Case Study on SAS JBOD for Nonlinear Editing System

Author: Alvin Ooi, Marketing Manager
Xtore Extreme Storage
Advanced Industrial Computer

While High Definition (HD) video contents are getting more and more popular in real video production, TV companies are experiencing the bottleneck of using legacy equipment to edit their HD video programs. One of the customers of PFU Systems (Panasonic, Fujitsu and Uchida), GCTV (Green City Cable TV), a local cable Nagoya TV Station in Japan, needed a cost-effective storage solution that provided high performance for editing multiple HD quality video. The traditional SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) Ultra320 SCSI-based storage system cannot work smoothly with a nonlinear video editing system. When GCTV used an Ultra320 SCSI RAID System to edit multiple HD video chips, they could only run three restricted HD video streams (draft quality) at the same time without frame skips. Since the HD video format is 1080i with a 145Mb/sec data rate, a Fibre Channel solution is able to resolve the performance bottleneck. However, it is very costly to acquire a FC solution. Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is capable of providing equivalent performance at a lower price point.

PFU acquired a high performance, economical SAS JBOD from Xtore with a SAS RAID card to deliver an optimal solution to GCTV’s nonlinear editing system. It connected the existing Workstation to 10 HD video streams (draft quality) at the same time without any frame skips. The new system is under a RAID 5 configuration across 16 drives, which delivers impressive performance and provides fault tolerance for drive failure. As compared to the original RAID configuration across SCSI disks that does not provide these features, it is a far better solution.

“We are very impressed by the performance of the new system,” said Mr. Hiroshi Takekawa, Manager of Broadcast and Production Solution of PFU. “We are satisfied with the storage solution PFU recommended,” said Mr. Kawachi, GCTV Manager of the Broadcasting Division. “The RAID 5 configuration delivers the performance and response we need, and improves our work efficiency,” he added.

The system configuration consisted of a workstation with a MEGARAID SAS RAID Controller, SAS JBOD enclosure and SAS 73GB (15,000rpm) disk drives with RAID 5 configuration to deliver better performance.


Figure 1: SAS JBOD enclosure


Figure 2: GCTV control panel


The cost-effective GCTV HD editing solution would not have been possible without SAS and the high level technology available today in JBOD enclosures. The SAS solution was not as costly as a FC solution and far more flexible from the standpoint of future upgrades. As GCTV grows, the editing capability can grow as needed with additional JBOD enclosures.

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