Blackmagic’s MultiDock Helps Better Wrangle Data in a Busy Environment

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The popularity of using DIGISTOR Professional Video SSD’s for filmmaking shows no signs of slowing down, offering a perfect storage solution for media in television production. Thanks to their superior speed and extremely large storage capacity, even a single SSD is beats out multiple hard disks, due to instantly accessible storage without any mechanical lag. Despite fast, reliable video recording capabilities and effortless playback of compressed or uncompressed video, using a single SSD device can be too limiting in a busy broadcast or post-production environment without the peripheral attachments necessary to streamline your workflow.

Since SSDs were not initially designed for external on the fly storage cartridges, the market has offered limited solutions for attaching SSD devices to your computer.

Enter the Blackmagic MultiDock: Designed to provide an efficient data wrangling solution that meets the needs of busy broadcast and post-production environments.

Edit Directly From Your Disks
Available in two models, the Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2, the Blackmagic MultiDock allows users to transfer from up to four 2.5” SSD devices simultaneously, and is perfect for editing, color grading, or any task that requires large video files to be stored on multiple drives. With the MultiDock, you’ll even be able to “edit in place” without even having to copy your material across.

An attractive and compact rack mount design, the four disk docking solution installs in seconds because it uses the disk drivers built into your Mac OS X and Windows Thunderbolt computer.

Although Thunderbolt is a rare sight in the PC world (upgrade cards are available) it’s now pretty much universal in the Macintosh domain. Which means that if you’re an Apple user you now have access to a staggeringly fast, but easy to use, way to connect storage to your computer.

Massive Performance & Volume
But there’s more to the MultiDock than that – it can also be part of a RAID system.

You can not only RAID up to four SSD devices within a single MultiDock, users can also daisy-chain up to six MultiDocks together (there are two Thunderbolt 2 connectors on each dock) for a total of twenty four disks on a single connection.

By minimizing the time spent swapping external SSD drives and transferring media, the Blackmagic MultiDock aims to allow professional filmmakers and photographers more time to focus on what matters – their work.

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Which data storage platform is right for you?

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There are more storage options than ever for both consumers and business users, allowing them to customize their solutions as they see fit. The downside to this situation is that an individual can easily become overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of available platforms. Each form of data storage was designed for a particular purpose, so blindly choosing one could result in an unsuccessful implementation. That’s why it’s so important that people do their homework and look at the various strengths and applications of each format before investing in a particular option. By identifying the right tool that matches their needs, individuals and organizations alike can get an optimal solution.

 

The cloud
Let’s begin with one of the more buzzworthy platforms out there. Hosted data storage services have a number of things working in their favor. For one, users can theoretically access their files from nearly any location and with just about any device. However, the cloud has a number of concerns that should give trepidation to anyone considering it as a primary method of storing important or unique documents. Security has long been a pervasive fear in this arena, as cybercriminals have many attack verticals with which to exploit vendor vulnerabilities and tap into user data. Another major concern is the reliability of the service providers in this nascent industry. There have been numerous cases of data storage providers experiencing outages that prevent users from accessing their hosted files. In some instances, vendors have even shut down operations with little to no warning, causing headaches for their former clientele.

Solid state drives
Next, let’s take a look at perhaps the most advanced data storage platform on the market today. Interest in SSDs has grown considerably in recent years as the technology’s manufacturing costs have dropped and performance demands across various industries have increased. As Forbes contributor Jim Handy explained, the enterprise SSD market has exploded over the past several years, going from an afterthought to what was a nearly $2 billion industry in 2013.

SSD devices offer many advantages over traditional hard disk drives, particularly regarding read and write speeds. HDDs are hampered by their reliance on physical internal components. Whenever a user attempts to copy or load a stored file, they must wait for these devices’ read/write heads to move into position. The physical limitations of HDDs make them ill-equipped to cope with intensive workloads or critical processes. SSDs, meanwhile, use NAND flash technology to store data onto individual nodes. The removal of moving parts allows these devices to quickly launch important applications or boot up a computer’s operating system.

This feature also makes SSD drives much more durable than HDDs overall. PCWorld contributor Lincoln Spector cautioned that the mechanical nature of HDDs makes them more vulnerable to hardware failure. Read/write heads and magnetic platters can be easily damaged, resulting in gigabytes or terabytes of lost data. Because SSDs don’t have these concerns, they can provide their users with far more peace of mind. This ruggedness has made high-performance SSD drives ideal for intensive industrial operations where working environments can feature extreme conditions and maximum uptime is essential. For the average consumer, however, the level of quality offered by these devices may be unnecessary.

Blu-ray discs
Where can consumers who want the affordability of HDDs but are concerned about their durability turn to? The answer may seem unlikely, but Blu-ray has proven itself to be an invaluable data archiving solution in both consumer and enterprise circumstances. Blu-ray strikes the right balance between scalability, ruggedness and affordability, enabling users to painlessly expand their archiving efforts without ever worrying about the integrity of their data. This way, if a primary storage device like an HDD ever malfunctions or becomes corrupted, a backup will be readily available.

Ultimately, the right storage solution comes down to the individual or organization. Entities with high performance needs and intensive workloads will likely want to incorporate an SSD drive in some capacity. Meanwhile, users running lighter workloads may be content to lean on a regular HDD while taking advantage of a Blu-ray archiving solution. Regardless of the needs of a particular entity, the right combination of devices and platforms will make all the difference in the world.

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