The Explosion of Digital Content Mandates Effective Data Storage

By: Esther Shein| - Leave a comment

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Media and entertainment companies need efficient data storage to compete and thrive, since they produce and archive hundreds and hundreds of hours of video content. As such, it should come as no surprise that they need a reliable, efficient and highly available storage system that provides massive scalability and data integrity. In this age of high-resolution, digital, file-based workflows and tremendous media growth, selecting the right storage platform is crucial to their success.

Content Expansion Drives Data Storage Needs

The media and entertainment industry’s cloud storage needs are projected to grow 24-fold through 2020, according to a recent study by Coughlin Associates, reported on by eWeek. In the same time frame, media and entertainment storage revenue is expected to grow from $4.8 billion to $10.8 billion.

The increasing amount of digital content is forcing companies to select technology that effectively manages and protects archived data. Regardless of the size of the asset, the format or the location, it is imperative that companies can quickly access their content.

The Right Type of Data Storage and Archiving

The right type of data storage and archiving will depend largely on the audience and type of content, David Floyer, co-founder of research and analysis firm Wikibon, explained to TechTarget.

“If it’s short clips that you’re after, then obviously disk- and NAS-type system are going to be the way to go because people will not want to wait a long period of time to get the data itself,” Floyer said. “If it is longer clips and whole films, then it’s going to move it much more toward tape because you can fill in that short gap at the beginning with another piece of information.”

It comes down to which type of storage system is most convenient for the end user. File-based systems will be an option for people who need to get large amounts of metadata using a tiered system, since this makes the most important information more accessible than the rest. Tape is ideal for certain media use cases, but disks provide greater flexibility and a faster time to reach the first frame.

Object Storage for Media-Rich Data

Cost will naturally be a factor in the decision-making process for media and entertainment companies. Scale-out, object-based storage, which archives data as objects within a system rather than storing it in files and directories, is a good option in this respect, since it provides great flexibility at a competitive price. Further, media-rich data is well suited to object storage because it tends to be large files of unstructured data. This storage method gives users the ability to access and better understand what is happening in a large film and break it up into smaller components.

Size is also an essential consideration. Scale-out architecture that provides capacity into the petabytes is becoming more commonplace in the media and entertainment industry. This type of architecture can quickly scale horizontally using dense storage servers to create a large object storage repository. For example, it is ideal for an animated feature film, which can take up hundreds of terabytes of space.

Ensuring the Integrity of Data

Looking ahead, the rate and pace of innovation is only going to increase in the media and entertainment industry, and new media will likely clash with traditional media. Media and entertainment companies need to stay on top of content delivery and improve the effectiveness of how they store data while still responding to regulatory standards, security threats and user demand.

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About The Author

Esther Shein

Freelance Writer

Esther Shein is a freelance writer and editor specializing in technology, business and education. Her work has appeared in several online and print publications, including Inc., Computerworld, NetworkComputing, InformationWeek, BYTE, CIO, CMO.com and The Boston Globe. She has written thought leadership whitepapers, customer case studies and marketing materials in addition to news and feature articles. Prior to going freelance she was the editor-in-chief of Datamation, an online enterprise technology magazine. She was also a senior writer at eWeek (formerly PC Week) and worked at The Associated Press.

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