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SGL Hits The Jackpot In Vegas

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The bright lights of Vegas are beckoning and this year's NAB sees SGL FlashNet take centre stage at booth SL5306. By Lee Sheppard, Director of Product Management.

The company's new user interface, which will be incrementally rolled out over the next 12 months, will be shown for the first time. This new iteration of FlashNet provides customers with an elegant dashboard that further simplifies archive procedures with sophisticated tools for archive and restore functionality, system health, monitoring, analysis and more.

FlashNet can control and manage all aspects of attached storage systems, whether to near-line, disk, tape, optical disk (including Sony ODA) or the cloud. The software presents the broadcast archive as a single storage repository, ensuring a seamless integration into all types of workflow. With a mature network of both hardware and software partners, SGL has developed an unrivalled integration programme providing broadcasters and content owners with a truly adaptable and flexible video archiving solution.

SGL ensures that all of its customers' assets are fully protected. Its scalable FlashNet architecture provides a clustered system of multiple servers, or nodes, each in constant communication. Each cluster node has identical software installed, and each is connected via a fibre channel into the archive devices – generally disk storage and one or more tape libraries. At the heart of the cluster is a Microsoft SQL database, which is usually installed across two servers running a Microsoft cluster for fully automatic failover.

The cloud is becoming a key element of the storage hierarchy, which SGL is integrating into its strategy. FlashNet now supports Ci, Sony's cloud-based service that allows media professionals to collaborate on the creation and sharing of high quality, high resolution content. The SGL integration with Ci means that broadcasters and content owners can quickly and easily transfer material directly to the cloud from their MAM system using SGL FlashNet. As well as Ci, SGL also supports Amazon S3 via both Aspera and ExpeDat Gateway.

Throughout NAB, SGL will be showing its strong partner support with third-party demonstrations. This will include a demo on the SGL booth highlighting the Avid Interplay Web Services plug-in with Partial File Restore. Powered by Glookast, Partial File Restore is a unique feature of the Avid Interplay Web Services solution developed by SGL. SGL's support for Avid Interplay Web Services means that customers can use the archive capabilities that they currently require, but can employ Avid Interplay | Archive at any time in the future without the need to re-archive any content. The partial file restore feature enables operators to easily select and restore elements of a clip directly from the archive in high resolution. Prior to this, partial file restore functionality could only be achieved using the full Avid Interplay | Archive system.

SGL has partnered with Avid for the past 11 years and the companies continue to provide fully integrated solutions that are required by today's modern broadcast facilities. SGL FlashNet is the engine that drives Avid Interplay Archive providing customers around the world with a fully integrated MAM/PAM archive solution regardless of size, from the smallest TV station to the largest network operation.

A further partner demonstration on the SGL booth will be hosted by North Shore Automation (NSA), a software development and digital asset management consultancy and Square Box partner. NSA will demonstrate the integration between Square Box's CatDV MAM solution and FlashNet providing small-to-medium sized broadcasters with a highly cost-effective MAM and archive solution. The middleware connecting SGL FlashNet and CatDV, which was developed by NSA, opens up the market to content owners in other sectors that want to manage and archive their assets. SGL will also have demonstrations on the booth by Arvato and Empress with further information to be released soon.

As well as the new GUI, the latest version of FlashNet now supports reading and restoring from SMPTE's Archive eXchange Format (AXF). FlashNet can read and process AXF objects providing greater flexibility for customers, ensuring long term availability of content in the future regardless of technology evolution. FlashNet also supports LTO-7 specifications enabling tape cartridge native storage capacity of over 6TB, which is more than twice the compressed capacity of the previous generation. Tape drive data transfer rates also double those of LTO-6. As with previous generations, LTO-7 drives will provide backward compatibility with the ability to read and write LTO-6 cartridges and read LTO- 5 cartridges, helping to preserve media investments and ease implementation.

SGL will be releasing further information regarding the full features of the new FlashNet interface on the run up to the show. For a FlashNet demonstration at NAB, come along to booth SL5306.

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