Posts Tagged ‘Media and Entertainment’

Examining TCO for Object Storage in the Media and Entertainment Industry

The cloud has changed everything for the media and entertainment industry when it comes to storage. The economies of scale that cloud-based storage can support has transformed the way that media organizations archive multi-petabyte amounts of media.

Tape-based multi-petabyte archives present a number of challenges, including a host of implementation of maintenance issues. Data stored on tape is not accessible until the specific tape is located, loaded onto a tape drive, and then positioned to the proper location on the tape. Then there is the factor of the physical footprint of the library frame, and real estate required for frame expansions – tape libraries are huge. This becomes all the more problematic in densely populated, major media hubs such as Hollywood, Vancouver and New York.

At first, the public cloud seemed like a good alternative to tape, providing lower storage costs. But while it’s cheaper to store content in the public cloud, you must also factor in the high costs associated with data retrieval, which can be prohibitive given data egress fees. The public cloud also requires moving your entire media archive library to the cloud and giving up the freedom to use the applications of your choice. Suddenly the lower initial costs of the public cloud can be wrapped up in a significantly larger price to pay.

Object storage is emerging as a viable option that offers media companies a number of benefits and efficiencies that the public cloud and tape-based archives simply cannot provide. In fact, object storage is rapidly becoming mandatory for applications that must manage large, constantly growing repositories of media for long-term retention.

Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) blends next-generation object storage with traditional storage features that offer the media and entertainment world an on-premises cloud storage platform that is cost-competitive with multi-petabyte type libraries. ECS not only simplifies the archive infrastructure, it enables critical new cloud-enabled workflows not possible with a legacy tape library.

Instant Availability of Content

The greatest benefit of object storage for media and entertainment companies is the instant availability of their media content – you can’t access media on tape without a planned and scheduled retrieval from a robotic tape library. For a broadcast company, the delay in data availability could result in a missed air date, advertiser revenue loss, and legal fees.

With instant access to their entire archives, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for content creators. Archives aren’t often considered when it comes to content creation – the process of accessing media content has historically been difficult and the process of obtaining data often takes far too long. However, with instant access to archived media, archives can effectively become monetized, rather than just sitting around on tape in a dark closet gathering dust and being wasted. Being able to access all of your media content at any time allows rapid deployment of new workflows and new revenue opportunities. Further, with object storage, engineering resources that were focused on tape library maintenance can be re-focused on new projects.

Operational Efficiencies

Object storage can also offer increased operational efficiencies – eliminating annual maintenance costs, as one example. One of the biggest – and least predictable – expenses with operating a tape library is maintenance. Errors on a tape library are commonplace, drive failures and downtime to fix issues can impact deadlines and cause data availability issues that can require valuable engineering time and result in lost revenue.

Going Hot and Cold: Consolidation and Prioritization

Public cloud storage services can enable users to move cold or inactive content off of tier 1 storage for archiving, but concerns around security, compliance, vendor-lock and unpredictable costs still remain a concern.  Cold content can still deliver value and ESC allows organizations to monetize this data and provide an active-archive with the same scalability and low costs benefits, but without the lack of IT agility and reliability concerns.

ECS allows organizations to consolidate their backup and archive storage requirements into a single platform. It can replace tape archives for long-term retention and near-line purposes, and surpass public cloud service for backup.

In the video below, Dell EMC’s Tom Burns and Manuvir Das offer some additional perspective on how the media and entertainment industry can benefit from object storage: 

Stay current with Media & Entertainment industry trends

Dispelling Common Misperceptions About Cloud-Based Storage Architectures

As the media and entertainment industry moves to 4K resolution and virtual/augmented content formats, the storage and archive requirements for media content has grown exponentially. But while storage requirements continue to skyrocket, industry revenue has not grown accordingly – and M&E organizations are finding themselves challenged to “do more with less.” More organizations are looking to leverage the cost efficiencies, scalability and flexibility that cloud storage can offer, but many remain apprehensive about taking the plunge.

To be clear, in this post when we talk about “the cloud,” we’re talking cloud architectures, versus the public cloud provided by vendors such as Microsoft, AWS and Google, among others. Unlike public clouds, cloud architectures can be used completely within your facility if desired and they are designed with infinite scalability and ease of access in mind.

There are a number of misperceptions about moving data to cloud architectures that are (wait for it) clouding people’s judgment. It’s time we busted some of the bigger myths and misperceptions out there about cloud storage.

Myth #1: I’ll have to learn a whole new interface – false! Dell EMC’s Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) employs a tiered system, where it sits under a file system – in our case, Isilon. For organizations already deploying Isilon SAN or NAS storage platforms, the workflows stay exactly as they were, as does users’ interface to the file system.

This tiered approach helps companies to “do more with less” by allowing them to free up primary storage and consolidate resources. By tiering down “cold,” inactive data to ECS, you can better optimize your tier-one higher performance storage and drive down costs.

Myth #2: My data won’t be safe in the cloud – false! ECS features a geo-efficient architecture that stores, distributes and protects data both locally and geographically, eliminating any single point of failure and providing a seamless failover from site to site with no impact to business. Further, even though the data within ECS is distributed, it’s still a secure, private environment so users won’t run into scenarios where anyone can access information without the right credentials.

Myth #3: Collaboration and access is going to be negatively impacted – false! If you look at the VFX industry, for example, teams are frequently spread across the world and working across time zones on a 24/7 basis. ECS enables global teams to work on the same piece of data at the same time from one system – it’s true collaboration. ECS’s multi-site, active-active architecture and universal accessibility enables anywhere access to content from any application or device.

Myth #4: Moving to the cloud is an all-or-nothing approach – false! ECS can be deployed when your organization is ready for it – whether that’s in a month, or six months, or a year. We realize a lot of operations personnel like to “see” their data and know first-hand that it’s there. We get that. But as things evolve, it’s likely that organizations will face pressure to take at least some of the data offsite. With ECS, you can still keep your data in the data center and, when the time is right to take your data off-site, Dell EMC can work with your organization to move your infrastructure to a hosted facility or a co-lo where you can continue to access your data just as you did when it was on-premise. ECS is available in a variety of form factors that can be deployed and expanded incrementally, so you can choose the right size for your immediate needs and project growth.

Because it is designed with “limitless scale” in mind, ECS eliminates concerns and worries of running out of storage, it can meet the needs for today’s M&E organizations, as well as those in the future simply by adding additional storage, just as you used to do with tapes.

Hopefully we’ve been able to bust a few of the myths around adopting a cloud-based storage architecture. This video featuring Dell EMC’s Tom Burns and Manuvir Das can offer additional insight into ECS’s tiered approach and how media organizations can begin seeing benefits from day one.

Stay current with Media & Entertainment industry trends here or listen to Broadcast Workflows webcast recording.

Taking AIMS at the IP Transition

Ryan Sayre

Ryan Sayre is the CTO-at-Large for EMC Isilon covering Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Ryan has prior hands-on experience in production technology across several types of production workflows. Previously before working in the storage industry, he was an IT infrastructure architect at a large animation studio in the United States. He has consulted across entertainment sectors from content generation and production management to digital distribution and presentation. Ryan’s current role allows him to assist in enhancing the Isilon product for both current and future uses in media production, share his findings across similar industries and improve the overall landscape of how storage can be better leveraged for productivity. He holds an MBA from London Business School (UK), Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from University of Portland (USA). In his free time, he is an infrastructure volunteer for the London Hackspace and an amateur radio enthusiast using the callsigns M0RYS and N0RYS.

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Much has been made of the impending move to a largely IP and hybrid cloud infrastructure in the media and entertainment industry and with good reason. Over the last decade the shift from SDI to IP has been met with both cheers and jeers. Supporters of transitioning to IP speak of vast operating and financial benefits, while traditional broadcast facilities and operators are still struggling to reconcile these potential gains with their unease over emerging standards and interoperability concerns.

In an effort to assuage these concerns, EMC alongside several of the industry’s leading vendors such as Cisco, Evertz, Imagine Communications and Sony have joined the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS). AIMS, a non-profit trade alliance, is focused on helping broadcast and media companies move from bespoke legacy systems to a virtualized, IP-based future – quickly and economically. Believing open, standards-based protocol as critically important to ensuring long-term interoperability, AIMS’ promotes the adoption of several standards: VSF TR-03 and TR-04, SMPTE 2022-6 and AES67.

It is important that organizations continue to advocate for AIMS’ roadmap for open standards in IP technology and do their part to educate each other, which is why we recently partnered with TV Technology and Broadcast Television and internet production technology conceptEngineering to develop an e-book titled “The IP Transformation: What It Means for M&E Storage Strategies”. It examines how the combination of standard Ethernet/IP networking, virtualized workflows on commodity servers and clustered high-performance storage is influencing new video facility design and expanding new business opportunities for media companies. The e-book takes a closer look on topics such as media exchange characteristics, the eventual fate of Fibre Channel, Quality of Service (QoS) and storage needs for evolving media workflows.

To learn more about the shift to IP, visit EMC at IBC 2016 at stand 7.H10, September 9-13. The media and entertainment experts will be onsite exhibiting an array of new products and media workflow solutions that include 4K content creation, IP-based hybrid-cloud broadcast operations, and cloud DVR on-demand content delivery. EMC will also be demonstrating a number of partner solutions at IBC, including:

Pixspan, Aspera and NVIDIA

Advances in full resolution 4K workflows – EMC, Pixspan, Aspera, and NVIDIA are bringing full resolution 4K workflows to IT infrastructures, advancing digital media workflows with bit exact content over standard 10 GbE networks. Solution Overview

Imagine Communications

Integrated channel playout solution with Imagine Communications – EMC and Imagine Communications bring live channel playout with the Versio solution in an integrated offering with EMC’s converged VCE Vblock system and EMC’s Isilon scale-out NAS storage system. Solution Overview

MXFserver

Remote and collaborative editing solution with MXFserver –EMC and MXFsever are announcing an integrated disk-based archiving solution that allows immediate online retrieval of media files. The combined solution utilizes MXFserver software and EMC’s Isilon scale-out NAS to deliver storage as well as a platform for industry-leading editing applications. Solution Overview

Anevia

Cloud-based multi-platform content delivery with Anevia – The joint release from Anevia and EMC allows media organizations to deliver OTT Services: Live, Timeshift, Replay, Catchup, Start over, Pause, CDVR, and VOD to provide content to all devices, enabling consumers to access and view content they have recorded on any device at any time. Solution Overview

Rohde & Schwarz

EMC and Rohde & Schwarz announce an interoperability with Isilon storage and the Venice Ingest and Production platform. Venice is a real-time and file-based ingest and playout server from Rohde & Schwarz. Solution Overview

NLTek

EMC and NLTek bring a combined solution enabling integration with Avid Interplay. Working within the familiar Avid MC|UX toolset, users are able to store and restore Avid Assets to an EMC Isilon or ECS media repository—creating a unified Nearchive. Solution Overview

For more information and to schedule a meeting at IBC, please visit our website.

 

 

Sci-Fi Today, Reality TV Tomorrow

Yasir Yousuff

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

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There’s been a fair bit of hype surrounding the latest SpaceX upright rocket landing. Simple as it seems, the excitementSci-Fi Today, Reality TV Tomorrow, at least for me, stems from how the feat has brought us one step closer to fulfilling our sci-fi fantasies – etched into our minds by the many blockbuster flicks Hollywood has produced.

If you can recall one of the opening scenes of The Martian, we witnessed the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) lifting off, attempting to escape an ensuing dust storm. While most of the focus was on the misfortune of Mark Watney – played by Matt Damon, left behind after being struck by debris, you could say we took for granted how easily the MAV ascended into space. Combine the thought of how the MAV got there in the first place, and you have yourself a similar parallel to the SpaceX launch and landing.

So what am I getting at? Science fiction only remains science fiction until technology catches up with our imagination. This applies not just to space travel, but every other area of technological advancement.

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IABM Selects EMC as a Game Changer for Storage at NAB Show

Tom "TV" Burns

CTO, Media & Entertainment at EMC

Hello from the NAB Show in Las Vegas! It’s been a terrific couple of days so far and the team is having a great time connecting with our customers, partners, prospects and others in the broadcast and media technology community.

game_changer_logo_for_web_bannerWe’ve got some exciting news to share from the show – the International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers (IABM) presented EMC with the 2016 Game Changer Award in the storage category for Isilon CloudPools and IsilonSD Edge. These new products help media organizations integrate cloud storage into their current workflows and easily enable new remote office productions.

The media industry is built on change, and today the media business of creation and delivery is no exception. As higher resolution formats and new delivery methods create turbulence in the industry, media professionals are looking for best-of-breed technology that will future-proof their workflows and transform their business to meet tomorrow’s needs.

From day one, EMC has thought differently about the media industry: we’ve always believed in challenging the status quo of how storage is used in creation, processing and delivery of media. With Isilon storage we’ve done that by creating simple, easy to manage, high performance, and cost-effective tiers of storage that are all in one flexible pool.  A single pool of storage lets artists and editors easily share assets across the workflow, while providing a single point of storage management throughout the life cycle of the storage infrastructure.

EMC Isilon SD Edge graphic

Perhaps more importantly, from the ground up, we’ve future-proofed our products by design. The Isilon storage platform can be incrementally and modularly grown as business needs change or technology requires component replacement. There’s no need to acquire the infrastructure today based on predictions of what will happen in the next three years—simply grow the storage system in increments that follow business cycles. If a portion of the infrastructure is no longer cost-effective, gradually replace those portions with new technology—seamlessly and cost-effectively.

The judging panel of 40 independent industry professionals described the products as “a development of a well-established professional, high performance media storage system [that] enables a hybrid approach in migrating to cloud-based storage.”

This Game Changer award is a testament to our team’s dedication and hard work to provide thousands of organizations in the media and entertainment industries the most effective storage solutions. From all of us at EMC, we want to extend our thanks and appreciation to the IABM for this recognition.

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