Pro-production and broadcast workflows are demanding workflows. Editing uncompressed 4K video on NAS, mobile creatives demanding power, immersive design environments: Dell EMC has solutions from storage to networking to workstations. See how it is all linked together with Dell EMC's IBC 2018 booth tour.
One of Dell's experts in the media and entertainment industry is Molly Connolly, Director, Strategic Alliances, and she takes us around Dell's booth in Amsterdam. Thomas V. Burns, CTO, Media & Entertainment, provides a strategic view of Dell EMC's storage, network, and server solutions for the industry.
Dell EMC can combine storage, networking, & servers with the Dell Canvas, desk-side, mobile, and remote workstations. When Dell adds ISV certifications for all of the solutions, then they deliver true end-to-end solutions for post-production and broadcast customers.
Ms. Connolly begins with a new, designed-for-creative-professionals mobile workstation. She then delves into the immersive design environment of the Dell Canvas and touches on the power of the Precision 7730, Dell's mobile workstation workhorse. Ms Connolly wraps up with a discussion of data center workstations, fast storage and networking.
Thomas addresses key issues for media & entertainment professionals with a clear overview of the problems and solutions in storage, networking and server systems. Dell's range of technology delivers an infrastructure of hardware and software for media professionals that is compatible, tested with major software vendors, and promises high-performance.
A mobile workstation for creative professionals: the Precision 5530 2-in-1
Dell began shipping the Precision 5530 2-in-1 the week after IBC 2018 and at the show, visitors could take the workstation for a test-drive. This thin and light mobile workstation has a 4K touch display that uses both touch and pen. This allows almost any kind of creative work to be done on it's 15" display.
The high resolution and the touch working environment gives the user an immersive, creative environment on the road. In addition, the display flips over 360° to provide a tablet feel or a standing "tent" display for presenting designs. And like all Dell Precision workstations, the 5530 2-in-1 is certified with the major software vendors.
Packed into the 2 kg chassis of the Precision 5530 2-in-1 lies an Intel i5 or i7 processor with AMD Radeon Pro graphics integrated. This is one of the results of Intel and AMD's cooperation agreement from last year in which the companies agreed to create combined CPU & GPU products on a single chip. The high-end model is an Intel® Core™ i7-8706G Processor with Radeon™ Pro WX Vega M GL graphics (8M Cache, up to 4.10 GHz).
The starting price is attractive. When all is said and done, a system that I would be happy with will still cost nearly $3900 (without sales tax). A large portion of that cost is the incremental cost for a 2 TB SSD drive. You can slash more than 650
The Dell Canvas delivers a QHD creative surface
For animators needing to work directly on their designs, the Dell Canvas is a dream come true. It is a top-of the line touch display surface for creating digital art and animations. The Canvas has a clean design with the controls integrated into the display. The display of the device runs at 1440p.
The Dell Canvas can be powered by any workstation. At IBC, the system was running on a Precision 7730 mobile workstation. The configuration at the show also included a 4K curved Dell display.
The Canvas allows you to work on the 27" display surface with all 10 fingers or the Canvas touch-pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. With the totem, you will gain the productivity of working easily with 2 hands. The features of the totem are configurable so that the commands and control that you need most for your style of work are always available at your finger tips.
Using rounded numbers, the Dell Canvas will cost you around $1700 before taxes.
Data center workstations: powerful, efficient, and secure
Dell used IBC to launch the Precision 3930 rack workstation. This 1U rack workstation supports high-end graphics like the NVIDIA Quadro P5000 and processors like the Intel Xeon E-2100 family of CPUs. Also on display at IBC was the Precision 7920 rack workstation. This system is a 2U rack workstation that supports one or two of the Intel scalable processors with up to 28 cores per processor. On the graphics side, the workstation handles a Quadro P6000. Technically, the system allows for 3 double-width GPUs to be configured in the system.
Rack workstations benefit customers in several ways. First, the users are freed from their desktop systems and from their mobile systems. Any style of client can be used: from a thin client on the desktop or at home to any notebook on the road. Additionally, the same working environment is available any time, any where.
Security is a key feature, too. None of your IP actually leaves your server room. If a workstation or mobile workstation is stolen or lost, the company data remains safe.
Efficiency is also key for many companies. One workstation can be shared across multiple users. Additionally, maintenance is simpler by having all the workstation infrastructure in the date center.
Rack workstations deliver cost savings by centralizing and sharing the workstation resource. They provide enhanced security for your IP. And they give users the flexibility to work from almost anywhere using almost any client device.
Storage, networking, and servers
Thomas V. Burns provides us with his expert perspective on networking, storage, and server solutions for the media & entertainment industry. Thomas makes the observation that storage defines the workflow for media & entertainment projects. Indeed, one of the more remarkable achievements in recent years is the ability to drive uncompressed 4K workloads on scalable NAS - a fact that clearly impacts workflows.
Dell EMC has released their 8th generation OneFS scale-out NAS products and their 3rd generation of ECS Object Store. This combination provides scalable, fast storage on-prem and object storage for collaboration. The mapping between the on-prem files and the object storage requires a middleware product. Dell EMC recently acquired DataFrameworks whose product, ClarityNow!, provides exactly this functionality.
The infrastructure experts presented their Hyper-converged infrastructure product, VxRail, one of the means for supporting compute and object store. Dell also showed Ready for AI server bundles that include compute, GPU-compute, storage, and networking. AI is a hot topic for the media & entertainment market which makes such a solution interesting. And with those features and that level of performance, these Ready for AI solutions are also perfect for many post-production tasks.
The PW Perspective
Professionals in post-production & broadcast can shop around for solutions that fit their needs for workstation power and fast storage. A company like Dell EMC is one of the options to provide a complete infrastructure from a single vendor.