NVMe In the Studio; For 8K and Beyond

Moore’s law has overtaken modern film and video production in multiple dimensions. Resolution, frame-rate and color 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 revolution in high-resolution uncompressed workflows has overwhelmed the throughput capabilities of legacy Fibre Channel and Scale-Out NAS storage, making it increasingly unaffordable to use traditional RAID-based storage hardware to deliver performance to workstations and servers.

Fortunately, a simultaneous revolution is occurring in storage, delivering new levels of breakthrough performance.

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PixStor with Excelero NVMesh® for 8K Workflows and Beyond

That revolution is NVMe, the astonishingly fast interface protocol that bypasses legacy storage bottlenecks, getting data directly to servers and high-end workstations with no speed bumps. But left on their own, local workstation NVMe drives are under-utilized, non-redundant and individually managed. Pixit Media PixStor with Excelero NVMesh takes NVMe drives in individual servers, or dedicated storage servers, and virtualizes them into aggregated volumes that can be rapidly accessed as a shared resource by multiple clients over simple Ethernet. Excelero NVMesh with PixStor uniquely delivers centralized management, redundancy and high utilization rates, while maintaining local NVMe performance.

A Single Namespace with Extreme Performance

Editing, finishing and VFX applications can now enjoy the low latency, high throughput and IOPS of a local NVMe device while getting the benefits of centralized, redundant storage. The combined Pixit Media PixStor and Excelero NVMesh solution provides a single namespace for applications that demand extreme performance. As shown below, a near-line tier can be added using traditional storage arrays with PixStor’s data placement policy engine to automatically tier data to lower cost storage for high capacity requirements – with workflows extending to the cloud.

Pixit Media Excelero Single Namespace 8K+ Cloud Integrated Architecture

Blazingly Fast

Bypass storage server bottlenecks to deliver the highest possible performance, accelerating uncompressed 8K and beyond workflows

Software Defined Future-Proof Architecture

Studios can keep up with ever-expanding resolution, frame-rate and color depths though incremental improvements in commodity server, network and NVMe storage technology over time “for free”, without having to disruptively tear out proprietary hardware and start again

Maximum Throughput to a Single Client

Over 20 GB/s single stream performance to a workstation or server over Ethernet

Super Simple Hardware

PixStor and NVMesh use off the shelf commodity hardware with no bespoke components

Performance Scales Linearly

Aggregate performance scales linearly by simply adding more NVMesh target nodes and NVMe drives

Near Zero Overhead

There is almost zero overheard on either the client or NVMesh target server delivering the performance to the client, leaving CPU and memory almost 100% available for applications

Removing Legacy Bottlenecks to Deliver Maximum Performance

PixStor Excelero NVMesh volumes are served out over 100 Gb Ethernet, through standard 100 GbE Mellanox Spectrum Ethernet switches. With Excelero NVMesh, there are no bottlenecks from RAID controllers or proprietary hardware. With all those legacy layers removed, all that remains is the raw speed of the NVMe SSD, the speed of the PCI bus on the server and the speed of the network connection. 

Low Power and Space Needs

Performance rates as high as 40 GB/s per U of rack space, important in M+E environments where space and power are often expensive and in short supply

Data Placement Policy Engine

Unique to PixStor with Excelero is the ability to intelligently tier data to lower cost storage automatically based on policy

Easy Setup and Management

Setting up NVMesh is simple with automated deployment as part of the PixStor stack and an intuitive GUI enhances the management experience

Readily Support Future Workflows

Be ready for the future by harnessing the power of a hardware agnostic strategy – driving down costs and enabling enduring flexibility

Compute Resources Go to Applications, Not Storage

Other NVMe solutions force the computation 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

No More Barriers

From a reliability and performance perspective, the shackles are off, PixStor with NVMesh has removed all barriers to delivering performance at scale

Linearly Scalable Aggregate Performance

Aggregate performance scales linearly by simply adding more NVMesh target nodes and NVMe drives. The table shows what can be achieved in terms of stream counts from a typical 3 NVMesh target starter configuration (60 GB/s), which can fit in as little as 2U of rack space.

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A Completely Software Defined Future-Proof Architecture

PixStor with Excelero is deployed on software-defined, open standard hardware, with no vendor lock-in, and includes most data protection services at no extra charge – providing media organizations economic advantage and more purchasing power, now and in the future. Being completely software defined, Studios investing in the Pixit Media Excelero solution can keep up with ever-expanding resolution, frame-rate and color depths though 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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