Category Archives: Storage

Designed for large file sizes, Facilis TerraBlock 7 ships

Facilis, makers of shared storage solutions for collaborative media production networks, is now shipping TerraBlock Version 7. The new Facilis Hub Server, a performance aggregator that can be added to new and existing TerraBlock systems, is also available now. Version 7 includes a new browser-based, mobile-compatible Web Console that delivers enhanced workflow and administration from any connected location.

With ever-increasing media file sizes and 4K, HDR and VR workflows continually putting pressure on facility infrastructure, the Facilis Hub Server is aimed at future-proofing customers’ current storage while offering new systems that can handle these types of files. The Facilis Hub Server uses a new architecture to optimize drive sets and increase the bandwidth available from standard TerraBlock storage systems. New customers will get customized Hub Server Stacks with enhanced system redundancy and data resiliency, plus near-linear scalability of bandwidth when expanding the network.

According to James McKenna, VP of marketing/pre-sales at Facilis, “The Facilis Hub Server gives current and new customers a way to take advantage of advanced bandwidth aggregation capabilities, without rendering their existing hardware obsolete.”

The company describes the Web Console as a modernized browser-based and mobile-compatible interface designed to increase the efficiency of administrative tasks and improve the end-user experience.

Easy client setup, upgraded remote volume management and a more integrated user database are among the additional improvements. The Web Console also supports Remote Volume Push to remotely mount volumes onto any client workstations.

Asset Tracking
As the number of files and storage continue to increase, organizations are realizing they need some type of asset tracking system to aid them in moving and finding files in their workflow. Many hesitate to invest in traditional MAM systems due to complexity, cost, and potential workflow impact.

McKenna describes the FastTracker asset tracking software as the “right balance for many customers. Many administrators tell us they are hesitant to invest in traditional asset management systems because they worry it will change the way their editors work. Our FastTracker is included with every TerraBlock system. It’s simple but comprehensive, and doesn’t require users to overhaul their workflow.”

V7 is available immediately for eligible TerraBlock servers.

Check out our interview with McKenna during NAB:

Flash memory at NAB 2017

By Tom Coughlin

Flash memory is still serving a supporting role in most media and entertainment applications, except content capture. This is where it dominates. Outside of content capture, a little flash can go a long way to accelerate many media apps. Things like metadata storage and search using flash memory provide a big ROI.

Flash as a high-performance storage tier is becoming more common for M&E aggregated storage systems, particularly for content delivery. On the other hand, flash memory is starting to show up in workflows as primary storage on workstations used for very high frame rate and 8K uncompressed video processing for operations such as color correction and final conform.

Flash for Content Capture
First let’s look at some flash memory trends and announcements from the 2017 NAB Show. According to Coughlin Associates’ 2016 Digital Storage in Media and Entertainment survey, flash memory is the clear leader in professional video camera media, increasing from 19% in the 2009 survey to 54% in 2016, while magnetic tape shows a consistent decline over the same period. In particular, magnetic tape declined from 34% to 2%. Optical disc use between 2009 and 2016 bounced around between 7% and 17%. Film shows a general decline with 15% usage in 2009, down to 2% in 2016. The trend with declining film use follows the trend toward completely digital workflows.

Pro cameras using flash memory include those from Arri, Canon, Grass Valley, Ikegami, Panasonic, Panavision and Red. These cameras use flash memory modules for content capture. There are various flash card formats supporting today’s professional video cameras. These are in various physical formats from SD card to compact flash.

Shortly before NAB 2017, Lexar announced a 256GB pro 1000X microSD UHS-II (U3) card for rapid capture and transfer of multimedia content. With UHS Speed Class 3 (U3), this card is ideal for high-speed capture of extended lengths of 4K, 3D and 1080p full-HD video. Capable of recording up to nine hours of 4K video, this card is also perfect for shooting action with an aerial camera since they require multiple memory cards for extended use. The new card comes with a microSD UHS-II USB 3.0 reader to dramatically accelerate workflow with high-speed file transfer up to 150MB/s.

Sony introduced two external video recording SSDs for docking to camcorders or high-performance DLSRs. The SSDs have a longer lifetime than typical solid-state media. Using Sony’s Error Correction Code technology, the 960GB G Series SSD achieves up to 2400TBW (terabytes written), while the 460GB drive can reach 1200TBW, resulting in less frequent replacement.

According to Sony, the 2400TBW translates to about 10 years of use for the SV-GS96, if data is fully written to the drive an average of five times per week. When paired with the necessary connection cables, the new G Series drives can be removed from a recorder and connected to a computer for file downloading, making editing faster with read speeds up to 550MB/s.

LaCie (Seagate) introduced its LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 that offers high-speed Thunderbolt 3 interfaces (offering up to 40Gb/s data rates and up to 100W of power) with a two-drive RAID with capacities up to 20TB. The product will be available this summer.

LaCie

The unit includes a docking capability with front-facing SD and CF flash memory card slots for transferring content from pro cameras. It has a USB 3.0 hub for charging a phone or for connecting to a shuttle drive or a digital camera to off-load content. The unit can connect the 2big to high-resolution displays using a DisplayPort connection. The USB 3.1 port enables interfacing with USB-C and USB 3.0

Flash and Media Workflows
Besides content capture, there were several other announcements and demonstrations of flash-based workflows and content delivery at NAB this year.

DDN believes there are spot solutions where flash makes sense in M&E, including scratch space and DPX workflows. The use of flash memory in M&E could increase if the prices go down. Avid saw flash memory as part of a tiered-storage infrastructure. Flash memory is being used as primary storage in HP workstations for color correction or finishing (conforming content), as well as for 8K video productions. The current shortage in flash memory is extending lead times for orders — the biggest issue is the transition from plane to 3D flash and poorer yields for now.

JMR

JMR introduced its extreme performance JMR SiloStor NVMe SSD, a full-length, half-height PCIe 3.0 x8 drive that adds up to 8TB of high-availability storage to any server, computer or workstation using the latest V-NAND technology. It occupies a x16 PCIe slot and may be connected via Thunderbolt PCIe expansion to those computers offering this capability. The cards will come in 2TB, 4TB and 8TB versions. Sequential read speed is > 4,000 MB/s and write speed is > 3,000MB/s.

Flash Memory for Content Delivery
Dell EMC showed how to create scalable on-premise or hybrid cloud IPTV/OTT delivery platforms using Dell EMC’s All-Flash Isilon as the storage repository. The company was also doing demonstrations of high-speed uncompressed 4K editing with the All-Flash Isilon.

Quantum

Quantum showed an interesting table comparing HDDs and SSDs for streaming content. Because of the trade-offs for capacity costs, compressed content streams were less expensive for SSDs while the uncompressed content can be more expensive for SSDs than HDDs unless higher capacity SSDs are used. As a consequence the company’s all-flash StorNext 4K array can supply a greater number of streams than a HDD-based system (at a price of course).

NGD Systems and EchoStreams were at NAB debuting a 96TB 1U storage appliance. The1U server’s storage capacity is based on four Catalina NVMe solid-state drives from NGD Systems. It features four removable full-height PCIe NVMe SSD add-in card slots and optimized for media streaming applications.

Summing Up
Flash memory is providing valuable point solutions for media and entertainment professionals, the most prominent being digital camera media. In addition, as the price of flash declines and as higher bandwidth content drives the industry flash memory is serving additional uses as primary or tiered storage to ensure low-latency access to media assets.

At the upcoming 2017 Creative Storage Conference on May 24 in Culver City, you can learn more about the use of flash memory in M&E, the growth in VR content in professional video, new metadata management technologies, including machine learning, and how these demands will drive digital storage demand and technologies to support the high data rates needed for captured content and cloud-based VR services.


Tom Coughlin is president of Coughlin Associates. He is the founder and organizer of the annual Storage Visions Conference as well as the Creative Storage Conference. He has also been the general chairman of the annual Flash Memory Summit.

Dell 6.15

Quantum’s StorNext 6 targets high-res, scalable, global workflows

The industry’s ongoing shift to higher-resolution formats, its use of more cameras to capture footage and its embrace of additional distribution formats and platforms is putting pressure on storage infrastructure. For content creators and owners to take full advantage of their content, storage must not only deliver scalable performance and capacity but also ensure that media assets remain readily available to users and workflow applications. Quantum’s new StorNext 6 is engineered to address these requirements.

StorNext 6 will begin shipping with all newly purchased Xcellis and StorNext M-Series offerings, as well as Artico archive appliances, in early summer. It will be available at no additional cost for StorNext 5 users under current support contracts.

Leveraging its extensive real-world 4K testing and a series of 4K reference architectures developed from test data, Quantum’s StorNext platform provides scalable storage that delivers high performance using less hardware than competing systems. StorNext 6 offers a new quality of service (QoS) feature that empowers facilities to further tune and optimize performance across all client workstations, and on a machine-by-machine basis, in a shared storage environment.

Using QoS to specify bandwidth allocation to individual workstations, a facility can guarantee that more demanding tasks, such as 4K playback or color correction, get the bandwidth they need to maintain the highest video quality. At the same time, QoS allows the facility to set parameters ensuring that less timely or demanding tasks do not consume an unnecessary amount of bandwidth. As a result, StorNext 6 users can take on work with higher-resolution content and easily optimize their storage resources to accommodate the high-performance demands of such projects.

StorNext 6 includes a new feature called FlexSpace, which allows multiple instances of StorNext — and geographically distributed teams — located anywhere in the world to share a single archive repository, allowing collaboration with the same content. Users at different sites can store files in the shared archive, as well as browse and pull data from the repository. Because the movement of content can be fully automated according to policies, all users have access to the content they need without having it expressly shipped to them.

Shared archive options include both public cloud storage on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud via StorNext’s existing FlexTier capability and private cloud storage based on Quantum’s Lattus object storage or, through FlexTier third-party object storage, such as NetApp StorageGrid, IBM Cleversafe and Scality Ring. In addition to simplifying collaborative work, FlexSpace also makes it easy for multinational companies to establish protected off-site content storage.

FlexSync, which is new to StorNext 6, provides a fast and simple way to synchronize content between multiple StorNext systems that is highly manageable and automated. FlexSync supports one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one file replication scenarios and can be configured to operate at almost any level: specific files, specific folders or entire file systems. By leveraging enhancements in file system metadata monitoring, FlexSync recognizes changes instantly and can immediately begin reflecting those changes on another system. This approach avoids the need to lock the file systems to identify changes, reducing synchronization time from hours or days to minutes, or even seconds. As a result, users can also set policies that automatically trigger copies of files so that they are available at multiple sites, enabling different teams to access content quickly and easily whenever it’s needed. In addition, by providing automatic replication across sites, FlexSync offers increased data protection.

StorNext 6 also gives users greater control and selectivity in maximizing their use of storage on an ROI basis. When archive policies call for storage across disk, tape and the cloud, StorNext makes a copy for each. A new copy expiration feature enables users to set additional rules determining when individual copies are removed from a particular storage tier. This approach makes it simpler to maintain data on the storage medium most appropriate and economical and, in turn, to free up space on more expensive storage. When one of several copies of a file is removed from storage, a complementary selectable retrieve function in StorNext 6 enables users to dictate which of the remaining copies is the first priority for retrieval. As a result, users can ensure that the file is retrieved from the most appropriate storage tier.

StorNext 6 offers valuable new capabilities for those facilities that subscribe to Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rules for content auditing and tracking. The platform can now track changes in files and provide reports on who changed a file, when the changes were made, what was changed and whether and to where a file was moved. With this knowledge, a facility can see exactly how its team handled specific files and also provide its clients with details about how files were managed during production.

As facilities begin to move to 4K production, they need a storage system that can be expanded for both performance and capacity in a non-disruptive manner. StorNext 6 provides for online stripe group management, allowing systems to have additional storage capacity added to existing stripe groups without having to go offline and disrupt critical workflows.

Another enhancement in StorNext 6 allows StorNext Storage Manager to automate archives in an environment with Mac clients, effectively eliminating the lengthy retrieve process previously required to access an archived directory that contains offline files  which can number in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions.


EditShare intros scalable XStream EFS 200, EFS 300 storage

EditShare, makers of shared storage and media management solutions, has introduced the XStream EFS 200 and XStream EFS 300 storage products. Like other XStream EFS products, these new products are based on the EditShare File System and provide fault tolerance while streamlining administrative tasks and providing a plug-and-play upgrade path. Unlike other XStream EFS products, the new EFS 200 and EFS 300 are the first to provide the option of starting with an affordable and scalable single-node solution that also includes the Flow Media Asset Management and Ark Media Archive applications.

This combination of complete workflow support, right-sized capacity and scale-out storage is suited for small or emerging media operations that can add as they grow.

“Obviously, developing an easy-to-manage, high-performance, fault-tolerant scale-out shared storage platform that scales out to meet the capacity and bandwidth needs of a typical media enterprise isn’t an easy task. Perhaps even more difficult is the task of developing one that also scales in to meet the needs of small or emerging video companies,” says EditShare storage product manager Bill Thompson. “Our new XStream EFS 200 and EFS 300 are great options for the thousands of smaller companies where a multi-node cluster is simply overkill for their needs.”

The premium XStream EFS storage platform is a distributed scale-out file system combined with an architecture that is specifically developed for media intensive workflows. It’s designed from the ground up to support large-scale workgroups requiring high-bandwidth, high-volume media ingest, transcoding, online collaborative editing and multiplatform distribution of HD, 2K, 4K and beyond. Whether a one-node or multi-node system, every XStream EFS model can easily be expanded to increase capacity and bandwidth. For ease of use and administration, all XStream EFS systems present a single namespace, regardless of the system size. Also, the performance of XStream EFS does not decrease as storage use increases. It’s continual optimal performance and outstanding reliability are backed by RAID-6 technology.

XStream EFS 200 Configuration

The XStream EFS 200 is a single-node configuration with 12 enterprise-grade HDDs offering 24, 48TB, 64TB, 96TB or 128TB of raw storage capacity in a 2U space-saving form factor. The XStream EFS 200 is “EFS Native Client” compatible. Client workstations connect via a lightning-fast, multi-threaded client to achieve a performance boost of 20 percent or more compared to legacy SMB and AFP network protocols. In addition to media management capabilities like advanced project sharing, the XStream EFS 200 ships with five Flow production asset management licenses and an Ark archiving application.

XStream EFS 300 Configuration
For studios that need greater capacity and lower cost per TB (usable) than is available with XStream EFS 200, they can step up to the XStream EFS 300. Equipped with 16 drives, the XStream EFS provides 28TB, 56TB, 84TB, 112TB or 140TB of usable capacity in a 3U chassis. Along with increased capacity, the EFS 300 has additional processor power offering increased bandwidth capability and stream counts. Like the EFS 200 series, the EFS 300 is “EFS Native Client” compatible and benefits from a performance boost of 20 percent or more compared to legacy SMB and AFP network protocols. In addition to media management capabilities such as advanced project sharing, the XStream EFS 300 ships with 10 Flow production asset management licenses and an Ark archiving application.


Sony intros extended-life SSDs for 4K or higher-bitrate recording 

Sony is expanding its media lineup with the introduction of two new G Series professional solid-state drives in 960GB (SV-GS96) and 480GB (SV-GS48) capacities. Sony says that these SSDs were designed to meet the growing need for external video recording devices docked to camcorders or high-performance DSLRs.

The new SSDs are an option for respective video recorders, offering videographers stable high-speed capabilities, a sense of security and lower cost of ownership due to their longer life. Using Sony’s Error Correction Code technology, the 960GB G Series SSD achieves up to 2400TBW (Terabytes Written), while the 460GB drive can reach 1200TBW, resulting in less frequent replacement and increased ROI. 2400TBW translates to about 10 years of use for the SV-GS96, if data is fully written to the drive an average of five times per week.

According to Sony, the drives are also designed for ultra-fast, stable data writing. Sony G Series SSDs feature built-in technology preventing sudden speed decreases, while ensuring stable recording of high-bitrate 4K video without frame dropping. For example, used with an Atomos Shogun Inferno, G Series SSDs are able to record video at 4K 60p (ProRes 422 HQ) mode stably.

When paired with the necessary connection cables, the new G Series drives can be effortlessly removed from a recorder and connected to a computer for file downloading, making editing easier and faster with read speeds up to 550MB/s.

G Series SSDs also offer data protection technology that keeps content secure and intact, even if a sudden power failure occurs. To add to the drive’s stability, it features a durable connector which withstands extreme repeated insertion and removal up to 3,000 times — or six times more tolerance than standard SATA connectors — even in harsh conditions.

Sony’s SSD G Series is expected to be available May 2017 at the suggested retail prices of $539 for SV-GS96 and $287 for SV-GS48.


Origins: The Creative Storage Conference

By Tom Coughlin

I was recently asked how the Creative Storage Conference came to be. So here I am to give you some background.

In 2006, the Storage Visions Conference that my colleagues and I had been organizing just before the CES show in January was in its fifth year. I had been doing more work on digital storage for professional media and entertainment, including a report on this important topic. In order to increase my connections and interaction with both media and entertainment professionals, and the digital storage and service companies that support them, it seems that a conference focusing on digital storage for media and entertainment would be in order.

That same year, my partner Ron Dennison and I participated in the MediaTech Conference in the LA area, working with Bryan Eckus, the director of the group at the time. In 2007, we held the first Creative Storage Conference in conjunction with the MediaTech Conference in Long Beach, California. It featured a dynamite line-up of storage companies and end users.

The conference has grown in size over the years, and we have had a stream of great companies showing their stuff, media and entertainment professional attendees and speakers, informative sessions and insightful keynote talks on numerous topics related to M&E digital storage.

The 2017 Creative Storage Conference
This year, the Creative Storage Conference is taking place on May 24 in Culver City. Attendees can learn more about the use of Flash memory in M&E as well as the growth in VR content in professional video, and how this will drive new digital storage demand and technologies to support the high data rates needed for captured content and cloud-based VR services. This is the 11th year of the conference and we look forward to having you join us.

We are planning for six sessions and four keynotes during the day and a possible reception in the evening on May 24.

Here is a list of the planned sessions:
• Impact of 4K/HDR/VR on Storage Requirements From Capture to Studio
• Collaboration in the Clouds: Storing and Delivering Content Where it is Needed
• Content on the Move: Delivering Storage Content When and Where it is Needed
• Preserving Digital Content — the Challenges, Needs and Options
• Accelerating Workflows: Solid State Storage in Media and Entertainment
• Independent Panel — Protecting the Life of Content

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet giants in the field of VR content capture and post production and meet the storage and service companies to help you make sure your next professional projects are a big success.

• Hear how major media equipment suppliers and entertainment industry customers use digital storage technology in all aspects of content creation and distribution.
• Find out the role that digital storage plays in new content distribution and marketing opportunities for a rapidly evolving market.
• See presentations on digital storage in digital acquisition and capture, nonlinear editing and special effects.
• Find out how to convert and preserve content digitally and protect it in long-term dependable archives.
• Learn about new ways to create and use content metadata, making it easier to find and use.
• Discover how to combine and leverage hard disk drives, flash memory, magnetic tape and optical storage technology with new opportunities in the digital media market.
• Be at the juncture of digital storage and the next generation of storage for the professional media market.

Online registration is open until May 23, 2017. As a media and entertainment professional you can register now with a $100 discount using this link:

—–
Thomas Coughlin, president of Coughlin Associates is a storage analyst and consultant with over 30 years in the data storage industry. He is active with SNIA, SMPTE, IEEE, and other professional organizations.


Last Chance to Enter to Win an Amazon Echo… Take our Storage Survey Now!

If you’re working in post production, animation, VFX and/or VR/AR/360, please take our short survey and tell us what works (and what doesn’t work) for your day-to-day needs.

What do you need from a storage solution? Your opinion is important to us, so please complete the survey by Wednesday, March 8th.

We want to hear your thoughts… so click here to get started now!

 

 


LaCie d2 and Rugged

LaCie at CES with new Rugged Thunderbolt and d2 storage offerings

Storage company LaCie, a Seagate brand, is at CES in Vegas showing updates to its LaCie Rugged and d2 storage solutions, with the latter helping to boost storage capacity on newer laptops such as the new MacBook Pro from Apple.

The new LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C combines the Rugged’s ability to withstand the rigors of being on the road —the drives are shock, dust, and water resistant — with USB-C compatibility and Thunderbolt speeds. Users can now store even more footage, allowing them to lighten their load a bit, thanks to an HDD capacity up to 5TB. The Rugged features Seagate Barracuda. In addition, the 1TB SSD version delivers speeds of up to 510MB/s, a 30 percent increase over the previous SSD generation. With these speeds, creative pros can transfer 100GB of content in about three minutes.

Thanks to USB-C, the user can connect the LaCie Rugged drive to USB 3.0-compatible computers as well as to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 models. Plus, with an integrated Thunderbolt cable featuring compatibility with first-generation Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2, this LaCie Rugged drive can be used with many types of computers.

The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C drive is bus-powered for mobility and backed by a three-year limited warranty. It will come in 2TB, 4TB and 5TB HDD and 500GB and 1TB SSD capacities, starting at $249.99.

Also new from LaCie is the d2 Thunderbolt 3, which the company says is a good companion to limited-capacity SSD-based laptops and all-in-one computers. It allows expansion storage up to 10TB for pro bandwidth-intensive creative apps.

Featuring Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 speeds through the USB-C port, the LaCie d2 drive performs very well on late-model laptops such as the new MacBook Pro — as well as on USB 3.0 computers. With capacities of up to 10TB, the LaCie d2 drive can store large video projects. It features a Seagate Barracuda Pro 7200RPM hard disk drive.

Featuring speeds of up to 240MB/s, this is a 10 percent improvement over the previous generation. Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports mean the user can daisy chain dual 4K displays, a single 5K display or up to six total LaCie d2 drives—all through a single cable connected to their computer. It’s also possible to power a compatible laptop, such the latest MacBook Pro, through a USB-C port. The LaCie d2 is backed by a five-year limited warranty.

The new LaCie d2 Thunderbolt drive will come in 6TB, 8TB and 10TB capacities starting at $429.99. The new LaCie Rugged and LaCie d2 drives will be available at LaCie resellers worldwide this quarter.

Seagate
Also at CES, DJI, makers of unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Phantom drone, and Seagate have entered into a strategic partnership. As drone cameras gain resolution and drone flight times grow longer, DJI and Seagate are focusing their efforts to securely and efficiently store, manage, download and share the hundreds of gigabytes of data that can be generated from a single drone shoot.

The companies intend to announce their first product collaboration later this year.


Quantum shipping StorNext 5.4

Quantum has introduced StorNext 5.4, the latest release of their workflow storage platform, designed to bring efficiency and flexibility to media content management. StorNext 5.4 enhancements include the ability to integrate existing public cloud storage accounts and third-party object storage (private cloud) — including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, NetApp StorageGRID, IBM Cleversafe and Scality Ring — as archive tiers in a StorNext-managed media environment. It also lets users deploy applications embedded within StorNext-powered Xcellis workflow storage appliances.

Quantum has also included a new feature called StorNext Storage Manager, offering automated, policy-based movement of content into and out of users’ existing public and private clouds while maintaining the visibility and access that StorNext provides. It offers seamless integration for public and private clouds within a StorNext-managed environment — as well as primary disk and tape storage tiers, full user and application access to media stored in the cloud without additional hardware or software, and extended versioning across sites and the cloud.

By enabling applications to run inside its Xcellis Workflow Director, the new Dynamic Application Environment (DAE) capability in StorNext 5.4 allows users to leverage a converged storage architecture, reducing the time, cost and complexity of deploying and maintaining applications.

StorNext 5.4 is currently shipping with all newly-purchased Xcellis, StorNext M-Series and StorNext Pro Solutions, as well as Artico archive appliances. It is available at no additional cost for StorNext 5 users under current support contracts.

JMR shipping RAID desktop and rackmount workstations for Mac mini

JMR, which produces scalable storage solutions for M&E, has made available its latest Thunderbolt 2-certified desktop and rackmount workstation for the Apple Mac mini.

The JMR Lightning model LTNG-XD-8-MMDT is a new desktop/DI cart workstation. The Mac mini installs via a slide-in sled from the rear, and the Lightning desktop provides front-panel USB 3.0, audio I-O and media card reader, while the rear panel provides all other Mac connections.

An internal Thunderbolt 2 controller and two-slot PCIe (x8 full-height slots) expander with an internal 6Gb SAS RAID controller are standard, as well as eight 3.5-inch hot-swappable disk drive bays providing up to 64TB of native disk storage capacity (RAID-0/1/4/5/6/40/50/60).

The desktop/cart unit will have an optional 9-inch LCD flip-up monitor (available in late November), which connects to the Mac mini and may be added or removed in the field without tools — this makes it well suited for ingest and dailies.

The Lightning desktop is portable and quiet, cooled by a low-speed centrifugal blower in a removable module. The unit also has a ventilated and hinged front door, with a Kensington lock slot to prevent accidental disk drive removal or theft.

Measuring 7” H x 11” W x 16” D, the new Lightning desktop for Mac mini starts at $3,999, including the internal ExpressSAS RAID controller.

The JMR Lightning model LTNG-XD-8-MM2U is a new 2U rackmount workstation suited for DI carts or machine room operations. The Mac mini installs after removing the slide-off top cover, and the Lightning rackmount provides front-panel I/O connections for USB 3.0, audio, GigE and HDMI, as well as a media card reader, while the rear panel provides all other Mac mini connections.

The Mac mini’s on/off power switch is remotely operated from the front panel. An internal Thunderbolt controller and two-slot PCIe (x8 full-height slots) expander with an internal 6Gb SAS RAID controller are standard, as well as eight 2.5-inch hot-swappable disk drive bays to provide up to 32TB of native SSD disk storage capacity (RAID 0/1/4/5/6/10/40/50/60).

Five internal cooling fans keep everything cool, with very low noise levels; at only 19-inches deep it fits any mobile or stationary rack providing 20-inch mounting depth. Pricing starts at $3,299, including an internal ExpressSAS RAID controller.

Both products are fully Thunderbolt Certified after exhaustive testing by the Intel-Apple Thunderbolt engineering group.