IBC Show 2012: Observations from the Show Floor

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Once again, I had the pleasure of attending one of the media and entertainment industry's largest international trade shows, IBC 2012, earlier this month. Overall it was a great show with attendance pretty much in line with last year in terms of the number of attendees and the amount of traffic on the show floor.

Spectra Logic had the highest number of leads generated this year at IBC for a number of reasons. First, we have very strong partnerships with other companies in the industry. We also launched a special campaign prior to the show and were in a better location with our booth being on the main hallway. In addition, Spectra Logic has continued to gain respect due to our attention to the needs of the industry and our focus on customer relationships and loyalty.

A big focus for the show this year was on continued discussions around file-based workflow. The conversion of analog content to digital continues to be part of the conversation, but the scope of the project and how to fit it into existing budgets continues to be a challenge for many enterprises.

There are also talks of disaster recovery and whether that should be an in house project or alternative strategies such as cloud or hosted services.

Despite the progress in the industry overall, there are still challenges in terms of how to manage a growing amount of content and data sets with the existing budgets as well as the need to protect these assets long term, the scaling and upgrade paths, the migration path, and all while maintaining it within budget.

Clouds are often brought up in conversations because there is a perception of lower cost, but as that is further studied, especially relative to restore/recovery (cost and time), security, seeding the cloud; tape often becomes the primary viable option. Private clouds are often considered seriously, but then that really becomes a storage architecture model.

We've seen hybrid clouds (semi-private), but all that we've seen use tape in the background. LTFS continues to be of interest for many and we do see pilot programs evaluating it as possible exchange mechanism, a viable alternative to disk, or as an extension to disk, and in a few cases evaluating it as the primary file system for archives.

A hot item of conversation was "Second Screen" allowing TV viewers to receive additional complementary information via smart portable devices synchronized with what they watch on TV at the time.

It will be interesting to see how things shake out over the next year and how the industry evolves.  We continue to see a lot of interest in our products from the M&E industry and look forward to continuing to innovate when it comes to providing solutions for storing and managing digital media.