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Cache is king for the world’s number one car auction brand


SWjpg.jpgBy Simon Watkins, WW Product Marketing Manager, Backup, Recovery & Archive (BURA), HP Storage


If you like storage but love cars then this blog is most definitely for you! Barrett-Jackson, producer of The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions(TM), recently implemented an active archive solution – spanning software, disk and tape – to safeguard its ever-expanding portfolio of car auction video assets. First, I’ll share more about Barrett Jackson, then delve in to how HP StoreEver Tape as NAS is helping the company combine the performance benefits of disk with the economics and long-term retention value of tape.


About Barrett-Jackson

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Barrett-Jackson is a leader in Logo.jpgcollector car auctions and automotive lifestyle events. The company specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners and automotive enthusiasts around the world. Barrett-Jackson produces The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona; Palm Beach, Florida; and Reno/Tahoe and Las Vegas, Nevada – all places where hundreds of the most sought-after, unique and valuable automobiles cross the block in front of a global audience.


Car.jpgDuring a recent 10-day Scottsdale auction, Barrett-Jackson recorded more than $130 million in vehicle sales (unaudited) with one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake being sold for $5.1 million! The auctions also attract a bevy of celebrities, sports stars, captains of industry and other luminaries from across the globe to meet and raise money for charity. (Take a three-minute break and relive the action from the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015 auction!)


The challenge

Live TV broadcasts have helped establish Barrett-Jackson as the number one automotive auction brand in the world but it has also created storage challenges. Barrett-Jackson has over 18 years of recently digitised high-definition footage from its car auctions that needed to be reliably and efficiently stored for repurposing and remonetizing purposes.


In addition, Barrett-Jackson’s storage capacity and management demands are growing rapidly, driven predominantly by four televised auctions a year, the move to digital file-based workflows and the requirement for higher resolution formats. As a result, Barrett-Jackson required a highly scalable and cost-effective solution that securely protected their valuable digital video assets for the long-term but still allowed content to be quickly and easily accessible from the archive for re-use.


StoreEver Tape as NAS solution

Barrett-Jackson chose to implement an HP StoreEver Tape as NAS (or “tNAS”) solution toMSA.jpg access, preserve and re-use video content from its car auctions. The solution comprises an HP StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library with LTO-6 Tape Drives and QStar Archive Manager software which integrates seamlessly with Barrett-Jackson’s CatDV media asset management system.  


Config.jpgQStar Archive Manager virtualizes the MSL6480 tape library, presenting it as a standard “network  share” or “mount point” using CIFS/NFS through a disk cache-front end. This allows Barrett-Jackson to store, search, access and retrieve video files on low cost tape storage, via a disk cache, without the need to manage individual pieces of tape media.


Digital assets can be moved or migrated, using CIFS or NFS, to the QStar Archive Manager server and stored to one or multiple tape media/drives in the MSL6480 tape library. Most recently accessed or written assets are cached on disk. Video files remain on disk cache until the cache is full, at that time the oldest files are reduced to metadata only. File searches continue to see all files archived and only when a read request is received are files moved back from tape to disk cache and on to the user.


The HP StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library delivers industry-leading scalability, performance and density. The modular MSL6480 system scales vertically from 80 to 560 cartridge slots and from one to 42 HP LTO-6 Tape Drives, storing up to 3.5 PB at speeds up to 60.4 TB in a single rack. The MSL6480’s industry leading storage density enables up to 81TB of storage per 1U of rack space. See the HP MSL6480 in action now.


It's a benefits-driven solution

HP StoreEver Tape as NAS enables Barrett-Jackson to combine the performance benefits of disk with the economics and long-term retention benefits of tape. The comprehensive, tiered and converged active archive architecture – spanning software, disk and tape – helps Barrett-Jackson time and money – and reduce risk.


Find out more

In the theCube at HP Discover in Las Vegas, I recently recorded this live-streaming interview with Tim Heitt, IT Project Manager at Barrett-Jackson, and Dave Vellante, Chief Analyst at Wikibon. Topics discussed included the value of HP StoreEver Tape as NAS at Barrett-Jackson, the evolving value of tape and new long-term retention architectures such as “FLAPE” (Flash + tape). Watch the full interview here.

About the Author


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