If you are considering replacing your Avid Unity MediaNet system with a next generation shared storage solution you may wish to consider Avid ISIS. This impressive shared storage system offers the advantages of the straightforward management offered by Unity with a system that is straightforward to install and manage, and that scales to larger capacities than its predecessor both in terms of client count and in terms of storage.
I was asked recently about my opinion on the fact that migrating from Unity to ISIS 5000 would mean that the customer would lose the high bandwidth connection capability of a Unity Fibre Channel connection. I suggested that she consider that an ISIS 5000 client can comfortably achieve a connection bandwidth of 65 MB/second (that is 65 Mega-Bytes a second) to the ISIS 5000 storage using a single Category 5e or Category 6 Ethernet cable. To put that into perspective, that is over 3 streams of uncompressed 8 bit SD material or over 2 streams of DNxHD 185 material! For a lot of work-flows that is more than enough but if not, Avid supports dual connected clients if one were to require more bandwidth. A variety of high resolution uncompressed HD work-flows have been qualified from 1 Stream of uncompressed 10 bit HD (at 150 MB/S) to multistream compressed work-flows such as 6 streams of 10 bit SD (171 MB/S) and 5 Streams of DNxHD 220 x (at 140 MB/S).
If one is concerned about the lack of “reach” of Ethernet, Avid have also qualified solutions that allow for Ethernet connections from the clients to the ISIS switch using either traditional Twisted Pair Copper cabling or Fibre Optic technology to extend the reach of their ISIS infrastructure across campuses that are spread over a wider area. This includes qualifying switches that support both optical transducer media as well as copper connections. Some customers are finding that they can use Media Converter technology to convert copper Ethernet connections to optical media to achieve the same end result where only only a minimum number of clients are required to connect optically.
Further details on the performance of ISIS 5000 can be found in the Avid ISIS 5000 Performance Guide document which can be found on their Knowledge Base site.