Jan Miltenburg, Managing Director of Miltenburg AV,
about the microDDP by Ardis Technologies
Miltenburg AV is a Dutch company providing rental systems for postproduction solutions worldwide, with customers such as CK Productions, Radio 538, United Broadcast Facilities, VPRO Television and TEDx Amsterdam. It is also reseller for Dynamic Drive Pool in the Netherlands. Dynamic Drive Pool is an Ethernet SAN Shared Storage Solution manufactured by Ardis Technologies, a Dutch company based in Arnhem.
We asked Jan Miltenburg, Managing Director of Miltenburg AV, some questions about the microDDP. The microDDP is a mobile storage solution, which is frequently in use on events and outside Broadcast locations as part of Miltenburg AV rental systems.
Can you give us some brief technical information about the microDDP?
First of all, the microDDP is a small and portable Ethernet SAN Shared Storage Solution. Due to its small dimensions (width 25,5 cm/10’’, depth 29 cm/11,4’’, 1U) and an easy to carry weight of 5 kg/11 LBS, you just can take it with you. All necessary ports are integrated, so there is no need for additional Ethernet hubs. There is a 1GbE and a 10GbE version, depending on the bandwidth you need. Both versions are running with the full DDP software package and can be equipped with 8 SSD drives up to a maximum total capacity of 16 TB.
Where is the microDDP involved?
At the moment, microDDPs are mainly used for on location postproduction and editing sets, where space is limited. The microDDPs are frequently used in OB Vans, SNG cars or ENG teams, where the customers need a small, portable and silent storage solution, which also provides high performance and reliability. MicroDDPs are involved in sport events such as the Tour de France or the Bob and Skeleton Mastership in the US, events and festivals such as the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam IDFA, the Amsterdam Dance Event Festival as well as commercial shots and on location film shoots.
A brief introduction to your company, Miltenburg AV?
Miltenburg AV is a rental company located in the Netherlands with more than 20 years of experience and major clients worldwide. I personally have worked as a video editor and postproduction manager for many years, so I know very well what the people need to do their job the best. As experts for video and postproduction solutions, we are always looking what will fit best to the customer needs and to provide suitable and customized solutions for them. But the most important thing is: Keep asking questions and listen to your customers. If the customers are happy, we are happy as well. If the customers are not happy, you have a problem.
Who are the customers?
We have clients such as Discovery Channel Netherlands, universities, Broadcasters and postproduction facilities. Our rental equipment is used worldwide for sport events, festivals, film shoots and TV news production, where ingest and editing have to be done right on location.
Why a microDDP?
Why a microDDP? It’s easy to install, it doesn’t make noise, it’s producing no heat. The most important advantages are the size, the speed and the performance. It is also very easy to transport, you just can take it with you. You don’t need big flight cases, but you have a complete server with you. As microDDPs are equipped with SSDs, there are no mechanical parts. The chance for a break down during transport is very little.
One of the biggest advantages of microDDP – and DDP in general – is that they use standard connections. This makes it easy to integrate the microDDP in any kind of production workflow. You don’t need IT experts to install it. Just attach the cables and install the software. 10 minutes and the microDDP is ready to use.
“Why a microDDP? Take it, install it and let it do its job.”
What do the customers say about the microDDP? What’s the benefit?
Our customers usually have 2-3 day jobs. The microDDP can be equipped with 8 SSDs with a maximum capacity of 16 TB in total. This is enough space for most of the jobs. It is also possible to connect several microDDPs to expand storage capacity.
On location (post)production usually has very limited space. Plus the storage needs to be silent and shouldn’t produce heat. Nevertheless you need an easy to install setup, enough storage capacity and a high reliability at maximum performance. At on location productions, time is money. They have hard deadlines and schedules, they cannot have none performance on the field.
Most of our customers are quite surprised when we suggest the microDDP for their on location event for the very first time: Really, this small box can do this? Well, yes, it can. If the customers rent a storage later again, they usually ask: Please, can you bring the small unit? Honestly, after customers having used a microDDP on location, it starts selling itself…
How does microDDP differ from competing solutions?
At the moment, the microDDP is unique. Boxes from competitors don’t have the same performance with a small box like this. I haven’t seen it.
Where do you see the microDDP in future? Is it future proof?
Absolutely! It is a big advantage, that the microDDP uses standard components and standard Ethernet connections up to 10GbE. That’s why it is so easy to install and to integrate in existing environments. The software by Ardis Technologies is developed and constantly upgraded in-house and belongs to the owners. It runs with any kind of applications from leading manufacturers such as Apple, Avid, Adobe, Steinberg or Fairlight.
Another big advantage is the excellent performance of the microDDP which fulfills the increasing demands of today’s high resolution video and audio content. The bandwidth of the microDDP10GbE with its 2200 MB/s is e.g. sufficient for two 4K/UHD stream counts (10 bit, 25 fr/s, 840 MB/s), regardless of whether the microDDP is used for ingest or editing processes. The microDDP is an Ethernet Shared Storage Solution so several users can work simultaneously on one microDDP without the need to copy content.
I also see a big future for the usage of SSDs. I think in a couple of years they will replace traditional mechanical hard drives even in bigger storage solutions. With the release of the new Version 5 software, it will be very easy and comfortable to expand the capacity of the microDDP: Several microDDPs can be connected and will appear as one big volume on your desktop. It also will be possible to expand the capacity of the microDDP with the bigger rack solutions from DDP. With the new software, any kind of job can be done with a microDDP.
“At on location working environments, space is limited and time is money. The customers need a small, silent and easy to install storage solution with high performance and reliability. That’s why I see a great future for microDDPs at on location environments and mobile production facilities, but even beyond.”
About Miltenburg AV
Miltenburg AV is specialised in providing temporary postproduction systems, tapeless recording and video server solutions. It provides temporary capacity expansions, on-site mounting kits and solutions for stand-alone or multi-user environments as well as rental of VTRs, monitors and much more. Miltenburg AV has long-time experience in postproduction, providing solid advice for tailored solutions with 24/7 support and service. Miltenburg AV was founded in 2008 by Jan Miltenburg, who already had a 20+ years of experience as editor and postproduction manager before. Miltenburg AV is located in Maarssen, The Netherlands. http://miltenburg-av.nl
About Dynamic Drive Pool
Dynamic Drive Pool DDP is an Ethernet SAN system with integrated Metadata Controller (Ardis Virtual File System AVFS) of Dutch manufacturer Ardis Technologies. DDP systems are reliable, scalable and easy to use. The spectrum of the DDP product lines covers the needs of small business customers, mobile production facilities, universities and educational institutions up to large post production and Broadcast companies. www.ddpsan.com