A New Approach to Storage for Media and Entertainment: The Two-Tier Model

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Part two of three – Production Storage File Systems

The volume of digital assets created each day by media and entertainment (M & E) organizations continues to grow exponentially over time and shows no sign of slowing down. A two-tier paradigm in content storage systems enables the project tier production storage to use high bandwidth file storage for editing and shared content access while leveraging the perpetual tier for all content that does not require active editing, use or consumption. We presented a high-level introduction to the new two-tier storage model in part one of this blog series here. The active editing and use of data requires high performance systems such as Alcestor, Pure Storage and Qumulo.

Media and entertainment workflows require production storage to manage content that is in active use. These production storage systems are built with high bandwidth scale-out architecture, enabling the high performance random I/O needed for high resolution NLE, transcoding, and CDN. This modern style of production storage renders obsolete the kludgy older technology based on shared SAN and shared block.

The modern production storage systems are a great complement to a second perpetual tier, enabling the right content on the right cost of storage for the proper usage.Highlights from several of the key production storage systems include their scale and performance capability.

Alcestor: MooseFS distributes data in parallel over a virtually unlimited number of servers that act as one disk to the client devices accessing it. MooseFS has been used in petascale production deployments for over a decade.

Pure Storage: FlashBlade™ is an all-flash file and object storage system designed for large data sets and capable of handling tens of thousands of concurrent transcoding requests. FlashBlade is designed to support advanced applications while providing best-of-breed performance in all dimensions of concurrency – including over 1 million IOPS and more than 16GB of bandwidth – while offering breakthrough levels of density.

Qumulo: Qumulo Core is a modern scale-out storage solution — is flexible to adapt to your organization’s business growth and takes advantage of new revenue opportunities, while providing uncompromising protection, performance and availability to ensure business continuity. The system delivers impressive scalability — from 4 to over 1,000 nodes in a single cluster and 100 terabytes to over 360 petabytes in a single file system.

The Samsung partner stealthily provides solid state storage for software-defined data centers. They focus on highly scalable, high-performance, distributed systems and software. Next generation architectures employ advances in NVMe-based SSDs and NVDIMMs to reinvent multiple workloads in the storage industry.

When a high performance production storage system in the project tier is paired with a scalable perpetual tier, a new modern storage solution is born. Read part one of this blog series here to review our introduction on the two-tier model for media and entertainment.

For a general introduction of the new storage paradigm, a look at the workflows that will impact the way the world uses digital information for the long term and a snapshot of the big picture trends impacting technological advancements in the data storage industry today, read Spectra Logic’s latest “Digital Data Storage Outlook 2019” Report.

Part three of this blog series will dive into the perpetual tier, which best leverages its features and benefits, and the solutions providing the technology backbone for this paradigm shift.

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