1. What does DDP mean?

DDP – Dynamic Drive Pool – refers to pools of storage, which can be added on the fly as Data Locations. Pools of storage can be SSD and HD packs, DDP storage arrays or DDPs themselves.

2. Who uses the DDP?

The Dynamic Drive Pool is used in small facilities with just two users, in mobiles, with rental companies, educational organizations (like schools and universities) as well as at big broadcast and post production companies. Notable users are: NASA, CNN, CBS, Teletota, Besson, RTBF, Studio 100, Discovery, VPRO, RTL, ZDF, ORF, WDR, NDR, NowTV, NHK, Northumbria University, Arri, Cinelab, Viasat, DFFB, Disney, MTV and many, many more.

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3. What special features does the DDP offer?

The most important feature is the DDP’s very high sustained data rate as Ethernet SAN. The integration of iSCSI for block IO data transport with AVFS as metadata controller is responsible for that. AVFS (Ardis Virtual file System) is a virtual filesystem developed by Ardis Technologies, the metadata. Based on this it is possible to assign volume properties to any folder or subfolder on the DDP, the so called Folder Volumes and store data independently from the metadata in Data Locations. With Folder Volumes, projects always matches capacity, there is no unused capacity or shrinking/expanding necessary.
DDPs can be equipped with SSDs, HDs or combinations as hybrid configuration. Configurations with SSDs can use SSD Caching, also Load Balancing and Mirroring is available.

Any DDP can be expanded by adding additional DDPs on the fly, increasing the capacity and bandwidth and providing Load Balancing, SSD Caching and Mirroring – all of this without the need for changes at the front-end. With V5 software a DDP Cluster configuration is possible, with DDPs from multiple locations being combined into one DDP with Parallel Data Access. We call this the “Here, There, Elsewhere” technology. 

4. How many users can I connect when doing ProRes HQ, DNxHD, 4K and/or audio?

There is a DDP for any number of users with any workflow. You will find an overview of our product range on “OUR PRODUCTS” page. In order to receive a configuration, which exactly meets your specific requirements, please contact us. We are happy to advise you.

5. Which mirror, archive or backup systems can I use?

The mirrorDDP has Archiware Synchronize implemented and makes a complete mirror of a production DDP. When a production DDP fails, one can immediately continue to work on a mirror DDP. Archiware Backup and Archive are built-in in each production DDP. To use the Archive solution a proper license needs to be purchased. But for backup, each DDP comes standard with an Archiware Backup license. When the DDP is equipped with a SAS card, a SAS LTO tape streamer can be connected directly to the DDP. Of course, any tape or disk backup solution available on any computer or server with access to the DDP can be used as well.

6. Is there an asset management solution included in the DDP?

There is no MAM solution included in the DDP, but DDP is compatible with all current asset management solutions. Therefore, you can choose a MAM solution that fits best to your needs, or simply continue using your existing solution.

7. What kind of maintenance tools does the DDP provide?

All maintenance tools can be accessed via the DDP web GUI. Event notifications and their origin as well as background process activities are shown on the left side of the GUI screen. The Event Log page shows event notifications from the RAID card. The RAID check page allows to run preventive maintenance checks. The Verify/Repair page is used whenever there is a file system issue. The Utility page holds functions to run speed tests and get log files. For more advanced maintenance the Areca and Nagios pages can be accessed.

8. What makes the DDP future proof?

1. Any DDP of 2U or higher is expandable in capacity and bandwidth
2. The hardware components are standard off-the-shelf and therefore future proof
3.The software is fully owned and continuously adapted and updated
4.The company is owned by the developers, no stakeholders

9. What is the DDPs Workflow Manager?

With the release of the Workflow Manager of the Dynamic Drive Pool it has never been easier to set and maintain Access Rights. Read/write, read/write no delete, read only, drop box and other rights can be set per desktop, DDP drive, user or group on folder level with inheritance. It functions equally well in a heterogeneous Windows, Mac and Linux environment. The Workflow Manager is typically developed for this industry with a non-IT user in mind. With its LDAP integration, users can be controlled by AD or OD.

10. How can I recognize which drive to replace?

When a drive fails the led on the drive blinks red. Also the Event Notification part on the web gui starts blinking and by clicking on the window the cause is shown or one is warned to check the Areca page. When an SNMP monitoring system is available events can be redirected to that.

11. Can I resize a drive without loss of data?

Volumes can be extended as is. The DDP features Folder Volumes. With Folder Volume technology no expansion or shrinking is necessary. This is further explained in a press release on the home page of our website and in Our Technology.

12. Can I loose a drive or data?

The drives used by the desktops are virtual drives, which are protected by the underlying RAID configuration. The main board and the PCI cards are single but the computer memory is ECC memory. There is a limited possibility that wrong data is written due to a malfunctioning main board or PCI card or because of an intermittent software failure. It is always recommended to have some kind of backup system.

13. Why would I buy the DDP instead of a file or NAS server?

When using a file or NAS server the bandwidth is severely limited due to the software overhead. This is not the case with a SAN system. The DDP as Ethernet SAN also comes with NAS (SMB) support for desktops with lower bandwidth demands. No drivers need to be installed on these desktops.

14. What is the technology behind the DDP?

DDP is an Ethernet SAN system with its own iSCSI/AVFS metadata controller. For further information, please visit OUR TECHNOLOGY page.

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