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  1. Leading Advertising Company Decreases Rendering Time from Hours to Minutes with Small Tree’s ThunderNET2

    June 17, 2014 by Joe DiBenedetto

    10GbE Solution Allows Company to Scrub Across 4k with No Network Bottlenecks

    SpotCo

    POST April 2014    |    POST June 2014

    New York City, June 17, 2014 — As a worldwide leader in entertainment and arts advertising, SpotCo faces tight deadlines that are often measured in seconds, not minutes. To ensure that file read times during post-production meet their demanding requirements, SpotCo recently installed the ThunderNET2 networking solution by Small Tree and the system’s performance has been much appreciated by its editing team.

    “The SpotCo video department is extremely happy with the ThunderNET2 and the 4 port Ethernet 10 gigabit (10GbE) card from Small Tree in our video server,” said Andy Bond, Video Editor with SpotCo, best known for their work with Broadway hits like Chicago, Kinky Boots and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. “We’re doing things like scrubbing across near 4k videos in After Effects and Premier with absolutely no network bottlenecks. No delays, hiccups, nothing. This has taken rendering from over an hour on 1GbE to a few minutes using 10GbE. And, opening a complicated 13Gb file from 20 minutes to less than a minute!  We couldn’t be happier thanks to Small Tree!”

    Created to support post-production pros’ increased processing power available with newly available products, including the Mac Pro 2013 machines at SpotCo, ThunderNET2 opens up a whole world of possibilities. Combining high performance I/O capabilities of Thunderbolt™ 2 with the flexibility of PCIe and Small Tree’s industry-leading 10GbE driver, Small Tree’s ThunderNET2 provides creative media professionals a cost effective solution to integrate Thunderbolt equipped platforms into high performance storage and data networks.

    “Prior to installing ThunderNET2, SpotCo’s editors were working off a 10GbE switch, but were limited to 1GbE at the workstation and there was no way to get the info to the computers from the server quickly enough,” said Todd Miller, IT Manager with SpotCo. “Then the ThunderNET2 and 4 port 10GbE card from Small Tree came in and everything changed. That’s huge for anyone in the ad business, where completed projects have to be delivered by a certain deadline, otherwise, you could miss out on thousands of dollars.”

    ThunderNET2 boasts the widest range of 1 or 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to Thunderbolt equipped systems from Apple and HP, providing higher levels of network performance and connecting seamlessly to Small Tree’s Ethernet shared storage appliance, TitaniumZ, or 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches. ThunderNET2 can also provide additional Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the user’s current network.

    Adding network bandwidth to any computer with a Thunderbolt™ 2 port, Small Tree’s ThunderNET2 can be configured to support specific requirements, allowing customers to select the proper amount of bandwidth to meet both workflow demands and budgets.

    “In this business, there’s really no one else to consider other than Small Tree for solutions like this,” Miller stated. “They’re number one when it comes to writing software drivers for Mac users, which is really important. They know the ins and outs of 10GbE, and that knowledge can make a big difference in a smaller shop.”

    For more information on ThunderNET2, or any of Small Tree’s cost-effective shared storage and networking solutions, visit www.Small-Tree.com. Follow Small Tree on LinkedIn, www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or @smalltreecomm.


  2. Wheaton Bible Church a Believer in Small Tree Shared Storage

    June 5, 2014 by Joe DiBenedetto

    Performance and Simplicity of Use Ideal for Growing House of Worship

    Wheaton Bible Church_Workstation Wide

    Chicago, June 5, 2014 — Often facing deadline lead times that are hours long, not days, Wheaton Bible Church’s video-editing team recently shifted from portable USB drives to GraniteSTOR Titanium8, an Ethernet-based shared storage solution from Small Tree.

    Located in the suburbs of Chicago, Wheaton features a congregation of nearly 4,000 members spread across several different ministries. To maximize engagement with its congregation, Wheaton develops its own content, capturing video with a DLSR camera and editing across Adobe Creative Suite and Final Cut Pro. With an abundance of raw footage to edit and working against extreme deadlines, Wheaton needed an alternative to swapping files via USB hard drives across its workstations.

    Shelton Thompson, Technical Director at Wheaton reached out to Serial Scene, a Chicago based Small Tree partner, to provide consultation, system design and installation for the new Titanium8 shared storage system.

    “Our operation is far more efficient since installing the Titanium,” Thompson said. “We’re not waiting on files to load in and out to keep our workflow moving. Most of our projects are last minute and we have to turn them around quickly to be ready for viewing, whether it’s for one of our services or our website.”

    Featuring eight workstations consisting of iMacs, Macbook Pros, Mac Pros and a PC connected to the Titanium8, Wheaton’s editing team has been impressed by the Small Tree system’s simplicity and robust performance.

    “We have so many people that can be jumping in and working on a video project – including a lot of volunteers – so it was important to have a solid solution that everyone could use,” Thompson stated. “On the performance side, we have a lot of raw footage, so Small Tree’s shared storage has been great for centralizing everything, bringing that cataloging feature we needed to find files quickly and access simultaneously.”

    Titanium8 is a 2U rack-mount solution providing scalable and highly configurable options to meet the needs of editing groups of all sizes. Titanium supports popular editing software such as Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Creative Suite, while enabling Windows, Linux, Macintosh and Unix clients to share media files. The shared storage appliance supports multiple file Protocols, including AFP, Samba, NFS and iSCSI.

    Titanium8 is built on a customized open source operating system that was designed to be easy-to-use,  feature rich and reliable, while providing exceptional performance. Storage can be made available to users within minutes of initial startup and the powerful and convenient Web-based GUI makes management of the system straightforward and simple. Titanium8 supports file and volume replication as well as tape
    backup.  By using a Web-based browser, Titanium8 can be managed from anywhere with an Internet connection, providing optimal convenience to post-production professionals facing tight deadlines.

    For more information about Small Tree and its growing line of shared storage and networking products, visit www.small-tree.com. Follow Small Tree on LinkedIn, www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or @SmallTreeComm.


  3. Leading Experimental Production Company Pushing Composites up to 20K with Small Tree Shared Storage System

    May 19, 2014 by Joe DiBenedetto

    TitaniumZ-16 and ThunderNET Solutions Making a Huge Difference for Editing Team

    STPressPhotoOpt3_PPTeam

    STPressPhotoOpt1 STPressPhotoOpt2

     New York City, May 20, 2014 — Dedicated to standing out in the world of experimental art by virtue of its technical and artistic rigor, 3-Legged Dog has carved out its place as a leading creator of experimental multimedia productions. Located in New York City, 3-Legged Dog recently installed a TitaniumZ-16 shared storage system and ThunderNET solution from Small Tree to accommodate the substantial amount of content the company’s editing team must work with on each project.

    “We’re pushing an insane amount of data – like composites up to 20K,” said Cameron Vokey, line producer at 3-Legged Dog. “With seven compositors working in composites between 4 and 20k, we needed a solution that would open up 10 gigabit Ethernet for us and that’s what the TitaniumZ-16 in tandem with ThunderNET did. It’s pretty impressive.”

    A 501(c)(3) company, 3-Legged Dog handles projects for a wide variety of notable clients, ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Express to Michael Kors and Lady Gaga.

    3LD shoots primarily with RED Scarlet and RED Epic Dragon cameras.  Leveraging Adobe After Effect’s outstanding capability to process native R3D files, playing directly off the TitaniumZ16, 3LD is able to greatly compress the time and simplify the editing process by eliminating the need for intermediate codecs. According to Vokey, the main composite size is over 35 million pixels per frame.

    The company’s editing setup currently includes nine Mac-based workstations (and six render nodes) running Adobe Creative Suite connected to a 48TB shared storage server designed by Small Tree to provide high performance sharing. TitaniumZ includes simplified setup and management, RAID protection for multimedia editing and Small Tree’s industry-leading tech support.

    “The system came in, I got on the phone with Small Tree and configured it quickly,” Vokey stated. “It’s incredibly easy to learn. On top of that, Small Tree’s customer service has been like the server itself…extremely reliable.”

    TitaniumZ systems offer optimal flexibility with the capability to work across multiple protocols (AFP, SMB, NFS and iSCSI) and platforms, including Adobe Creative Suite, Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro

    Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro 7, Apple Final Cut Pro X, and Blackmagic Design Davinci Resolve. Available
    in a variety of flexible and scalable configurations, TitaniumZ can meet the demands of today’s 4K workflows whether they’re using Red, Arri or Phantom.

    “It sounds crazy, but we shoot a number of performances in 3D,” Vokey remarked. “We want to be able to edit that footage onsite with our own equipment and the TitaniumZ and ThunderNET systems will enable us to do so. The project we’re currently working on is so large that it almost entirely consumed the 48TBs and we had to stay vigilant in deleting files towards the end. But we know where to go when we need to get cranking on the next one.”

    For more information about Small Tree and its growing line of shared storage and networking products, visit www.small-tree.com. Follow Small Tree on LinkedIn, www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or @SmallTreeComm.


  4. Small Tree Unveils its Own Storage Operating System and Project Sharing Interface at NAB 2014 to Strengthen Company’s Shared Storage Solutions

    March 28, 2014 by Joe DiBenedetto

    ZenOS and Project Wrangler Deliver Super Fast Access to Video Editors

    3U_TitaniumZ with ZenOS

    Oakdale, Minn., March 27, 2014 — At this year’s NAB, Small Tree (Booth SL11105) will unveil  its own storage operating system and new Interface to strengthen their already robust TitaniumZ all-in-one, real-time, Ethernet-based shared storage systems.

    Based on FreeBSD 10, Small Tree’s ZenOS operating system provides video editing teams using TitaniumZ with even better performance by capitalizing on Samba 4 and Native Avid Media sharing high speed multipath iSCSI support for super fast access from individual clients. Small Tree’s newly developed Graphical User Interface, Project Wrangler, is an iSCSI sharing tool that allows users to create, mount and share iSCSI projects quickly and easily, while also enabling Active Directory and Open Directory support for seamless integration, as well as NFS support for Avid and Final Cut X project and library sharing.

    “Talk to video editors and you learn quickly that what they want most of all are intuitive tools that eliminate waiting around for access to files and minimizing rendering times,” said Steve Modica, Small Tree’s Chief Technology Officer. “We developed ZenOS and Project Wrangler to ensure our TitaniumZ shared storage systems provide optimal performance and efficiency unmatched throughout the industry.”

    Small Tree’s TitaniumZ is capable of supporting up to 24 video editing workstations without needing an Ethernet switch, and was designed and tested to provide maximum performance for real-time video editing workflows.

    Offered in three scalable models – TitaniumZ-5, TitaniumZ-8 and TitaniumZ-16 – Small Tree’s popular shared storage product can be configured with up to 20 10GbE ports or 24 GbE ports with storage capacities (raw) from 10TB to 1PB (Petabyte). TitaniumZ can be upgraded on-site through advanced ZFS technology, which enables servers to seamlessly integrate newly added storage while keeping existing files intact.

    Providing high performance sharing, quickly and directly from the RAID, TitaniumZ systems include simplified setup and management, RAID protection for multimedia editing and Small Tree’s industry-leading tech support. Creative teams will feel the difference in increased performance and productivity immediately with any of Small Tree’s all-in-one systems featuring ZenOS and Project Wrangler.

    TitaniumZ was designed to be simple to setup and manage. The storage can be made available to users within minutes of initial startup, while the powerful and convenient browser-based Project Wrangler interface makes management of TitaniumZ straightforward. Using Project Wrangler, TitaniumZ can be managed from anywhere with an Internet connection.

    All three TitaniumZ systems offer optimal flexibility with the capability to work across multiple protocols (AFP, SMB, NFS and iSCSI) and platforms, including Adobe Creative Suite, Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro 7, Apple Final Cut Pro X, and Blackmagic Design Davinci Resolve. Available in a variety of drive configurations, from 5 to 144 disks, with multiple network scalability options, Small Tree’s newest line of shared storage solutions can meet the demands of today’s 4K workflows whether they’re using Red, Arri or Phantom.

    For more information on TitaniumZ featuring ZenOS and Project Wrangler, visit Small Tree at NAB (SL11105) or www.Small-Tree.com. Follow Small Tree LinkedIn, www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or @smalltreecomm.


  5. Small Tree Introduces Specialty Thunderbolt 2 Gigabit Connectivity Solutions

    March 20, 2014 by Steve Modica

    New Line Up Works Seamlessly for Mac and Windows Systems

    Oakdale, Minn., March 20, 2014 — With its high performance I/O capabilities, Thunderbolt™ 2 is an extremely attractive tool for post-production professionals seeking to optimize productivity and efficiency. To further strengthen the workflow environment for those relying on Thunderbolt™ 2, Small Tree is introducing a new line up of specialty Gigabit connectivity solutions that work seamlessly with Mac and Windows systems.

    “Small Tree has updated its current Gigabit chip to the new Intel i350, which gives our customers a new range of features for supporting Thunderbolt™ 2 performance and power specifications,” said Steve Modica, Small Tree’s Chief Technology Officer.  “These new cards allow us to offer a wider range of products for connecting Mac or Windows systems with Thunderbolt™ 2 ports into optical and multiport environments for things like Link Aggregation, traffic monitoring and high security environments.”

    Highlighted by its recently introduced ThunderNET2 system, Small Tree’s Thunderbolt™ 2 inspired technologies add network bandwidth to any computer with a Thunderbolt port.  Features include the ability to daisy chain up to six devices to a single port on the host computer, whisper quiet normal operation and portable protection for any environment.

    ThunderNET2 provides creative media professionals a cost-effective option to integrate Thunderbolt equipped platforms into high performance storage and data networks. Small Tree designed the system, as well as it entire line of Gigabit connectivity solutions, to support post-production pros harnessing the increased processing power available in today’s all-in-one desktop and laptop computers.

    For more information on Small Tree’s line up of products dedicated to harnessing the full power of Thunderbolt™ 2, visit www.Small-Tree.com, or call 1-866-782-4622 for a price quote.

    Follow Small Tree on LinkedIn, www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or @smalltreecomm.


  6. Brand New Media Selects Shared Storage Solution from Small Tree

    March 17, 2014 by Steve Modica

    Multi-Office International Digital Media Company
    Accelerates Workflow with Plug and Play Implementation

    TitaniumZ16

    Singapore, March 17, 2014 Ideal Systems, an industry leading, multi-national systems integrator providing innovative solutions to broadcasting, telecoms and enterprise companies, recently integrated technology from Small Tree at Brand New Media’s broadcast facility in Singapore. Brand New Media (BNM) is a global digital media company that required a robust shared storage solution to accelerate its workflow without disruption to their infrastructure and manpower.

    “We came across Small Tree at the NAB conference (last year) and were really impressed by the company and their high performance networking and shared storage products,” said Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO at Ideal Systems Singapore. “They have a great blend of hardware and software skills that allow them to create unprecedented bandwidth to their storage devices. This is going to be vital for our customers in Asia, such as Brand New Media, as they start to build out their capacity for 4K Ultra HD production work flows.”

    Working with many of the world’s biggest brands and broadcasters including Seven Media Group, Prime Media Group, TVNZ, StarHub, the Health Promotion Board of Singapore and NTUC Fairprice, BNM provides turnkey solutions via the creation and distribution of new content via their transmedia channels  television and all connected devices. Before installing a Small Tree TitaniumZ-16 with 128TB to accommodate the company’s continued growth, BNM relied on a series of portable hard drives and a 32TB server to meet its storage needs.

    “Due to the nature of our business, BNM is constantly looking for  solutions that are cutting-edge yet cost-effective to expand our server space and Small Tree’s TitaniumZ storage systems offer just the performance we need,” stated Colin Ng, Broadcast Manager at Brand New Media. “We look forward to the upkeep of our infrastructure and automating our data and server management to an unparalleled degree.”

    Capable of supporting numerous multimedia content creation workstations with a highly flexible mix of gigabit Ethernet and 10 gigabit Ethernet configuration options featuring storage capacities (raw) from 10TB to 576TB (Terabyte), TitaniumZ is designed and tested to provide maximum performance for real-time video-editing workflows. BNM has its eight workstations – Mac and Windows – at its Singapore location, seamlessly running a variety of multimedia software applications, including Apple Final Cut

    Pro 7, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop. The shared storage system works flawlessly with the entire Adobe Creative Suite in addition to Apple Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Autodesk Smoke, offering creative facilities optimal flexibility.

    Available in a variety of drive configurations, from 5 to 144 supporting 16 to 144 concurrent ProRes 422 streams, with multiple network scalability options, and extremely easy to install, Small Tree’s TitaniumZ line of shared storage solutions can meet the demands of any facility, large or small.

    “The Small Tree system was simply ‘plug and play’,” said Colin Ng. “It happens to be one of the easiest pieces of hardware we have in our facility.”

    For more information about Small Tree and its growing line of shared storage and networking products, visit www.small-tree.com. Follow Small Tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or on Twitter @SmallTreeComm.

    About Brand New Media

    Brand New Media (BNM) is a global digital media company with offices and dedicated studios operating across Australia, Singapore, US and Europe. Brand New Media owns, creates and operates digital channels allowing leading brands to become broadcasters. Brand New Media’s ChannelPLAY platform delivers content and channels to all devices, anywhere and anytime, delivering an innovative and integrated marketing solution to brands. For more information, visit www.brandnewmedia.com.


  7. Small Tree to Showcase ThunderNET2 at NAB 2014

    March 4, 2014 by Steve Modica

    Capitalize on Thunderbolt 2™ Technology and Support
    4K Video File Transfer and Display SimultaneouslySmall Tree

    Oakdale, Minn., March 4, 2014 Small Tree, the Ethernet-based shared storage and networking specialist, will showcase its new ThunderNET2 solutions for post-production professionals at NAB 2014 (Booth SL11105). With ThunderNET2, users will be able to support 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously.

    Created to support post-production pros harnessing the increased processing power available in today’s all-in-one desktop and laptop computers, ThunderNET2 opens up a whole world of possibilities. Combining high performance I/O capabilities of Thunderbolt™ 2 with the flexibility of PCIe, Small Tree’s ThunderNET2 provides creative media professionals a cost effective solution to integrate Thunderbolt equipped platforms into high performance storage and data networks.

    ThunderNET2 features improvements to Small Tree’s ThunderNET solution introduced last year and which already has provided major performance enhancements for post-production companies. One company whose efficiency has been optimized with ThunderNET is 3-Legged Dog (3LD), a community-oriented and artist-run production and development studio for emerging and established artists and organizations that create large-scale experimental artworks of all kinds.

    “Using Small Tree’s ThunderNET, we’re pushing an insane amount of data – like composites up to 20K,” said Cameron Vokey, line producer at 3LD. “If we were using straight up Gigabit, this would not be happening. It needs to be as fast as Thunderbolt. We wouldn’t be getting the read/write speeds we’re achieving without ThunderNET.”

    ThunderNET2 boasts the widest range of 1 or 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to Mac Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air systems, providing higher levels of network performance and connecting seamlessly to Small Tree’s Ethernet shared storage appliance, TitaniumZ, or 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches. ThunderNET2 can also provide additional Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to the user’s current network.

    “With its more compact design combined with the 20% increase in performance, ThunderNET2 provides a very cost effective solution for Thunderbolt equipped systems,” said Corky Seeber, president of Small Tree. “Typically, these same systems don’t provide enough network connection flexibility for professionals in the creative fields. ThunderNET2 capitalizes on the new Thunderbolt™ 2 technology to create an affordable and extremely powerful solution for the post-production industry.”

    Adding network bandwidth to any computer with a Thunderbolt™ 2 port, Small Tree’s ThunderNET2 can be configured to support specific requirements, allowing customers to select the proper amount of bandwidth to meet both workflow demands and budgets.

    For more information on ThunderNET2, or any of Small Tree’s cost-effective shared storage and networking solutions, visit www.Small-Tree.com. Follow Small Tree on LinkedIn, www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or @smalltreecomm.


  8. Academy and Emmy Award-Nominated Documentary Director Chooses Shared Storage from Small Tree

    December 16, 2013 by Steve Modica

    Kirby Dick Selects TitaniumZ-8 for Use at Chain Camera Pictures  

    Kirby-Dick-Invisible-WarLos Angeles, Dec. 17, 2013 Kirby Dick, an Academy and Emmy Award-nominated documentary director, best known for his work on This Film is Not Yet Rated, The Invisible War and Twist of Faith, selected Small Tree’s TitaniumZ-8 shared storage system for installation at Chain Camera Pictures in Los Angeles. After the successful implementation of the TitaniumZ-8 in the editing suite at Chain Camera Pictures, Dick purchased another Small Tree system for installation in his office located about a quarter of a mile away.

    Offering the right levels of storage capacity and connectivity to keep creative professionals working efficiently, TitaniumZ-8 is built on an operating system that was customized to be easy to use, feature-rich and reliable, while performing at a high level. Customers can choose from an eight-drive system with 2TB drives or up to an 80-drive system with 4TB drives. Both Small Tree systems with Dick and Chain Camera Pictures offer 32 TBs of storage and are configured to accommodate 6 GbE clients.

    “We were using an older RAID system for storage and were in desperate need of an upgrade,” Dick stated. “Prior to installing the Small Tree systems we were duplicating media and creating up to 3 TBs of hard drive backups each week. Now with the server-based solution we don’t have to do that, which is far more efficient for me and my team.”

    One of the most attractive features of the TitaniumZ-8 to Dick and his team is the system’s flexibility in working across multiple protocols (AFP, SMB, NFS and iSCSI) and platforms, including Adobe Creative Suite, Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and Apple Final Cut Pro X. The team had been working with Final Cut 7, but is currently shifting to Adobe Premiere. In addition to its flexibility, the TitaniumZ-8’s scalability played an important part in the decision to purchase this solution.

    “While we’re kind of a boutique documentary production company, when you get in the thick of a project and start bringing in someone for art or to archive material, you want to have the capability to introduce additional seats as needed,” Dick said. “With the Small Tree appliances, I know that we’ll be able to add to our current configuration easily and cost-effectively.”

    TitaniumZ-8 provides high-performance sharing, quickly and directly from the RAID, features simplified setup and management, and RAID protection for multimedia editing, and includes Small Tree’s industry-leading tech support. Configurable with up to 20 10GbE ports or 24GbE ports with storage capacities
    (raw) from 10TB to 320TB, TitaniumZ-8 can be upgraded on site through advanced ZFS technology, which enables servers to seamlessly integrate newly added storage while keeping existing files intact.

    For more information about Small Tree’s TitaniumZ-8 or any of its growing line of shared storage and networking products, visit www.small-tree.com. Follow Small Tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or on Twitter @SmallTreeComm.


  9. Documentary Film Makers Take TitaniumZ-5 Shared Storage on the Road

    November 12, 2013 by Steve Modica

    Mobile Storage Solution Provides Production Team with Critical Access to Files on Location

    SG_BTS_1 Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Kibera, the largest slum in Africa.

    Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 12, 2013 — Traveling to remote parts of Kenya while working on Shifting Ground, a documentary film following three women living in the slums of Nairobi, film makers at Seek Films and Ethikos Productions used Small Tree’s GraniteSTOR TitaniumZ-5 shared storage system to provide the entire production team with on-site access to content captured on location.

    Following a young girl, a teenage mother and an elderly woman living in the slums of Nairobi, three directors will interweave their stories into a full-length documentary showing a portrait of the slums through the eyes of these women and how women are at the center of a new movement taking place within the slums and the community. An all-in-one Ethernet-based shared storage appliance typically used by professional video editors who require shared access to media files at home, in the office or on location, the portable TitaniumZ-5 was an ideal solution for the Shifting Ground production team during acquisition.

    “While in Africa, we were mainly using the TitaniumZ-5 to take footage off of the cards – we were shooting on the Canon C-100 with Atomos Ninja 2 external recorders,” said Daphne Schmon, director and founder of Seek Films. “With the Z-5, we would offload footage from three to four cards at a time, then log and transfer the footage into Final Cut so that multiple workstations could have access to view footage simultaneously. Having a lightweight and robust storage system with us was a tremendous convenience.”

    A five-drive system supporting 2TB, 3TB or 4TB disk drives, TitaniumZ-5 is simple to set up and manage, allowing the storage to be available to users within minutes of initial start-up. The Server, Networking and Storage are all accommodated within TitaniumZ-5’s space saving desk top design, while the unit’s capability to support up to 2 ports of 10Gb Ethernet offers peak performance all at an extremely attractive price point.

    “From a technological standpoint, it was great to have an affordable storage solution that would provide redundancy to protect the files we had captured,” remarked Brian Rice, director and founder of Ethikos Productions. “The data on the Z-5 is double protected, which is extremely important because with the long trip from New York to Kenya, and then having to move from location to location in Kenya, it was crucial that the data was protected while the system was being knocked around.”

    Small Tree’s TitaniumZ-5 offers optimal flexibility with the ability to work across multiple protocols (AFP, SMB, NFS and iSCSI) and platforms, including Adobe Creative Suite, Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and Apple Final Cut Pro X.

    “The system’s flexibility was vital, as Brian works from Windows, while the rest of the directors work with MacBooks,” Schmon stated. “In our facility in New York, where the Z-5 will be used during video-editing, we’ll be running Mac Pros and a number of MacBook laptops. Additionally, we may use both Final Cut 7 and Final Cut 10 during post-production. Knowing that we’ll be able to work off the Z-5 seamlessly, regardless of the application or platform we use, is one less thing we need to worry about.”

    While ease of system set-up for the Z-5 is among its top benefits, upon arrival in Kenya, the Shifting Ground production team needed assistance from Small Tree to configure the unit so that it would meet their specific requirements. The Small Tree team in Minnesota worked via Skype to help the film makers set up their storage system. According to Rice, exemplary tech support demonstrates Small Tree’s commitment to its customers.

    “When the device was shipped to us it was configured in a very specific way,” Rice remarked. “The guys at Small Tree were so knowledgeable and were willing to work with us until they had us up and running. For me, that was huge…knowing that not only do we have a solid solution, we also have the support if we need it.”

    For more information about Small Tree and its growing line of shared storage and networking products, visit www.small-tree.com. Follow Small Tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or on Twitter @SmallTreeComm.


  10. Audio Post-Production House Jazzes Up its Workflow with Small Tree TitaniumZ-5 Shared Storage

    October 28, 2013 by Steve Modica

    All-in-One Ethernet-based Shared Storage Solution Facilitates Collaboration

    SmallTree-HDR

    Silver Spring, Md., Oct. 28, 2013Ott House Audio, an audio post-production company experiencing tremendous growth, recently installed a TitaniumZ-5 shared storage system from Small Tree. Working on audio for film and TV projects for well-known brands, such as the Smithsonian Channel and National Geographic, Ott House required an affordable solution that would facilitate collaboration.

    “We tend to collaborate a lot on projects, so we needed a budget-friendly solution that would prevent us from being bogged down by where we were working and what files we were using,” said Cheryl Ottenritter, head honcho and creative director. “With Small Tree’s Z-5, our editors are able to work on the same media simultaneously, which is far more efficient and effective.”

    A five-drive, all-in-one Ethernet-based system supporting 2TB, 3TB or 4TB disk drives, TitaniumZ-5 is simple to set up and manage, allowing the storage to be available to multiple editors within minutes of initial start-up. The TitaniumZ-5 offers optimal flexibility with the ability to work across multiple protocols (AFP, SMB, NFS and iSCSI) and platforms, including Adobe Creative Suite, Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and Apple Final Cut Pro X. According to Ottenritter, the system’s compatibility with Pro Tools was critical in her decision to install the TitaniumZ-5.

    “Pro Tools works better across different platforms, so there was no way we could introduce a shared storage solution that couldn’t handle that application,” Ottenritter remarked. “Additionally, the pool of available freelancers using Pro Tools is far larger, so it’s easier to find support for projects whenever necessary.”

    Providing high-performance sharing, quickly and directly from the RAID, TitaniumZ-5 includes simplified setup and management, RAID protection for multimedia editing and Small Tree’s industry-leading tech support, a value-added benefit to small, but growing post-production facilities such as Ott House.

    “Small Tree’s willingness to go above and beyond with its technical support is unlike anything I’ve seen before from a manufacturer,” Ottenritter commented. “At one point, they took the time and effort to discover that a memory chip on a computer was bad and helped with resolving that situation. They didn’t back away from an issue because it wasn’t their issue; they took ownership to make sure their system was working properly.”

    Six workstations, featuring Macbooks, Mac Pros and iMacs, are connected to the TitaniumZ-5 at Ott House. While the six workstations aren’t always in use, having the capability for all six to be running and accessing media concurrently provides much-appreciated peace of mind to Ottenritter and her team.