Posts Tagged ‘File Storage’

EDA, Storage, and Gilligan’s Island

Lawrence Vivolo

Sr. Business Development Manager at EMC²

When I was a kid I used to watch Gilligan’s Island® a lot. For those of you who never had the pleasure, it was a show about a “3 hour tour” by boat that stranded passengers on a small desert isle, including the first mate, Gilligan.LakshadweepIsland

Turns out, this would be good training for managing an EDA project.  Why?  Well, managing an EDA project typically starts out straightforward; You allocate computers and storage to the project based on estimates, leverage your experience from other projects and use it to predict how many cores you will need to run simulation regressions (how many directory trees you’ll want for the ASIC, and how much space each will require). And then, months later, the storm hits. You realize the need to add a new test area and to allocate space for it. “No worries,” you think, “I’ve been paying for that space and I know it’s available.”

And that’s when you realize…you are stranded on an island and can’t get what you need. If only you had Gilligan to save the day.

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Is the Media & Entertainment industry in the middle of a major transformation?

Tom "TV" Burns

CTO, Media & Entertainment at EMC

Media Companies in 2016 find themselves “in the middle of things”:

  • a “peak TV” environment in which cable channels are bursting with high-quality scripted episodic programming
  • an on-demand subscriber environment that has revolutionized the way consumers find and watch entertainment
  • immersive environments which have changed the grammar of visual storytelling

“We can’t really even call it television anymore…”
When I took this gig as CTO, Media & Entertainment for EMC, one thing that intrigued me about the role was how EMC thought differently about the media industry: they focused on helping media companies create and deliver great stories. We do this by leveraging the evolving concepts from traditional enterprise IT such as software-defined storage and converged infrastructure to provide adaptable carrier-grade solutions and a future-proof infrastructure to their media customers. This year is no different as we’re introducing a host of new features to our flagship Isilon product—features that expand a media organization’s reach from “Edge to Core to Cloud.” (I’ll talk about how this relates to media organizations in a sec…)

“The software-defined media facility”
Broadcasters, advertiser- and subscriber-supported OTT providers, content creators, aggregators and the entire ecosystem of partners and suppliers are really in the “Entertainment Services Delivery” market. Technology infrastructures like software-defined storage and software-defined networking will allow broadcasters to make changes to their workflows programmatically. This is the “new normal” – of adding or migrating new services in days rather than months.

As our media customers have responded to this re-definition of their business, we’ve introduced new features that let them do things they’ve never done before. For example, last year we introduced the concept of a “Media Lake”—essentially a single, high-performance shared resource that let media organizations consolidate their data into a central repository. Rather than copying your data to some other silo, transforming it and copying it back – the idea is to leave your data in one place and execute the value-creation operations (whether it’s encoding, archiving, creative editorial, analytics or what have you) while you leave the data in place – it saves you time, enables collaboration and reduces the possibility of error.

Isilon Media and Entertainment Data Lake
This year we’ve doubled our investment in the idea of a media data lake—announcing “Media Lake 2.0,” which gives our media customers new capabilities that allow productions to extend to “edge” (smaller or remote) locations, optimize their core media operations, and leverage public/private/hybrid clouds.

The new Isilon software upgrades and products being introduced include:

OneFS 8.0—improves availability failover reliability for Isilon storage clusters.  OneFS 8.0 includes multiple features, but the ones that are critical for Media & Entertainment include non-disruptive operating system upgrades, upgrade rollback, and non-disruptive operations.  In addition, OneFS 8.0 incorporates support for SMB3.0 Continuous Availability for increased reliability and availability for Windows clients.

One of our long-standing partners Jeff Snyder Nexio Mediaand premier media industry vendor, Imagine Communications, recently tested OneFS 8.0 in their lab and at one of their customers’ sites.  As a  global leader in video and advertising solutions—nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse through more than three million Imagine Communications products deployed across 185 countries.

That’s why we look to Imagine to give us feedback on our solutions as they definitely know how to stress new technology.  For OneFS 8.0 they were specifically interested in the non-disruptive upgrades and the improvements in SMB 3.0.

In testing, Imagine found the scale-out and failover from EMC Isilon makes it one of the “best” NAS solutions they’ve tested. The continuous availability options (the ability to upgrade or update on-the-fly) and improvements in the SMB protocol gave them functionality and bandwidth “they couldn’t get with other NAS products.”

IsilonSD Edge—provides a software-defined storage solution that allows media companies to quickly and seamlessly gain access to production and talent wherever great stories are created and captured. In addition, as a software-defined storage solution, IsilonSD Edge runs on commodity hardware in a virtual environment—substantially reducing costs and increasing agility. IsilonSD Edge extends the Media Data Lake across geographies, allowing “follow-the-sun” content creation and delivery from remote and branch facilities. Media data lake synchronization with remote assets reduces inefficiencies and accelerates production times by sharing critical production media assets.

EMC Isilon CloudPools—enables Isilon media customers to seamlessly archive or tier assets from their Isilon cluster to an in-house (private) cloud based on EMC ECS, or a choice of public cloud providers, or a combination of both. This gives a media organization the flexibility and simplicity to dynamically expand beyond their current capacity and archive storage into any cloud-based solution. With CloudPools, data that is transmitted to the cloud is encrypted for security purposes and compressed to optimize the network bandwidth usage.

“Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…”
The industry continues to change at a dramatic pace, and we realize our customers need to not only adapt and transform but also profit from their efforts.  That’s why we continue to challenge the status quo for our media customers.   Whether it’s jointly developing end-to-end workflows solutions with great industry partners like Imagine Communications, or upgrading the Isilon platform with innovative features like the CloudPools and IsilonSD Edge, our goal is to give our customers a foundation for future-proofing their business and workflow needs.

@TVBurns

EMC’s Commitment to Everything Software-Defined

Varun Chhabra

Director of Product Marketing, Advanced Software Division at EMC

At EMC, our commitment to creating new solutions for software-defined storage is part of our much larger commitment to supporting the entire software-defined data center infrastructure, in which software, completely abstracted from hardware, enables more adaptive, agile operations. Within the software-defined data center, EMC’s evolving suite of software-defined storage solutions plays an important role in addressing the explosive data growth – both in the volume and variety of data — that poses such a tremendous challenge today. We’ve designed these solutions with features like elastic scale-out to incrementally add storage capacity, open APIs for programmatic flexibility and support for analytics-in-place workloads. With software abstracted from hardware, customers can deploy these and other storage capabilities on the hardware of their choice rather than being locked into a narrow proprietary hardware platform, which means vendor flexibility, lower acquisition costs and more efficient storage provisioning for lower TCO over the long term.

In recent years, EMC has beenCommitment to SDS leading the way in introducing new software-defined storage platforms as well as working to transition our existing industry-leading storage solutions into the software-defined model. We entered the software-defined storage market in 2013 with ViPR Controller, which automates storage provisioning to reduce manual tasks and improve operational efficiency by up to 63%. It delivers storage-as-a-service to consumers, minimizing dependencies on the IT team. Since then, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to providing customers with a comprehensive software-defined storage portfolio. We’ve launched ScaleIO, a server-based storage area network (SAN) with a wide variety of deployment options – available as software on commodity hardware, as an appliance (VxRack™ Node) and as VxRack converged infrastructure from VCE (VxRack Flex System) that can linearly scale performance to thousands of nodes in a single federated cluster. On the cloud/object storage front, we’ve launched Elastic Cloud Storage, or ECS, a software-defined cloud storage platform that is built specifically for web, mobile and cloud applications, designed to run as a software-only solution on existing or commodity hardware. ECS scales effortlessly, and provides benefits such as superior economics and global access associated with the public cloud, while minimizing data residency and compliance risks. Both ScaleIO and ECS are also available for consumption as appliances or as software-only solutions.

Moreover, our software-defined products have very tight integrations with other EMC products. For example, our customers can use ScaleIO in conjunction with EMC XtremCache for flash cache auto-tiering to further accelerate application performance. And those who seek advanced-level protection and recovery for their confidential data can use ScaleIO with EMC RecoverPoint to provide replication and disaster recovery protection in ScaleIO environments.

We also made our EMC Isilon storage family, which has long provided industry-leading scale-out storage for unstructured data, available as a software-only solution. Available now, the Software-defined EMC Isilon (IsilonSD Edge) provides the same ability to manage large and rapidly growing amounts of data in a highly scalable and easy-to-manage way, but with the added benefit of hardware flexibility. Customers can deploy IsilonSD Edge on commodity hardware and easily manage enterprise edge locations including remote and branch offices, replicate the edge data to the core data center and seamlessly tier to private or public clouds.

As our customers move into the new world of software-defined IT, EMC provides a solid base on which to build the scalable, flexible infrastructures that will transform your data centers to meet the future head-on. Our growing portfolio of software-defined storage solutions is a fundamental component of that base, providing a range of scale-out solutions to meet rapidly growing and changing data demands.

To keep up with more EMC SDS information and trends, visit: www.emc.com/sds

 

Why DNA Sequencing Eclipses the Moon Landing

Sanjay Joshi

CTO, Healthcare & Life-Sciences at EMC
Sanjay Joshi is the Isilon CTO of Healthcare and Life Sciences at the EMC Emerging Technologies Division. Based in Seattle, Sanjay's 28+ year career has spanned the entire gamut of life-sciences and healthcare from clinical and biotechnology research to healthcare informatics to medical devices. His current focus is a systems view of Healthcare, Genomics and Proteomics for infrastructures and informatics. Recent experience has included information and instrument systems in Electronic Medical Records; Proteomics and Flow Cytometry; FDA and HIPAA validations; Lab Information Management Systems (LIMS); Translational Genomics research and Imaging. Sanjay holds a patent in multi-dimensional flow cytometry analytics. He began his career developing and building X-Ray machines. Sanjay was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant and has been a consultant or co-Principal-Investigator on several NIH grants. He is actively involved in non-profit biotech networking and educational organizations in the Seattle area and beyond. Sanjay holds a Master of Biomedical Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney and a Bachelor of Instrumentation Technology from Bangalore University. He has completed several medical school and PhD level courses.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Many of us are familiar with Neil Armstrong’s famous statement, marking one of mankind’s greatest scientific achievements of the 20th century.

Forward to the 21st century and that statement still holds true. This time, for a scientific accomplishment that we believe eclipses the moon landing: the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP). Here’s why.

DNATo give you an idea of the project’s magnitude, it took 13 years and some 18 countries to identify between 20,000 to 25,000 genes, and determine the sequences of 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up the human DNA – according to Explorable. While there are recent studies that dispute this figure and have pegged the count of human genes at under 20,000, the point here is: The large scale collaboration efforts to complete this project is to ultimately achieve one thing, and that is to rid the world of the tyranny of disease.

Even Hollywood’s in on It

No, this isn’t a zombie apocalypse waiting to happen, of a biological experiment gone wrong like you’ve seen in The Walking Dead or World War Z. On the contrary, it is a pivotal breakthrough in mankind’s existence that has lead to the discovery of disease genes, paving the way for genetic tests and biotechnology-based products.

Citing a CNN story, we’re sure some of you have heard of Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy in 2013 and how she had her ovaries removed in March 2015. But why? Genetic testing revealed that she was a carrier of the breast- and ovarian-cancer gene, BRCA1. A decision, though hard, that would reduce her cancer risk by a great deal.

Revving DNA Sequencing

The rise of DNA sequencing can be partially credited to a stark drop in the cost of whole genome sequencing, from US$100 million per human genome to between US$1,000 and US$3,000 today. Of course, we do need to consider the cost of analysis after genetic testing is completed, and that number can stretch to US$20,000. But that brings me to my point. Affordability for all-not just Hollywood celebrities. Affordability is a dream for scientists in this field. For one, they can now stretch funding budgets to take on more experimental risks and beef up their sequencing activities, pushing boundaries and gathering more research data that could lead to new discoveries.

That being said, we should all be aware that DNA sequencing functions on two engines: storage and speed. Its simple. Without enough space to store research data and the adequate speed to process this data, scientists have little means to glean insights.

Take for example, SciGenom Labs (SciGenom), a company based in Cochin, India. SciGenom focuses on molecular diagnostics, cancer treatment, and metagenomics. Prior to adopting an EMC Isilon X200 scale-out storage platform, it encountered performance reduction corresponding to storage expansion that adversely impacted the speed at which the analysis of large-scale biological data sets could be completed.

Post EMC Isilon, project tasks completion are now 40 percent faster. The lab expects to achieve reductions in the workflow times associated with analyzing, annotating, and understanding the terabytes of data generated every day by the sequencing machines.

Says Saneesh Chembakasseri, IT Manager at SciGenom Labs, “The key reason for moving to Isilon scale-out storage was to increase the performance and speed of analyzing raw data generated by DNA sequencing machines. There is no better choice in the market than EMC Isilon in providing both the needed scalability and performance for meeting the demands of DNA sequencing.”

Read the SciGenom Case Study to learn more.

Being Nimble Now a Reality

18 countries. Can you imagine the kind of coordination that went into HGP? To minimize miscommunication and mistakes, sequencing workflows not only had to be established way in advance. They also had to be nimble to adapt to changes. The only way to do so was to store and share findings seamlessly, even with massive quantities of data being exchanged. The same applies today to follow-on DNA sequencing initiatives.

Malaysia Genome Institute is another establishment that has embraced the strengths of EMC Isilon. Engaged in comparative genomics and genetics, structure and synthetic biology, computational and systems biology, and metabolic engineering, MGI has sequencing machines delivering 1 gigabyte per second of throughput. Putting it in perspective, that is an astounding 1 terabyte in under 17 minutes. MGI uses the Illumina HiSeq 2000 and Illumina MiSeq sequencing platforms for DNA sequencing, whole genome sequencing, whole transcriptome sequencing, and targeted resequencing

“The way we analyze Big Data can require millions of inputs at the same time. This involves transferring data back and forth between the storage and high-performance computing cluster. EMC can comfortably handle the high throughput required within the analysis,” says Mohd. Noor Mat Isa, Head of Genome Technology and Innovation at MGI.

Read the MGI Case Study to learn more.

A Healthier Future

The National Human Genome Research Institute discusses how individualized DNA analysis based on each person’s genome will lead to a very powerful form of predictive, personalized, participatory and preventive medicine, with the ability to learn about the risks of future illness – as seen with Angelina Jolie.

With this understanding, a new generation of more effective and precise drugs can be developed as compared to the one-size-fits-all versions available today. On how fast these breakthroughs will happen, we do not yet know. But for certain, storage and processing speed of Big Data lies at the heart of progress in the next few leaps for mankind.

 

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3 Ways Scalable Technology is Enabling Media & Broadcast Companies

Yasir Yousuff

Sr. Director, Global Geo Marketing at EMC Emerging Technologies Division

Latest posts by Yasir Yousuff (see all)

We want great content, 3 ways scalable techand we want it now. We are a generation used to instant gratification, and technology has only served to amplify the need to be constantly connected on the go. This has created a unique broadcasting market dynamic in many developing countries – particularly in the Asia Pacific—the era of the Connected Consumer. According to International Data Corporation (IDC) in an article from OnScreen Asia, mobility is crucial to the lives of many consumers and the survival of businesses in Asia Pacific region, due to the combination of a fast growing economy and a lack of fixed infrastructure in developing countries. Broadcast companies must adapt to suit changing consumer preferences or risk becoming irrelevant.

How can businesses leverage mobile device adoption and utilize it to engage a fragmented audience?

Future-proofing—Staying Three Steps Ahead
Multi-platform content delivery is an industry trend broadcast companies are starting to embrace as a new way to engage consumers, monetizing those engagements, and better managing the user experience. This is to be expected especially with the rise of on-demand video platforms, consumer mobility, and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. New media services deliver web content to audiences through live streaming, as well as on-demand services via PCs and mobile devices.

This converged development of traditional and new media services has led to transmedia storytelling—the development of stories across multiple forms of media to deliver unique pieces of content across each channel. These pieces of sequential content work together to form a bigger picture, serving the purpose of reaching a wider target market. Therefore, the move to IP-based infrastructure becomes increasingly important as broadcast technology buyers continue to look for ways to make broadcast operational environments more efficient.

Broadcast companies, such as Zhejiang Radio and Television Group (ZRTG) in China, are focusing on enhancing the customer experience using intelligent selection to enhance content delivery. Selecting IP storage with EMC Isilon was a forward-thinking decision ZRTG made because it met the long-term performance requirements to access and edit media assets for high quality broadcast content. According to Luo Leiyi, Sector Chief at ZRTG, “One of the most important features of the EMC Isilon solution is the modular scalability, because as a broadcaster we need storage capacity to be quickly added as our programming and content services expand across multiple formats.”

Going Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
In recent times, efficiency has been a key motivation of broadcast technology purchasing. Increased operational efficiency and cost savings have proven to be considerably more significant than cutting-edge technology, according to Devoncraft’s 2014 Big Broadcast Survey. We have seen this with production companies moving to file-based or tapeless workflows—choosing to entirely digitize their content, consolidate silos, as well as streamline processes. This centralized data management and retrieval lowers migration workloads between core online facilities and secondary storage. To put it simply, content is created faster and at a lower cost, thanks to improved management and application efficiency.

Post-production firm, Adnet Global prides itself on same-day delivery for most of their services with EMC Isilon. To achieve this speed, large file and dataset transfers are spread over the EMC Isilon nodes, enabling massive gigabit per second throughput and the exchange of files within a predictable time. Nivas Patil, Senior Manager of Technology at Adnet Global explains, “The files for production are immediately available, which means we have more time to complete each job. Due to the performance, scalability, and high availability of the EMC Isilon storage, we have definitely increased our productivity.”

Time is Money
We all know time is money, and this is even more pertinent in the fast paced broadcast industry. As rich-media file sizes continue to increase and deadlines get shorter, production companies need to evolve the workflow to decrease time-to-market as well as reduce media production costs. There can be no time for downtime, and high systems availability is crucial. Downtime can be very expensive when you are Rising Sun Pictures (RSP), an Australia-based visual effects company which has worked on high profile feature films such as Gravity and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Mark Day, Head of Systems at RSP comments, “If a single node goes offline, there’s an automatic failover to other nodes in the Isilon cluster. Every piece of work we do is complex. Our software is demanding on storage because we produce more than a terabyte of data per hour. But we’re very confident that our valuable creative work and intellectual property is protected by Isilon.”

 

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