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Sun 1 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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ProTech to deploy XSAN at Al Jazeera

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PRO Technology has signed an agreement with Al Jazeera International to transform the TV station’s video network infrastructure by providing them with a turnkey SAN (Storage Area Network) solution from Apple.

PRO Technology will equip Al Jazeera International with Apple’s XSAN, an enterpriseclass SAN solution that permits multiple computers to concurrently access terabytes or even petabytes of storage on Xserve RAID over high-speed fibre channel.

The solution will be mainly focused on Apple’s Xserve RAID storage from ingest and capture to final output, whether working in video and film, editing audio or creating effects and motion graphics.

“In choosing to implement our SAN solution, Al Jazeera has taken the lead in bringing to the Middle East high-end video storage solutions widely in use in major European TV stations,” says Jamal Maraqa, managing director of PRO Technology.

“We will also be giving Al Jazeera technical support and providing spare parts for the equipment and redundancy of all systems,” Maraqa adds.

XSAN will allow Al Jazeera International to digitise with zero dropped frames, flexibly edit content offline, use storage effectively, and set up complex situations quickly, besides permitting them to more easily set up and manage SAN.

Speaking about the implementation, Morgan Almeida, director of creative design at Al Jazeera International adds: “We had closely examined the merits of solutions from various providers before zeroing on XSAN, as we found it to offer superior performance while being competitively priced.

Senior executives from Apple’s European HQ had visited Dubai during Cabsat 2006 and recommended PRO TECHnology.”

By using fibre channel multi pathing, in which two fibre channel cables connect a computer to the SAN, Al Jazeera can potentially achieve throughput of up to 400Mbps, perfect for multiple editors working on a video project or a complete cluster that needs fast access to data to ensure each node crunches at full capacity.

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