Beyond Tiered Storage: A New Approach to Workflow Storage

If you’ve worked in storage for decades as I have, you’ve heard all the debates about which storage works best for each step in media workflows. But one thing that’s clear is that not every step has the same storage requirements, and that some kind of tiered storage strategy is needed. With every-expanding digital asset libraries, storing it all on high-performance disk isn’t practical or cost-effective. Traditional tiered storage is straightforward: store the most active, most recently used data on fastest, expensive disk storage, and store the less active, older data on slower, less expensive storage, generally tape or lower cost disk arrays. Hierarchical storage management (HSM) software was built to automate the data migration between tiers, and make file system access transparent regardless of where the data is stored. When the primary storage filled to a capacity watermark, for example, 90% of capacity, the HSM system would find the files that were least recently used and move them to the secondary tape tier until the disk storage had sufficient available capacity. This model of tiered storage was built for business data where the focus was containing costs. Disk storage was expensive, tape was cheap, and older business data was rarely relevant except for an occasional audit. The criteria was simply performance vs cost. But media workflows don’t manage business data. Here are the 3 biggest considerations for developing a new approach to workflow storage.

Top 5 Tips for Your 4K Transition

Video production is entering yet another major transition – the move to 4K. Much like the move to high definition (HD) several years ago, the new ultra-high definition (UHD) 4K-resolution formats have the potential to disrupt workflows, strain existing infrastructure and require costly unplanned upgrades. Those who remember how bumpy the change from SD to HD was are understandably nervous about what this looming 4K transition will bring. With lessons learned from the past, the industry is ready to make the change from HD to 4K. The technology has evolved, the tools have evolved and workflows have evolved. The challenge, however, is to make sense of all this change and put the right pieces together to enable a successful transition. The following five key tips will help you to make a smooth transition to full 4K production.

Reasons to Upgrade to StorNext 5: Evolving Beyond the Ad Hoc SAN

Remember those heady days of standing up your first SAN? In those days SAN’s were were small, and likely built up with 2Gb FibreChannel and 250GB hard drives. We found a way to make those small SANs work because we were likely ingesting from camera tape systems - and writing back finished project files to tape as well. It was chaotic – but it worked – and we evolved ever more elaborate file and folder structures to keep track of projects, customers and assets – and a growing shelf of tapes that we hoped were cataloged and tracked correctly. As simple file based workflows gave way to the modern, content-centric workflow model - several key lessons emerge. Here's the biggest lessons and how to understand them so you can "evolve beyond the adhoc SAN."

Connecting Dots This Week At GEOINT2015

I’m on my way to Washington, D.C. for the GEOINT 2015 Symposium. I’m looking forward to spending time with customers and GEOINT’ers, along with the rest of the Quantum team. If you’re at the event, drop by Quantum booth #8058 to learn about the latest techniques in geospatial data management. I’m especially excited to attend GEOINT this year because I’ve been selected to give a Lightning Talk at the GEOINT Foreword Pre-Symposium. I will have 5 short minutes to tell a technology story and keep the audience engaged. No pressure. The title of my talk is: “Connecting Dots In Today’s World—Crayons Not Included.” Why focus on “connecting dots?" Well, the goal in GEOINT today is the same as ever: to derive useful intelligence from data. And while innovation is everywhere—in small sats, in 4K video, in sensors, in mobile, and in the analytics and data viz software that enables discovery—all this innovation is creating a ton of data that needs to be managed, analyzed, and connected. So it makes sense to talk about the challenges people face connecting all of these dots. And the bigger challenge they face recognizing which patterns of connected dots are meaningful.

Celebrating Quantum’s 35th Anniversary

Yesterday was an exciting day for Quantum. We had the honor of ringing the Closing Bell® on the New York Stock Exchange to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the company’s founding. It was a great feeling to represent the entire Quantum team as we marked this significant milestone and looked forward to building on our rich heritage. The company has changed significantly over the years, but here are 4 areas that have remained constant.

Why Use a MAM to Archive When I Can Automate Using an Archive Manager’s Policies?

One of the challenges an administrator at a content company stumbles with when beginning to implement a MAM-based workflow with a tiered storage solution is which one to lead with. It’s almost like new dance partners stumbling over each other’s feet. Even in well-integrated solutions, where the MAM vendor has coded to the archive vendor’s APIs, there is room for conflict. Does one stick solely to the MAM software itself to drive the archival and retrieval of content to the repository? Or does one complement this with policies in the storage archive software itself to automate the archival? Folks in the Hollywood area have an opportunity to learn more about MAM, archive and workflow storage in a live demo event at MelroseMac’s offices on June 9 with BlackMagic Cameras, Cantemo and StorNext. Read on and RSVP for the event.

The Third Era of Data (and Storage) – At the Center of the Universe

Quantum is ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange today in celebration of its 35th anniversary this year, so I’ve been thinking recently about the history of the storage business. It’s been a very interesting ride. Most extraordinary is the degree to which the role of data storage has changed. Data storage have moved from the edge of the data processing universe to being firmly at the core. Data storage has gone from being a peripheral playing a supporting role to being the belle of the IT ball. It’s an exciting time (again) to be in the data storage industry, particularly for Quantum because of the central role our StorNext scale-out storage solutions have long played in enabling customers to organize, protect and manage their data so they can leverage it for strategic advantage. As Quantum commemorates its 35th anniversary, we look forward to helping more organizations maximize the value of their data.