Huge files across corporate networks

MM: So daily production workflow would then include pulling many large files across the network. How did you accommodate that? Do you have a separate network over which you pull these files? Or does it take place on your basic corporate network?

JK: It’s the basic corporate network. And I’m glad you asked that question, because I do want to share something with the readers.

The basic core network is 100mb to the desktop. It’s nothing super-super sophisticated.

I was fortunate enough to get some Intel Macs last year, and we did notice that the ingestion of the assets and the calling of the assets out of the database did seem to perform better on the Intel Macs as opposed to maybe some of the older G5s or whatnot.

This is because of the engineering effort made by Canto in Berlin. The Cumulus client is designed to handle much of the workflow processing itself, only going to the server to write metadata or draw out info and assets when required. So the more powerful the workstation, the better the performance.

The users are very picky in many cases, and performance has never been an issue. We do embed all the high-res artwork in the InDesign documents that we store in the database. But when the users call them out, I haven’t heard any complaints about things taking too long.

So clearly, the architecture of the system must be doing something right because we don’t have complaints on that end. And the searches too, Michael—finding the assets.

MM: Yes. That makes sense. You’re just hitting metadata and thumbnails at that point. Right?

JK: Yes.

File Delivery System

MM: Let’s step outside the firewall of your advertisers and field organization. Do you use any kind of special bandwidth optimization or asset-delivery systems? Low-end systems might entail services YouSendIt and at the high-end, services from Radiance or Aspera, or other kinds of bandwidth optimization systems.

JK: No. We have not.

MM: Is that something that you anticipate being an issue? Or does it seem that everyone’s fine with their basic HTTP connections and FTP servers?

JK: I think it’s a topic that will need to be explored, especially as the system grows. But as of right now, Michael, it doesn’t seem to be an issue.

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