Despite some concerns over the cloud’s ability to serve as a reliable and cost-effective storage solution for business and consumer applications, we are seeing a shift toward it. The equipment and services markets are growing rapidly for cloud storage services. For example, the Taneja Group estimated the total cloud storage hardware market in 2010 was $3.2 billion, growing 31 percent per year to $9.4 billion by 2014. And 451 Research calculated the cloud storage services market was $769 million in 2010, growing 47 percent per year to $4.4 billion by 2014.
The rationale for such growth curves is certainly worth exploring. A study from Forrester points to a significant cost advantage of cloud storage solutions over traditional internal enterprise storage. In that study, the annual cost of cloud storage for 100Tb of data was estimated to be $231,600 vs. $955,500 for internal storage, a 76 percent reduction in storage costs.
Some media and entertainment applications could benefit from the lower-cost cloud storage model because the creation, distribution and conversion of video content in digital form is a huge driver of storage and corresponding data protection.
Media and entertainment is seeing an unprecedented growth in storage due to higher-frames-per-second (fps) cameras and video resolution. For example, fps has increased from a historical 24fps to 48fps in the upcoming film The Hobbit by Peter Jackson, to 60fps in the latest Avatar movie, with increases to 300fps expected in the near future. At the same time, digital video production continues to increase resolution from 2K initially to 4K today, with 8K and 16K distinct possibilities for the future.
As a result, the raw video content produced by high-resolution digital production can quickly get into the Tb/h — even more for stereoscopic capture from multiple cameras. For example, Coughlin Associates predicted a more than fivefold increase in entertainment-industry storage between 2012 and 2017, and will reach more than 87 petabytes (Pb) of storage shipped per year. Even when only considering cloud services for vaulting capacity to complement internal data centers, this represents a significant cost-savings alternative.