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NVMe In the Studio: For 8K and Beyond

By September 25, 2018 No Comments

We’re pleased to have a guest post from Maz Lopez and Michael Li of Boston Limited

The broadcast industry is evolving at a staggering rate, and it is up to technology providers to keep up with the demand for fast, reliable and scalable technology. Last week, the Boston Flash-IO Talyn was demonstrated on the Pixit Media stand at IBC, powered by Excelero NVMesh® and PixStor.

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The demonstration on the booth showcased a solution for the data challenge of high-end editing, finishing, and visual effects. The Flash-IO Talyn is an all-Micron NVMe hardware solution that employs technologies such as RoCE v2 and 100Gbit/s EDR InfiniBand or 100GbE from Mellanox’s Connect-X 5 range; processor overhead and latency is kept low, whilst bandwidth is plentiful.

The software stack for the solution features Excelero NVMesh (elastic NVMe) with PixStor to create a distributed block layer that allows unmodified applications to utilise pooled NVMe storage devices across a network at local speeds and latencies. Distributed NVMe storage resources are pooled with the ability to create arbitrary, dynamic block volumes that can be utilised by any host running the NVMesh block client.

These virtual volumes can be striped, mirrored or both while enjoying centralised management, monitoring and administration so that applications for editing, finishing and VFX can now benefit from low latency, high throughput and millions of IOPS as though coming from local NVMe.

Pixit Media say “Moore’s law has overtaken modern film and video production in multiple dimensions. Resolution, frame-rate and colour depth are all on the march simultaneously. The arms race for clearer, crisper, more lifelike content is here and whatever image quality producers demand today is guaranteed to be obsolete tomorrow – driving the demand to create content now that will be future proof for years to come. “

The solution, as tested by Pixit has measured over 20 GB/s to a single server or workstation from an NVMesh system using only 2 X 100 Gb Ethernet connection. Comparably, throughput requirements under 10 GB/s can be delivered with only a single cable and card. Other NVMe solutions force the computational overhead of the volume placement on the client itself, providing lots of performance, but little resource left for applications to do anything with that performance. Unique to PixStor with Excelero is the ability to intelligently tier data to lower cost storage automatically based on policy.

8k and Beyond for Video - Mellanox Pixitmedia Excelero BostonPixStor with Excelero on Boston Flash-IO Talyn provides the performance needed so combined VFX, finishing and editing workloads can all run at maximum speed to improve the user experience for editors and artists. PixStor with Excelero is deployed on software-defined, open standard Boston Flash-IO Talyn hardware, and includes most data protection services at no extra charge – providing media organisations economic advantage and more purchasing power, now and in the future. The underpinning technology is completely software defined so, studios investing in the solution can keep up with ever-expanding resolution, frame-rate and colour depths through incremental improvements in commodity server, network and NVMe storage technology over time, without having to disruptively tear out proprietary hardware and start over.

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