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?

A MAM can provide the granularity of archiving specific content projects or clips individually, giving the user tighter control and knowledge of where that content resides. Is it on the production work-in-process storage? Or archived on a tape or cloud tier? Often, MAMs that integrate with the archive storage vendor’s software will update its GUI with a “red” or “green” status to inform the user that the retrieval may take some time – depending on whether the content is on primary storage or the archive tier.

But the wide swarth brush of an automated archive solution – often archiving content based on policies set on an entire directory tree or file share level – can often save money and provide additional data protection, especially if the admin or creative user is not disciplined enough to archive projects when they are completed. But if not implemented correctly, the combined MAM / archive vendor solution may move content to the archive without the MAM being updated – causing confusion and inadvertent retrievals when the MAM users finally get around to archiving content that has already been moved. Additionally, jumping between the MAM GUI and the archive vendor’s GUI to set policies can lead to further confusion and tortured workflows.

What to do about it? The recommendation here is to stick with one as the main dance partner lead – most likely the MAM vendor if they have a good API integration.

The beauty of a StorNext-based archive solution is that the StorNext metadata controller handles both the primary StorNext File System and the archive tier – whether that be bulk disk, LTO tape, private cloud storage (Lattus) or public cloud (Q-Cloud Archive). And the web services APIs, with which most of the top-tier MAM vendors have already integrated, uses the same store, retrieve and file info calls whether you choose to archive on any one of these storage targets.

A funny story. At NAB a few years ago, a MAM vendor was in the Quantum booth showcasing its recent API integration with StorNext APIs and a Quantum Scalar 6000 tape library. Quantum had recently announced its Lattus object storage and had one in the booth. For “grins and giggles” (sorry for the slang to my non-US friends), without changing any of the MAM code, they decided to change the target to Lattus from tape within the MAM GUI and were shocked when the content archival and subsequent retrieval driven from the vendor’s GUI was almost instantaneous. Worked like a charm – but perhaps too fast to truly work – they thought. After investigating, they discovered the response time was much quicker due to the lower latency of Lattus – no longer needing a tape robotic arm search for the content on LTO.

Folks in the Hollywood area have an opportunity to see an example of this multi-target workflow in a live demo event at MelroseMac’s offices on June 9. MelroseMAC is a Southern California-based, technology solutions provider specializing in professional video workflows and peripheral equipment for broadcast, post-production, audio, and digital media professionals.

Jason Perr, CEO of Intuitive Asset Management and who has lots of experience with StorNext workflows and APIs, will be showcasing the live demo using Blackmagic Design cameras, Cantemo Portal as the MAM and StorNext across both tape and Lattus object storage targets.

RSVP for the Quantum & Melrose Mac Live Demo Event

Join us at MelroseMAC’s Hollywood Store and talk shop with specialists from Blackmagic Design, Cantemo, Quantum and MelroseTEC.

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