At the recent IBC show I was blown away by the pace of innovation in video technology. 4K is already old news – now everyone’s talking 8K, 16K, VR and even 3D. In the media and entertainment world, it’s about bringing the ultimate visual experience to the consumer – both live and online.
What these newfangled video technologies have in common is that they create a huge video storage challenge. For example, a single stereoscopic 4K movie could require several petabytes of storage – and file sizes are expected to continue to grow in coming years.
The explosive growth in digital content is driving media workloads to the cloud. According to a Coughlin Associates report, overall cloud storage for media and entertainment is expected to grow 26-fold in 2 years (4,826 PB in 2015 to 130,152 PB in 2021).
What’s Driving This Growth?
Survival of the fittest! More than 4 billion people consume video content on a regular basis. To meet their expectations for a high-quality experience, content is being created in 4K and 8K resolution with complex video editing, compression, and encoding requirements. 8K is 16 times sharper than HD and its increased frame rates result in much larger file sizes, while high bitrate codecs (e.g., Apple ProRes 4444 XQ) require greater throughput for video editing.
Moreover, interoperability with multiple devices, varied streaming capabilities, and different languages may require as many as nine copies of the content. No wonder video storage requirements are going through the roof.
Urgent Video Storage Needs Call for a New Approach
Traditional enterprise storage architectures (e.g., NAS) were not built to address this magnitude of scale and performance. While NAS performs well at small to medium scale, it breaks down at petabyte scale due to the overhead of the underlying file system. From a data protection standpoint as well, rebuild times for high-capacity RAID architectures can take hours and even days, adversely impacting business operations.
Another limitation of current file storage architectures at scale is that they are cost-prohibitive compared to commodity cloud solutions based on object storage. Moreover, in terms of productivity, NAS solutions lack the agility and flexibility needed to meet global content production and delivery demands.
So, if traditional file storage is becoming obsolete for your media assets, what would a more modern data and storage management solution look like?
Edge-to-Cloud Data Management for Your Media Assets
The edge-to-cloud approach lets you enjoy the cost and management benefits of cloud object storage, together with the high performance and data availability required for media workloads such as high-def video rendering and global collaboration. High-capacity caching filers at remote offices enable users to quickly access the files they need, while all files are stored in the cloud with unlimited low-cost scalability.
Here’s why an edge-to-cloud approach is a great fit for your video storage needs:
- Never run out of space – The simple, flat structure of S3 storage – no updates, no complex directory structure or locking mechanism – allows it to scale to hundreds of petabytes under a single namespace across multiple geographical areas. An elastic architecture enables cloud object storage to overcome the inherent limitations of file systems and RAID at petabyte scale.
- Insane reduction in storage costs – The cost of storing massive file volumes shouldn’t be an obstacle to your successful digital transformation. Object storage systems offer the lowest cost per terabyte, slashing costs by 80% compared to traditional file servers.
- Local performance – On-premise caching filers enable real-time access to digital assets and content in the cloud as if they were stored locally. Automatic, policy-driven workflows tier infrequently accessed files to the cloud for long-term, cost-effective storage.
- Get the most out of your digital assets – It’s important to monetize 4K and 8K assets and explore new ways of using content for immersive visual experiences. Enterprise Cloud storage can support a seamless workflow from ingest to archive, as well as quick data access to video content.
- Business continuity – Uptime and productivity are maximized as content creators’ critical files are always available from the local cache and replicated to in the cloud. Even in a disaster scenario, data can be restored in minutes and operations can resume as usual.
- Fast and efficient search and retrieval – Files can be stored in the cloud with detailed metadata, such as title, scene, camera, locations, etc., which can be searched in real-time in the archive. Metadata allows administrators to quickly locate and retrieve any file, directory, or system.
- Multi-tenant management – A multi-tenant cloud storage environment with secure data access capabilities empowers cloud service providers to deploy and manage their own services on their own infrastructure.
Modernizing management and storage of video and other creative content across globally distributed locations is vital for addressing today’s complex workflow demands. Cloud-enabled solutions that leverage the scalability and cost savings of object storage – without sacrificing the convenience and performance of a traditional file system – can help you keep pace with the runaway growth of video files.