PLATFORMS: SportsView Coaching Stations from Avid Sports.
PROBLEMS SOLVED: As director for Video Operations for the National Football League's AFC Western Division Champion Kansas City Chiefs, I am responsible for delivering the video game footage necessary for coaches and players to analyze games, scout opponents and improve player development. Analyzing game footage had become a cumbersome task for the team, as we had to rely on linear videotape cassettes that had to be individually loaded and manually searched. We recognized that digital video was the wave of the future and the next logical step for the team. After extensive research of the competing products and technologies on the market, the complete line of SportsPro editors and SportsView Coaching Stations from Avid Sports, featuring CLARiiON FC5000 Fibre Channel Disk Arrays, was chosen and installed.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: There are no more lost tapes. No tape rewinding, tape dubbing, tape swapping, tape shuttling or long delays in getting the cut ups the team needs copied to tape. With Avid Sports Sportspro and SportsView featuring the CLARiiON Fibre Channel FC5000 arrays, I know the system is going to be up and running 100 percent of the time. Anything less would not be acceptable to me and certainly not acceptable to the team--we just don't have the time.
STRENGTHS: CLARiiON Fibre Channel technology offers two primary advantages for video-- storage bandwidth and network support. Because of Fibre Channel's fast speeds, it can deliver multiple streams of uncompressed digital video over a single Fibre Channel loop. This allows the CLARiiON FC5000 to provide a much lower cost/stream than earlier parallel SCSI technology and allows more simultaneous views from the same video on the same network.
WEAKNESSES: The CLARiiON FC5000 is a JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) product, meaning that is does not offer RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) data protection; however, it can be easily upgraded to the CLARiiON FC5500 Series Fibre Channel disk array, the strategic performance building block in the CLARiiON FC5000 Fibre Channel storage family, which we believe offers the most robust and field-proven RAID functionality available in a Fibre Channel product today.
SELECTION CRITERIA: After careful analysis of competing technologies and research into alternative Fibre Channel products, we found there were very few vendors offering complete Fibre Channel implementation. We determined that the CLARiiON FC5000 array provided the most robust design at the most reasonable price. The features that we found to be most compelling over competing options included: highly available packaging allowing for up to ten dual-ported, high-performance, 9GB drives (18GB drives in the future); active soft start switching for complete electrical isolation (i.e., inserting a shorted-out component will not interrupt data access); and industry-standard environmental monitoring capability, allowing remote monitoring over Fibre Channel paths for better management and control.
DELIVERABLES: We are using the CLARiiON FC5000 Series Fibre Channel disk array in conjunction with Avid Sports SportsPro and SportsView products to provide coaches and players with instant access to game footage for analyzing games, scouting opponents and improving player development.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Outstanding and complete product support is provided by CLARiiON's strategic partner, Avid Sports, via in- person visits, an extremely helpful product support and services department as well as an extremely responsive marketing and sales department.
DOCUMENTATION: In addition to the documentation available directly from Avid Sports, CLARiiON offers documentation in both hard copy as well as via the Web site.
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