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Avid Intros Cheaper Storage Solution

Editing and storage supplier Avid,
which has maintained its footing in providing shared storage for major network
productions but lost share in recent years in the local news market, has
developed a lower-cost version of its high-end ISIS (infinitely scaleable
intelligent storage) system that is aimed at local and regional broadcasters
and smaller post-production facilities.

The new ISIS 5000 system uses the same
file system as the high-end Unity ISIS system, which has now been rebranded as
the ISIS 7000, but uses lower-cost hardware with slightly less redundancy and
performance. Pricing for the ISIS 5000, which will work with Apple's popular Final
Cut Pro editing systems as well as Avid's editors, starts at $38,000 compared
to $110,000 for the Avid 7000. That base system features 32 GB of storage (24
usable TB after RAID-5 protection), Gigabit-Ethernet connectivity and 40 seat

Jim Frantzreb, Avid's senior marketing segment manager for broadcast and
storage, describes the new ISIS 5000 as addressing customers' need for
high-performance shared storage while being "more price-sensitive for those who
don't need the very high availability and scalability of Unity ISIS," which is
used by clients such as NBC for Olympics coverage and CBS for the Super Bowl.

"From a practical standpoint, this will
be a more competitive offer for upgrades of legacy systems, both for our
customers and [products from] others," Frantzreb says.

He says the 5000 system is targeted to
local broadcasters, in DMAs 26 to 199, as well as independent post-production
houses and customers in education and government.

The base 32 TB "Direct Connect" version
of the ISIS 5000 has a single ISIS engine and four Gig-E connections, but
doesn't include a network switch; customers can add a third-party switch. The
32TB switched configuration, which lists for $54,960, includes a Force-10
switch and the ability to expand by adding a second engine. The 64 TB switched
configuration, which offers 48 TB of usable storage, has two engines and
include 10-Gig-E connectivity between the engines and the switch. It lists for

A single ISIS 5000 engine, Frantzreb
says, can store 1500 hours of video in the DV 25 (Mbps) and support 96 streams
of DV 25 simultaneously; 750 hours and 47 streams in the 50 Mbps format, such
as XDCAM HD; and 210 hours and 10 streams in Avid's DNxHD mezzanine compression
format. All of the systems offer streamlined administration with set-up, user
and storage management, monitoring and diagnostics provided by the intuitive
ISIS management console.