One System, One Interface, One Price – and One Login!
Platform is very aptly named.
Instead of being just another shared storage server, it truly is a platform on which you can share, manage, catalog, backup and archive your digital media.
This means that instead of buying, installing, learning, and maintaining multiple applications to do this, like we have done traditionally, it is all under one single login and user interface. This simplifies the ‘meta-work’ that you as an editor or facility manger have to deal with and lets you get on with the task of creating media. We almost think that we should give our ‘fueling creativity’ line to ProMAX …
Backup, Archive, and Sync:
At Z Systems, we are huge fans of Archiware’s P5 suite of backup, archive, and synchronization tools. They are rock solid. They are super powerful. But guess what? They aren’t cheap (they shouldn’t be), they have their own web UI to learn, and then of course you have an annual fee for software updates and support. P5 has a great API (application programming interface) so that other programs can talk to it, but that is still a complicated task. If you need a super powerful backup archive and sync application, P5 is it. It can scale to many many servers, storage targets, disk, tape, cloud, you name it. Their support is steller. But guess what? most of our customers are using about 10% of the application.
Media Asset Management:
CatDV & Cantemo are the undisputed leaders here. If you need hard core media asset management – i.e. it is woven into every step of your production process, including editing, rough cuts, review and approvals, etc. , you should buy either one. They are super powerful. Having said that, so many of our customers are simply tagging their camera master folders, finished projects, and have a library of ‘evergreen’ or commonly used assets. Platform can do all of that at a fraction of the cost and complexity – all from the same web UI you use for your shared storage management – including proxy generation!
Once again, if you need a super powerful transcoding server, Telestream’s Vantage is the obvious choice. It is amazing. But what if you need something a little more than Apple’s Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder? What if you don’t want to tie up an editing workstation to do day to day automated transcoding? Well, your platform server is sitting there with power to spare, and a newly, completely rewritten transcoding engine. We can also beef it up with extra memory, an NVIDIA GPU, and processors with more cores. Yet another UI, learning curve, and software support contract you don’t have to pay for, and another server you don’t have to purchase and maintain.
They didn’t skimp in this area either. The whole range of options is available from the Platform Portable, which lets you reuse your existing Thunderbolt or SAS RAID, to the Nearline series which gives you tons of inexpensive, somewhat slower storage (up to 288 TB per chassis), to the more traditional 8, 12, 16, 24, 36, and 48 drive servers, hybrid SSD / spinning disks servers for 4K DPX workflows, and a completely rewritten and redone archive only appliance (they purchased Cache-A and re-did it right). It’s an amazing range of choices, and they all use the same web user interface.
Oh, and they all talk to each other seamlessly, so scaling isn’t an issue at all.
Platform is a family of servers designed to enhance your digital media workflow. These include backup and archive, fast shared online and offline servers.
The real benefit of Platform is that your shared storage, asset, archive, backup, After Effects rendering, and transcoding management is all under one simplified user interface. Gone are the days of trying to get 3 or 4 different software environments to efficiently work together!