DDN and our partner ASG Software Solutions will join forces to showcase the most effective archiving solutions in the market at the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nev., April 5-10. ASG will be presenting their digital archive (ADA) solution utilizing our WOS object storage platform, demonstrating how the combined technologies deliver the highest performance and most cost-effective disk-based archive solution in the market.
We caught up with Robert-Jan Overzee, Product Marketing Manager Data Protection Products for ASG Software Solutions, to ask him a few questions about the role of active archive in storage for media and entertainment, as well as his thoughts on the future of the industry as media content increases in size and demand for quality, requiring greater performance, scale and overall efficiency. Read on to see what Robert had to share.
If you are attending NAB Show and want to continue the conversation, visit datadirect.wpengine.com/nab2014 to join us at booth SL8016. You can catch the ASG-ADA demo at 2 p.m. PT every day. Be sure to register on our site in order to meet the DDN team, check out our customer and technology demos, and enter a giveaway for an iPad Air while you are there. You can also follow @ddn_limitless and @ASGsoftware and the #StorageForMedia hashtag on Twitter to join the social conversation throughout the show. See you at NAB!
DDN: Why is active archiving critical in the media and entertainment storage use case today?
Robert: Archiving can be important for a number of reasons. For example, compliance or regulatory reasons that require companies to retain information that has to be verified later on. This is very true in industrial sectors, such as Avionics or Financial and Banking. In the Media industry, the primary reason to archive content is to repurpose or to remonetize assets that already exist.
Think of films published on Blu-ray that come with a bonus director’s cut version – those new sequences come out of the archive and so do the bloopers that you find in the special features. Another example is a production that needs a sequence with a red airplane taking off. They have three solutions: send a crew to an airport shooting a whole new bit; buy a sequence of the red plane on the open market, or search the archive for a sequence that may already exist and could be repurposed for a new film. The latter is of course the cheapest. This use of archive for remonetization is very important as it often pays for the archiving infrastructure that was put in place.
DDN: What unique needs do companies in the media and entertainment industry have that require solutions like WOS and ASG-Digital Archive (ADA)?
Robert: Productions in the past were very nationalized. The shooting, editing and the first distribution were pretty much always in the same country. Now productions tend to be shot in different locations or overseas, and the editing is done by several remote teams working together over the Internet. There are examples of productions being shot in Pinewood studios, London where the dailies are being uploaded to servers in Hollywood and different teams on the West Coast and in China would start working on the post production.
This, combined with the fact that the new productions are very large in volume (thanks to 4K and 3D), means that the workflows need to integrate strong primary storage, and object/cloud nearline storage, delivering both performance and quick and easy access to it. Every part of the production must be quickly and easily accessible to every member of the post-production team. This is something that can only be provided, today, by the combined and integrated solution of WOS object storage and the high performance archiving solution ASG-Digital Archive.
DDN: How will storage demands for the media and entertainment industry change in the future, with higher resolutions and formats including 4K, 48fps and beyond?
Robert: Media and entertainment is an industry that has worked with many formats since its infancy. The size of the chromatic films, the number of frames per second, the right projector for these formats; all were problems that existed 100 years ago. More recently, we had the problems of the new IT, file based formats and the switching from SD to HD to 3D and now to 4K and 48 fps. With “The Hobbit” we saw the use of 48 fps. With old film digitization, the National Film Board of Canada uses a maximum of 8K and has no plan to go beyond. Yet, all these techniques have one result: more data. Larger files and more files. The expensive centralized shared storage will have to cope with it to some extent. So as post-production teams are spread over the planet, the storage can’t be just centralized anymore. And the typical IT file systems have reached their limits. This is where a mix of the performance, affordability, and scale of the WOS object/cloud storage and ADA archive/data movement combined is a sound investment for the future.