Petabyte-scale file post-production by consolidating multiple locations and workflows onto the Qumulo File Data Platform.

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a magical city. The ancient, cobbled streets and buildings of the old town seem to have been dreamed up in a fairy tale. Within its timeless medieval beauty, however, there beats a heart which is much more modern.


Fabrice Gourlay, Qumulo

PFX is a leading Full Service Post-Production Studio. Founded in 2012 as a small boutique studio with just four artists, PFX has grown to become one of the most significant and trusted VFX companies in the CEE region, boasting four branches and an experienced international team of over 150 artists The studio’s mission is to produce world-class, state-of-the-art post-production services for film, television, animated content, and advertising creators. It fulfils that mission by working with leading global clients such as HBO Max, Disney, Amazon studio, and others.

Success in these projects led to rapid growth for PFX, and recently they built a new studio in Slovakia to manage a growing slate of productions.

The big data behind PFX’s expanding production portfolio ultimately led to technical issues. Relying on Hitachi HNAS as their main storage made PFX aware of limitations in terms of scalability and expansion of capacity. Without a true multi-protocol NAS approach, application management across vendors became a pain-point, alongside general challenges in performance. In its need of a simple and easy management of NAS, PFX turned to the Qumulo® File Data Platform to manage and centralize its massive file data for all sites.

The overview of the system visibility on Qumulo is great, whereas with Hitachi’s HNAS, it is more or less a black box. — Martin Polak, Head of IT, PFX

Top three business benefits

  • Major boost in capacity, scalability, and performance. Compared to Hitachi HNAS, Qumulo’s File Data Platform offers a much simpler, more scalable, and agile solution. Capacity can be expanded on demand. Since PFX opted for an All-NVMe solution with Qumulo, the performance boost was noticeable from the start. PFX is utilizing Qumulo as their active storage, whereas HNAS covers the NAS storage without performance needs, and the backup
  • Real-time data visibility and control of data. Effective data management at scale is impossible without real-time data visibility. This is of key importance in the M&E sector. PFX’s central repository managing plug-in was causing a system slow down. They were able to fix the issue with the help of real-time insights. Qumulo’s real-time analytics dashboard and data services were built to control access, monitor usage, prevent bottlenecks, and predict costs using live data
  • RESTful API to simplify file management and automation. Qumulo’s software is enhanced, complemented, and managed by a robust REST API. It helps PFX to retrieve all information with REST calls and supports automation. Information presented in the Analytics tab can be retrieved with REST calls against the API. Most file system operations can also be invoked with the REST API

Data visibility is a great benefit. It is important to know where the hot spots are to manage them better, and to react faster and troubleshoot. — Martin Polak, Head of IT, PFX

PFX is utilizing the Qumulo File Data Platform’s interface for efficient management and real-time operational analytics. They automate key processes easily using the Qumulo advanced API. Implementation was simple and straightforward. Migration was not needed. PFX had a few challenges on the network during the actual implementation, but once they changed the configuration, everything was running smoothly without further issues. Once PFX got their dedicated SLACK account and direct contact with the customer success team was established, they were impressed with the ceaseless quick-turnaround support.

PFX voiced its five favorite technical and business outcomes from Qumulo: overall simplicity, increased capacity, real-time analytics and visibility, high performance, and excellent customer support.

Hitachi HNAS is difficult to expand. We expanded three times in terms of space, and we had already reached the limit. We could have changed the engine head on the storage, but this would also mean we would have needed to replace the drives. With Qumulo, we have both scalability in capacity and performance in one — Martin Polak, Head of IT, PFX

For PFX, their fantastic experience with Qumulo is central to future considerations of an expanded relationship. Says Martin Polak: ‘Everything worked from the start. Qumulo has a great approach, is customer-focused, doesn’t approach you with an overload of information, and helps us concentrate on what is essential for us