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Up in the Cloud: the Private/Hybrid Network

October 23, 2014

In an afternoon session, chaired by Sundog's Richard Welch, on the Cloud, the first speaker was Brian Campanotti, Chief Technical Officer, Front Porch, presented a paper on "Alternate to Big Cloud Providers: Case Studies on Private/Hybrid Cloud Use." He discussed the key idea behind Content Storage Management (CSM) infrastructure as enabling a variety of different workflows including up to hundreds of pedabytes of storage. "There is some amount of commoditized storage," he said. "Above are all those types of devices -- editing platforms, video servers, MAM and traffic systems -- that we use today, connected into this CSM workspace." What about CSM in the Cloud? "If we look at the barriers to adoption, they include philosophical challenges, asset security concerns, economic risk, long-term accessibility, immature and failed solutions, proprietary implementation risk, physical location of the data, on and off-boarding challenges, requirement for deep device integration and the fact that simple storage is simply not enough," he said.

He introduced the idea of a Private Cloud CSMaaS. A highly scalable private-cloud-based CSM as a Servicee is not just "simple storage." It's built for big data archiving, distribution and long-time preservation rather than transactional tasks. Geo-predictable locations is another feature of this solution, with physical on/off-boarding. Also, security risks are minimized due to encrypted links, physically partitioned user space and encrypted storage.

"When I started in this area 20 years ago, there was always the conversation that spinning disks were getting cheaper," he said. "But with this amount of data and be able to infinitely scale, that's not the conversation." The Private Cloud CSMaaS is based on high performance data tape which offers increased safety, portability, asset protection and durability. Also featured on Open APIs and deep third party integration. "It comes down to econmics," he said. "So it comes into an OPEX pay-as-you-go model price-aligned with public cloud solutions while offering much higher functionality and increased SLAs."  He noted that a survey on OPEX vs CAPEX revealed that users align with whatever is the least expensive.

On a tangent, the use of open standards is encouraged; the Private Cloud CSMaaS leverages the new OpenAXF storage format. The AXF format is a standardized way to store and transport any type of file-based assets and asset collections and includes all the functionality of LTFS while overcoming its limitations.

"There are a lot of synergies with private and public cloud," said Campanotti. "we're seeing partnerships between private and public clouds for transactional services. Being able to key into the public cloud is a very good tool, and we have customers doing that for OTT distribution." He also described work with the Media Network Exchange. "Collaborating and connecting wires via data network providers for productions and take those high resolution assets into private or public clouds where the tools are very close, we can do dailies generation," he said. "Rather than taking them in, accessing remotely a toolset and tying in to dynamically provisioned networks with cloud-based CSM in the background, with tools hosted in datacenters, is what we're doing today. It alleviates the challenges of procuring these infrastructures on a field-production or shoot."

On his cloud services checklist, Campanotti includes CSM capabilities, redundant copies of all assets included in SLA, physically partitioned user-space, automatic migration to new storage technologies, SMPTE Archive eXchange Format (AXF) standard based, automatic generation of frame accurate proxies, web-based MAM front-end for browsing and metadata, direct integration with leading media devices and systems, and first byte of data access in seconds or minutes as well as content-aware features, advanced media-aware lifecycle policy engine and a federated view of assets stored on-prem and in the cloud, end-to-end checksums for content authentication, Open APIs for third party control and on and off-boarding by bulk media shipments and copies of assets maintained both online and offline copies.

Tag(s): JPEG Systems , OTT , OPEX , CSM , Cloud , AXF

Debra Kaufman

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