With the move to file-based workflows and a rising demand for more content on more platforms, broadcasters, content owners and distributors consume huge quantities of storage, which they use for many different purposes.
The ongoing evolution of media storage systems has driven the development of highly refined management solutions that make it easier to address high-volume media storage and processing workflows and, in turn, to realize the full potential of these file-based operations. Deployed and managed intelligently to support the full media life cycle, today’s storage systems can dramatically improve users’ ability to work with and deliver media at the right time, in the right format — and at the right price.
End-to-end storage model
The ability to share access to media across all parts of the operation is a significant benefit for a truly global broadcast operation. With a centralized ingest and archive system, such companies can give all playout centers, production facilities and any other key business areas access to any content acquired or created by the organization. However, the ideal world in which a central storage architecture effectively supports all operations and media processing tasks is still some distance in the future.
Right now, the more common, practical approach is to select different tiers of storage for different purposes. This approach allows broadcasters to select the best storage solution for each use case, which means that, within complex storage environments, they work with: specialized storage for ingest and playout, production and editing; nearline medium-term media storage; and, for longer-term, archiving and retrieval.
Though this model requires the movement of media between different storage systems, the sophisticated media management and hierarchical storage management solutions now available go a long way toward alleviating some of the pain of complex storage environments. Broadcasters can implement the storage systems that provide the best mix of functionality, performance and price for particular applications. Doing so allows depending on media and storage management systems to do the work of presenting all stored content in a federated view that is easy for users to negotiate.
Media and storage management solutions further simplify operations by automating the movement of media files according to the demands of the workflow. This, in turn, lifts file-transfer responsibilities from operators. This frees them to focus only on tasks within their areas of expertise.
Because sophisticated media and storage management solutions can facilitate more effective use of storage throughout the workflow and across operations, they give broadcasters (and major networks with large-scale operations) the means to establish a high-performing, yet cost-effective, shared media access model. Such a model not only simplifies workflow, but it also ensures that automation, the ingest content repository, transcoders and quality control systems all operate seamlessly with the storage architecture.