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.
But as disk sizes got larger and everyone moved to file based workflows we tended to keep everything on the SAN – not only current projects in flight, but also content that was constantly reused, previous year’s projects and files and more. With files and folders spread out across the SAN, content was often hidden under deep, nested folder structures, and worst of all, creatives tended to think that files on the typically RAID5 protected SAN were a substitute for a backup system. ‘Running out of room on your SAN’ meant that you needed to quickly expand it in an ad hoc, unplanned way – or think about how to migrate to a larger SAN without disrupting production.
As simple file based workflows gave way to the modern, content-centric workflow model – several key lessons emerge:
1) The Ad Hoc SAN is no longer an option – production teams need a high performance, highly predictable ‘engine’ for work in process – and a seamless way to move finished content out of their Work in Progress Storage.
2) Content needs to be readily available throughout production, and readily pulled into fresh content workflows typical with new content models like ‘over the top’, second screen or other monetization efforts. This content storage needs to be dense and highly available, accessible to the primary production workflow.
3) An asset management system and likely a production automation solution is absolutely essential to enabling a content-centric model to keep productivity and efficiency high to meet deadlines.
1) Performance matched with efficiency – files that need to be highly available should be moved to dense storage that is still highly reliable and has a lower storage cost, or ultimately to long-term storage such as cloud, object storage or tape backup.
2) Productivity – ideally this file movement in your environment should happen seamlessly, allowing your creative team to focus on the content and productivity – not physically moving files, watching drop folders, or monitoring workflow status.
3) ‘Best of Breed’ workflow tools – your creative team should be able to choose the best tool for the job with confidence that they are will work with the rest of your toolset.
While meeting all of these demands is a tall order – the StorNext 5 platform allows our customers ‘evolve beyond the ad hoc SAN’ and be prepared to meet all of these challenges and more. Creative teams can seamlessly blend the highest performance, lowest latency SAN workflow and extend it to Ethenet-based LAN clients, add cloud to your storage workflow, or build ‘generational’ file archive with Lattus object storage or tape.
Quantum is proud to work with some of the world’s best known media and content brands and help them meet their content challenges as our industry evolves.
If Quantum can help you explore how to meet your content challenges please let us know.