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Object Storage: The Perfect Match for M&E Data Growth


Bill Mannel.jpg

Guest blog written by Bill Mannel, VP & GM – HPC, Big Data & IoT Solutions, HPE Servers 

The media and entertainment (M&E) industry is experiencing a paradigm shift driven by disruptive digital technologies, demand for enhanced visual experiences, and new data-intensive formats. For an industry where content is paramount, it’s never been more crucial to uncover new ways to store, manage, and protect your digital assets.

In the age of Big Data, storage costs and complexity tend to grow at the same staggering pace as data itself. M&E companies generate large amounts of digital files that continually expand in both size and density, making their storage needs unique to those of other industries. Striking a balance between cost and manageability has become a top challenge for M&E companies as their volumes of digital content surge and progressively require petabyte-scale storage architectures.

For example, object-based files in movie animation and rendering systems can amount for up to 256 terabytes of storage, and in an average production environment about 100 terabytes of Big Data can be “in play" at any given time during the day. A recent report by Coughlin Associates estimates that these trends will drive a 4.9x increase in the required digital storage capacity of the entertainment industry between 2014 and 2020.

Although storage is set to play a critical role in the industry’s future, current architectures are being stretched to their limits in the face of data growth that shows no signs of slowing. A new approach is needed.

Storage architectures built on object storage are helping M&E companies dramatically increase storage capacity while improving the availability of data assets across the organization, making it an optimal solution for everything from archiving static content to supporting content delivery applications like video on demand (VOD).

Some basic best practices can help M&E companies leverage object storage to overcome these storage obstacles and future-proof the enterprise amid continued data growth.

Transition to Software-Defined Storage

Software-defined storage technologies can help M&E companies manage their data more intelligently and with greater simplicity, reliability, and flexibility. Technology-agnostic platforms can be easily built onto existing storage architectures to help improve ROI of both new storage investments and legacy systems. Object storage software like Scality RING can cost-effectively scale to hundreds of petabytes capacity, support many users, and provide enterprise-grade data security and durability.

Get the Right Hardware to Power It

The storage paradigm shift dictates that companies adopt a new style of IT architecture capable of massive scale-out capabilities. Density-optimized server configurations can store greater amounts of data in less physical space and at a lower cost per GB than legacy platforms. Servers from HPE’s Apollo line are built to support higher levels of performance, reliability, and scalability while addressing the challenges of space, energy, and cost.

Consider the Cloud

The massive growth of data is prompting M&E companies to move greater amounts of data to cloud storage in order to capitalize on the cloud’s immense elasticity and on-demand availability. When data security is a concern, private cloud content depot environments can provide users with the same ease-of-use and agility of a cloud solution, while hosting data more securely and cost-effectively.

Use an Active Archive

As Floyd Christofferson of the Active Archive Alliance recently noted, research has shown that 90% of active storage is used to house data that is rarely, if ever, accessed, meaning that costly primary storage tiers are being used to house cool or cold data. An active archive can safeguard these stores of data while continuing to provide immediate access when needed. Active archives should be part of any strategy to enable limitless storage capabilities while also reducing storage expenditures and TCO.  

Today’s M&E companies must rethink their storage approaches and the role they play in the overall business strategy. With the growth of Big Data, an organization’s ability to store, manage, and access large amounts of information is becoming directly connected to their ability to survive and compete. Emerging storage architectures built on object storage are the perfect match for the media and entertainment industry’s ever-growing volumes of digital assets.

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About the Author


I am a Senior Manager managing external content and social media for HPE Servers Awareness. Stay tuned for topics on Mission Critical Solutions, Core Enterprise and SMB Solutions, Next Gen Workload Solutions, Big Data and HPC, Cloudline and HPS Options! Follow me @RubyD_Nich