Off Your Shelves And Into Scalable, Accessible Storage—Transform Your Video Archive

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Does your video archive look more like a storage closet you’re afraid to open? Is it nearly filled to capacity with aging video tapes, external hard disk drives, optical media, old networking cables, and an assortment of other equipment? You’re not alone.

Rising demand for multimedia content has driven the production of more content at higher quality than ever before. However, for many video production companies and agencies that create this content, archiving has not kept pace with content production.

It’s the same for in-house corporate video departments. Declining prices for high-quality cameras and editing systems are enabling many organizations to bring video production in house. But while in-house production can help reduce costs and increase control over content, it also creates new issues for organizations that may be unprepared for video archiving.

Moving media to a shelf or closet is not the answer. You risk losing the content you’ve spent so much time and money to create. Over time, video tapes and optical media degrade, hard drives fail, and devices that read media turn obsolete. You need solutions that preserve content for the long term.

Haphazardly organized archives make it difficult to access content. To reuse and remonetize previously created video, you need to find the right video tape or figure out how to connect that old SCSI hard drive to your workstation—and then you still need to transfer the content to your application.

A Short History of Video Archiving

The origins of today’s overflowing video archive closets—as well as the solutions that can replace them—can be traced to innovations in video, storage, and networking that have been introduced over several decades. View our infographic, The Evolution of Archiving for Video Production Workgroups, for a detailed timeline.

The emergence of video tape as a more cost-effective, expedient alternative to film helped to usher in the golden age of television in the 1950s. The subsequent development of electronic video editing systems followed by computer-based non-linear editing systems opened up new creative options, but also ramped up storage requirements. Video teams needed to store master tapes and final video files as well as original, unedited media and data.

Tape-based data storage was introduced around the same time as video tape. The later development of data tape libraries and Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology enabled video teams to store large video projects on cost-effective tapes and access content rapidly.

Disk-based storage developed in parallel. By the 1990s, cost-effective external hard disk drives allowed small video production teams to share project files via “sneakernet”— the informal approach of walking detachable external drives from one workstation to the next. Unfortunately, those drives often ended their journey in a closet.

The networking that supports today’s collaborative video production workflows similarly developed over the last five decades. Today’s Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), Fibre Channel, and Internet-based networking technologies allow teams to share video files among local and geographically dispersed team members. They can also speed access to archived files—but only if the archive is connected. Fibre Channel and 40GbE do little good if your video files are stuck on an old hard drive on the top shelf.

Where Do You Go from Here

From small in-house corporate video teams to large production facilities, organizations can and should implement archiving solutions that incorporate next-generation tape, object and cloud storage, and networking technologies in support of video production workflows. Quantum archive solutions, built on the StorNext® 5 shared file system, help video production teams cost-effectively archive video content and maintain rapid access to growing volumes of video.

The StorNext 5 file system offers clear visibility into archives, so finding what you need is much easier than sorting through a closet full of tapes, drives, and optical media. In fact, editors can quickly access archived files from within their existing editing applications, just as they would from attached hard drives.

It’s time to clear out the closet and move up to a modern video archive solution. To prepare your archive for the present and future of corporate video, contact Quantum for an archive assessment. Learn more.

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