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SGI introduces Infinite Structure for broadcast, production and broadband

SGI showed a comprehensive information technology (IT) solution for broadcasters, post-production professionals and broadband businesses. The SGI data management solution unites a facility's entire operations through the XFS shared filesystem with a storage area network (SAN) enabling the secure sharing of video as data files across high-speed networks.

SGI has developed a data infrastructure that simplifies and integrates the use of multiple computer operating systems and video and film formats, allows all the digital media stored in the facility to appear as locally stored to all applications; users no longer need to be concerned with where the material is because their access speed and usage rights will be as if the material is stored on their local systems, scales throughput effectively without limits for maximum utilization, and supports hundreds of clients and millions of terabytes of storage.

The SGI “infinite structure” is based on the SGI XFS file system, a robust, high-performance, 64-bit file system able to scale up to 18 million terabytes, equivalent to nine million uncompressed movies at full 2K resolution. Although file systems usually impose limitations on broadcasters and post facilities, the SGI file system provides what the company calls a “limitless growth path.”

Multiple Fibre Channel connections would allow users to achieve 12 GB per second of aggregate throughput. The XFS file-journaling technology guarantees high reliability and restarts very quickly after an unexpected interruption, apparently regardless of the number of files it manages.

SGI CXFS adds to XFS the capability of sharing the file system and storage directly with other SGI servers and with other operating systems, including Windows NT, Windows 2000, Linux, 64-bit support for the SGI Altix family and Linux 32-bit client, with Mac OS X support on the way for late 2003.

SGI demonstrated its broadcast system solution showing how, based on the SGI CXFS shared file system, broadcast assets can be shared from ingest to editing and playout. SGI also introduced several new capabilities for its open-architecture SGI Media Server for broadcast, including support for D10/IMX MPEG-2 compression, DVCPRO 25 and DVCPRO 50 compression and support for the MXF file format.

The system was shown interoperating with the Harris Media Client, the Masstech MassStore, MassProxy MPEG-4 autocoding and MassBrowse; nonlinear editing via Pinnacle Liquid blue, Harris Louth automation system and generation of real-time broadcast graphics overlays using the vizrt command pilot.

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