Leading Creative Professionals Standardizing on Archion Synergy HDu To Expand Avid Unity MediaNetwork 5.1 Systems


Affordable, Reliable RAID Protection on Tap at Craig Murray Productions and Philo Television

Last Updated: August 5, 2009 6:14 pm GMT
(Burbank, California--August 5, 2009) Continuing to strengthen its leadership position in delivering storage solutions to the world’s leading creative professionals, Archion has announced that Craig Murray Productions here in Burbank, CA, and Philo Television in San Francisco, CA, have added Archion Synergy HDu® Storage Systems to expand their Avid Unity® MediaNetwork 5.1 shared storage networks.

“We are delighted that these two innovative companies, as well as so many other leading agencies, post houses, studios and broadcasters, are part of our growing Synergy HDu family,” said Daniel A. Stern, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Archion.

“This is strong confirmation of our company’s continuing success in providing a hardware RAID storage solution that works seamlessly with all Avid Unity systems from 3.x through 5.x and fits into any type of creative workflow,” added Reuben Lima, Founder and Chief Operating Officer for Archion.

One of Hollywood’s top motion picture advertising companies, Craig Murray Productions specializes in theatrical trailers, television and print campaigns for major movie studio releases, such as Up, Pixar’s tenth consecutive #1 film.

With the single goal of helping a movie open well at the box office, the company often creates multiple versions of trailers and television spots. To store all of those versions and the original source material, Craig Murray Productions has between 16 and 42 terabytes (TB) of Archion storage on its Avid Unity MediaNetwork 5.1 system in each facility, explained Jim Van Loo, System Design Engineer at Craig Murray Productions. The company chose Archion’s Synergy HDu to expand those systems and gain the benefit of affordable hardware RAID storage.

“We looked at other companies, but Archion’s Synergy HDu offered us a clear choice in affordable and stable RAID Level 5 storage for our Unity system,” said Stuart Boone, Corporate Vice President of Operations and Security at Craig Murray Productions. “It also enabled us to maintain the performance of our existing Unity servers without requiring any upgrade to our existing infrastructure.”

Philo Television has adopted Archion's Synergy HDu to expand its Avid Unity Media Network 5.1 up to 48 TB of storage. Philo Television is the post production division of Lieberman Productions, the marketing and direct response production company behind many major brand successes, including Proactiv Solution, Principal Secret and Sheer Cover. Lieberman Productions was recently acquired by Guthy-Renker, the world’s largest direct response television company with annual sales of more than $1.8 billion.

According to Evan Stewart, Chief Technology Officer at Philo Television, they first looked at Archion as a more affordable storage alternative than just continuing to add more Avids to their Unity system.

“The Synergy HDu requires far fewer drives than Avid to deliver higher capacities and resolutions, enabling us to have far more protected and usable storage at a fraction of the cost of an Avid storage system,” said Stewart. “At the same time, it’s fully compatible with our existing system. The Unity saw the Synergy HDu immediately, and we were good to go. It’s transparent to the Unity system.”

Once the Synergy HDu was up and running, Stewart quickly learned another benefit of having hardware RAID backup beyond affordability.

“RAID adds protection and a lot of extra capacity,” he explained. “We don’t have to mirror now that we use Archion’s RAID. This has actually resulted in more storage because we rely on Archion’s RAID, rather than Avid’s mirroring, to protect our files. The RAID requires a fraction of the storage that mirroring does.”

The Synergy HDu
An addition to the Archion Synergy family of Fibre Channel RAID storage products, which includes a solution for Avid’s LANshareä, the Synergy HDu extends the Synergy HD abilities to a full 400 MB/sec bandwidth and increases its capacity to 16 TB in a compact three rack-unit design with 16 drive chassis. Keeping with the Synergy standard of legacy compatibility, it allows existing Unity networks to be expanded without expensive upgrades, and it will continue to work with the new system when it’s ready to be upgraded.

Archion's patent pending Vdisk™ intelligence is the “compatibility engine” that drives the Synergy HD family and ensures compatibility in the future. The award-winning Vdisk™ technology establishes full compatibility with Avid Unity MediaNetworks 3.x through 5.x with the flexibility to support 1 GB, 2 GB and 4 GB Unity infrastructure.

All Synergy HDu systems can be pre-configured; they can just be plugged into a storage port on the Unity and a data set can be added or created.

With its built-in hardware RAID, the Synergy HDu manages storage more efficiently and consistently checks, identifies and automatically rebuilds a faulty drive so the rest of the network is unaffected by the drive failure and data flow remains constant. Clients continue to work, log off and log on as normal without interfering with the Unity operation.

The Synergy HDu RAID controls and manages the disk drives, RAID sets and Archion's Vdisks™ in a more efficient manner, requiring far fewer drives than Avid storage subsystems to deliver higher capacities and resolutions. Hardware RAID can mean more protected usable storage at as much as one-third the retail cost of protected Avid storage.

In addition, the Synergy HDu hardware RAID controller provides better protection with less storage overhead than Unity. The RAID Level 5 protection in a 12 TB Synergy HDu gives approximately 9 TB of useable storage -- 60% more than mirroring.

The Archion storage solutions are all designed for post production and graphical design requirements, including DI (2K, 4K) and uncompressed HD workflows. Ranging from completely integrated, full-featured storage area network (SAN) solutions to highly compatible, uniquely intelligent, add-on RAID storage systems for other popular SANs, Archion’s advanced solutions are all powered by the award-winning Vdisk™ technology for a more flexible and scalable experience.

About Archion
Archion Technologies, based in Burbank, CA, is a leading provider of intelligent networked storage solutions specifically designed for post production and graphic professionals. Founded by a team of post production, technology and entertainment industry professionals in 1999, Archion set out to create a new standard of data protection and performance for those creating video, audio and graphical content. Since then, Archion’s high-performance storage technology has been critical to the success of hundreds of TV and feature film projects and is prominently used in Avid, Apple, Adobe, Autodesk and Pro Tools environments. http://www.archion.com


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