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September/October 2021

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Page 21 of 39 20 POST SEPT/OCT 2021 INTRODUCTION Data storage is a key element for achieving digital transformation in content creation, post production, distribution, reception and archiving. Important tech- nical developments that are fueling the continued growth and development of entertainment are increases in data capacity and communication speed, and lower storage capacity prices. In addition, the global pandemic, over the last two years, has led to greater use of cloud-based services, including digital storage, to enable remote and more distributed workflows. Because of the large file sizes required for high-resolution and multi-camera images, there is increasing demand for high capacity storage devices, as well as high-performance storage. This is driving demand for solid state storage devices for direct-attached as well as networked storage. For many archiving and distribution applications, where content is relatively static and access is less frequent, low cost/high capacity SATA HDD storage, optical discs and tape-based storage libraries predominate, with some flash memory used for caching, buffers and metadata. Hard disk drives are increas- ingly giving way to enterprise SSDs for high performance storage applications, although this transition is slower than many expected, as users balance storage cost with performance requirements. For applications requiring rugged field use or fast playback response, flash memory — either in cards or solid-state drives (SSDs) — is now standard fare. Let's look at the state of the various storage technologies used in M&E, see how video professionals are using this storage and who some of the best ven- dors are. From February through June of 2021, Coughlin Associates, Inc., conducted its 11th survey of professional media and entertainment professionals on various digital storage topics. The survey was broken down into several segments: con- tent capture, editing and post production, content delivery, as well as archiving and digital preservation. Results from that survey, as well as the 2020 Coughlin Associates report on Media and Entertainment Storage, will be used to provide some illustrations in this article. POST PRODUCTION STORAGE DEMAND Post production storage demand is increasing with more multi-camera, 360-degree projects, higher resolutions, more bits per frame and higher frame rates. This drives overall storage requirements as shown in Figure 1. Note that the use of cloud storage in post production in 2020 and projected through 2025 is considerably higher compared to our earlier reports. Figure 1: Post production storage capacity annual demand Companies providing storage systems for local storage for M&E applications include G-Tech (WDC), LaCie (Seagate), OWC, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. Companies providing storage systems and software for network storage (besides those mentioned above) include AIC, Asustor, Avid, CineRAID, DDP, Facilis, Magstor, Open Drives, Pixit Media, Promise, QNAP, Rocstor, Stardom and TrueNAS. We will give a list of cloud storage companies later on in this article. There continues to be demand for low latency local storage, particularly for smaller facilities in 2021 and going forward. Network storage will also experi- ence strong growth, with an increasing amount of this storage being used in private clouds for remote access, as well as studio access. Strong growth is expected in private and public cloud storage to enable remote video collab- oration projects and cloud-based editing. Increased use of cloud-based post production during the pandemic is increasing the capabilities and comfort with using cloud storage. SOLID-STATE STORAGE GROWING IN PRODUCTION AND POST Because of higher performance and ruggedness, solid-state storage, based upon NAND flash memory, is desirable for many media and entertainment applications. Flash memory is the dominant storage media for professional video cameras, as shown in Figure 2. Hard Disk Drives (HDDs), the next largest camera storage media, is popular in studio recording where ruggedness is less Remote Workflows Drive M&E Digital Storage Trends BY TOM COUGHLIN

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