What type of facility would buy a Facilis system?
Any workgroup that produces image content for web, television or print can use a Facilis system. Most of our customers produce video content for delivery to networks and streaming content providers, or in the case of our corporate customers, internal use.
Why would these facilities need such specialized storage?
Applications that use video are very different in their requirements on the network. Even if a streaming video format is rated at a specific bit rate, the application processing the image may demand far more bandwidth to maintain proper full-speed playback. Most network storage systems are not optimized for the requirements of these workflows.
How is Facilis HUB different than NAS?
Facilis uses the Facilis Shared File System software, not generic NAS file systems like SMB/CIFS/NFS which are controlled by the operating system of the client workstations. Avoiding network filesystem overhead lowers the latency of the client-server communication, especially when accessing directories with large file count.
Will workstations on your system perform better?
Within the Shared File System there is a default load balance incorporated with the Bandwidth Priority settings that keeps a single system from flooding the server with data when other workstations are also active. This ensures that bandwidth to the clients remain consistent even when reaching the limit of the server throughput.
What video software does your file system support?
We qualify video and image creation software like Adobe Creative Cloud, Avid Media Composer, Blackmagic Resolve and Apple FCPX, just to name a few. In addition to our tested and qualified applications, any software that can run on the supported operating systems and workstations can use our file system volumes like simple attached drives.
How do workstations see the server?
The workstations connect to the server through one of our network options. Facilis offers Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections, and we have a connectivity type for every workstation, even wireless. The speed of connection will be determined by the requirements of the workstation, type of video formats being used, etc.
How does the storage appear on the workstation?
Facilis shared storage workflow uses virtual volumes that can be resized anytime. These virtual volumes appear as individual drives or network shares on your workstation. The administrator can easily add permissions to the volumes so that only the users that need access to the data will be able to mount the volume. The permissions features are very important for any facility that wants to maintain security and privacy for their clients.
Does it matter what kind of workstations we use?
The Facilis Shared File System is compatible with Mac OS, Windows and Linux operating systems. Workstations can be laptops, towers, minis or all-in-one desktops like iMacs. We support many versions of each operating system, going back several years. This ensures that you won’t have to upgrade every desktop when a new OS version is released.
Can I give some workstations priority?
There is a per-workstation setting called Bandwidth Priority. Workstations will always get the best possible performance based on their connection type, until the server becomes unable to support all the clients because of increased load. Then the Bandwidth Priority setting will determine which workstations will degrade performance, and which will not.
How do you protect the data against drive failure?
Each secure virtual volume has the choice of RAID protection from one to four data drives that can fail while retaining all the system data. This is called DynaRAID II Selectable RAID6, and it’s the most flexible and secure software-defined protection on the market. In addition, multi-server environments can use our DynaMirror option to replicate data across servers.
Does Facilis use Proprietary Storage?
Facilis sells turn-key software-defined storage, so it is required that the storage is supplied by Facilis. In this way we support the entire system - client software and hardware; LTO and Cloud archive, Asset Management, central switch and server drive groups. To offer this level of support we must have control of all components from the start. This model allows Facilis to be accountable for keeping your facility working well after the initial point of purchase.
Can I attach some other storage to a Facilis system?
Although we sell turn-key systems, we also support connection of existing Fibre Channel or SAS-connected storage. FastTracker can index files on a non-Facilis attached storage, and we can even license that storage for sharing through the Facilis Shared File System.
How do you determine which server model will work for us?
We have a customized configurator tool for qualifying server models with workgroup requirements, and we have published stream counts for the most popular video formats on our web site and brochure. We have multiple capacity options for each server model we sell, so you can buy the size server that will keep up with your production demands.
Do you work with Solution Partners?
Facilis works with any technology that enhances our customer’s productivity. When qualifying a solution partner, Facilis support reps must have knowledge of the technology to determine whether a problem that arises is related to the base system or the partner technology. We’ll never simply send you somewhere else unless we’re sure the problem exists there.
Does this system have metadata controllers?
No, Facilis does not require separate metadata controllers, or a separate metadata network. Even with fibre channel client workstation connectivity, only a single connection is required.
What type of drives do you use?
SATA/SAS 7200RPM NAS-class hard drives in sizes from 4TB to 12TB and Pro-class SSDs from 1TB to 4TB.
What’s the controller and speeds?
We use 12Gb SAS controllers internally, and 12Gb SAS or 6Gb SAS for external storage connectivity.
Does your system have Avid project sharing?
Yes, we have had emulation of the Avid shared file system since 2009, with full bin locking and media sharing.
Can I use my own switch?
For IP networks, the Facilis Shared File System is an IP-based, routable protocol that is compatible with any managed, non-blocking Ethernet switch. Including one of the switch options that we test and sell may result in easier setup and support. For use with Fibre Channel, we require a switch which has been qualified.
Can I use Facilis storage along with other similar systems?
There are some cases where combining software from multiple shared storage networks can cause incompatibilities, especially with SAN connectivity. If the other storage system is NAS-based, there is likely to be no issue.
What are the permission settings?
Each virtual volume can be assigned read-only, read/write or no access for a server user account, desktop (OS login) account, or LDAP account. Accounts of any type can be combined into groups for easier permission configurations.
How large can I make a Facilis volume?
Our maximum volume size is 256TB. Keep in mind our permissions model is volume-based, so it is best to create many smaller volumes in order to ensure security and management in a multi-project workflow.