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."
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 pressure is real. It’s hard enough to remain efficient in an industry where higher resolutions, new camera formats and a growing range of delivery options are emerging faster than ever before. Add in the complexity of sharing content across distributed teams and archiving content securely, and many traditional workflows fail to stay efficient, at a time when efficiency matters most. Tight project timelines aren’t getting any longer just because your workflow can’t keep up. It’s time for the cloud. Here's how collaboration and archive are heading to the cloud.
It’s so exciting to see today’s announcement that Quantum will be taking on a larger role in selling Dot Hill storage. This is not just another storage channel deal – let me explain why. The partnership of Quantum and Dot Hill began in workflow storage. Quantum enjoys a unique position in the market in serving the needs of the most demanding workflow storage applications – from video production to surveillance, cybersecurity and research. These applications have storage needs which are quite different from traditional corporate applications. They need different solutions. Both companies have noticed that there are adjacent markets and customer needs where tighter collaboration between us—leveraging the technology of Dot Hill and the technology and channel reach of Quantum—can deliver broader value to our customers and partners. Which brings me to the announcement today: Quantum is becoming the branded face of Dot Hill storage.
In the fast-paced entertainment industry, the technology for both creating and consuming content can shift sharply and quickly. Making the right technology choices, at the right time, with well-timed implementation can mean the difference in moving your business forward or wasting a lot of time and budget fixing bad decisions, or worse, losing the business. These three market trends have the power to disrupt your workflow, but by making a few key decisions today you can transition smoothly in 2015, plus prepare for what’s to come in the future. In Pt.1 of the series we look at a technology that's going to be on everyone's mind at NAB 2015: 4K.
When you work in a StorNext collaborative environment every day, you can take for granted what goes on behind the scenes to make its cross-platform, simultaneous workflows possible. How do you manage user access and file transfers to the shared storage seamlessly? It turns out that managing users wanting to access to files on a shared resource is one of the hardest computer challenges and a direct, high-performance, controlled group access to shared folders requires a Storage Area Network or SAN. The way StorNext delivers this "magic" is by ensuring that a highly redundant ‘controller' managers the users, permissions and file traffic. And with the recent release of StorNext 5, the critical area of storing and managing this metadata received a dramatic performance improvement thanks to three main innovations.
Businesses of all size are increasingly starting deployments of cloud-based data, driven by the promises of greater agility, lower management cost and capital savings. It just makes sense. When both compute and data move together – in lockstep – to the cloud, the issues to be considered are very similar to deploying or migrating an onsite application. But when the major compute operations are staying onsite and only the data is moving offsite (such as for backup, disaster recovery or compliance archive), the deployment can be more complex. In this scenario, operational executives must consider five key issues to ensure a successful experience – including meeting customer service level agreements (SLAs) and staying within budget. Based on the use case you are planning, you must consider these 5 issues.
As we get ready to say goodbye to 2014, our thoughts turn to what lies ahead in 2015. If it’s anything like this year, it will be another exciting – and interesting – one for storage. With that in mind, here are some of my thoughts on what’s in store for storage in the coming year.
Video is not just for entertainment anymore. It’s transforming how people communicate in corporations, in universities—and in government organizations. I returned home last Thursday night from the Government Video Expo in Washington D.C., where our days were chock-full of conversations with the people who create video for defense and civilian agencies alike. One highlight at the 2014 #GVExpo was Geoff Stedman’s talk ‘The 7 Things the Beltway Can Learn from Hollywood About Video Workflows.’
Workflows are evolving as producers, large and small, are utilizing the full range of tools available to create compelling stories. Whether they're a post-production facility focused on motion design or a broadcaster delivering election results, collaboration and speed are core workflow requirements. The adoption of high resolution content has increased editorial flexibility, allowing visual effects and compositing teams to enrich the visual experience. At the same time, producers are managing a wider range of ingest sources, meaning editors have more content to draw upon. With all this increased complexity, storage solutions must meet demands for speed and capacity while remaining open and reliable.
I consider the attention industry analysts pay to emerging technologies to be an interesting barometer for the market. Not long ago I attended the Next Gen Storage Summit, where object storage was a key focus, and met with a long list of industry luminaries to discuss object storage and where it is headed. Lots of probing discussions about Lattus, as well as observations about use cases for various industries, that stand to benefit from more cost efficient, scalable and accessible storage. They have also echoed a sentiment consistently: Demand for capacity growth is real industry wide and there is clearly a mix shift toward unstructured content that is driving this.
As a marketing professional for over 20 years, I’ve seen many trends come and go. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the overwhelming sense of accomplishment you feel when your marketing message resonates with customers – when you hear them play back your value proposition in their own words with tangible examples of how you’re enabling business growth. It’s a victory that says we listened, we heard correctly, and we nailed it. This is especially true when you’re carving a new direction, such as launching a new offering that challenges the legacy way of doing business. I recently had one of those experiences when a group of Quantum folks had dinner with one of our customers, the fastest growing sports organization in the world.
I love telling the StorNext 5 story. It’s satisfying to see a customer sit up straighter in their chair when the light bulb goes off, when they grasp what StorNext can do for them. To see them lean forward when they figure out how StorNext can address their challenges managing high-performance workflows, at scale, within budget. Without dropping a packet. Without dropping a frame. This week we rolled out a new and compelling set of StorNext 5 Scale-out Storage pages on our Quantum dot com website. If you already know and love StorNext 5, I hope you will think we did it justice. If you are wondering what StorNext 5 is, I hope the new pages answer your questions—clearly and cogently.