Leveraging Cloud Services with Vail

Modern data centers are moving toward a hybrid model where some processes are to be performed on-premises and others in the public cloud. Previously, storage was tightly coupled with where the processing was performed, meaning that where the compute goes, the storage will follow. Throughits patent-pending technology called “bucket synchronization,” Spectra Vail has broken the bond that has traditionally existed between data processing and data locality. This frees users to store data where it makes the most sense, independent of where processing is performed. In this manner, the customer may utilize cloud processing services, such as AWS media services or Google AI services, while not being required to store the data in those clouds long-term.

To demonstrate this capability, consider a customer exists who wants to utilize AWS media services for transforming raw high-resolution video images into their lower resolution counterparts. Furthermore, they want to archive all high-resolution and related low-resolution files to an on-premises tape system. Vail’s lifecycle policy manager allows for setting up multi-directional synchronization between a Vail bucket and a public cloud bucket, for example, AWS S3 storage.

One cloud workflow example is where all high-resolution images are ingested into a Vail bucket. These raw images are then synched to an AWS S3 bucket that AWS media services are setup to use as its input. When objects are downloaded into this bucket, AWS media services automatically create low-resolution versions of the content and write it out to the same bucket. The Vail bucket’s multi-directional synchronization feature becomes aware of these new objects and copies them back into a predetermined Vail bucket. Furthermore, the Vail lifecycle policy will delete the high-resolution objects in the AWS S3 bucket. This can be done immediately or be a time-based policy to reduce any early deletion charges incurred from some cloud providers. At a different point in time, typically at a project’s completion, all objects associated with the project can be transferred to tape for long-term digital preservation.

Vail Ecosystem and Application Connections

Vail enables IT organizations to store object data in any number of cloud locations – whether in a public cloud, on-premises location or both. Vail can join public cloud storage and on-premises storage to become a single namespace of object storage. Data is managed by user defined policies to optimize service level agreements and costs to match the value and location of the data. Customers can synchronize any S3 source with any number of S3 targets to make data available to any application in any cloud. Vail delivers the flexibility to balance data location, performance and cost in a single managed, unified cloud operating environment.

Vail Use Case – Broadcast Group

The Goal:
To create an automated workflow that seamlessly utilizes cloud services such as transcoding, edit, playout and metadata stripping. Additionally, to create a common platform for all assets, making them available from anywhere, to anyone.

The Challenge:
With over 100 sites spread across the nation, and with every station able to choose tools that work best for their station, a challenge of storing and managing content across sites was discovered. Cloud services and storage costs both began to rise, becoming cost multipliers in the overall workflow.

The Solution:
With Vail, this broadcast group was able to deliver a single media manager across all sites, accessed by thousands of users, in a future-proof S3 interface. Cloud-based workflow automation was achieved by storing high-resolution and raw video content locally, reducing costs. Vail was able to manage media and metadata (sidecar) as objects within a single name-space. Vail also automated site placement of data based on tags with staging, auto-caching, network optimization and direct site-to-site transfers. By only using AWS for cloud services and keeping HD and raw content locally, the cloud bill was reduced by over 70%.

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*Amazon Glacier is a registered trademark of Amazon Technologies, Inc.

This short fun animated video shows how Spectra’s Vail, a distributed multi-cloud software, unifies data to enable on-premises applications and cloud services — no matter where data is created or stored.

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