Data Center Tech Blog

There’s a great change in the landscape of data for production, broadcast and distribution companies. Here’s how CTOs can get more value from their existing media assets.

Joan Wrabetz

Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, Data Center Systems

Production, broadcast and distribution companies are increasingly collecting high-resolution digital content from every stage of the workflow. Studios are struggling to find efficient ways to create, move, process, and maintain critical media assets that will support new data strategies.

There’s a change in the landscape of data. Data that was never before saved, is now being kept, and data that was frozen is being brought back online for either analytics or to enable the possibilities of monetization.

I recently spoke with Dataquest India about building data-driven business models. Here are four tips CTOs can follow when building a new data strategy for their media assets:

  1. Focus on the economics of data

The value of data grows when you can monetize it either directly or through the insights gleaned from the data. Focus on maximizing the economics of your data; the storage architecture will follow.

Focus on maximizing the economics of your data; the storage architecture will follow

Understand where your data needs the economics of Big Data architectures and where Fast Data is needed. The right kind of storage determines the availability of data. For example, data on tape cannot be accessed readily for licensing, use by artist teams or other types of asset repurposing.

  1. Data architecture strategy is different from storage architecture strategy

Your data architecture strategy should be amenable to implementing cloud scale operations that runs on a simple architecture that yields low TCO. The benefits of such a data architecture include access to all your media assets and unstructured data with scalability, ability to combine file and object storage, and to bring in capabilities like analytics and machine learning to your workflow.

  1. Move to hybrid cloud infrastructure

A hybrid cloud workflow is flexible so that any processing step in the workflow can occur in one or more clouds. Most public clouds do not charge to move data into the cloud, they charge heavily for removing data from the cloud. That’s why most data is archived in a private cloud, then subsets of the data that are moved to the public cloud for processing work can be deleted once that application is completed. As long as the data is in a commonly accepted format (such as S3) and is readily identifiable (as with a C4 ID), then the studio has the most flexibility in choosing their tools across different environments.

  1. Leverage object storage to bring new value to old assets

Build a large-scale storage system, specifically a petabyte-scale object storage with cloud-native S3 interface that lends itself to extreme durability to protect and preserve your media assets. Object storage is designed for storage of rich media data that is written seldom, and very frequent reads; perfect for media assets that you don’t want frozen.

By leveraging object storage to enable hybrid cloud workflows, studios can strategically plan out the materials and processes they need to prioritize. This will in turn enable studios to increase ROI and reduce TCO in a private and secure way, and will enable new, data-centric models.

Real-world examples – who is winning by changing the economics of data?

Here’s a great industry example from world-renowned animation studio Illumination Mac Guff (The Secret Life of PetsMinions). Using the ActiveScale™ object storage system, they keep all digital assets online after a film is complete in order to engage audiences longer. They can’t predict what assets their artists will want to use. And now they don’t have to.

They can’t predict what assets their artists will want to use. And now they don’t have to.

Another example is the Montreux Jazz Festival, the second-largest annual jazz music festival in the world. They were able to digitize and preserve more than 15,000 hours of audio-visual content from the past fifty years and to make it accessible for education, research purposes, and licensing by using the ActiveScale system.

Up Next: SMPTE

I’ll be at the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference this year to talk about hybrid cloud workflows in media and entertainment. My session will look at use cases of how media and entertainment companies are using the cloud to cost-effectively store all captured footage, accelerate production workflow, productivity and lower TCO.

Wednesday Oct. 25 at 9:30 a.m. in Salon 1
Leveraging Hybrid Cloud Workflows in Media and Entertainment

Join me!

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