Active Archive Strategies for the Media & Entertainment Industry
Everything you need to know to gain instant and affordable access to long-term media storage, monetize archived content, and streamline production workflows.
Persistent Need for Content Creates Challenges
Today’s media and entertainment (M&E) organizations face some major challenges. The world’s ever-increasing hunger for content not only puts serious pressure on these companies to keep producing, but it’s also causing media libraries and storage costs to skyrocket.
From 8K video to 360 degrees of high-res virtual reality, M&E content can get massive, and organizations need to curb storage sprawl as they continually add to their content libraries. And thanks to over-the-top (OTT) distribution and consumers accustomed to on-demand access, organizations are seeing more value in not only retaining their entire back catalog but also having fast and ready access to them.
Data storage—or more specifically, archiving—is more critical than it’s ever been. Many organizations are finding new ways to monetize their past work, and more editors, artists, and distributors require remote access to vast stores of data to do their daily jobs. Offsite backups are a must, as ransomware attacks in the M&E sector become more frequent.
But of course, not all archives are created equal. M&E organizations need an archive solution that delivers files in the moment they’re needed, but without using up the precious high-performance storage space for their latest projects. The answer is an active archive that hits the perfect balance between affordability and accessibility, an archive solution that combines the cost savings and scalability of traditional cold storage with the added benefits of being readily retrievable and as fast as some of the hotter storage tiers like AWS S3.
In this e-guide, we take a closer look at active archiving and why it’s a strategy that can help you future-proof your data archives while keeping all of your content secure and protected. You’ll learn:
- The pitfalls of traditional archiving
- Strategies and things to avoid to achieve an active archive solution
- Qualities to look for in active archive storage
- Why a single, hot tier for archiving data is the simpler solution compared to multi-tiered systems with limited recall performance and complex billing
- Ways that you can leverage an active archive system to streamline workflows
Traditional Archive Storage: Cheap and Deep Is No Longer Sufficient
“Cheap and deep” used to be the norm for traditional archive storage. It meant burying archival content in very inexpensive storage, such as LTO tape. The nice thing was that that glacial archive was durable, secure, and—well, cheap. But it also had some problems.
Tape requires personnel to operate and maintain the storage equipment and the environment needs power, cooling, and lots of space. Plus, every seven or eight years you must migrate all of that stored data to new tape versions. That is time-consuming and costly. Deep archive data is also hard to search and access if it’s needed later. It could take days to get a piece of content back.
The cloud has helped organizations overcome some of those issues. Long-term archiving solutions for cloud storage, such as Amazon Glacier, can seem to be more cost-effective at first. They don’t require personnel or management. They also are much more scalable and more easily accessible than tape. But cold storage in the cloud also comes with some hidden (and not-so-hidden) challenges.
While the per-TB cost for archival storage is low, legacy hyperscale cloud providers charge you every time you want to access or interact with your data. API calls, data retrieval requests, data egress–each one comes with a service or “transaction” fee. And with petabytes of stored content and data, those fees can add up fast. Beyond the issue of expensive and unpredictable transaction fees is the accessibility problem of traditional and cloud-based cold storage solutions. Cold storage in the cloud is not considered priority so these solutions aren’t high-performance. They’re inexpensive up-front because of high latency. It can take several hours or more to get content from cold storage. That’s faster than tape, sure, but still not fast enough if you need it now.