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12 Forward Entertainment Scales Up and Out with Facilis TerraBlock 5.5

Up-and-coming television production company 12 Forward Entertainment is a one stop shop for non-scripted programming and independent films. Based in Dallas, TX, it’s credited with CMT favorite “Gator 911,” HGTV’s “Donna Decorates Dallas” and “Interiors Inc.,” as well as several independent short films.

Owner and Executive Producer Terry Wester purchased the company’s first RED camera in 2008, and quickly realized that its aging storage system couldn’t support the large RED files, so he began a search for a new solution. “Scratch was the only DI tool that supported native RED files at the time. I’d heard good things about Facilis and that it worked well with both RED and Scratch, so it seemed like a good fit,” shared Wester. “I also knew that with Facilis we wouldn’t have to rip out our existing Fibre Channel infrastructure and start from the ground up.”

He added, “One of the things I loved most about TerraBlock was that Facilis offered us an upgrade path; we knew we were investing in our storage foundation – something we could trust in. Over the past few years it’s proven to be that and so much more.”

Late last year, 12 Forward Entertainment discovered that they’d be in full production for two shows in 2012 – “Donna Decorates Dallas” and “Interiors Inc.” Terry acted fast to find a second storage system that would allow the team to keep assets for both shows online. Pleased with the TerraBlock and new features in 5.5, he purchased a second TerraBlock in January 2012.

“RED allows us to deliver such dynamic programming because we’re able to do things in post that we wouldn’t otherwise. A secure, expandable storage system like TerraBlock is instrumental – really the backbone of that work,” Terry said. “There’s no question that we need a solution like TerraBlock in place as we expand our business, because it allows us to scale up for capacity and out for connectivity. We’re really excited about the new TX 16 Chassis expander, because we can expand our capacity without the overhead of installing a brand new system.”

Installation of the new TerraBlock proved seamless for the 12 Forward team. Wester explained, “Installing our second TerraBlock as was quick and easy as it was the first time; we plugged it in, configured it and literally doubled our storage overnight – no file copying required. It worked like it was supposed to instantly.”

He continued, “Normally Fibre Channel is so complicated that you have to bring in a network manager to deal with it but I was able to install the TerraBlock in the racks, plug in the fiber and with a little configuration, it just worked. Other storage solutions are often more complicated than they need to be, but Facilis hit the bull’s eye with TerraBlock. It’s a silent powerhouse that works right out of the box, and you don’t really ever have to think about it once you plug it in.”

Terry said, “Being able to store all of our data in one secure place and easily manage it is just awesome. Multi-write volumes on TerraBlock have also opened up a lot of possibilities for us; our team is able to collaborate on projects easier than ever before – sharing graphics, colors, edits, etc. across our six Avid suites, a graphics suite and Scratch/Resolve color suite. I’ve found that we’re working a lot faster now because we don’t waste time shuffling drives around or transferring files from one workstation to another. TerraBlock keeps our operations running smoothly like a storage solution should.”

12 Forward has not experienced any major hiccups with TerraBlock thus far, even when the TerraBlock is 100 percent full. He concluded, “I can’t even begin to imagine how we’d function without a shared storage solution like TerraBlock; our projects would take much longer, require more manpower and cause unnecessary frustration. Facilis tech support is also always amazing – quick to answer the phone and dive in remotely to our system to solve any problems on the fly. I absolutely love Facilis and the TerraBlock.”

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