10 reasons why it’s time to consider shared storage

Collaborative media storage will radically boost your company’s efficiency

Filip Milovanovic
Post-production expert,

The issue of storage is usually one of the first hurdles a professional will encounter on entering the exciting and fast paced world of video editing. The reason for this is more often than not linked to rapid developments in media technology and consumer desire for a more immersive experience. With the Internet now running 4K as standard and with film production shifting towards 6K and 8K productions, the industry is experiencing seismic changes that produce both positive and negative results. For example, super sharp picture quality can often result in high data rates that will consume all of a drives space within hours or even minutes, depending on the primary codec used. The solution for most people here is to simply switch to using external hard drives, but this can often cause further problems especially as a company begins to expand. This is where a switch from local to shared storage should be considered and what follows is a quick overview of how ELEMENTS storage solutions could help your business.

1. Collaboration and flexibility

With a move towards shared storage a company can effectively draw a line under endless file copying and hard drive juggling, whilst simultaneously boosting productivity through heightened collaboration. Every user with sufficient access permissions will be able to access shared projects and media files on the storage, whilst functions such as Avid Bin Lockingand Premiere Project sharing guarantee that no one is able to overwrite anyone else’s work. These advantages can all be realised through the introduction of an ELEMENTS storage solution, every one of which is fully functional across all operating systems – colour grading Macs, Windows based edit suits and Linux based Autodesk Flame suits each working flawlessly within the same environment.

2. Save time and money

Shared storage is the most efficient way to store your media assets. This is because the files will not need to be copied in order for you to grant your colleagues access to them. This improvement in workflow will result in time saved and enhanced storage space, due to the fact that no duplicates of your media files are created. Projects and media files will be available to view and work with across all computers on the network, which removes the need for edit suites to be blocked by long exports or transcode processes (tasks that can be offloaded onto free or dedicated machines).

3. Reliability and data integrity

Whilst working with local storage, a hard drive failure can be disastrous and can easily endanger a project. ELEMENTS systems on the other hand are configured in such a way as to provide maximum security for your valuable media. Multiple hard drives can fail without compromising data integrity and can be swapped out without any system downtime.

4. Central management and archiving

Keeping track of external hard drives, backing up files and making sure that they aren’t compromised are tasks that can become impossible as the number of drives increases. In an ideal scenario, a single system would allow specific users to perform all data and user management tasks and to provide a clear overview at any time, which is something all ELEMENTS systems can offer. In addition to this, ELEMENTS helps to make file archiving easy. Your assets can be archived in the cloud, separate nearline storage or on cost-effective LTO tapes by using LTFS. The elegant integration into the user interface helps to make single file archiving as well as whole workspace archiving achievable, with little to no effort. Restoring files is just as straight forward, reliable and intuitive.

5. Highest performance and scalability

Simply put, some of the more demanding video production workflows are extremely difficult or virtually impossible using a single hard drive. This is especially true in relation to VFX and high-resolution workflows that often require Fibre Channel. Shared storage solutions also scale considerably better than local storage. Should your company require further storage capacity or performance at any point in time, an ELEMENTS shared storage environment could easily be expanded, often without any downtime. Scaling the system to your current needs doesn’t require any changes in your workflow.

6. Unique benefits of ELEMENTS systems

ELEMENTS systems have been developed using years of media industry experience. These systems offer advanced software tools that have been developed with our clients in mind. Through ongoing and close working relations with our client base we are able to continuously reshape and enhance our products, offering unrivalled solutions that enable enhanced productivity. Our Media Library, Workflow automation and AI Search have all been tailored with media workflows in mind.


7. Workflow Automation

Up to now, the configuration of workflow automation was seen by many as a daunting and intimidating task, one reserved primarily for IT specialists and people with in-depth coding knowledge. ELEMENTS rewrites the rulebook here, by providing a smart, powerful and easy-to-use task manager that enables simple, straightforward and painless workflow automation, with little to no coding skills required. Users can choose from a variety of pre-defined actions to be executed – or create their own with a few simple actions. The Workflow Automation engine is a part of every ELEMENTS system and has the power to greatly speed up your everyday tasks and eliminate errors.

8. Media Library

ELEMENTS Media Library is your own, on-premise Media Asset Manager. Above all else, Media library provides users with the possibility of rating the content, creating comments and subclips and using the integrated roughcut editor to pre cut your material. The sequences created in the roughcut editor can simply be opened in Adobe Premiere Pro and will contain all edits as well as timecode-related comments left on the clips. This function bridges the communication gap between the editorial staff and the editors and lowers the possibility of misunderstanding. Using our Media Library Premiere Pro plugin lets editors import the footage without ever leaving the application.

Through an easy setup, Media Library can be made accessible from the Internet and will allow you to share your media assets with custom defined access permissions. This also means that the employees of your company can work from anywhere in the world simply by using the web browser, without requiring an individual license.


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9. AI Search

Imagine a technology that can access your files and search them for predefined objects such as cigarettes and then clearly mark them so that they can easily be found. Or one that can locate all of the faces appearing in a clip and then blur out certain ones. This and so much more is possible with the ELEMENTS AI Engine, a piece of software that eliminates the need for a company to outsource the processing of data and enables a fully automated search that doesn’t require any input after the initial configuration of the processing criteria. These enhancements in workflow all help to build a powerful and searchable archive of material.

10. Experience in consulting

ELEMENTS systems have formed an integral part of countless cutting-edge post-production and broadcasting workflows the world over. With ELEMENTS, you will benefit from having seasoned storage professionals by your side, supporting you with your next big project whilst also helping to accommodate your future growth. An ELEMENTS system is a reliable and powerful storage environment that allows you to focus more on the tasks at hand and the overall project.

If you or your company are interested in moving over to ELEMENTS storage solutions then please do get in touch. Our professionals are here to answer all of your questions and to help guide you through the process.


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