When to start looking for Shared Storage
by ProMAX Systems, on Oct 9, 2018 3:48:48 PM
So, what are the Top 5 Signs it's time for Shared Storage
- Your team can't easily find files (and there's no good company-wide system in place to search for files).
- Your production slate and/or your staff is growing.
- Duplicate files are causing confusion
- You rely on the "sneaker net" to move files and assets between workstations and you are drowning in Firewire drives.
- Output is slowing down; your team spends more and more time waiting; infringing on their time for creating.
How can Shared Storage help?
1. Your team can't easily find files
Over time your team has collected hundreds of hours of footage for the various projects they are working on, but where are you storing these files? Is there a system in place for where to store your media files or an agreed upon naming convention for them? Is metadata tagging standardized or does everyone have their own method "that works"?
If you're unsure of the answers to these questions then most likely your team is not set up to run as efficiently as they could. Files may be stored on different drives throughout the office and metadata tagging methods may change from person to person
Housing your media files in a shared storage server gives your entire team access to the files they need. Instead of digging through portable drives scattered across the office you will have the peace of mind knowing that anything you need is safely stored on the shared storage system. Using a standard metadata tagging system or by grouping media by project, users can quickly search for files on the system and get straight to working on the project.
2. Your production slate and/or staff is growing
While seeing your company grow is never a bad thing, the growing pains that come with it can be a major headache! As you add more members to the team or begin to see projects coming down the pipeline, you're going to need to make extra room for the files that come with them.
Luckily, with shared storage adding users is a fairly simple task. To get your newest team members access they just need to have their workstation connected into the network and have permissions set and they are good to go!
To make space for new projects coming down the pipeline there are a few options.
- Use LTO or Cloud to archive older files you no longer need immediately accessible.
- Add an expansion which will add more usable space to your storage ecosystem.
- Utilize third-party storage devices by plugging them directly into your shared storage server which will read them and allow your team to access the files that are on them.
3. Duplicate Files are Causing Confusion
With multiple team members working on editing, graphics and audio for your projects there is a likely chance that there are duplicate files floating around your studio. So how does your team know which file is the most current? The answer is… They may not! A shared storage solution can eliminate this confusion by allowing your team to work on their portion of the project from the same file. Doing this will prevent multiples versions of the same file being created and keep your team from wasting their time trying to figure out which file is the most recent.
4. You rely on the "sneaker net" to move files around which is slowing down output
Passing external drives from person to person is far from ideal for a few reasons.
- You are forced to wait while one person works on their part of the project.
- As you run out of storage you find yourself purchasing an endless supply of external drives to keep up with demand.
With shared storage your team can store and access your media on one system which will allow them to work collaboratively, speeding up the project they are working on.
5. Output is slowing down; your team spends more and more time waiting; infringing on their time for creating.
All of the previous issues mentioned lead to your team being slow and inefficient. I’m not sure about you, but when I am stuck waiting around on a project I get extremely frustrated which clouds the creative side of my mind. Working in a creative industry there could be some major problems if your team is distracted from being creative because of snags in the workflow. To eliminate those snags a shared storage solution is a great way to start! By equipping your team with the tools to speed up their workflow processes they will no longer have to wait on someone else to finish a project or spend countless hours tagging metadata or searching for files.
If any of these sound like your team’s current situation then it may be the right time to begin searching for a shared storage solution. You could settle for purchasing portable drives to address storage issue but that would be a band-aid solution that will only help you for a short time until you need to purchase them again. Implementing a shared storage solution into your workflow can do more than fix your current problems, it can open up more possibilities for your team through the efficiencies your team will gain. It will take your team from trying to solve the problems they face within the workflow to doing what they do best, being creative!