Making the case for Object Storage in the Media & Entertainment Industry: Data storage requirements in the Media and Entertainment industry has always been massive, given the sheer size of data sets involved. However, a number of factors are compounding these requirements even further:
-Advent of new audio/video technologies making raw content capture much larger: 3D, 4K/8K, High Dynamic Range, High Frame Rates (120 fps, 240fps), Virtual and Augmented Reality, etc.
-Expectation for on-demand, anywhere, anytime access from any device (multiplying the number of transcoded copies (to accommodate devices with various screen sizes for example)
-Increasing pressure to keep larger sections of the media asset catalog available online for monetization purposes (long tail of content streaming, etc.)
-Move from file-based workflows to cloud-based workflows (for production, post-production processing such as digital effects, rendering, or transcoding, as well as distribution and archiving)
-Real-time collaboration need for distributed environments and teams scattered all over the globe, across many locations and time zones
At such massive dataset sizes, traditional storage architectures just can’t keep up any longer in terms of scalability. For instance, routine RAID rebuilds would be taking way too long in case of a failure, heightening data loss risks upon additional failures during that dangerously longer time window. Furthermore, even if current storage architectures could technically keep up, they are cost-prohibitive, especially considering the impending data growth tsunami about to hit. To top it off, they just can’t offer the agility, efficiency and flexibility new business models have come to expect in terms of instant and unfettered access, rock-solid availability, capacity elasticity, deployment time and so on.
Facing such daunting challenges, the good news is that a solution does exist and is here today: Object Storage. Object Storage is a based on sophisticated storage software algorithms running on a distributed, interconnected cluster of high-performance yet standard commodity hardware nodes, delivering an architected solution suitable for the stringent performance, scalability, and cost savings requirements required for massive data footprints. The technology has been around for some time but is now coming of age. Not surprisingly, it first took off with Hyperscale cloud operators who grappled with similar challenges and adopted it out of business necessity, with AWS S3 launched back in 2006. That explains why Object Storage started becoming synonymous with public cloud storage, but it is now enjoying a more widespread adoption, particularly gaining momentum for on-premise private cloud storage deployments.
The Media and Entertainment industry is well aware of the benefits Object Storage provides, which is why many players are moving toward object storage and away from traditional file system storage. These benefits include:
-Virtually unlimited scalability
-Low cost with leverage of commodity hardware
-Flat and global namespace, with no locking or volume semantics
-Powerful embedded metadata capabilities (native as well as user-defined)
-Simple and low-overhead RESTful API for ubiquitous, straightforward access over HTTP from any client anywhere
-Self-healing capabilities with sophisticated and efficient data protection through erasure coding (local or geo-dispersed)
-Multi-tenant management and data access capabilities (ideal for service providers)
-Reduced complexity (of initial deployment/staging as well as ongoing data management)
-No forklift upgrades, and no need for labor-intensive data migration projects
-Software-defined storage flexibility and management
While earlier object storage solutions were designed for cold archive and data retention alone, modern object storage solutions open the door to a wide variety of workloads for data storage and delivery use cases. The sweet spot for object storage is big, unstructured, and somewhat static data sets. Media content (including pictures, movies, videos and music) fits this bill perfectly, and that’s why object storage has a bright future in the Media and Entertainment industry, especially when delivered as an on-premise object storage private cloud solution.
That’s the exact use case addressed by Zadara ZIOS Object Storage. ZIOS runs side by side with VPSA block and file storage arrays on Zadara’s clouds, utilizing the same infrastructure, and providing higher value to customers. ZIOS is a simple, easy to use, and secure solution for storing multimedia data, or archiving data of any sort.
For more information on Zadara’s ZIOS Object Storage, download the white paper, “Zadara Object Storage” from the Zadara Storage website.