Danielle Sieben, ready to take your call
Meet Danielle, the latest addition to Cache-A’s expanding support team. We updated you in January on how we are building Cache-A’s support infrastructure, with a group of talented, enthusiastic individuals, all dedicated to ensuring Cache-A customers are happy and that their systems are working well.
Our team, led by Aaron Chevalley, with the help of Zack Rowland and Chris Cavazos has been working really well, helping to resolve issues and helping customers learn how get the most from their Cache-A systems.
However, with a growing installed base of Cache-A appliances, it was clear we needed more. So we’re delighted to have been able to hire and to introduce to our customers Ms. Danielle Sieben – a bright, new member of our team who is fielding and resolving your requests, and helping helping to get the rest into queue for more in for more in-depth problem solving. She’s used to being at the frontline, and joins us after having served in the US Reserves and a two-year deployment in Kuwait. We are very pleased to have her on the job as our first line of the defense of our customers!
Left to Right: Zack Rowland & Chris Cavazos, Support Engineers; Tom Goldberg, VP Product Development; Aaron Chevalley, Technical Support Manager
Our growing team is only part of our strategy to make using Cache-A products better and live up to our motto of “making archiving easier.” As we noted in our newsletter, some of the additional steps we’ve taken include:
- We now stock spare parts at key locations around the world and will be expanding this program
- Our v3 software on a USB Installation Drive enable on any Cache-A system:
- System upgrades to enterprise grade CentOS Linux with 64bit capability for every existing customer
- Hard disk drive field replacement saving time and money on repairs
- Customers can now enable automatic software updates allowing us to push critical updates
- We have physically improved product packaging to prevent shipping damage
- We are extending our service hours to start 1 hour earlier to better serve East Coast and European customers.
- Frequent software releases that add features, capabilities and bug fixes to every Cache-A system we have ever sold
This is all part of our ongoing effort to continually improve and provide the best support and the best archiving value to our customers.
Cache-A is pleased to let everyone know that we’ve expanded into new larger offices for our Colorado location. Cache-A Colorado currently houses our engineering, support, repair, shipping, receiving and product management staff.
We had definitely gotten a bit tight in our previous office space, so we’ve moved just down the block a bit to a larger and more comfortable facility. We’re still up in the foothills west of Denver, still have views of pine forests, deer and elk and still loving it!
Expect to hear more about our goings-on here as we continue to grow.
Once again it is October and that means another opportunity to support our local trade show, the Rocky Mountain Audio Video Expo (a.k.a. the AVX) here in Colorado where we design, support, and build Cache-A systems. I had the pleasure of being joined this year by a contingent from J B and A, our US distributors and shared a double-wide booth with them. Lisa Kirtley came up from Austin to talk about JB&A’s full line and Matt Stamos was on hand as the expert to show off the SquareBox CatDV Software suite managing assets and archiving to Cache-A products. We appreciated their support, expertise and help covering the all the demos.
Of course, I was there for the duration with a Prime-Cache5 and a Pro-Cache with the usual connected accessories like a Red drive, a Panasonic P2 card reader, and a USB3.0 SSD hooked to the Prime. It never fails to impress me how easy it is to set up a show like this with Cache-A gear – just jack everything into a little gigbit router and you’re up and running in literally minutes.
I’ve been wanting to present a paper at this event for years to help our local videographers better understand what archiving is all about and to explain just exactly why you don’t want to leave your content on a bunch of hard drives sitting in the closet. This year, I finally got my chance and was able to make the case to a well attended session in one of the seminar pavilions set up for the show. Entitled “Archiving for Everyone” I went over some of the basics to help folks understand why data tape is the preferred media for the long term and what options you have for getting your content onto it, covering everything from the Big Iron HSM solutions to Roll-your-own LTFS possibilities… and of course a plug for our self-contained easy-to-deploy appliances to meet this need.
Friday, Oct 12 found me driving up to Napa to support our reseller, Snader & Associates in their annual golf outing. For me it is a great opportunity to meet new people in our industry and to have a little fun along the way. Embracing the backdrop of vineyards, Cache-A sponsored the red wine for the dinner.
It wasn’t so long ago that production and post-production professionals were grappling with the irony that a video-tapeless world has created a need for data tape for the preservation of content. Now, as was evident from my conversations during the day, not only do digital media professionals understand the need for data tape, they know it should be LTO tape and there is a high level of interest in the LTFS format.
Attendees were interested to hear that in fact, Cache-A was one of the first companies to show LTFS technology (at NAB 2010) and to offer it in products (by NAB2011). I also mentioned that LTFS in our archive appliances offers a number of enhancements that make LTFS archiving and restore operations easier and more effective compared to the basic IBM or HP implementation. As always, the Cache-A motto is “Archiving Made Easy.”
Having posted about all our kit staged and ready to go out the door, I just had to follow up with a few snaps of Cache-A’s finished IBC stand. The first photo shows Mark and Ken getting ready for the “onslaught” while our most gracious receptionist, Vickie Blake works with the badge scanner to make sure we capture our show leads.
We’d really like to thank Vickie from the bottom of our hearts – she’s a Marketing expert from HP’s facilities in Bristol England and kindly volunteered to help us out in Amsterdam.
Our booth was a real resource for customers and dealers wanting to learn about archiving, about LTO and LTFS and, of course, about all of our products and new software. Once we were in the swing of things, our stand was frequently smothered in attendees as it appears in this next picture:
…and if you were lucky enough to be around for our Dealer Reception Kick-off Event, we enjoyed partying with all the folks who’ve helped to sell our appliances throughout Europe as well as many folks from other parts of the world:
We’d like to thank everyone who came to the show and who visited us to see our latest offerings. It is always a pleasure to be at this show, and it was extra special having our very own presence at the RAI center.
We’ve been going to Amsterdam for the past 3 consecutive IBC shows, but this is the first year we’ll be hosting our own stand. While it has been convenient and much easier to participate with our UK partner, Global Distribution, we decided to break-out this year and expand into our own space. Global will also be showing our products.
If you’ll be at IBC this year, please come and find us in the uber-cool cutting-edge media & asset management, computer & storage Hall 7 at space 7.E06. We’ll be showing off our flagship Pro-Cache5, and our high-end Power-Cache models along with some new tricks for our quietest Prime-Cache5 desktop model. We will also be highlighting our new 64 bit Enterprise operating system CentOS 6.2 incorporated into our V3.0 software release.
The stand should look something like my simulation shown here and will be located along the far wall at about the center of the hall. And if you’re having trouble finding us just look for Chyron’s big illuminated blue tower – we’re right next door.
I recently crossed the pond to visit with our UK distributor, Global Distribution, our sales rep, Guy Elliot from EMEA Gateway and a number of Cache-A re-sellers including Ovation Data Systems, Media Pros, Square, Salon and Tyrell. There is nothing like getting out on the front line of the channel to learn about industry trends and obtain ideas about where Cache-A should go next.
Compared to this time last year, it is clear that the need to archive content on LTO is now very well accepted. The migration away from video tape to electronic media such as disk drives and flash memory has created the need for a new source master that can be preserved for the long term. Over the past four years we have seen awareness of the need for LTO progress from near nil to its present state of “Of course we need LTO.”
Understanding and embracing LTFS as an open format is not as far along, but clearly it is catching on. Its most immediate benefit is interchange, whereby a project can be recorded on one facility’s LTO drive and played back on another facility’s LTO drive. With the backing of the LTO consortium comprised of HP, IBM and Quantum, LTFS is creating exciting new market growth for data tape.
The most consistent message I received from our channel all pointed to the need for solutions that live up to our tag line “Archiving Made Easy.” We will be working on more ways to deliver on that promise.
Thanks to all who made my trip so successful.
Power-Cache with Storage Network Solutions at NY DAM Conference photo courtesy of Chesapeake Systems
We always listen to our customers, and we’ve again responded to their requests for simplified workflows and the safest, most reliable and cost-effective solution to content archiving, access and interchange. With that in mind, our line of archive appliances is now integrated with storage systems from four of the industry’s leading manufacturers — NAS solutions from Archion and SAN solutions from Facilis, Storage Network Solutions and StorNext. We recently issued a press release on this news.
The SAN/NAS integration enables Cache-A archive appliances to mount directly to those storage platforms. By eliminating the SAN client, digital media professionals can now pull data directly from those storage platforms. Previously, a SAN client was needed to see both the Cache-A device and the SAN/NAS. Now, by eliminating the need to tie up another SAN client, faster data transfers are possible, particularly because of GigE, rather than Fibre Channel, connectivity.
New Version 2.1 Software Release
In addition to SAN and NAS integration, Cache-A products now feature our latest Version 2.1 software release. Many of these new capabilities were originally included in the new Power-Cache and are now available without charge across the entire Cache-A product line.
Highlights of these new features include:
- Job Queue: The ability to queue jobs from multiple users or events and automatically run jobs in sequence improves productivity in demanding user environments
- Better Status Reporting in the Transfer Summary: New status reporting shows users more information about the progress of file transfers
- ASP Protocol: Now offers the ability to directly mount Apple file shares, improving performance and convenience in Mac environments
- Configuration of Multiple Ethernet Ports: New network configuration controls give users the ability to set up and view the status of each Ethernet port
Stay tuned for more news …
NAB 2012 was Cache-A’s fourth appearance at our industry’s seminal media and entertainment trade show. This recent opportunity to strut our stuff in Las Vegas will certainly be remembered as our best yet. As we experienced last year, from the Monday morning opening through the Thursday afternoon closing bell, our booth was busy with potential customers, partners, current users, press, and all kinds of attendees just wanting to learn about archiving. And this year, we note a number of real milestones marking our success.
More than anything, we saw this year’s show as a milestone for broad recognition that archiving content is a need that can no longer be ignored. While video tape has been on the way out for many, many years now, it seemed that most media professionals were in denial about how they were going to preserve their digital media assets for the future. No longer. With the growth in the popularity of our products complemented by the emergence of LTFS as a new open standard, we are seeing both a big increase in activity in this space and an even bigger increase in user awareness that LTO archiving is the solution for preservation going forward. I even heard one attendee state that “3D was the topic for NAB last year; archiving is the key topic for this year.”
This year’s show was also a milestone for Cache-A to be able to address the need of users with larger volumes of content needing bigger bandwidths and faster archiving. This show was the debut of Power-Cache as a shipping product; we can now step up to the plate with 10 GbE connectivity and up to 4 tape drive concurrent archiving from a single appliance. We’ve been a great solution for small and medium production and post production needs with our Prime-Cache and Pro-Cache product lines since our inception, but now we can move enough data to be of real interest to a whole new group of customers.
In recognition that Power-Cache represents a new level of performance, Cache-A was very pleased to be honored by StudioDaily as the Winner of Best New Post Production Product for User Interface/User Experience. Editor-in-chief Beth Marchant quoted one judge as saying “this thing is rock-solid, it just works” as she made the presentation at their awards ceremony that I had the pleasure to be present to receive. This citation marks another milestone that we will treasure for years to come.
Another milestone that I would like to note is the fulfillment of a long-time request that we’ve heard since we introduced our first products – customers asking “can I mount my SAN directly on your appliance?” Well, now you can. Announced at this show, we have been working with Facilis, Archion, and Studio Network Solutions (featured working in our booth) as well as are in the process of validating StorNext to offer high speed, direct mount solutions. This will allow customers to move their content directly between their spinning disk and their Cache-A archive providing convenient and speedy relief for those always over-filled shared arrays. Check our news page to read more about this exciting development.
Along with our increasing partnerships with SAN and NAS makers, adding to our existing editing, asset management, automation, and other hardware and software makers, this show was also a milestone in our participation in other partners’ booths. As in previous years, we were honored to be included in the Panasonic and Square Box Solutions (CatDV) stands. This year we were also shown working in partnership with other manufacturers, including Cinedeck, Studio Network Solutions, Facilis, and last but not least, our OEM partner, HP. Additionally, we were featured at value-add reseller booths Able Cinetech, B&H Studios and Maxx Digital. It was truly gratifying to see this level of proliferation.
This really was a year of milestones, and the Cache-A team is grateful to our customers and partners for helping to make us a success. We’d like to extend a special thanks to HP for not only being a great OEM supplier, but for helping us throughout the show, with true appreciation to Vicky Blake, Penny Walker and Brian Kirby. Special thanks also go out to our representative firm, Asia Media Products, and to our U.S. distributor JB&A. And a final thanks to our guest artists Morgan Rees and Jeff Pederson. All of you helped us immeasurably, and we appreciate the confidence you’ve shown in Cache-A and assistance you’ve provided.
Dual Pro-Cache5 systems driving Library48's at BBC America
The February issue of Broadcast Engineering featured an article by Mark Ostlund-Cache-A’s VP of Marketing and Sales, titled “Combining LTO-5 Data Tape with LTFS.” We’ve included a few excerpts here that we feel are particularly important:
LTO-5 based products using LTFS (Linear Tape File System) make an ideal archiving and interchange solution, enhancing both production and postproduction workflows, as well as improving asset management and interchange.
However, there are limitations to LTFS at present:
- LTFS cannot be used by itself in a network or multi-user environments because the open code or “base level” deployment requires that the LTO drive be dedicated to a single computer
- LTFS has inherent problems that cause long waits when used with file management tools like Windows Explorer or Finder
- With LTFS, restoring more than one file at a time with Explorer or Finder will be very inefficient if sorted by anything other than archive date
- LTFS should not be used like random access disk because, due to the inherent nature of tape, accesses must occur over a linear arrangement of data; if an application tries to update a file, it will be rewritten to the end of tape and can cause long delays when restoring such files
Leveraging the Power of LTFS
None of these limitations exist when LTFS volumes are accessed from the Cache-A web user interface. To download a white paper on how the Cache-A archive appliance utilizes LTFS to deliver long-term archival stability, ease of use and lower total cost of ownership, please click here.
Benefits of the Cache-A interface that specifically enhance LTFS include:
- File Manager Utility — File moving that avoids issues with Finder/Explorer
- URL Encoding — Allows archiving of file names with illegal characters
- Networked — Makes LTFS volumes available across a LAN
- Indexed — Every tape is searchable and can have additional metadata for every file, folder and tape
- Easy Formatting of Media — No shell command line is required
- Easy Mount and Unmount — No shell command line and no locked eject due to folders in use
- No Client-side Software — Every computer can instantly work with it
To the user, the tape both looks and behaves like a disk, and all tape operations are handled transparently in the background by the archive appliance. With LTFS, the archive appliance will be able to deliver a solution that is:
- Self-contained: Platform neutral to stand the test of time
- Interchangeable: Easy to distribute and interchange assets
- Extensible: Scalable to meet future needs
As a complete archive solution for digital media professionals, it will simplify operations, improve manageability and meet their long-term data retention requirements. Self-contained, easy to deploy with no assembly or installation required, Cache-A appliances know where every file lives on each tape and organizes restores for efficient linear access. They also allow users to employ hard disk caching for file transfers, which protects them from the latencies and access issues associated with linear tape. In addition, they include full remote support, and software updates ensure that users have the latest LTFS.
Come see our latest LTFS products at NAB booth SL 10508.
Archiving Made Easy™
Archive Appliances with LTO Technology • Network Attached • File System on Tape