Cache-A focuses on archive appliances

Cache-A Corporation will focus on Archiving Made Easy as the company displays its very latest products. These include Cache-A’s desktop Prime-Cache, flagship Pro-Cache5, high-performance Power-Cache, and flexible Library 24/28 automation systems.

This year, Cache-A has integrated its line of archive appliances with storage systems from various manufacturers. These include storage area network (SAN) solutions from Facilis, Studio Network Solutions, and StorNext, and network-attached storage (NAS) solutions from Archion.

Cache-A will continue to support the LTFS (Linear Tape File System) format. LTFS is particularly advantageous for media and entertainment companies needing storage solutions to safeguard their assets, increase data mobility, and share content organization-wide. All of Cache-A’s LTO-5 based products deliver LTFS capability.

“Archiving and the long-term protection of digital assets are among the most important issues facing today’s digital media professionals,” said Mark Ostlund, vice president of sales and marketing at Cache-A. “Cache-A is fully committed and focused on our ‘Archiving Made Easy’ approach to improve archiving by embracing new formats like LTFS, supporting SAN and NAS systems, and ultimately by delivering a product range that suits all needs and the diversity of digital workflows.”

Cache-A’s Prime-Cache, Pro-Cache5, and Power-Cache systems can manage archives of hundreds of Terabytes of data. Each appliance has a built-in catalog database making it easy for users to track, search, and retrieve content. Archives are made on secure, portable LTO-5 tape cartridges using the LTFS file system or the industry-standard tar format.

·       Prime-Cache5: compact and quiet desktop archiving appliance, featuring an LTO-5 tape drive, 2TB hard disc, an improved chassis, and 10-times faster direct-attached transfers via USB 3.0.

·       Pro-Cache5: an efficient and easily-deployed way to manage hundreds of Terabytes of archived data; rack-mountable, featuring LTO-5 tape drive, 4TB RAID, rich direct-attach I/O options, and works with Cache-A Library and Expansion units. Pro-Cache5 delivers many of the advanced features users demand for content archiving, interchange, and access.

·       Power-Cache Archive Server: combines Cache-A’s appliance functionality with greater disk capacity and improved throughput, via a high-performance blend of LTO-5 tape drives, 8 TB of RAID and 10Gb Ethernet technologies.

·       Library24/Library48 Automation Options: available in 24 or 48 tape slot configurations, these library options work with Pro-Cache and Power-Cache models to automate cartridge loading for archiving, restoring and even cartridge spanning when archiving large projects. They offer near-line archival capacity of up to 72TBs (Library48) or 36TBs (Library24).

The company will also showcase the latest v3.1 software upgrade for its range of archive appliances. This upgrade delivers accelerated 64-bit processing, new LTFS (Linear Tape File System) capabilities, and a host of customer-driven operational features allowing users to archive, access, and exchange archived content.

The v3.1 upgrade will be available across all Cache-A’s archive appliances – the desktop Prime-Cache5, flagship Pro-Cache5, high-performance Power-Cache, and flexible Library 24/48 automation systems. Highlights include: a new, enterprise-level, 64-bit, Linux Operating System (OS); high-speed LTFS (Linear Tape File System) dubbing, plus new LTFS tape-spanning capabilities; and a range of operational improvements, including e-mail notification and command queue management, which boost productivity and efficiency during archiving processes.

“The blazing speed of Cache-A’s new v3.1 upgrade is a huge advantage in our editing and archiving workflows,” said Richard Price of NOW Productions, in Los Angeles, California. NOW Productions produces video and archives materials for the Church of MSIA, which holds over 80,000 pieces of video and audio media covering 45 years of recordings. The company uses the Power-Cache, and several Pro-Cache units, as the final archive for all projects and digitized original media. “Incredible performance, combined with the new LTFS features and improved user toolsets, allow us to confidently use LTO media into the foreseeable future.”

The new, 64-bit Linux OS (CentOS 6.2) transforms existing 32-bit Cache-A appliances to 64-bit processing, resulting in improved performance. The new OS improves integration of Cache-A archive appliances with storage systems from industry-leading manufacturers, including storage area network (SAN) solutions from Facilis, Studio Network Solutions and StorNext, and network-attached storage (NAS) solutions from Archion.

The v3.1 upgrade also features significant LTFS enhancements, extending Cache-A’s leadership in supporting the LTFS format. As LTFS is an open format that other applications and platforms can read, it provides futureproof independence from specific software applications. It is compatible across solution environments, allowing increased data mobility and content interchange.

The v3.1 upgrade supports high-speed LTFS tape-to-tape dubbing, enabling users to more rapidly make a perfect duplicate copy, or deliver content to a client. It also supports seamless tape-spanning for large projects. This facility allows a project to be automatically archived across multiple LTO-5 cartridges, and saves users from the difficulty of breaking up a project into cartridge-sized chunks.

Among the operational improvements of the new v3.1 release are: e-mail notification on completion of archive and restore sessions; command queue management, enabling users to edit and prioritize jobs in an archiving queue; and user feedback improvements, including the addition of dialog boxes informing users about an appliance’s performance and activity status.

“This latest upgrade underscores Cache-A’s Archiving Made Easy mantra,” said Phil Ritti, CEO of Cache-A. “It directly addresses customers’ needs to make archiving faster and more efficient, and is particularly advantageous for media and entertainment companies wanting long-term archive solutions with increased data mobility and the ability to share content organization-wide.”

Cache-A archive appliance on-set
Cache-A revealed details of how motion picture, broadcast and commercials producers are utilizing its LT0-5 tape-based archive appliances, with the latest LTFS capabilities, in on-set production environments to safeguard the increasing amounts of data and video-related media they generate daily. Cache-A is showing its full product range at IBC2012.

Cache-A’s archiving appliances are designed to meet the needs of digital video and filmmaking professionals, and can manage 100’s of Terabytes of data. Data can be written using the industry-standard tar format, or LTFS (Linear Tape File System) capability, which enables users to interchange content across different platforms, software applications and physical locations, as well as deliver content to their clients.

Cache-A products are now being incorporated into a wide range of on-set cart and data management systems and, as archiving is a chargeable service, they are delivering users with returns on their investments. Cache-A’s compact and cost-effective Prime-Cache5 and Pro-Cache5 are particularly well-suited for deployment on-set. The new Power-Cache is also being used in high-end productions where massive amounts of data are generated every day.

Fletcher Camera & Lenses, headquartered in Chicago with facilities in Detroit and New Orleans, has integrated Pro-Cache5 into several of its COSMoS on-set carts. Pro-Cache5 has been used to archive camera data for several motion pictures, including the comedy thriller Freaky Deaky, musical drama Sparkle, romantic drama Love And Honor, and drug-addiction drama Cherry.

“In a digital world, the key thing is how best to secure your assets, and prevent data loss. Cache-A are more switched on to the needs of the entertainment industry, from camera into post, than any other data-archiving company, and I have confidence their products will emerge as the reliable standard on-set,” said Tom Fletcher, VP of Fletcher Camera and Lenses. “The low-power requirement, small size and speed-performance make Pro-Cache5a convenient, mobile solution to take on-set. For a minimal cost it’s atremendous insurance policy for a production.”

Maxx Digital, based in Costa Mesa, California, has equipped its range of on-set DAM carts with Prime-Cache5 and Pro-Cache5 appliances, and these are used on motion picture and broadcast productions.

“The DAM cart is the hub between production and post,” said Devon Cook, director of sales and marketing at Maxx Digital. “From a single cart you can duplicate RAW files, verify materials, process dailies, lay off to LTO-5, color correct, set looks, preview/stream shots, control metadata tagging/management, and even do rough cuts all at the same time. Hard drives can take a beating on-set and sometimes fail. By archiving to LTO-5 on-set via Cache-A productions have a much more robust backup of the RAW content. Having the appliance running LTO and checksums in the background, and seamless compatibility with CatDV for asset management, are a huge advantage.”

Shed Media, one of the UK’s leading broadcast production houses, has harnessed Pro-Cache5, and its LTFS capabilities, as part of a larger DIT solution, into the on-set production workflows of its most recent primetime series – the BBC’s Turn Back Time, in which families experience what life was like for their ancestors in bygone times, and on Channel 5’s romantic reality show The Bachelor.

“Due to the volume of material we create, particularly on multi-camera productions, we knew the capabilities of LTFS would be a great benefit for working with assets after they have been archived,” said Adam Downey, group head of post production at Shed Media. “Once we heard that Cache-A had LTFS working properly and that it was stable, we invested in their Pro-Cache5. From the on-set system we now get protected copies of material, and faster turnaround to edit. It’s cost-effective, as the production already has data wranglers on-set, and the routines with the Pro-Cache5 are simple, so it’s easy for them too.”

Post-production facility, The Chimney Pot, in Warsaw, Poland, provides production and post services to commercials and features films. It uses Pro-Cache5 on-set to archive camera footage (R3D, ARRIRAW, MOV files) and Power-Cache in post to archive TV/cinema masters (MOV, DPX, MXF, TIFF and DCP packages). Pro-Cache5 has been recently used on Polish feature film Nowhere, and commercials for Carlsberg beer, dairy brand Monte and insurance group Proama.

“Archiving gives me peace-of-mind, as we manage thousands of files on expensive commercials and feature film projects. Before archiving to LTO-5 tapes we used hard-drives for back-ups, but these are not a secure way of storing assets, and recovering data is a really expensive process,” said Kamil Rutkowski Chimney Pot’s head of DI. “We now send Pro-Cache5 on-set where we manage RAW data from ARRI Alexa, recorded on to our Codex or other hard-drive equipment. Pro-Cache5 is a very handy, portable tool and suits our on-set needs perfectly. It starts copying data in seconds, and is easy-to-use so training takes seconds. Clients are happy to pay for our valuable archiving services, so we are making a healthy return on our investment in Cache-Aarchiving appliances.”


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