Avid ISIS 1000 Avid Everywhere for everyone at the media science faculty Uni Siegen

Michael Zimmermann is the director of the laboratory that belongs to the media science faculty at the university of Siegen (Germany). He explains how a tapeless workflow and the ISIS 1000 shared storage system from Avid revolutionized the editing processes for the students.

In September 2015, an ISIS 1000 shared storage solution from Avid was integrated into the digital video editing workflow at the media science faculty of the renowned university of Siegen. The data storage with its rapid up- and download speeds is part of the transition to a tapeless workflow in the areas of production and training.

“Our facility has twelve local editing suites, which are equipped with Avid Media Composer and Apple FinalCut for video editing and Avid Pro Tools for audio projects”, explains Michael Zimmermann. “So far, working on a project meant you could only do it if you had access to the same editing suite every time. The growing number of students and the general paradigm shift towards tapeless and especially collaborative workflows, though, really necessitated innovative solutions. After all, students cannot wait for ‘their’ editing suite every single time; in addition, collaboration is really quite difficult under these circumstances. Editing on a high-performance video server simply offers more possibilities and synergies. Among other things, waiting times for editing suites are now shorter or virtually non-existent as data is no longer stored locally on only one editing suite, but can be accessed from any workstation thanks to the shared storage system.”

Another benefit: The system is easy to handle, thus increasing the efficiency while at the same time protecting all assets. And linking up multiple editors simultaneously for real-time collaboration is no great challenge for ISIS 1000 either. It also helps prevent production interruptions through automatic drive recovery. “ISIS 1000 also offers ideal conditions when it comes to a possible expansion of the number of our editing suites since it allows access to all stored assets for up to 24 users at a time”, explains Zimmermann.

Storage Solution

The new installation is used for training in the ungraduated study courses of the so-called Faculty I. Here, about 250 students attend the introductory classes “video and audio”, and another 300 students are enrolled in the “web” basic courses alone. This means that, together with the higher semesters, almost 600 students need the possibility to edit video and audio files. With only twelve local editing suites, this equals a high user fluctuation and a multitude of up- and downloads – and this data volume can only be handled by a very fast and powerful solution. “Our new ISIS system knows no end of business,” says a smiling Zimmermann. “The system pretty much runs 24/7.”

„We started out by building our own server editing solution, which worked quite successfully for a while. But in the end, it just failed to meet the continuously increasing demand in terms of required performance for collaborative work,” states Zimmermann. “As a result, we looked at various available shared storage solutions and, in the end, opted for Avid. The general performance, speed and compatibility of the ISIS shared storage system certainly were convincing aspects. It was also really helpful to get expert advice from our long-time media partner Qvest Media – based in Cologne – from who we actually bought the system.”

„ISIS 1000 fulfills all network requirements the university had, and furthermore met the somewhat tight budget Mr. Zimmermann had available,” says Detlef Ehrhardt, Sales Manager Professional Products at Qvest Media. “As an affordable entry-level shared storage solution in the field of professional audio and video productions and for educational institutions such as the university in Siegen, ISIS 1000 really is a perfect match. The advanced file management also enables the use of Avid systems and those of third parties while at the same time benefitting from particular data security, flexibility and scalability.”

Avid, too, is pleased about the project. “Collaborative workflows not only gain importance in a professional environment, but educational institutions, too, realize the added value that they can offer their students. With ISIS 1000, we offer a customized shared storage system which is already successfully put to use in a number of universities“, says Jan Lange, Regional Director, Avid Central EMEA.

unpack - switch on - go

In Siegen, ISIS 1000 can demonstrate one of its strengths particularly well: its broad compatibility. ”Generally, it’s ‘unpack – switch on – go’ for ISIS 1000, but in a university environment, there are some obstacles to overcome,” says Zimmermann. “Especially the coordination with the data center and the overall network are very important. Various security protocols need to be considered, but the system can be integrated easily enough, considering that 20,000 students and 3,000 employees use the university’s network. In addition, our data center recently moved, and in order to connect our locations, several kilometers of fiber optic cable were laid throughout the entire city. At the end of the day, a solution could always be found, and it did not even take a month from the investment until the completed implementation of the system.”

In Siegen, ISIS 1000 can demonstrate one of its strengths particularly well: its broad compatibility. ”Generally, it’s ‘unpack – switch on – go’ for ISIS 1000, but in a university environment, there are some obstacles to overcome,” says Zimmermann. “Especially the coordination with the data center and the overall network are very important. Various security protocols need to be considered, but the system can be integrated easily enough, considering that 20,000 students and 3,000 employees use the university’s network. In addition, our data center recently moved, and in order to connect our locations, several kilometers of fiber optic cable were laid throughout the entire city. At the end of the day, a solution could always be found, and it did not even take a month from the investment until the completed implementation of the system.” The new system is available as of now for all undergraduates from Faculty I as well as for all other students of the university Siegen who enroll in a general practical course on the subjects of audio and film.