Solving the Media and Advertising Firm Storage Challenge

Many media and advertising firms require multi-site collaboration and external file sharing. Like most industries, these firms are also facing unprecedented data growth both within their core data center and at the edge. They, like the larger media and entertainment industry, also need storage systems that can handle large file handling, thanks to 4K and 8K resolution video and increasingly high resolution image files. Unlike the typical large Media and Entertainment company, they only have a limited amount of IT resources and budget available to solve these challenges.

As workarounds, these organizations have tried to leverage cloud-only file sharing services but find them lacking when it comes to providing the type of performance that their digital artists require. Even services that provide some form of on-premises caching still don’t meet performance expectations. The lack of on-premises performance, especially in terms of the bandwidth required by this data type, leads most of these organizations toward buying a high performance NAS and manually copying data between offices as the workflow progresses. When the agency needs to share data with a client, they copy data to a cloud-only file sharing service. The bottom line is that all this manual copying wastes capacity and time.

CTERA Ships Edge-to-Cloud File Services for Media & Advertising

CTERA is provider of secure file services for enterprises, government organizations, and service providers. Their current offering focuses on medium to large sized media and advertising firms and enterprises that need to process data locally but also want to leverage the cloud to share, protect and retain that data. Their edge filers deliver that local performance and their software supports a variety of cloud providers to provide sharing, protection, and data retention. You can learn more about CTERA by reading our briefing note, “Designing a File Storage Infrastructure“.

CTERA recently announced a new edge filer, the HC2400M, targeting mid-sized media and advertising firms. The new edge filer provides 128TB of local cache through a combination of SSD and HDD drives, automatically tiering data between those tiers. The SSD tier consists of 24 1TB SSDs while the hard disk tier consists of 46 4TB NL-SAS hard disk drives.

Through software optimization and higher performing hardware components, the HC2400M delivers 15Gbps of bandwidth via SMB/NFS. The solution also fully supports macOS and the Adobe suite, which is critical for most of these organizations. To this new hardware, CTERA provides its full file services which means unlimited cloud tiering and collaboration across distributed teams.

Additionally, ideal for Media and Advertising workflows is CTERA’s ability to define that certain files or folders are never migrated to the cloud. This is important for long-term projects and reference files that these agencies often use as a foundation for other deliverables.

Organizations with several large offices can place an edge filer in each location for local access. The CTERA global file system manages access and versioning of files between locations.

Users can access the CTERA NAS either directly through SMB/NFS mounts or via the company’s CTERA Drive software when traveling. External users, when permitted, can access the CTERA NAS via web-access. CTERA also provides a mobile app for data access on the go.

All the CTERA solutions provide a form of built-in backup and archiving with local and cloud DR options. As it is stored on the edge filer, it automatically replicates data to the cloud, thus creating a second copy of data. It also provides granular file-level cloud versioning for easy user self-restore and protection from ransomware attacks. It can also replicate data between cloud regions, for protection from a cloud outage. Organizations concerned about cloud security or long-term costs can instead leverage an on-premises object storage system.

Organizations can intermix the HC2400M with CTERA’s other edge filers. An organization with an office that is specifically focused on media and/or advertising can leverage the capabilities of the HC2400M while other offices can use one of the other edge filers designed for more mainstream workloads.

StorageSwiss Take

Many organizations, beyond companies specifically focused on media or advertising have a growing media storage requirement, so the use case for the HC2400M may go far beyond its initial intent. The high-performance bandwidth on-premises NAS functionality combined with tight cloud integration is a file services solution that many organizations should consider. It is time to retire the file server.

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George Crump is the Chief Marketing Officer at VergeIO, the leader in Ultraconverged Infrastructure. Prior to VergeIO he was Chief Product Strategist at StorONE. Before assuming roles with innovative technology vendors, George spent almost 14 years as the founder and lead analyst at Storage Switzerland. In his spare time, he continues to write blogs on Storage Switzerland to educate IT professionals on all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought-after public speaker. With over 30 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS, SAN, Virtualization, Cloud, and Enterprise Flash. Before 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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