Efficient Storage as a Competitive Advantage in M&E

I just read a blog from Adrian Herrera, VP of Marketing for Caringo.  He’s spot on about two of the major pain points facing the production/post production industry – the need to store content at little or no charge and the increasing pressure to deliver digital assets in the shortest amount of time, due to viewers’ growing expectation of ‘immediate access’ to entertainment content.

The blog is worth a read.  I’ve copied his blog below or if you prefer, here’s the link to his blog in case you want to have a look around their site:

Efficient Storage as a Competitive Advantage in M&E

Every type of M&E organization is feeling the pressures of dealing with customers and viewers expecting “free storage” and “immediate access,” but these issues are particularly challenging in the post production space. We hear from post production houses time and again that to maintain their customers, they need to store content at no charge (or for a nominal fee) and that they are increasingly being asked for immediate delivery of digital assets. So, can you manage the expectation of free storage when your margins are already compressed? Can you provide search and immediate access? Can you actually turn storage into a competitive advantage? The answer is a resounding yes (to all 3).

First let’s take a quick look at what we see being used today. The solution we see most often is a combination of NAS (like Isilon, StorNext or some form of shared storage) and tape for archive. This has worked for years. The benefit is that both storage technologies are already present in the data center which means a low learning curve for staff. Need more? Just buy more. The issue with this approach is that file sizes, retention times and access request times have now made this approach obsolete and economically unsustainable. You either can’t afford enough NAS or you will lose deals to other post houses that can deliver content immediately—negating the cost savings you would get from tape. This has led a few post houses to take a good hard look at cloud storage; however, security is still a major concern. So how do organizations like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others provide cloud storage? At the heart of each service and every major cloud is object storage.

Object storage enables you to combine storage, protection and access while moving to a commodity cost curve, extending the useful life of hardware and reducing data center footprint. Historically, the challenge has been needing to develop to a proprietary API or modifying existing workflows and applications. But, there have been significant advancements in supporting standard protocols like CIFS/SMB, NFS. Almost all major software vendors in the M&E space now support the S3 API. This means that you can now leverage object storage, the same technology that enables the largest clouds, secure in your data center, and often with no changes to your existing workflows or processes. Here are a few of the unique hardware, operational and workflow efficiencies that Caringo Swarm delivers:

Hardware efficiencies

  • 95% drive utilization for your assets –> Swarm runs from RAM
  • 100% drive bay utilization for drives –> Customizable metadata is stored with the object
  • Any mix of hardware –> Eliminate vendor lock-in and continue to upgrade to efficient hardware

Operational efficiencies

  • Buy only the hardware you need –> scale by the chassis or drive
  • Add performance or capacity in 90 seconds –> load balancing is handled on the fly
  • Maximize existing resources –> 1 sys admin can manage over 20+ PBs
  • RAID 6 durability at only 40% overhead –> specify protection based on asset value
  • Self-healing –> run hardware until it fails and remove it when you want, Swarm will repair itself

Workflow efficiencies

  • Cross platform collaboration and access –> Write/Read/Edit files via HTTP, S3 or NFS
  • Find the assets you are looking for –> custom metadata with integrated search
  • Responsive for producers and viewers –> parallel upload and range read access
  • Ensure integrity –> proactive self-healing, check/fix and patented upgradeable hashes

By using an object storage solution like Caringo Swarm, you will be able to transform storage from a cost center to a competitive advantage and employ the same operational advantages that the largest cloud service providers use to retain customers and offer additional services. Want to learn more? Visit our Media & Entertainment page, stop by our booth at IBC 2017 or contact us.

Contributing Editor at Broadcast Beat/AV Beat
Curtis Chan is President and CEO/Founder and Managing Partner of two high technology Brand Marketing and Public Relations companies, CHAN & ASSOCIATES and COGNITIVE IMPACT, whose clients range from the Global Fortune 500 to venture capital funded startups.

His agencies’ services, for over a quarter century, have helped garner early stage and growth companies significant brand exposure, resulting in either acquisition or IPO, with a total valuation of over $2.5 Billion.

Mr. Chan is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, mentor and angel investor. He played key executive roles early on in helping to pioneer and usher in both professional digital audio and digital video technologies for the recording, broadcast, cinematic and post production industries. He also played key executive roles in helping to develop and market data storage technologies. His expansive background spans four decades in ever increasing executive roles in operations, business development, engineering and sales/marketing in the information technology, media & entertainment, storage and networking, and other related high technology industries.

He is an active mentor and senior advisor to many established and VC backed start-up companies and incubators, a market/technology analyst, and has over three decades of experience in brand development, management consulting, company turnarounds, creative advertising and public relations.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo; Mr. Chan recently ended his 14th year as Vice President for the Fullerton College Foundation; 22nd year as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and mentor for the Small Business Institute at California State University Fullerton and incubators. Additionally, he is a volunteer member of DECA (Delta Epsilon Chi and Distributive Education Clubs of America); an advisor to the College of Engineering's Global Waste Research Institute, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a member of the President’s Green and Gold Society; and advisory council member to Pepperdine University's Most Fundable Companies program. Passionate about hospice care, he was the past Board President for the Healing Hearts Association; and is a regularly featured speaker at many MBA and Doctorate level lectures around the country. He has presented and published over 30 papers worldwide, is a book co-author, an Editorial Board Member for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, past Senior Editor for Broadcast Beat and AV Beat Magazines, Computer Technology Review, and is a regularly featured Contributing Editor to many US and international trade publications for over 35 years.

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Curtis Chan
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource