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Unity - painful recent purchase

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Jeff Bye
Unity - painful recent purchase
on Nov 8, 2012 at 1:36:30 am

A colleague at a local post facility told me about how their Unity went down recently.

That apparently freaked out the powers that be and it was decided that they would purchase expansion arrays to mirror the entire Unity (32TB). I was told this was done at a $20,000 price tag. I'm not sure who it was that sold them this gear, but I'll let you know if I find out.

I'm trying to help them out as they have never had in-house IT to help in these decisions. Their aging Unity is still giving issues with ethernet clients and running into the usual file count issues. The hope is that they will be able to utilize the 3 additional storage arrays they currently have hooked up to the Unity with a completely new system, whether it be from Facilis, Editshare, or some other SAN solution that supports the file locking type workflow (Unity).

Is this possible or are they completely SOL with their purchases?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Unity - painful recent purchase
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:52:48 am

it is very difficult for many clients to accept the fact that their insanely expensive purchase of the past is now obsolete. The AVID Unity system is now obsolete, replaced by AVID ISIS 5000 (as well as Facilis Terrablock and EditShare, and volume based solutions by countless others). But the Unity remains a RAID 1 mirrored product, with very expensive replacement parts. It's easy for you and me to say "throw it out", but if you have spent $100,000 or more for a 32 TB system, it's a difficult decision to make.

I too have a client that has very very recently purchased a 16TB Unity system (because it was such a good deal at 20 grand) - when in fact it is a completely obsolete system that AVID will stop supporting in 2013. ISIS 5000 is where it is at, and it's easy to talk when it's not your money. I have seen at NAB third party Fibre arrays that are RAID 5 and AVID Unity compatible (that connect to the QLogic switch) - but I really didn't pay that much attention to them. They exist - I just don't have the info on them.

Money is always an issue, but they would be better served with an EditShare or Facilis Terrablock, and just retire the old Unity - or at least speak to an AVID dealer to discuss a trade in for an alternate system, like an ISIS 5000. As for "but we spent so much money on this damn Unity" - I have been hearing this teary opera since 1979 - long before AVID existed. Stuff becomes obsolete - it's always been that way, and it will always be that way.

Bob Zelin



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Shane Rodbourn
Re: Unity - painful recent purchase
on Nov 8, 2012 at 4:28:59 pm

Jeff,
As Bob explained, Unity is an End-of-life product. You have to weigh the costs of maintaining and supporting an aging system vs. moving to newer technology. There are several very good solutions in the market which will likely fit the needs of your colleague.

Among the many benefits we offer at Facilis is a Legacy Trade-in option. We recognize that people have made significant investments in storage and it's hard to justify moving to newer technology. Facilis will give up to $5,000 USD discount toward a new 24D or 24EX TerraBlock. The system has to have been in production recently (no mothballed systems in the closet;).

If your friend would like discuss Facilis Shared Storage solutions, please encourage them to email us at sales@facilis.com

Best regards,
Shane Rodbourn
Facilis


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Jeff Bye
Re: Unity - painful recent purchase
on Nov 8, 2012 at 7:11:37 pm

As suspected - OUCH! What makes this especially painful is the fact that this $20k+ purchase was made less than a week ago.

I did some light reading last night in regards to the Raid 5 Unity storage. I believe Archion might be the company you're referring to? Not sure of the price point, of course.

I've actually heard great things about Facilis and shot the info over in case a new system is still a possibility for them.

Thank you both for the input; it's much appreciated!

Jeff


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Drew Lahat
Re: Unity - painful recent purchase
on Nov 21, 2012 at 8:24:53 pm

I don't understand. Unity is known for being expensive, but not for problems. Avid has always had outstanding support, and I see no reason why a modern Unity that's under support should have any unsolvable problems (Media Composer is a different story :-) .

It seems like the main problem is the owner's focus on spending lots of money on boxes, instead of maintenance and support.

Was it a smart decision to spend that extra $20K? Probably not. Will it make business sense to sell it now while it still has some value? Perhaps. Sure Unity is EOL, but it doesn't mean it can't work extremely well for at least a couple more years.


PS Running Unity without workspace mirroring is just like any other storage in RAID0. You don't do it, or you do it with a backup and the knowledge that you're very likely to lose your data at some point.


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