The main challenge with editing workgroups and shared projects is keeping track of where and which assets are used within a project and other projects. In particular, how media is distributed between workspaces and when is it safe to delete content. Marquis’ Project Parking was conceived with this challenge in mind by creating an application that can both manage archives and optimise storage utilisation.
In one single application Project Parking provides tools to improve efficiency when using edit storage - reducing capital expenditure on additional edit storage and accelerating archiving, transferring and consolidating projects. Project Parking analyses all Avid projects and media to understand and present which projects are using up most storage and take action to transfer, archive or delete. As well as finding large projects, Project Parking can identify unused (orphaned media) or duplicate media which can be deleted or archived.
Today there are more providers of shared storage solutions than ever before. From Marquis Broadcast’s perspective it doesn’t matter which storage solution is used and Project Parking supports many different storage and archive solutions and will continue to add more as required. What does matter is how you manage and optimise shared storage when jobs are at different stages of completion. This is why Project Parking was originally developed to manage editing shared storage when working with complex editing projects within online (Tier-1), nearline (Tier-2) and archive (Tier-3) storage platforms.
We can look at four perspectives of how Project Parking saves money, 1) operating cost saving i.e. cost of purchase and use, 2) utility cost saving when using Project Parking to optimise shared storage, 3) seamlessly transferring projects and media cost saving and 4) intelligent archiving and removing the occurrence of duplication.
1. Operating cost saving: Project Parking will save you 43% (at £5.50 per day) over the cheapest alternative approach using Media Composer and Assistant Editor
2. Storage utility cost saving: Release up to 15% of your shared storage facilitating greater throughput and driving increased profitability.
3. Transferring projects and media cost saving: Save up to 95% in storage costs when using Project Parking to transfer projects from online to archive storage.
4. Intelligent archiving: reduces the cost of duplication by up to 50%. Project Parking will only archive changes between versions of projects, reduce the cost of archiving and removing the need to duplicate media.
With reference to previous points 3) and 4), when using Project Parking we use an Efficiency Index metric to highlight efficiency of the shared storages. It is a calculation based on the average of two ratios, 1) ratio of number of unique files and total number of files, and 2) ratio of volume of unique files and total volume of all files. 100% calculated efficiency will indicate there are no duplicates or orphaned media and users will feel - assured they are maximising the space on the shared storage. In real terms with regular use of Project Parking optimisation users can do more jobs and hence make more revenue. Conversely, inefficient use of shared storage constricts and limits the ability to make money without having to purchase more storage.
In the latest version of Project Parking with Storage Analysis Summary users can clearly see how much storage is being efficiently utilised and an approximate saving per month is highlighted if users were to delete duplicate media or sweep/delete unused or orphaned media. When dealing with unused or orphaned media or assets Project Parking provides tools to sweep (move) unused media to another workspace or location that is more cost effective. Using Project Parking reduces the time required to monitor and interact with the tasks of archiving and transferring projects and media. Typically, it takes a ¼ of the time required to regular archive and transfer functions.
When adding more storage the problem doesn’t completely go away and efficiency still needs to be managed and Project Parking is designed to help manage and optimise storage as it grows. Project Parking can be used to reduce the amount time required by any operator, enabling him/her to focus on higher priority tasks while ensuring existing storage is optimally used. Project Parking provides MD5 checksum comparison of all assets that are copied or moved within a project and only the changes or differences are archived. As sequence consolidation is a manual process and the time required to archive a project needs to be taken into account and any consolidations requires the lock-up of an editing seat. Whereas, with Project Parking all project or workspace functions can be independently used, assuming the Project Parking workstation is connected to the workspace via the ISIS client software. When using Media Composer there is no easy way to consolidate a project or even archive a project that includes intelligent comparison between the latest version and previous versions. Over a 3 year term even this option becomes less cost effective and Project Parking is cheaper and doesn’t require the use of Media Composer.
Taking into account all the comparisons albeit disk costs, efficiency index and various different approaches, Project Parking is fundamentally more cost effective to use, will reduce system administration time and provides a high number of features to increase the workspace and project efficiency via archiving projects, transferring projects, de-duplication and removing unused media.
For more detailed information, please refer to the Full Whitepaper on The Cost of Managing and Optimising Shared Storage.
 Calculation is based on 3 years amortisation of Project Parking.
 Comparison is based on an existing workstation and Media Composer license that is operated by an Assistant Editor over 3 years.
 Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3 storage TB/month cost is calculated based on the July 2014 market figures and includes all soft cost estimated as 30% value of the asset cost and consists of power, cooling, hosting, maintenance, support and human resources.
 Based on at least 2 versions of the same project with minor changes to the project and sequence settings.