Posts Tagged ‘storage’

The Next Element for IT Service Providers in the Digital Age

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

Digital technology has disrupted large swaths of the economy and is generating huge amount of data, where the average backup hovers at around a petabyte. Not all organizations can cope up with this data deluge and look to service providers for storage and protection. Many service providers provide tape-based backup and archiving services. Despite their best efforts to innovate, data volumes always seem to grow faster, pushing the boundaries of tape capacity.

Today, companies of all sizes still use tape to store business information, but now it is more for cold storage than for data that needs to be accessed frequently. While tape as a low cost and reliable storage option is ideal for data not being accessed often, maintaining multiple versions of software and legacy infrastructure can put a burden on already taxed resources. These challenges come at a cost including software licenses, maintenance, and a waste of technical resources that could be spent on other more important initiatives to help drive business innovation. As a service provider, you need a secure and compliant data storage option that will enable you to sell more value added services.

As reported in Tech Target, a Storage magazine Purchasing Intention survey showed that the trend away from tape continues – 76% of IT professionals see their use of tape as a backup format either declining or staying the same.

Some service providers are considering offering cloud-based backup-as-a-service without causing any security concerns for their customers. Others are looking for a solution that combines the benefits of faster data access along with the cost advantages of tape.

More than a few service providers have discovered an ideal solution that covers all of these benefits: Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) object storage platform. As a highly scalable, multi-tenant, multi-protocol object storage system, ECS is the perfect platform that helps service providers to better meet their service-level-agreement (SLA) commitments to customers by offering highly resilient, reliable and low-cost storage services with enterprise-class security.

Iron Mountain® Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), a leading provider of storage and information management services, is one of those who have discovered this solution. In additional to its traditional tape-based storage-as-a-service, it partnered with Dell EMC to provide a cost-effective, scalable and modern Cloud Archive as a part of their services portfolio. Designed to scale as the volume of data grows with ECS as the backend storage platform, the Cloud Archive solution is ideal for organizations needing offsite, pay-as-you-use archival storage with near-infinite scalability.

“Our customers trust that we know where the data is by having those cloud-based solutions in our datacenters. It gives them a peace of mind where they know where their data is at rest.” said Eileen Sweeney, SVP Data Management at Iron Mountain.

Watch the video below to hear more about how Iron Mountain uses ECS to modernize its storage management services for 95% of Fortune 1000 companies. 

You’ll find the full rundown of Iron Mountain Cloud Archive solution with ECS here.

Planning on getting away to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017? Stop by at VMWare Stand at Hall 3, Stand 3K10 to meet with Dell EMC experts!

Solving the Video Vortex at the Secured Cities Conference

Gary Buonacorsi

CTO of State and Local Government at Dell EMC

Latest posts by Gary Buonacorsi (see all)

I’m in Houston today at the Secured Cities conference, the leading government security and public safety event, to participate on the “Video Vortex Drives Public Safety to the Datacenter” panel. I’ll be joined by Kenneth Baker, director of Infrastructure Support at the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), who recently helped implement a citywide video surveillance system for the bus and trolley service. I’m looking forward to hearing more about METRO’s specific architecture, the pain points and challenges the department faced and what problems it hopes to solve with the new system.

For those of you unable to join us in the “Space City” of Houston, here’s a glimpse of what I’ll be covering in the session:

 

What is driving the increase in data for state and local government? 

drroneOne key factor is the emergence of new surveillance technology, such as drones, body cameras, license plate trackers and audio/video recognizance. In particular, drone usage in the public safety arena has seen significant growth for providing situational awareness in tactical events such as bank robberies or hostage situations. In addition to tactical operations, drones are also being used around the country for policing activities. Pilot programs are popping up in cities like Modesto, California, where law enforcement is using drones to assist with search warrants and surveying crime scenes. The sky’s the limit for drone usage in law enforcement, as evidenced by Amazon patenting a voice-activated shoulder-mounted drone earlier this month that officers can use to help assess dangerous situations.

Secondly, resolution requirements are increasing. Grainy pictures are ineffectual when it comes to facial recognition, analytics and post-evaluation, forcing the transition from standard definition to 4K. As new tools and analytics are posed, resolution requirements are much higher.

Perhaps the most common reason for the increase in data for public safety organizations is the growing number of camera counts and longer video retention times. With the rise of citywide surveillance, cities such as London and New York City are moving towards having cameras on practically every street corner. Discovery activities in legal proceedings are extending the retention period and the chain of evidence storage requirements.

 

Given this exponential data growth, how is it impacting organizations and what do they need to focus on?

IT departments at these organizations should look for architectures that are open source, scalable and enterprise-ready to integrate with the system they currently have, in addition to any changes they may make in the future. Simply put, department heads should avoid spot solutions and instead adopt an integrated, strategic approach to help plan for the years ahead. I would counsel them to look for a solution that allows them to start small but grow big, and easily add more cameras and scale without disrupting the current environment.

The next major area to consider is life cycle management. Previously, video footage was kept for a week before it was written over or deleted. Now long term archiving is critical with the potential for courts to mandate digital assets such as video evidence in a capital case to be maintained indefinitely.

Organizations must embrace the shift to an enterprise model. For police departments, having body cameras isn’t enough. They must consider how to integrate them into dashboard cameras, 911 call centers, etc., taking each of these point solutions to form an enterprise approach.

 

Which platform will support retention policies and what are the three different storage architectures? How can organizations escape the video vortex?
cloud2Early video surveillance solutions presented a host of challenges, including restricting departments to certain file and storage protocols, and communication channels. Combine those factors with non IP-based cameras, and modernizing existing systems became extremely difficult. The first step for organizations to solve the video vortex is to select an open platform that not only allows them to migrate and move data from system to system, but that enables them to shift providers easily. Open platforms also present more options in terms of analytics and security, enabling departments to apply more traditional security tools on top of their data storage and data transportation needs.

Compute and data storage is the key element to eliminating the video vortex. Storage is the foundation layer of a sound architecture and must address the needs of an organization, including scaling, enterprise approach and open platform to avoid a lock-in. Currently, three storage architectures exist today: distributed, centralized and cloud. Police forces that are relatively small typically still rely on a distributed architecture, capturing the data from their cars and body cameras and physically transporting it back from a mobile storage device to a centralized repository where it can then be analyzed and managed. Distributed architectures can be folded into centralized architectures, allowing them to be part of the enterprise approach with a centralized location like police headquarters, schools, airports or the METRO. A centralized architecture makes it possible to gather all of these remote data feeds from their video surveillance solutions and bring them back to a centralized repository. In a case like this, the architecture must be efficient, storing only essential data to minimize utilization rates and costs. It must also be capable of supporting thousands of surveillance devices in order to scale to multiple distributed architectures that are coming back to one location.

The third architecture to consider is cloud. Cloud presents a useful solution in that it is elastic, scalable, expands very easily and can ramp up very quickly. However, cloud storage can be very costly in light of the potential retention policy changes, data sets and cloud size – all of a sudden, the portability of those cloud data sets become much more complex. From an architecture perspective, organizations must consider how to bridge that gap and determine the amount of data that can be returned to a more cost-effective on-premise solution without compromising the capabilities that cloud offers.

Finally, distributed, centralized and cloud platforms all underlie the data lake architecture, which is really the foundation for evidence management and helps solve the video vortex public safety organizations are facing.

Your Data Lake Is More Powerful and Easier to Operate with New Dell EMC Isilon Products

Karthik Ramamurthy

Director Product Management
Isilon Storage Division at Dell EMC

Earlier this year Dell EMC released a suite of Isilon products designed to enable your company’s data lake journey. Together IsilonSD Edge, Isilon OneFS 8.0, and Isilon CloudPools transformed the way your organization stores and uses data by harnessing the power of the data lake. Today we are pleased to announce all three of these products have been updated and further enhanced to make your data lake even more powerful and easier to operate from edge to core to cloud.

Starting with the release of OneFS 8.0.1

OneFS 8.0.1 builds on the powerful platform provided by OneFS 8.0 released in February 2016. The intent of this newest release is to provide features important to unique customer datacenter workflows, enhance usability and manageability of OneFS clusters. In addition, OneFS 8.0.1 is the first release that takes full advantage of the non-disruptive upgrade and rollback framework introduced in OneFS 8.0.

Let’s review some of the most compelling features of this software release.

Improved Management, Monitoring, Security and Performance for Hadoop on Isilon

Expanding on the Data Lake, one of the focus areas of this new release was increasing the scope and usefulness of our integration with leading Hadoop management tools. OneFS 8.0.1 delivers support for and integration with Apache Ambari 2.4 and Ranger. A single management point now allows Ambari operators to seamlessly manage and monitor Hadoop clusters with OneFS as the HDFS storage layer. Ranger is an important security management tool for Hadoop.  These Ambari and Ranger integration features benefit all customers using Hortonworks and ODP-I compliant Hadoop distributions with OneFS.

Additionally OneFS 8.0.1 adds new features including Kerberos encryption to secure and encrypt data between HDFS clients and OneFS. In addition, Datanode load balancing avoids overloading nodes and increases cluster resilience. OneFS 8.0.1 also supports the following HFDS distributions: Hortonworks HDP 2.5, Cloudera CDH 5.8.0, and IBM Open Platform (IOP) 4.1.

Introducing Scale-Out NAS with SEC Compliance and Asynchronous Replication for Disaster Recovery

With OneFS 8.0.1, Isilon becomes the first and only Scale-Out NAS vendor that offers SEC-17a4 compliance via SmartLock Compliance Mode combined with the asynchronous replication to secondary or standby clusters via SyncIQ. This powerful combination means companies that must comply with SEC-17a4 are no longer caught in a choice between compliance and data recovery – with OneFS 8.0.1 they have both!

Storage Efficiency Designed for the Healthcare Diagnostic Imaging Needs

For many years PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) applications diagnostic imaging data was stored in large “container” files for maximum storage efficiency. In recent years, the way referring physicians’ access individual diagnostic images changed and, as a result, the methods used to store diagnostic imaging files had to change as well. OneFS 8.0.1 has a new storage efficiency feature specifically designed for the Healthcare PACS archive market to provide significantly improved storage efficiency for diagnostic imaging files.  Isilon customers can expect to see storage efficiency similar to OneFS’s large file storage efficiency for diagnostic imaging files when using this feature.   you leverage Isilon to store your PACS application data you will want to talk with your sales representative and learn more about this new feature.

Upgrade with Confidence

OneFS 8.0, released in February 2016, provided the framework for non-disruptive upgrades for all supported upgrades going forward and the addition of release rollback. OneFS 8.0.1 is the first OneFS release that you will be able to test and validate and, if needed, rollback to the previously installed 8.0.x release. This means that you can non-disruptively upgrade to 8.0.1, without impacting users or applications! You will be able to upgrade sets of nodes or the entire cluster for your testing and validation and then, once complete, you decide to commit the upgrade or rollback to the prior release. Once committed to OneFS 8.0.1, future upgrades will be even easier and more transparent with the ability to view an estimate of how long an upgrade will take to complete and transparency of the upgrade process. The WebUI was enhanced to make upgrade management even easier than before.

Manage Performance Resources like Never Before

Even more exciting is the new Performance Resource Management framework introduced in OneFS 8.0.1. This framework is the start of a revolutionary scale-out NAS performance management system. In OneFS 8.0.1 you will be able to obtain and view statistics on the performance resources (CPU, operations, data read, data written, etc.) for OneFS jobs and services. This will allow you to identify quickly if a particular job or service may be the cause of performance issues. These statistics are available via the CLI, Platform API and can be visualized with InsightIQ 4.1. In future releases these capabilities will be expanded to clients, IP addresses, users, protocols and !

These are just some of the new features OneFS 8.0.1 has to offer. OneFS 8.0.1 improves on our support for MAC OS clients, SMB, audit, NDMP and data migrations, to name a few other areas.  The white paper, Technical Overview of New and Improved Features of EMC Isilon OneFS 8.0., provides additional details on these and other new and improved features in OneFS 8.0.1

Isilon SD Edge Management Server version 1.0.1

This July EMC released a new version of IsilonSD Edge Management Server. Version 1.0.1 provides support for VMware ESX 6.0 in addition to previously supported ESX versions. This management server also enables monitoring of the IsilonSD Edge Clusters via EMC’s Secure Remote Support (ESRS) server and tools.

Isilon CloudPools Just Got Easier to Manage

OneFS 8.0.1 provides improved flexibility for CloudPools deployments in the enterprise with the introduction of proxy support. This allows administrators to specify one or more proxy servers between the Isilon cluster and your cloud provider of .

The Data Lake Journey is Just Beginning!

OneFS 8.0.1 is an important step on the data lake journey; however, you can rest assured we are not stopping here! Look forward to amazing new hardware and software features in coming releases as we build on the Performance Resource Management Framework, provide more workload specific enhancements to address our customers’ needs and deliver new levels of supportability, serviceability, scale and performance.   Don’t wait, upgrade .  Click here to download OneFS 8.0.1.

The New Isilon All-Flash Scale-Out NAS: Revolutionary File Storage That’s All About the Software

David Noy

VP Product Management, Emerging Technologies Division at EMC

161001-isilon-bold_front_sm2The topic of flash in the data center is a hot one, and you may have your own views. But to truly get a handle on everything flash can do for you, it helps to understand what’s driving all the excitement. Because there’s more to it than you might realize.

Two things are going on. First, SSDs are replacing spinning disks, increasing reliability and lowering costs while density keeps climbing. Now you can get flash storage that has an 8x higher density than was possible not too long ago. Second, the ongoing data explosion causes storage requirements to nearly double every two years—and 80% of this new data is unstructured.

Increased performance demands from powerful, next-generation applications that use all this unstructured data mean that they too need flash technology. Billions of devices connected to the Internet of Things inundate companies of all sizes with unprecedented amounts of data to which they need fast, secure access. At the same time, innovation has expanded the term “mission-critical” in unforeseen ways. For example, in the media and entertainment sector, the need for lightning-quick access to data has grown enormously as changes in consumer behaviors drive changes in business models.

Now, with the introduction of Isilon All-Flash Scale-Out NAS, you have an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of flash for all of your critical unstructured data workloads.

 

Going Beyond Performance

All-flash storage helps address the need for extreme performance. Unfortunately, most all-flash solutions available today are focused on support of block-based data applications, which represent just 20% of most businesses’ data. While some vendors have recently introduced all-flash NAS products, they’re typically early versions that lack the enterprise capabilities organizations need when it comes to data protection, security and management. The Dell EMC Isilon All-Flash solution is different. Very different.

What makes Isilon All-Flash truly unique isn’t hardware — the real difference is the software. Isilon All-Flash runs on the same Isilon OneFS operating system that today powers other Isilon platforms and is used successfully by thousands of organizations around the world. Now in its 8th-generation, Isilon OneFS, and its extensive enterprise capabilities, is the reason Isilon is recognized as the #1 scale-out NAS storage platform in the industry. Isilon All-Flash combines the extreme performance of flash with the massive scalability and other vital enterprise-grade capabilities that organizations need:

 

  • Extreme performance: To support your most demanding unstructured data workloads, Isilon All-Flash delivers up to 250,000 IOPS and 15 GB/s bandwidth per chassis, and a total cluster performance of up to 25M IOPS and 1.5 TB/s bandwidth.
  • Massive scalability: With Isilon All-Flash, you can scale storage capacity from 92 TB to 924 TB in a single 4U chassis, and up to 92.4 PB in a single Isilon cluster.
  • Operational flexibility: Because Isilon All-Flash is powered by the Isilon OneFS operating system with its extensive multi-protocol capabilities (including NFS, SMB, FTP, HDFS, REST, Swift, and HTTP), you can support a wide range of applications and workloads on a single platform.
  • Enterprise data protection: Unstructured data is critical to your business. Isilon All- Flash ensures its integrity and availability with up to N+4 redundancy as well as enterprise-grade backup and disaster recovery.
  • Robust security: Definitely don’t want to compromise here. Options include role-based access control (RBAC), secure access zones, SEC-compliant write once read many (WORM) data protection, file system auditing, and data encryption.
  • Unmatched efficiency: Isilon All-Flash delivers the lowest total cost of data. Storage utilization can exceed 80%, and SmartDedupe can increase effective capacity up to an additional 30%.

 

Better Economics with Automated Storage Tiering

Another distinct advantage of Isilon All-Flash is the ability to tier data automatically to the most appropriated storage resources. With Isilon SmartPools and CloudPools software, Isilon All-Flash storage solutions can take advantage of policy-based, automated storage tiering to move data automatically to lower-cost tiers—including a choice of cloud storage options—as data ages or becomes less valuable. This enables you to reduce capital expenses and optimize storage resources by reserving Isilon All-Flash storage for your most demanding applications.

160930-isilon-bold_pers_sm2

Start Your Transformation with Flash Technology for Unstructured Data

You know Dell EMC as the market leader in All-Flash storage and Isilon as the recognized leader in scale-out NAS. Now we’re providing you with the new Isilon All-Flash scale-out NAS storage platform that combines the extreme price/performance advantages of flash technology with the proven efficiency, flexibility and resiliency of Isilon OneFS, the #1 scale-out NAS storage platform in the industry.

Isilon All-Flash will be available in 2017. To receive updates on the launch, visit emc.com/isilon. To pre-order, call your Dell EMC representative today.

IACP: Body Cam Storage Success

Ken Mills

CTO Surveillance & Security

Latest posts by Ken Mills (see all)

Marking the 123rd IACP with Tips to Make Selecting On-Premise Body Cam Storage & Management as Easy as 1, 2, 3

We’re excited to attend the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition in San Diego this week on Oct. 15-18. Each year, thousands of dedicated professionals from federal, state, county, local and tribal agencies attend IACP to learn about the newest intelligence, strategies and tech solutions available to blog1law enforcement.

Among the topics likely to attract attention and spark discussions are body cams and the importance of gathering electronic evidence. With an overwhelming 99 percent of public safety experts agreeing that video surveillance technology will play a significant role in their ability to prevent crime, theft and terrorism over the next five years, it’s more critical than ever to ensure we’re utilizing video data to its potential.

The increase in video data means there is a massive potential for enhanced situational awareness and better intelligence – but only if the data is analyzed.

In honor of the IACP’s 123rd year, we’re sharing tips to help make selecting on-premise body cam storage and management as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Beyond Body Cams

While body cams are certainly getting their share of coverage lately, it’s important to remember body cams are just one component of the video data that public safety departments are tasked with managing. Today’s public safety environments also consist of video, surveillance cameras, drones, in-car video, mobile devices and more. Progressive public safety departments must build a data platform that can collect, store and manage these individual pools of data. A common infrastructure provides a more cost-effective storage environment, more control of the data and better security.

blog2

2. Costly Clouds

Last month, the Associated Press reported police departments in Indiana and Kentucky have halted the use of body cams, citing new laws that would require the video to be stored longer and thereby significantly increasing the cost. On average, each body cam requires a minimum of 1TB of storage per year. Competing cloud solutions charge over $1,400/year – per camera. For a police department that has 500 body cameras, that can quickly add up, with the cost of storage for body cams totaling approximately $700,000 annually in perpetuity. Department heads trying to maintain budgets and plan for additional personnel to monitor the data should consider alternative storage solutions that cost considerably less to deploy and provide an overall better total cost of ownership.

3. Open to New Solutions

Open platform enables departments to integrate body cam data with the best available industry applications. To avoid the risk of limiting video to a single company’s platform, departments should bypass a closed solution as it may prevent other key applications gaining access to that data. Because the video world is constantly changing, an open platform will enable departments to implement the best solutions today and tomorrow.

Read more about our storage solutions here or visit us at Booth 820 and Booth 5307 at IACP. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Survey findings show close alignment with Dell EMC strategy

Charles Sevior

Chief Technology Officer at EMC Emerging Technologies Division

Media Workflow Trends Survey-  Industry Transformation is Underway

Earlier in 2016, Dell EMC commissioned Gatepoint Research to conduct an extensive survey with Media Industry executives.  The survey, entitled Media Workflow Trends yielded some interesting results that point to a good understanding of the pace of change, and the need to stay agile for competitive advantage.

The results of that survey are summarised in a new Infographic, which apart from being much more interesting than a series of pie charts brings to the surface the key themes that align with the technology development strategy of Dell EMC.

Content Storage Demands Are Exploding

I have worked in the media industry for decades, and so this is hardly a surprising finding.  Early in my career, it was commonplace to find production offices full of shelves and compactus storage units.  These were crammed with videotapes. Then there were boxes stacked everywhere – also full of tapes with titles scrawled on the back.  There were colour-coded stickers – “Master”, “Protection Master”, “Edit Copy”, “HOLD”… There was a warehouse full of tapes of various types, even old films.  One thing you learned, is that nothing was ever thrown away (but plenty of things went missing).

Fast-forward to 2016, and most media companies involved in production and distribution of content have shifted to file-based Media Asset Management systems – or at least a media content archive repository.  This has helped to contain the data sprawl into a central location, but it has done nothing to reduce the total storage capacity requirement.  Think about the increasing resolution of content, the increasing number of channels, multiple versions for different delivery platforms and of course the increasing “shoot to use” ratio.  Sports events have increasing number of cameras with retained ISO recordings for highlights and post-match inquiries, Reality TV formats are based on multi-cam techniques to get every reaction from different angles.  Whilst these programs are in production, the storage capacity demands can skyrocket.

Only 3% of our survey respondents replied that storage needs are flat or negative – and 50% responded that the demand for storage capacity is growing rapidly and a major concern.

Multiplatform Content Delivery

Pretty much every major media company is either doing this already, or has a plan to extend their audience reach beyond simple linear broadcast channels in the next few years.  But what is interesting is the increasingly careful way in which media companies are deploying their solutions.

Recognising that the simple approach of outsourcing multiplatform content delivery to a third-party OVP (Online Video Platform) is not very revenue accretive, Media companies are now starting to embrace DIY in order to pull-back some profit margin in what is otherwise a very difficult to monetise delivery strategy.  As we learn more from some of the leaders in this industry – such as MLBAM – we can see the benefits in taking control and managing as much of the content delivery process end to end.  Just like we always did with linear content delivery over terrestrial RF transmitters, satellite transponders and cable TV networks.

One of the key tips is being ready to scale.  As streaming demand spikes and grows with popular content, how can every incremental viewer bring incremental profit – not just rising CDN costs?  Taking a tip from Netflix, you can build a distributed origin and control the CDN deeper into the delivery network.  Dell EMC has repeatedly partnered with some of the leading solution vendors in this space, who make it easier to deploy a well-managed and profitable multiplatform content delivery system.

IP-Based Workflows are here

Most industry commentators seem to get pretty excited about “the death of SDI”, and how soon IP networking can completely replace the dedicated video & audio circuits of the past.  But really, that is just a side show for which we will soon lose interest.  There is no “right or wrong” way to build a media facility.  The engineers and technical architects will select the appropriate technology on a case by case basis as they always have, based on reliability, quality, cost, ease of management etc.  And over time, there will simply be more connections made using IP network technology and fewer using dedicated single-purpose technology.

But what is the end-game?  I see it as moving our media equipment technology stacks (also known as the “rack room” or “central technical facility”) away from dedicated single-purpose vendor solutions built and managed carefully by Broadcast Engineers into a flexible virtualised technology stack that looks identical to a cloud-scale data centre – built and managed by IT and Media Technologists.  It will be open architecture, built on software-defined principles and capable of easy repurposing as the application technology needs of the business shift more frequently than they did in the past.

It is important to select your partners carefully as you make this transition into IP and software-defined.  Dell EMC has deliberately remained vendor neutral and standards-based.  We have aligned with SMPTE and AIMS who we believe are two organisations that have the broad interests of the industry (both end-users and vendors) at heart, and will result in practical, cost-effective and widely-adopted solutions.

As a pioneer and leader in scale-out storage, virtualisation and converged infrastructure, Dell EMC is in a great position to help you avoid costly mistakes during your transition to IP-based workflows.

EMC-Media and Entertainment-Infographic

Click to see the full M&E trends infographic

Ultra-HD Is Coming

Well, it’s already here.  Of course most people shopping for a new flat screen TV today will see that their options include 4K resolution, and are increasingly affordable when compared to the default HD TV resolution.  Some in the industry will say that 4K is unnecessary and is being pushed by the consumer electronics manufacturers – but when has that ever been a different story in the past?  There is no doubt that consumers appreciate improved quality of content, and story-tellers love the creative opportunities afforded by the latest technology.  When we can finally deliver ALL of the aspects of Ultra-HD, such as HDR (high dynamic range), HFR (high frame rates) and multi-channel surround sound that will be one step closer to reality.

At the SMPTE Future of Cinema Keynote during NAB 2016, pioneering movie Director Ang Lee said;

Technology must work for us to help tell the human story.  Whether it is from 2K to 4K, or 24 to 60fps, it improves the sensory experience and as a viewer, you become more relaxed and less judgmental.  We will always be chasing god’s work – which is the natural vision and sensory experience. We are getting closer and learning more about how we communicate with each other.”

In the world of content creation and media distribution, we will increasingly adopt 4K cameras, render graphics and animations at increased resolution and ensure the product we make has an increased shelf life.  This is natural, even if it is happening before we have an ability to deliver this content to our viewers.  And while it is difficult to “rip and replace” cable, satellite and terrestrial networks that are still only shifting from SD to HD with new 4K solutions, OTT content delivery using internet broadband and mobile networks will probably be the way most consumers first access Ultra-HD.

Dell EMC Isilon is a scale-out storage solution that grows in capacity and bandwidth as more nodes combine into a single-volume multi-tier cluster.  We already have numerous customers using Isilon for 4K editing and broadcast today.  As we constantly innovate and bring new technology to market, we continue to deliver to our customers the benefits of Moore’s Law.  The real key to Isilon technology is the way that we deliver platform innovation in an incremental and backward-compatible way – supporting the ability to scale and grow non-disruptively.

Beyond LTO Archiving

I mentioned earlier in this blog how my early career was defined by shelves and boxes of tapes – videotapes everywhere.  I spent time in my day handling tape, winding tape into cartridges, even editing audio and videotape using a razor blade!  The most important machine in the building (a commercial TV station) was the cart machine.  That was because it held all of the commercial 30 second spots, and if those did not play, the TV station did not make money and we would not get paid.

Finally we replaced cart machines and replay videotape machines with hard disk servers that were highly reliable, fast to respond to late changes and very flexible.  So I wonder when we will say it is time to replace the data tape archive library with a cloud store?  Certainly we are all familiar with and probably daily users of one of the biggest media archives in the world (I refer to Google’s YouTube).  Wouldn’t it be great if your company had its own YouTube?  A content repository that was always online, instantly searchable, growing with fresh material and just as easy to use?

So then we get down to cost.  It turns out, that even though they seem cheap, the cost of actually using a public cloud store for long term retention is a lot more expensive than existing data tape technology – especially as the LTO industry brings innovation beyond LTO-6 into the latest LTO-7 data tape format with 6TB native capacity.

But that migration process to move all of your media from one standard to the next is painful and time-consuming – introducing cost, wear & tear and impacting on end-user search & retrieval times from the library.

From our survey respondents, the top features for consideration of a storage solution are performance, scalable capacity and efficient use of resources (floor space, power, personnel).  So if we took those criteria into account, cloud storage should win hands-down – if only the price was right.

Well finally now it is.  Dell EMC has been developing an innovative product called ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage) which meets all of the requirements of a Modern Archive – scalable, multi-site geo-replication, open architecture, software-defined.  And now it is available in a range of hardware platforms that offer the high packing density of large capacity and very efficient hard drives – today 8TB is supported and clearly that native capacity will grow.

Increasingly customers are asking us whether this technology is price competitive with LTO libraries, and whether it is reliable and ready for mission-critical high-value archives.  The answer to both of these questions is yes, and the benefits of moving to your own cloud store are significant (whether you choose to deploy it within your own premises or have it hosted for you).

Cloud Solutions are gathering converts

When you boil it all down, our industry is in transformation from a legacy & bespoke architecture to that of a cloud. The great thing about a cloud, is that it is flexible and can easily change shape, scale and take on new processes and workloads.  And it doesn’t have to be the public cloud.  It can be “your cloud”.  Or it can be a mix of both – which really gives you the best of both worlds.  Public cloud for burst, private cloud for base load and deterministic performance.

Building clouds and bringing technology innovation to industry is what Dell EMC is really good at.  Speak with us to learn more about how to embark on this journey and the choices available to you.

SUMMARY

So we find that across the media industry the evolution is underway.  This is a multi-faceted transformation.  We are not just switching from “SD to HD”, we are actually evolving at the business, operations, culture and technology level.

Dell EMC is positioned as an open architecture vendor neutral infrastructure provider offering best in class storage, servers, networking, workstations, virtualisation and cloud management solutions.  Engage with us to secure your infrastructure foundation, to be future-ready, and to simplify your technology environment so that you can focus on what really matters to your business – what makes your offering attractive to viewers (on any platform)

 

trends-picture-1

Categories

Archives

Connect with us on Twitter