At the NAB show back in April, Avid (www.avid.com) introduced the next generation of its intelligent shared storage. Avid NEXIS represents an evolution in the company’s offerings, which date back to the mid-90s with its Unity MediaNetwork, and more recently with its Avid ISIS line of ‘infinitely scalable intelligent storage’ solutions.
In just six months, Avid NEXIS has gained strong traction in the post production market, with sales to stop-motion animation studio Laika (The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings) in Hillsboro, OR, and to creative post house Gorilla Post in Dublin, Ireland, among numerous others. Avid NEXIS is designed to work with all of today’s leading nonlinear editing applications, including Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro X and Grass Valley Edius. And for those using Avid’s own Media Composer NLE, Avid NEXIS offers the strongest compatibility in the industry.
Post recently caught up with Avid Senior Principal Product Designer | Broadcast Storage & Editor Bob Russo, who lead the team that developed Avid NEXIS. Here, he explains the benefits of scalable, intelligent, shared storage and how Avid NEXIS’s ease of use allows it to easily integrate into post boutiques and much larger enterprise operations.
Post: While shared storage is not new, the ‘intelligent’ feature is something pros might not be familiar with?
Russo: “Yes, the classic education environment is a good example. You give every student a 1TB drive and you have one student that's just sliding through, not really working very hard, and he uses 200GBs out of that drive. But then you have another student who is really motivated, and 1TB isn't nearly enough. You purchased all of the storage but a lot of it is stuck on partially filled drives and you can’t get access to that storage.
“But with Avid NEXIS, you have a common pool of storage. It's available to be allocated to those that need it. And when we create these volumes, they can be dynamically resized at will, as many times as you want. Other shared storage might allow for resizing, but often there’s a hit in performance when it is being resized, because under the hood they are doing a defrag. If you count the terabytes and get a number of high-quality, local, standalone drives, the pricing is probably pretty comparable, but now you have the flexibility.”
EASE OF USE
Post: Avid seems to really be touting the ease of use in setting up and maintaining Avid NEXIS?
Russo: “Absolutely…and this is something I feel very passionate about. I'm trying really hard to make Avid NEXIS as simple to set up as possible. Before we have a release, we do installation and usability testing with people not previously trained on Avid NEXIS. We see where they stumble and its very valuable. We’ve used this testing and input from the thousands of customers to simplify and enhance the user experience. Avid NEXIS | PRO brings Avid’s collaborative storage to the smallest teams, who don’t have IT support or system administrator experience. Using Avid NEXIS, they don’t need specific expertise or an IT department. We have a simple click through installation wizard that prompts the user for the few required inputs to integrate to their site. We also have simple to use browser based graphical admin screens to create users, assign permissions, create and re-size workspaces.”
Post: Can you talk about some of the bundles that offer value?
Russo: “The least expensive family member, Avid NEXIS | PRO, we are bundling in axle Starter media management. I would argue that we make the best asset manager for post-production: Interplay | Production. It's really the Ferrari of asset managers. But for most of these small workgroups that are common in post-production,, they don't need the same asset manager that medium to large organizations are using. It can be difficult to deploy partially in cases where the majority of the staff are freelance. So we partnered with Axle Video…who make a radically simple asset manager. It's really a beautiful asset manager that is shockingly simple to set up and very powerful for what it is. We include a two-seat axle Starter license, so with every Avid NEXIS | PRO you purchase, you automatically get a Starter copy. They have an Adobe Premiere panel, which is awesome.
“We also have a number of ‘Team’ bundles, starting with the Avid NEXIS | PRO Team Bundle that includes Avid NEXIS | PRO, three Media Composer licenses and axle Starter to provide shared storage, editorial and media management. Next up is the Avid Premium Team Bundle that increases the Media Composer licenses to five and includes; Avid Artist | DNxIO for video interfaces, Pro Tools software for audio, network switch for connectivity and 1-year Avid support for the Avid NEXIS | PRO and switch. The top of the line Avid Ultimate Team Bundle replaces Pro Tools software with Pro Tools | HD Native and adds Pro Tools | HD OMNI delivering audio interfaces.
“These Team bundles deliver a complete workflow solution for with video and audio editorial, interfaces that enable HD, Ultra HD, 2K and 4K workflows. These are fully integrated, tested and backed by Avid to allow your group to work as a team. Empower.”
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