Storage and workflow solutions firm Symply has launched SymplyFIRST – a product family for media workflow to offer solutions to common problems, which uses new LTO-9 technology.

The range tackles personal RAID protected storage, backup/archive, cloud archive/transfer, and connectivity challenges experienced in a variety of media pipelines including on-set production, post production, VFX, independent filmmakers, in-house creatives, photographers, and other media professionals.

The SymplyFIRST product family is designed to cover the workflow process, from ingest to archive. SymplyFIRST gives users options for their data management, from SymplySPARK – a desktop attached solution – through to tape archiving and expansion products. Symply has developed five distinct LTO products to answer specific industry needs such as on-set archiving of rushes or studio-based content offloading.

The cloud service, SymplyNEBULA, ensures efficient integration and is a viable alternative to mainstream cloud providers with no egress charges for retrieving data. This has been a major pain point for cloud adopters, but SymplyNEBULA now provides a convenient and cost-effective solution that can be scaled up or down as the user’s needs evolve.

For offloading content from cameras or other sources and safely store that data: SymplyPRO LTO and SymplyPRO DIT are Thunderbolt™3-connected desktop and rack-optimized solutions that incorporate LTO-9 technology, the latest in tape storage innovation, with up to 18TB native storage per tape and over 400Mbps read/write to quickly move content and ensure it is stored securely.

SymplyPRO DIT is a full-featured archive and transfer system with multi-access technology that combines camera card readers for RED, Atomos and Blackmagic Design along with removable 2.5” SSD and LTO tape for fast all-in-one DIT storage operations. SymplyPRO LTO systems are available in multiple configurations including a cable-less design, all-metal enclosure that allows for fast removal and insert of tape drives for transport or upgrade.

The SymplyATOM (Advanced Tape Operations and Management) software included with every SymplyPRO LTO system is designed to make operation and maintenance easier. SymplyPRO LTO systems are also certified for use with popular backup and archive utilities for macOS and Windows including YoYotta, Hedge Canister, and Archiware P5.

SymplySPARK is the company’s personal, transportable, media-optimized RAID solution. It has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and is available in capacities up to 144TB. The system is compact and light, while the design allows for tool-free user serviceability of drives, fans, and power supplies. SymplySPARK was designed for both on-set and edit bay use and comes packaged in an impact-resistant flight-friendly carry case.

“SymplySPARK is a high quality professional-grade product,” says independent film producer Mikey Kowalczyk. “Its speed exceeds any RAID device we have used before and editing RED footage files straight from the drive was effortless and bore little to no difference between running from the internal SSD. The design of the unit is a welcome change from unsightly hard drives and storage devices that one would usually try to hide underneath a houseplant. More than that, it is robust and built for endurance – I felt completely safe keeping several Terabytes of our film’s footage to maintain and edit entirely on the SPARK.”

As more content creators and business owners are looking to the cloud for production and archive storage, finding affordable media-centric cloud offerings can be difficult. The nature of media workflow requires significant data egress, which can easily drive up costs commonly associated with cloud usage demands. SymplyNEBULA is designed to make cloud backup and archive more efficient and affordable. SymplyNEBULA offers industry-standard S3 compatibility with data centers throughout the US and Europe and no egress charges. The service is available for a single per-terabyte price and is up to ten times faster than other providers. In addition, SymplyNEBULA enables easy movement of content to and from AWS EC2 for a variety of media processing and compute functions.

Another essential area of media workflow is providing extended connectivity to Apple and Windows Thunderbolt-equipped workstations. While today’s mini, all-in-one workstations and notebooks have powerful processing power, they are often limited in the number of PCIe expansion slots available. Media workflows often require specialized PCIe cards for high speed ethernet, Fibre Channel, SAS, audio, video processing (GPU), and even RAID cards. SymplyADDR is a hassle-free and compact solution to the problem. A series of affordable high-performance PCIe expansion systems designed to take up less space on your desktop, SymplyADDR offers quieter operation and requires less time to add or remove cards.

In addition to SymplyADDR, the company is releasing the SymplyLOCK – a Thunderbolt cable lock that works with all SymplyFIRST products and any Apple-certified Thunderbolt cable preventing accidental disconnection of a Thunderbolt device. This is important for remote, on-set, and fast-paced editing operations. The SymplyLOCK is built from high quality aluminum and features a design that accommodates multiple cable styles.

SymplyFIRST products are now generally available from resellers worldwide.



Jon Creamer

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