NAB 2011: Harmonic Lowers Cost of Storage with new Version of Omneon MediaGrid

At NAB 2011, Harmonic will showcase a new version of the Omneon MediaGrid active storage system that lowers the cost-of-storage capacity. The new system is the combination of new scale-out storage hardware, the ContentServer 3000, and a new version (v3.0) of the Omneon MediaGrid file system software that features integrated software RAID for efficient and smart data protection. According to Harmonic, these advances, combined with the online scaling capability and integration with leading media applications, will enable users to deploy central storage without trading performance, scalability, or interoperability for lower storage costs.

“Omneon MediaGrid is being used as shared storage by content producers and broadcasters worldwide in file-based workflows for its high performance, continuous scalability, and seamless integration with media applications,” says Geoff Stedman, SVP for corporate marketing at Harmonic. “With this reduction in the cost of Omneon MediaGrid storage, we’re now extending our value proposition and giving customers a high-end storage product for a wider range of media workflows.”

The new ContentServer 3000 hardware is an ideally sized building block for a continuously expandable central storage system. Its 3RU form factor houses 16 3.5-inch SATA2 hot-swappable hard disk drives (HDDs) and has dual active-active controllers for high availability. This hardware, when powered by the Omneon MediaGrid file system software, allows for rapid system expansion without worries about forklift hardware upgrades or long and error-prone content migrations. Users can start with a few terabytes in capacity and, without taking the system offline, seamlessly grow to multiple petabytes. The system linearly scales bandwidth as new capacity is added.

The version 3.0 of Omneon MediaGrid file system software has built-in software RAID to deliver very high levels of storage efficiency while still ensuring fast application performance and high availability. It offers both RAID6 (dual-parity) and RAID4 (single-parity) options, enabling users to balance storage capacity with performance based on their workflow needs. A key differentiation of the Omneon MediaGrid file system, the file system driver (FSD) client-side software will continue to provide applications with fast and parallel access to data distributed across multiple ContentServers, unlike the slow and serial access to content provided by generic NAS or clustered NAS systems. With no special license cost associated to the file system driver, users can deploy these software agents on as many clients and servers as they would like without worrying about license costs.

According to Harmonic, extensive application-level testing of the Omneon MediaGrid with leading media ingest, editing, transcoding, and automation applications ensures a higher level of interoperability and reliability not available with generic IT storage products. Tight integration with Omneon Media Application Server™ (MAS) provides a content-aware view of the file system and enables automation of workflow tasks associated with content production, verification, and archiving. Likewise, tight integration between our Rhozet transcoding applications and MediaGrid ensures fast, scalable media processing performance. This significantly reduces both workflow complexity and the time required to produce finished content.

The new version of Omneon MediaGrid will be on display at the 2011 NAB (booth SL2005) as part of Harmonic’s range of production and playout solutions.