Digistor’s Mark Richards touts Avid’s new NEXIS | Pro Team Bundles
Avid's new NEXIS | Pro Team Bundles.
Digistor Marketing Manager Mark Richards has witnessed first-hand the changes wrought on the post-production landscape by the digital revolution.
"Conversations with facilities have changed from ‘what are you going to edit it on?' to ‘what are the assets, how are you going to store and keep track of them, how are you going to archive them, who’s going to access them and what’s the workflow?'," Richards says. "It’s all about managing the media better from place to place and making sure it’s reliable and backed up."
"Our role is to have those conversations early and make sure that people understand what the options are for making sure that they can efficiently get the stuff produced, managed, supported, secured, backed up and out the door. Rather than the equipment that [the client] needs it’s really more about the services and the workflow, and then the equipment and software follows."
Avid's new NEXIS | Pro Team Bundles, recently added to Digistor's inventory, should make managing that workflow easier, says Richards: the new product range offers more storage but also allows the user to adjust the capacity without interrupting a project.
"A lot of the collaborative storage requirements [before] were drives in boxes with a lot of hardware and software intelligence built in to them, so that they could share data and manage the sharing of data between them. The difficulty of that is because it’s built in to it, it’s very hard to expand flexibly and to change and upgrade etc. That’s how Avid storage has worked in the past for shared storage environments."
"What they've done with the NEXIS is pull all of that controlling or managing software-hardware out of the storage itself and make a software abstraction layer so that you had the storage independent of that management, so that it can be expanded, changed, manipulated, allocated – all under software control, [and] independently. So you can add more boxes, more racks, and add more storage, allocated to different people. Upgrade the software and how it’s operating, put more functionality on top of it without having to change the box. It gives the customer a lot more ability to expand and manage it than they had in the past."
Via email from the UK, Avid's Kevin Usher points to the flexibility of the NEXIS bundles as their defining feature.
"They allow customers to choose the Team bundle that suits their specific needs. We've also reduced the annual support fee on the Premium and Ultimate Team bundles. All Avid shared storage product – including Avid NEXIS | PRO support dynamic storage workspace re-sizing, on the fly, we call this Avid FlexDrive – can be resized while the user is working with media on this workspace."
Part of that flexibility is the fact that the Pro Team Bundles are workable with unaffiliated editing programs like Apple Final Cut and Adobe Premiere Pro.
According to Richards, "Avid’s been becoming more and more open all the time to a variety of different hardware and software manufacturers to lock into their ecosystem. So they’ve opened up the way that software works – not just for storage but for media asset management and media distribution – to a whole range of organisations so that they can plug into them. Things like quality control tools, file-based workflow tools, can all plug in to the whole Avid infrastructure and use the media openly."
"It’s an open ecosystem. So, for example, the NEXIS | PRO team bundles can include Axle, which is an entry-level asset-management tool that plugs in to that whole solution, whereas Avid has their own asset management and media management tools that work as well. So they’re welcoming and enabling manufacturers to easily plug in to their ecosystem so that customers have a broad choice.
Digistor has in stock the entry-level NEXIS, with 20TB storage per storage engine (maximum of four engines), the Enterprise NEXIS models, which can be expanded, and the NEXIS | E2, E4 and the new E5 announced at IBC 2016. The range is suitable for small teams, says Richards.
"We’re talking about five, ten, fifteen people who need only that level of storage and are working in a collaborative production environment. There’s a huge number of independent production studios, education and corporate environments, small VFX teams, media groups, even web-media production people. And once they get on that platform, if they grow, they can expand it to other NEXIS models – the storage just pulls, if you like."
"The other group is the audio teams. Part of the bundle is [that] you can get it with a number of seats of Media Composer for editing, if that’s your editing tool of choice, or you can get a bundle with Pro Tools, which is Avid’s audio production tool. So it’s bundling with either the editing or the audio media content creation tools and the asset management tools and the storage itself. So if you had a small team that was looking at how to set up that collaborative environment, it’s a good start."