Creating an Accessible Archive for Media and Entertainment

The traditional Media and Entertainment (M&E) market is exploding with new producers of content for movies and television. It is also seeing significant growth in sports television, corporate training and worship broadcasting. All of these content creators benefit from a deep archive of media assets; however, as resolutions increase and camera placement becomes easier, the cost and complexity of maintaining an accessible archive increases dramatically.

Creating an Accessible Media Archive

Media archives need to be instantly accessible but also need to help organizations keep costs under control. The problem is the capacity required by the archive is increasing because of the higher resolution of today’s cameras. Additionally, content creators need to deal with an increasingly complex distribution and delivery network since users can create and consume their content on various types of devices and from various locations.

Caringo Swarm 11 – Object Storage for Media and Entertainment

While Caringo isn’t ignoring other industries that can take advantage of object storage, the 11th release of its Swarm Object Storage focuses directly on delivering a highly accessible archive for the M&E market.

One of the challenges with higher resolution videos is waiting for the transfer of these large images over the network, from storage, after someone accesses them. In Swarm 11, Caringo is adding the capability to access only a portion of the video, instead of the entire video. In Caringo’s content portal, users can preview the video, then select the start and end time to have just that section of the video transferred to them. The feature is also accessible from an API with broad CODEC support and integration into asset managers. This capability can reduce network congestion. In an example, Caringo indicated that a customer with a 10Gb network could wait 22 minutes to move a 60-minute uncompressed 1.5TB video. With this new feature, the customer can now select a three-minute segment, reducing the file size to 75 GB and can transfer the file to the editor in less than 1 minute.

Features for Everyone

In addition to the specific M&E feature, Swarm 11 also has several new capabilities that should be of interest to many organizations including M&E markets. First is a 5X faster upload. Caringo’s new Large File Batch Upload is usable from any HTML5 enabled web-browser and performs parallel writes directly to the Swarm cluster. This feature improves the performance of large, multi-GB and multi-TB files. Users can upload multiple files at the same time.

Another new feature is integrated sharing, eliminating the need for 3rd party applications and services. Consequently, there is no longer a need for a centralized sharing file server. Integrated sharing enables sharing content directly from the object store. The Caringo content portal has a Copy URL option, which can be emailed or IM’d directly to a user or partner. They can then stream or fully download the shared file. Access to the file is revocable at any time.

A big challenge facing any organization trying to create an accessible archive is creating a backup/DR copy of the environment. While most object storage systems have some mechanism to replicate data to another system in another location, doing so requires a near duplicate environment and data center footprint consumption. An archive DR system represents a significant investment for an environment that may never be used. To address this challenge, Caringo is adding backup/DR to an offsite S3 storage system, most notably Amazon S3. Users can also leverage Amazon Glacier via S3 lifecycle rules. This feature uses SSL for secure transfer and includes built-in bandwidth throttling. Restores can consist of individual files, domains or the entire cluster.

StorageSwiss

Media and Entertainment is an ideal market for object storage, as file sizes are growing rapidly and more than a fear of deletion, drives the desire to retain data indefinitely. There is literally a monetary value in storing data a long time in an accessible manner. Beyond the M&E use case is an overall need for organizations to create accessible archives. The features that Caringo is now adding to Swarm are more than making sure the object storage basics are covered. They are also giving customers ways to improve workflows and further reduce costs.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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