Hollywood in the hybrid cloud: Data management solutions keep the action rolling
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The media and entertainment industry faces growing data challenges with the greater need to work remotely and produce content more efficiently. The UK’s leading post-production provider pixitmedia is stepping up to optimize video production and modernize with parallel performance using IBM® software-defined storage solutions for hybrid cloud.

Business challenge

To keep audiences spellbound year-round, media companies need smart and efficient data management with hybrid cloud flexibility to streamline heavy workflows and collaborate on a global scale.


pixitmedia adds flexibility, scale and performance into any workflow using IBM Spectrum® Scale software to help hybrid cloud clients create hit after hit.

Results Optimize resource utilization
by ensuring 100% performance at 99.9% capacity efficiency
75% lower IT infrastructure costs
on average by offering customers greater cost controls
Reduce file sharing transfers
from 24 hours to minutes for faster editing and collaboration
Business challenge story
Removing limits to imagination

A major shift is underway for media and entertainment companies. The pandemic fundamentally disrupted the way content creators make, share and store their work. Application needs have quickly shifted from on-premises networks and data storage toward a need to enable more efficient workflows and creative collaborations through cloud-based data storage solutions.

pixitmedia simplifies this new flow of data for companies through purpose-built, software-defined storage and data management solutions.

“It goes beyond storage,” says CTO and co-founder Barry Evans. “When you talk to the people that bring these creative stories to life, they don't really care where that data sits. Whether they're an editor working on a feature or a color grader, scaler, audio, or visual-effects person, they just have a job that needs to be done. They want to be able to use it and access it through their own tools and their own project management workflow whether that data is on premises, on their own workstations, or whether it's in the cloud somewhere.”

pixstor®, pixitmedia’s powerful data-aware network-attached storage platform, utilizes IBM Spectrum® Scale to “go beyond storage” and provide tighter application integration to fully unify data, infrastructure and users.

“We've been really successful recently delivering a whole new range of flexibility,” says Barry Evans. “The beauty of what we've developed alongside IBM Spectrum Scale is interoperability between on premises and the cloud. Our customers want to carry on operating efficiently locally but have the confidence and ability to cope with new demanding workflows globally. Interconnected storage provides that global collaboration without compromise now and, while not a key driver at present, offers scope to implement machine learning technologies, such as AI, in the future.”

With this flexibility, pixstor® empowers creative workflow efficiencies through simplified administration processes, a seamless user experience, powerful search functionality across the single namespace, and multi-tenancy containers for security & audit compliance.

Data goes beyond storage. Our clients want to use and access data through their tools and their workflow whether it’s on premises, on their own workstations, or in the cloud somewhere. Barry Evans Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder pixitmedia
Transformation story
The revolution will be virtualized

Complimenting pixstor®, and also supported by IBM Spectrum Scale, is ngenea®, a dynamic data management solution that quickly and securely transports data to and from the cloud, object storage or traditional NAS file systems and tape resources.

“IBM Spectrum Scale has also enabled us to greatly improve the customizability of ngenea. In this sense, our users are able to more easily move data based on their specific business needs. Where they work, what sort of system and storage performance is required, how many people will access it, what resolution of data they want to access. We take that all into consideration as we build a solution that has guaranteed sustained performance, even at 99% capacity—where slowdown is usually expected,” says Barry Evans.

A software-defined data management solution for hybrid cloud is the glue that makes the user experience consistent no matter where content is stored. It's the power of a global file system and the single namespace which enables pixitmedia to deliver interoperability and complete collaborative control to their users.

“You see, with simplified administration processes and pixstor’s powerful search functionality, the power of the storage is at the fingertips of the creatives—all without disrupting the creative workflow,” Evans says. “ngenea makes the content available to the right teams at exactly the right time. They click on a button and their data is right there next to their editing suite. It doesn't matter where they are based as that process is masked to the end-user by our software.”

Coming to a hybrid cloud near you

pixitmedia is showing its media and entertainment clients new ways to maximize their investments in IT resources. Because pixstor is software-defined, pixitmedia customers don’t have to remove and replace their existing infrastructure investment—their data can reside in the cloud, the data center, or both. With freedom of choice, this hybrid cloud deployment model offers customers huge flexibility in how they want to roll out a cloud-based solution across their organization.

This flexible user experience delivers real financial advantages. Before pixitmedia, editors and sound and film engineers had to wait for data to be synced before it could be retrieved through their existing archival system, which takes time and money. Now, pixitmedia’s global file system and the single namespace brings greater cost controls to its customers.

Barry Evans explains: “What makes this special is that the data doesn’t have to be physically transferred between storage platforms for users to be able to see all of the data across the entire system. The user just accesses the file and it automatically retrieves only that file from the correct location on-demand. It’s really fast and so much more efficient from an ingest and egress costs perspective.”

Their content is therefore not stuck in a proprietary system or data center. By giving clients greater control of IT costs aligned with exceptional performance, pixitmedia is establishing itself as a partner for growth.

We chose to work with IBM as a core part of our strategy because there's reliability over the functions and features that IBM brings to scale. Barry Evans Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder pixitmedia
Results story
Happily ever after effects

IBM Spectrum Scale provides pixitmedia with a wealth of enterprise-grade data protection, data management and performance features. “Having a lot of these basic features from the offset has allowed us to concentrate on delivering disruptive, industry-relevant innovation for our customers.” For pixitmedia, that means focusing on making their customers' media and creative workflows more efficient. Barry adds, “IBM Spectrum Scale takes care of the foundation, which allows us to focus on developing new industry-leading technologies that give our customers a real competitive edge, like our multi-tenancy solutions that significantly reduce on-premises infrastructure requirements whilst simultaneously delivering efficiency and security for our customers.”

When addressing the security challenges of accessing and storing data across multiple storage platforms, pixitmedia’s deployment of container-based multi-tenant architectures meets the most stringent security and auditing standards. pixstor® enables studios and companies to work safely and securely within their own data ecosystems, meaning that companies can avoid the spiraling costs and productivity hits associated with operating separate isolated infrastructure stacks or security protocols and focus on delivering upon creative projects.

Barry Evans concludes: “From our customer’s perspectives, who were adapting to this change, their challenge was finding a quick way to grant their creatives users access to data remotely. These setups would have implications on network bandwidth and limit how many users could store, share and collaborate on the same data. We’re going ’beyond storage’ by taking a holistic view of the entire supply chain and pipeline of edited work within studios. To do this, our core solutions focus solely on delivering performance, collaboration and seamless access to data—whether it’s on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid combination of both models.”

Pixitmedia logo with beyond expectations wording

Pixitmedia (link resides outside ibm.com) is an award-winning software-defined storage and data solutions company headquartered in the UK, with offices in the USA and Germany. They optimize solutions and simplify the flow of data to connect an increasingly complex world. Constantly pushing boundaries, they aim to ensure optimum performance and value with both choice and freedom in a restless pursuit of innovation. Customer success is at the heart of pixitmedia with technical specialists and a unique, dedicated lab facility to guarantee the effectiveness of our solutions.

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Spectrum Storage solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: https://www.ibm.com/products/spectrum-scale

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© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021. IBM Corporation, IBM Systems, New Orchard Road, Armonk, NY 10504

Produced in the United States of America, March 2021.

IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and IBM Spectrum are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at https://www.ibm.com/legal/copyright-trademark.

This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates.

The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.

Actual available storage capacity may be reported for both uncompressed and compressed data and will vary and may be less than stated.

pixstor and ngenea are registered trademarks of pixitmedia.