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Power remote finishing in the Cloud with pixstor

pixitmedia®, Amazon Web Services and Autodesk® are empowering customers to realize the potential of high-end finishing in the cloud.

The collaboration sees Autodesk provide access to Flame®  in AWS with pixitmedia providing its high-performance, media-centric cloud storage platform, which has previously been self-qualified as a trusted storage solution for Flame.

Autodesk has enabled Flame 2023 in AWS, allowing artists to embrace high-end cloud finishing with access to the industry’s leading 3D VFX, compositing and color grading software in the cloud. This innovation allows Flame artists to work from anywhere with a sufficient internet connection to a high-end instance in the Cloud running Flame.

It allows artists to use their single-user subscriptions to enable Flame workflows on scalable, high-end AWS instances, rather than incurring up-front costs for on-premise hardware.

Studios can now modify underlying hardware configurations, adjusting and scaling elastically to suit the type of project and collaboration experience required.

Finishing in the Cloud needs a superlative, robust and sophisticated software-defined storage and data platform. This provides the ultimate in operational capacity, guaranteed high-performance and supreme flexibility. For collaborative environments, pixstor is an ideal match for users of Flame in the Cloud. Integrated with AWS and Autodesk Flame, studios can coordinate multiple artists in a collaborative workflow, regardless of the underlying infrastructure or geolocation.

The current challenges of Cloud finishing

Sharing projects in distributed workflows with high-quality media is currently a challenge. While Cloud collaboration doesn’t require high-performance storage, finishing using high-quality media generally does. That conundrum deepens when you introduce Cloud. The technology is available in the Cloud to provide high-performance storage, but the infrastructure doesn’t necessarily offer either open collaborative capabilities or desired integration with on-premise infrastructure at the same time.

What’s more, most existing options on the market will lock customers into a single vendor ecosystem, often stifling creativity by limiting access to new and innovative technical features and toolsets offered by third parties.

Another challenge that weighs down legacy systems is the cost of finishing using on-premise hardware. Buying bespoke workstations designed and used specifically for finishing represents a significant up-front investment for any organization. Scaling up the number of seats per project involves considerable capital spend and time to set up each system. Then, once a project is complete, you are left with on-premise hardware sitting idle, which in today’s hyper-efficient post-production business, counts as a wasted resource.

In addition, organizations that have large LTO archives may need to maintain physical locations to access their media but may also benefit from migrating these low churn archives direct to the cost-effective colder tiers within the cloud. From here they will be able to both monetize these assets which have previously been locked in deep storage, and also attribute a tangible cost to their customers for retaining these files into the future.

Artists regularly conduct live working sessions with clients who need high-performance compute and storage to ensure a smooth and productive client experience. Therefore, selecting the optimal mix of AWS services and storage architecture to achieve that high performance is critical to ensure an uncompromising experience with finishing in the Cloud.

Finishing in the Cloud with pixstor

Content creation no longer needs to be bound by the locality of the hardware. There’s no need to pay for real estate on a new studio when a virtual studio can draw on an unlimited pool of the best talent from across continents. pixitmedia, AWS and Autodesk have teamed up to enable multiple artists to collaborate with other creatives seamlessly in the Cloud, for users who want to elevate and expand their experience.

This combination is unrivalled in terms of flexibility and scalability. Individual productions, post facilities or studios can quickly and easily adjust their Flame artist capacity and all underlying infrastructure as and when needed.

The guaranteed pixstor performance gives clients the confidence that their storage platform will always deliver what they need for their projects.

Adding ngenea from pixitmedia to the equation means you can unleash the full power of distributed collaboration. ngenea intelligently and automatically enables data to flow across the globe without the need for additional data movement software.

ngenea also removes the worry of expensive archive storage for high-quality image files in the Cloud. It is designed to automatically orchestrate archived assets to lower-cost storage. Studios have peace of mind knowing that the most cost-efficient storage tiers will always be used.

ngenea further allows users of Cloud infrastructure the ability to view all of their data, whether it is in the Cloud or on-premise, anywhere in the world. With ngenea, your teams can access any data they need, whenever they need it, wherever they are.

What’s more, by liberating those artists from on-premise hardware, they can take advantage of the latest technology as it becomes available.

For CFOs, a compelling point is the potential for significant cost savings that can be made with a Cloud workflow. Supported by pixstor, users can switch from a CapEx to an OpEx model where they only pay for use of the high-end infrastructure when required. Customers can alter any and all aspects of their infrastructure, tailored to the exact requirements of each project without the upfront costs that traditional hardware entails.

pixitmedia are experts in cloud network-attached storage, specializing in Media & Entertainment workflows. As a longstanding member of the AWS Partner Network, we have gained extensive experience working with customers using our solutions across the globe on-premise, in-Cloud and in hybrid environments.

A Technical collaboration to Guarantee Peace of Mind

pixitmedia’s pixstor solution brings a number of benefits to users of Autodesk Flame in AWS:

  • Peace of mind: Our performance guarantee always accommodates the data and storage you need to playback data rates required for Flame
  • True Hybrid: Friction-free and automated movement of project data between on-premise and Cloud with no additional steps needed
  • Globally distributed: Orchestration model is tightly integrated with pipeline and workflow for seamless data movement
  • Thoroughbred data management: Harnessing ngenea, move data anywhere it’s needed to power collaboration on a global scale
  • Cost-efficient data policy: ngenea intelligently moves data stored in the Cloud to the most cost-effective storage tier
  • Expert support: pixitmedia’s team of technical specialists are always on hand to ensure creative teams remain on track with project workflows
  • Simple deployment: pixstor with ngenea is available on the AWS marketplace
  • Test, collaborate and train: The pixitmedia Lab is where you can see how our technologies work first-hand in a real-world production environment

A Superior Way of Working

Flame in the Cloud can reduce the barrier to entry, enabling studios to cost-effectively grow their finishing operation without compromising on performance. AWS cloud infrastructure with pixstor running natively both on-premise and in Cloud allows teams of artists to team up faster than ever before.

With the Autodesk Flame qualification, pixitmedia has once again demonstrated its expertise in developing network storage solutions that can match and exceed the performance of any workflow requirement for the industry.

Working with pixstor in the Cloud enables project teams to collaborate globally whilst providing seamless, automated and ‘bottomless’ archiving capacity by integrating low-cost Cloud storage with high-performance pixstor deployments.

pixitmedia’s governing philosophy is to deliver beyond expectations throughout all areas of our operation. We have leveraged commodity network infrastructure to deliver SAN-like performance with NAS-like simplicity to multiple operators simultaneously. For artists performing high-end finishing in the Cloud, the collaboration between pixitmedia, Autodesk and AWS advances and expands this mission to give customers unprecedented freedom and choice.