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Storage Supplement 2017

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9 STORAGE SOLUTIONS MARCH 2017 STORAGE SOLUTIONS THE EVOLUTION OF POST PRODUCTION Post production refers to the various processes for converting raw video content (e.g. from cameras or computers) into a form that can be used for its intend- ed purpose, such as broadcast, theatrical display or Internet streaming. A very important part of the post process is editing. Modern editing works with digital content. This editing is referred to as nonlinear editing (NLE), since digital technologies allow access to and changing of content anywhere in a video stream. Figure 1 is a schematic of a nonlinear editing station showing local storage and DRAM for basic caching and storage of edited content, as well as optional connections to shared online (or realtime) storage via a SAN or NAS using some sort of network connection (GbE or HBA), as well as cloud-based storage in a remote data center. NLE is generally done using computers. With the increasing capability to generate content in comput- ers, video editing has come to depend on computers to connect content together in an artistic or useful way as well as generate original content. Traditionally, NLE has been done using dedicated workstations as well as desktop or laptop computers, but there are increasing advantages for collaborative workflows that are driving post production to the cloud. Also, there are important operations on content, such as render- ing and transcoding, that are often done using cloud services. There are many sources for cloud-based, digital storage and computation resources from special- ized vendors targeting the media and entertainment market, as well as targeted services from more general vendors such as Amazon Web Services and Google Media Services. Considering the number of cloud stor- age vendors at recent professional media conferences, such as the NAB and IBC shows, as well as more regional shows such as the Creative Storage Confer- ence, there is a great deal of interest in expanding cloud storage resources for media and entertainment applications. Although much post work is kept within a facility, there is an increasing trend, particularly for movie production and Internet content companies, to create collaborative workflows where the post activities may be done anywhere in the world. While the latency of remote access through the Internet may limit the use of cloud storage for direct creative editing (although there are companies offering such services). Cloud storage can be used for content distribution and archiving. Using out-sourced cloud storage, orga- nizations can keep their media assets in a centralized managed repository and pay for storage capacity, per- formance and management as the asset library grows. In addition to consolidating storage assets, cloud providers also offer remote compute services. This combination is very useful for cloud-based rendering, as well as conforming and assembling content. Modern rendering requires the latest server and storage de- vices and these expensive services are generally only needed for a short time during a video production project. Thus leasing time on a cloud service makes a lot more sense to many production facilities than, for instance, buying and maintaining a state-of-the-art rendering facility. In general, cloud-based services and storage will play a bigger role in future workflows. Assuming that the cloud storage provider does a good job of data protection and management — a critical feature for long-term media assets — cloud storage may be a cost-effective solution for smaller production facilities and independent movie projects that cannot or do not want to invest in the complexity of local archive storage infrastructure. It may also be interesting for larger facilities wanting to add disaster recovery layers to their digital archives. Assets stored in cloud storage also offer advan- tages for workflows conducted across multiple time zones and locations, since the content can be ac- cessed anytime and anywhere. Companies offering either storage systems and/or services for cloud-based content access used in digital workflows and content distribution include Amazon Web Services, Aspera (now part of IBM), Avid, Cleversafe (now owned by POST IN THE CLOUDS BY TOM COUGHLIN COUGHLIN ASSOCIATES WWW.TOMCOUGHLIN.COM Figure 1

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