production company is also installing Unity ISIS.

Now shipping, pricing for Avid Unity ISIS begins at $106,995.