Media content consists of both essence (the content itself) and its associated metadata. Everybody acknowledges that the metadata is important to classifying and locating content, so media companies tend to put a lot of thought into collecting and managing metadata — what type of information will be collected, where it will be entered and how often, etc. The idea is to ensure consistent, thorough metadata collection so that users can find and remonetize specific pieces of content. Metadata-gathering is a critical part of the metadata management process, to be sure, but it’s only half the process. What people tend to ignore is the other piece of metadata management — ensuring that the metadata is secure and archived. Why do they ignore it? Because media companies tend to focus so much on securing the actual content that they put little if any thought into securing the associated metadata, which is often stored in another database separate from the content itself. Let's look at best practices for protecting your metadata is to ensure that, while you’re backing up your content, you’re also backing up and archiving your metadata database.
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.
As I’ve said in prior posts, keeping data in native format for later use is increasingly a “must have” for many customers. This is the starting point. Stage two is, of course, turning raw data into useful information by adding knowledge or context. Before you can transition data into business information, you also must find the pieces of data that are interesting or useful. In the media and entertainment world, this is done predominantly through a concept called “metadata tagging.” Metadata tagging is a process by which every unique data element (for video, this would be a frame) is enriched with business information likely to identify its value.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time exploring the differences between data (as in “Big Data”) and information. There’s a very interesting conceptual model that has been proposed outlining the relationship between data, knowledge, information, understanding, and wisdom (D-K-I-U-W for brevity’s sake) attributed to American organizational theorist Russell Ackoff. For a nice introduction to this model, you can read the article “Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom,” by Gene Bellinger, Durval Castro, and Anthony Mills.
Since we announced our next generation StorNext 5 Appliances three weeks ago, we’ve been getting requests for more background about how we’ve achieved such significant increases in performance, scalability and flexibility. To dive deeper into how we built StorNext 5 from the ground up, I’ve tapped Skip Levens, director of technical marketing, to detail some of its core design features.