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NZ post-production company benefits from Oracle storage solution

Sathya Mithra Ashok | Oct. 30, 2013
By the very nature of its work, DoP requires a strong storage system, and found the right fit in Oracle's StorageTek SL150.

With a need to be able to quickly scale up its storage without blowing the budget, Department of Post (DoP) turned to Oracle's StorageTek SL150.

DoP has nothing to do with mails; it is actually a post-production finishing company.

"We are the last step in the process of production. Production companies from New Zealand and overseas send their shows here and we make the pictures look good," says co-founder of the small company, James Gardner.

DoP has around three full-time staff, but a whole lot of freelance editors who work with the firm when jobs demand extra hands. By the very nature of its work, DoP requires a strong storage system.

"We archive a whole lot of content internally, since clients have a tendency to come back after years and ask for their work sometimes. We also want to offer archiving as a service for production companies working in New Zealand," says Gardner.

When they felt the need for a storage solution that did not stretch their budget too much, the company sought the help of Group6 Technologies.

"I am part of Group6 as well. That is a company that used to do systems integration for TV stations and has built most of Auckland's TV facilities. It brings out a product called Diva, which is a media sharing tool, and allows Avid editors to work on the same project together.

"Most production companies run one of those now and we have started looking at the next step, which is helping the production company archive the content. Since I part-own DoP, I thought this would be an effective way to bring both aims together. DoP was looking for an archive solution and Group6 was looking to onsell their solution as part of an archive tool," says Gardner.

The needs of both concerns being well understood, Gardner and his team began looking around for the right storage hardware and found the perfect fit in Oracle's StorageTek SL150.

"We needed a library that could scale from 30 tapes to 150 tapes. It needed to be able to have more than one drive on it. It needed to have a reasonably low TCO, since this is archiving, not just backup, so it would run a job and that would be that. We originally had a single drive unit and someone would have to sit there and change tapes every eight hours. That cost a lot in labour and was difficult to train on.

"We looked at Dell first. Their first off product was a bit expensive and scaling costs you for every 40 tapes. They have a licensing fee. With the Oracle SL150 there was a charge only for the physical chassis and there was no licensing cost per slot. The SL150 works with Backup Exec, which I have worked with before, wanted to work with again, and is a global standard meaning our tapes could be restored somewhere else as well," Gardner explains on the reasons the company chose the Oracle solution.


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