Technologies For Worship March 2010 : Page 27

less of size) to work immediately - and simultaneously - with a single instance of stored media, in addi- tion to enabling much faster paral- lel workflows- as opposed to the serial model dictated by tape-based operations. This shared file-based storage model ensures that the cor- rect and most up-to-date version of an asset is always easy to identify and access. High media availabil- ity is particularly important when turnaround time is limited and the production works with numerous assets of similar content, such as from multiple Sunday services. By eliminating the need for duplicate copies of media, overall storage re- quirements are reduced and media protection is improved, providing a straightforward means of control- ling access through authorized user profiles. In a storage area network (SAN) environment, these are the inherent benefits. Because houses of worship vary by size, each facility will have different storage needs, and the key to successful manage- ment of stored assets depends on implementing the right system in tandem with the right technology partner. Media Storage and Access Solutions Initially, a smaller facility can start by centralizing assets on a small network attached storage (NAS) server. In this scenario, the cap- tured video content (ie: concluded services, sermons, etc.) are stored in a central location. This simple and cost-effective solution typically enables machines connected over an Ethernet network to copy or “pull” media, play and work on it locally, and then “push” the media asset back onto the server. While a NAS fulfills the very basic requirements of centralized storage, it nevertheless represents a significant improvement over managing tape-based assets and the equipment needed to work with those assets. A small SAN builds on this model, providing a central online store of content along with valuable features March 2010 27 such as real-time media streaming, which lets users play and record video and audio content directly from the storage system, rather than copying it to their indi- vidual workstations. NAS and SAN systems can be combined to achieve different functions and cost efficiencies within a tiered workflow approach. Both solutions can scale from small one-to-two person user environments typically found in a smaller house of worship, to more than a 10-20 users that might be needed for a mega church’s international broadcast production. The lower-cost NAS system is a good option when fast, immediate access is not the main priority for the church. While transcoding and media transformation are possible with a NAS system, they will require some time. When fast access by one or more users is required, the SAN provides the higher level of performance needed. Additional services such as media verification can be incorporated into higher-end SAN systems to automate the checking of media with respect to its

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