Storage Buying Guide: Media and Entertainment - Page 2


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NetApp FAS 6200 Series / E-Series

NetApp has two product lines for M&E with prices from $20,000 to $2 million.

The NetApp FAS 6200 Series enterprise storage line is said to be suitable for modern broadcast workflows, transcode farms, active archives and TV anytime/anywhere applications. It runs the Data ONTAP storage operating system, provides both SAN and NAS connectivity, and can scale from a few terabytes to several petabytes.

“The broadcast industry thinks of NetApp storage as expensive per terabyte because we dominate in the IT space where CIOs prefer all the storage efficiencies and ease of management of our Data ONTAP OS and the data management applications available in the FAS line,” said Jason Danielson, media and entertainment solutions, product and solution marketing, NetApp. “These features drive up the price per raw terabyte, but they drive down the cost per effective usable terabyte and the overall cost of ownership.”

NetApp FAS is good for transcode and distribute workflows involving small file random reads and writes, which is important to throughput in this workflow (particularly when adaptive bitstream and Video on Demand formats are the target).

For other media workflows, however, these features are less important, but companies may need the high media bandwidth of the E-Series. The NetApp E-Series is a modular architecture family of storage enclosures with a pair of high-availability, high-bandwidth controllers. For broadcast workflows including sports and news production and collaborative editing, it offers 240 TB of storage and 3 GB/sec application level mixed video read/write per 4U enclosure. Broadcasters can add edit workstations and stream counts into the hundreds before there is any noticeable fall-off of performance. A single storage pool can be scaled up to six enclosures (12 controllers) with up to 18 gigabytes per second of application-level video throughput.

Spectra Logic Spectra T950

The Spectra T950 tape library is designed for online storage, long-term data retention and preservation of broadcast media. A single T950 scales to 10,020 LTO slots (62.6 PB – LTO6 compressed) and has a typical life of seven to ten years compared to the disk subsystem general life expectancy of three to four years. Other advantages include the fact that it fits four times as much storage into the same footprint as a disk-based system and uses far less power. Since the data stored on tape is not part of the networked system, it is protected against the malware, viruses, accidental deletion and crashes that affect disk storage. Prices start at $100,000.

“Organizations often overlook the risk and cost of implementing a disk-only solution,” said Hossein ZiaShakeri, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Alliances at Spectra Logic. “Not only is this an expensive option, disk-only solutions do not provide the protection required in the event of disasters or other unforeseen events.”

The T950 has assisted self-maintenance, which allows spare parts on site; call-home capability; media life cycle management, which proactivity monitors the health of the media; and data integrity verification, the periodic integrity checking of the data on tape media to insure long-term retention and preservation of the data. It works with a variety of content storage management (CSM), hierarchical storage Management (HSM) and data backup applications to give users and media asset management (MAM) applications an interface into their archives so that they can search and retrieve the data they need.

“The most popular implementation or strategy in big data environments is launching an active archive storage model, so that production data, no matter how old or infrequently accessed, can still be retrieved online,” says ZiaShakeri. “A multi-tier storage model of an active archive incorporating both disk and tape allows organizations to store assets based on their point-in-time value and hence reduce the overall cost of storage.”

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