Blog

Resolve Cluster Capacity Issues on Isilon with Automatic Data Migration

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Get the Most Out of Your Isilon with Autonomous Data Management.

When an Isilon cluster fills up, IT is faced with deciding whether to buy more Isilon, move data to another platform, or archive/tier data off the Isilon. The challenge is figuring out how to maximize the value of the existing storage investments and reduce storage costs.

What if you could connect Isilon with other storage types into a cross-platform global namespace while reducing costs and improving business continuity and disaster recovery?

Stronglink automatically migrates data from Isilon to other storage platforms—including tape and public cloud—without interrupting user access and while maximizing the value of your existing storage investments.

Read more here: Solution Brief

Read More

Media & Entertainment’s Secret to Reducing Storage Costs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Kevin Benitez
Product Marketing Manager
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

Over the past decade, the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry has experienced a considerable increase in the amount of data generated due to the transition from traditional media workflows to fully digital environments. Today, the retention and accessibility of digital assets and video are incredibly vital to maintaining a competitive advantage. Fujifilm understands M&E companies’ digital storage challenges; that’s why companies like MLB, The LA Kings Ice Hockey Team, Chainsaw Edit, and others have turned to Fujifilm tape to ensure the integrity of their video assets while drastically reducing long-term storage costs.

Today, tape storage is used in modern infrastructure to deliver high storage capacities with low cost of ownership compared to other storage solutions.

Modern M&E companies continue incorporating data tape storage into their environments to combat costs. Nowadays storage requirements are on a different scale from where M&E companies first started, and data will continue to increase exponentially as the industry moves from HD to 4K, and soon to 8K recording. Today, a single digital 4K camera can record up to 1.5 TB for every hour of filming. Before this, companies like the LA Kings only recorded 200 GB in an entire year. Most IT budgets in the industry are not growing enough to support today’s data deluge—of which data storage can consume 70%.

“Tape storage in general is the lowest cost storage of any type of storage,” says Storage Economics expert Brad Johns

The cost of using LTO-7 tape is as low as $0.01/GB which can be 7 times less expensive than disk storage over a ten year period.* Additionally, tape doesn’t use any energy when it’s not being used, on the other hand, disk systems use 76 times more electrical power than a similarly configured tape system.* “Tape storage in general is the lowest cost storage of any type of storage,” says Brad Johns, founder of Brad Johns Consulting LLC, a storage consulting firm.

Why are leading M&E companies turning to tape?

  • Extremely cost-effective
  • Highly reliable
  • Portable to use at remote locations
  • Scalable to extremely large capacities
  • Open standards to allow the interchange of files

LTO tape is an ideal solution for M&E companies. LTO is an open format designed for interoperability and together with LTFS, provides easy data access and management—perfect for easy file share, high performance, and improved workflow.

How are M&E companies are using tape today?

NewBay Media has compiled how LTO technology and LTFS manage every stage of content creation/ management:

  1. Production. LTO technology with LTFS protects original content with on-site backup copy, reduces camera media inventory costs, and enables the interchange of content between production sites and post-production.
  2. Post-Production. LTO technology with LTFS offers a low-cost storage solution for work-in-progress, scales to meet large capacities, provides a standard means of interchange across the post-production ecosystem, and gives users the ability to offload less active content from expensive, high-performance flash or disks.
  3. Distribution. LTO technology with LTFS supports the transfer of large amounts of digital content at low cost and serves as the de-facto standard for submission of content—to studios and between business partners.
  4. Archiving. LTO technology with LTFS is ideal for long-term storage due to its durability, reliability, and low cost of operation. It scales to meet very large capacity requirements and supports rapid restoration for the repurposing of content.

Tape’s low-cost acquisition price per gigabyte and TCO advantage compared with other storage mediums make tape the most cost-effective technology for long-term data retention. Today, M& E companies can compare the total cost of ownership of data retention using TCO calculators created by Brad Johns Consulting, https://page.dternity.net/TCO.html, and the LTO consortium, https://www.lto.org/resources/.

More M&E companies are seeing the advantages of LTO tape, which can store massive amounts of data and combat ever-increasing storage costs across production, post-production, distribution, or archiving.

*Source: ESG report “Analyzing the Economic Value of LTO Tape for Long-Term Data Retention.”

*Source: The Clipper Group “Continuing the Search for the Right Mix of Long-Term Storage Infrastructure —A TCO Analysis of Disk and Tape Solutions.”

Read More

Helping MLB Network Simplify Their Massive Content Archive

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Storytelling is a central facet of society that may have changed formats over the years but will never become obsolete. In today’s digital world, broadcasters and television networks focus on creating relatable stories to connect with their audiences, and they can’t do that without a wealth of readily available content.

MLB Network is the source for baseball stories of all kinds, from live games to studio shows and feature programming. Launched on January 1st, 2009, MLB Network is growing fast, reaching more than 70 million households today, delivering the best of America’s national pastime, all the time.

The Challenge: Digital Content Storage and Management

“MLB Network’s goal is to bring baseball to our audience every night with the highest levels of production quality, focus and enthusiasm throughout the year,” said Tab Butler, Director of Post Production and Media Management at MLB Network. “To accomplish this, we need constant access to our archives and current live game content. We need all information from every game securely stored and easily accessible.”

With multiple recordings of every game, along with multiple audio sources, and pregame, post-game and isolated camera feeds, it is not uncommon for MLB Network to record more than 3,000 hours of content per week. That content is then categorized and cataloged for future use, using the Emmy Award-nominated media asset management DIAMOND System. When the baseball season comes to a close, MLB Network continues to deliver baseball news 24/7, with special programming about a team, player or other happenings in the sport. These individual projects require systematic archival that supports precise selection and instant access of specific files. The challenge is how to empower diverse departments to directly access their projects, without heavy IT support.

MLB Network Deployed StrongBox for Project-Based Workflow

As an early adopter, MLB Network deployed a custom-developed StrongBox to manage archived projects in late 2011. StrongBox is a vendor-neutral, fully portable data vault for long-term file retention. Functioning as standard network-attached storage (NAS), StrongBox employs Linear Tape File System (LTFS) media as the principal storage medium to save money and empower a file-system view of all archived content. An internal disk cache enables rapid file access. With drag-and-drop functionality, StrongBox makes accessing archived projects easy for MLB Network, delivering content on-demand to multiple, simultaneous users. Since MLB network is a 24/7 operation, the production staff uses a SAN-based Final Cut Pro (FCP) platform to develop programming that is updated throughout the season with the latest information. When these projects are ready for archival, the video, audio and revision files, along with their metadata, are stored in StrongBox. Having the ability to recall an archived show, and repackage it with current information, utilizing tape as the storage medium, reduces the storage costs for the archived content. “StrongBox has been natural for streamlining this type of project-based storage. Instead of keeping projects on spinning disk, we’re able to offload to StrongBox,” explained Butler. One of Butler’s key initiatives is finding ways to better automate the media management environment, allowing different departments to manage their own archival data instead of relying on his Media Management team to store and retrieve files. With StrongBox, editors have direct access to archived projects in real-time, without having to depend on a Media Management operator to retrieve files.

High-Capacity, Low-Cost LTFS Tape for Proxy

Butler said that for the 2009 baseball season, 25 terabytes of spinning disk storage was required for the video proxy data, and for the 2010 baseball season, 32 terabytes was required. Although this proxy information requires long-term storage, it is accessed very infrequently. Thus, the operational costs for keeping this much data on spinning disk become extremely expensive. Even though it is long-tail content, it cannot be taken offline.

Through the custom-built, DIAMOND System, MLB Network logs and categorizes HD recording by viewing the video using proxy video files, which are recorded in real time. The bulk of recorded HD Video content is stored within an LTO library, and is searched and accessed using DIAMOND and the Grass Valley Aurora systems. Thus, Butler is investigating ways to use tape to further drive down the costs of his long-tail proxy content which is currently on spinning disk.

“If I look down my future roadmap, my proxy environment is going to continue to grow year over year for the lifetime of the archive,” explained Butler. “Getting the proxy on LTO-5 media is much more cost-efficient for long-tail content.” With the introduction of LTFS, tape can be partitioned and indexed on a file level. This brings significant opportunity for media and broadcast companies. For MLB Network, LTFS brings the capability to efficiently maintain an accessible archive at the file level, while eliminating the heat generation, cooling requirements, spinning drives and other operational costs associated with disk storage.

“StrongBox is a very unique product, with flexibility that makes it functional in multiple use-cases for MLB Network,” Butler continued. Currently, the MLB Network video archive consists of 10 to 12 petabytes of stored HD content, and 275 terabytes of proxy content. A migration of that much data would be a significant undertaking. With the ability to scale up to 35 petabytes, StrongBox delivers low-cost, high-capacity storage with high-performance access that could provide a cornerstone in the foundation for MLB Network’s biggest business asset – its programming.

The Bottom Line

MLB Network delivers exciting, engaging baseball stories 24/7, 365 days a year. With a massive content archive that will only continue to grow, Tab Butler knows that LTFS tape is a cost-efficient and scalable way to manage MLB Network’s digital records. While editors constantly juggle multiple projects with demanding deadlines, StrongBox facilitates a project-based workflow, integrating with the editing environment to allow end users more direct access to their archived content. Ultimately, StrongBox helps MLB Network spend more time creating and delivering award-winning baseball stories and less time worrying about how to manage data.


MEET THE FASTEST LTFS NAS

Read More

Save Over $1 Million by Migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Kevin Benitez
Product Marketing Manager
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

We know your data is important, but let’s face it, data growth is rising exponentially, and there is no turning back. No matter the industry, the daily creation of data is mindboggling, whether it’s emails, videos, IoT, blockchain or something new, it doesn’t matter because for every keystroke typed there is a new set of data created, computed, and stored forever. On the bright side, if you are using LTO-5 tape for backup/archive, now is the perfect time to migrate to LTO-7 since it could save your IT department $1,276,280 over the next five years.

There are significant benefits to migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7. If the impressive transfer rate of 300 MB / sec or enormous 6 TB capacity of LTO-7 hasn’t won you over, surely the cost savings will. IT budgets are only growing at an average of 7% annually. Meanwhile, the average data growth is between 35% and 65%, compounding yearly! In order for IT departments to meet future budget requirements, they need to unlock the economic value of LTO-7.

A recent cost-benefit analysis conducted by Brad Johns Consulting discovered that migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7 consistently generated greater TCO savings across all storage capacities if the customer’s data was growing at all.

Brad Johns’ study investigated TCO over a five-year period for LTO-5 and LTO-7 for three different capacities 500TB, 2500TB, 5000TB and annual growth rates ranging from 10% to 50%. IT departments with the annual growth rate of 40% can expect savings from $135,308 to $1,276,280 over the next five years by switching to LTO-7.

Savings Chart

Methodology

  • Only new media and drives were purchased.
  • The LTO-5 configurations were configured with a minimum of two tape drives and 100 tape cartridges per drive.
  • The number of LTO-7 drives in the new configuration provided at least the same aggregate data rate as the LTO-5 base configuration (also with a two-drive minimum).

Overall the math shows migrating from LTO-5 to LTO-7 can significantly reduce cost, especially if a business has the ability to install LTO-7 drives in existing libraries rather than requiring a new library.

Not only do LTO-5 customers have a significant financial incentive to migrate to LTO-7, but they have additional technical benefits. The LTO-7 tape drives can read LTO-5 media as well as reading and writing on LTO-6 media. If LTO technology, in general is a concern, you can be confident that LTO is here to stay, and future proofing is already in development with Generation 12 and beyond. Bottom line, LTO-7 definitely has a place in your archive for long-term preservation management, especially if you are currently using LTO-5.

Have questions or need help making the decision?

Contact Us

Read More

When it Comes to Video Surveillance, Active Archive Solutions Can Address the “Transparency Paradox”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Rich Gadomski
V.P. Marketing
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

Have you ever noticed the grainy quality of surveillance footage shown on the local news broadcasts? Some unfortunate citizen is getting assaulted after making an ATM withdrawal and you feel like you’re watching a 1930s Charlie Chaplin rerun. The reason for this is that most organizations charged with surveilling public places can’t afford to do so in high resolution and certainly can’t afford to keep the surveillance content for any considerable period of time. Yet wouldn’t it be nice to easily ID the suspect and maybe go back to other video databases to see if there’s a pattern occurring over time?

As a society we want better security and swifter justice. We have the technology to achieve this but we don’t necessarily have the budget. The good news is that a record number of surveillance cameras are shipping year after year. They are also becoming more affordable and resolutions are steadily increasing to include 4K or better.

In fact, demand for video surveillance systems is continuing to explode driven by several factors including increased security threats, legislation, IoT applications, law enforcement applications and increasing affordability of surveillance cameras.

All of this is taking place at a time when society is demanding more transparency into what is happening in our public places and in law enforcement actions. This has resulted in a steady increase in evidentiary content from facility security cameras to body worn cameras, dashboard cameras, interview room audio and video recordings, cell phone data and others. This proliferation of surveillance technology has given rise to the “transparency paradox” where the public demands more recorded evidence which creates the need for more data storage. But we only have limited budgets that can’t handle the increasing data retention burdens.

This is where the concept of an active archive comes into focus providing a solution where organizations can afford to maintain online access to all of their surveillance content in a multi-tiered storage system that leverages the speed of flash and disk with the superior economics of tape. In a typical active archive environment, the file system extends across all storage tiers from primary flash/disk to long term, economy tape storage. Content moves by policy from high cost primary storage to low cost, long term storage. Typically this means LTFS LTO tape featuring the highest capacity, longest archival life, highest reliability and lowest total cost of ownership.

With an active archive in place, organizations can easily and cost effectively maintain more surveillance content at higher resolutions for longer retention periods and can maintain this on-premises to safely control chain of custody.

Expect demand for active archives to solve the “transparency paradox.” It should make the local news more engaging too!

Read More

New Data Storage TCO Calculator Helps Compare Costs Across Various Platforms

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Kevin Benitez
Product Marketing Manager
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc

A major challenge for IT professionals is estimating the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) across various storage platforms. To save costs many large enterprises are turning to a combination of storage platforms while others are thinking about completely abandoning their data centers for the cloud. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to factor in all the costs resulting in enterprises getting blindsided by invisible storage costs such as bandwidth, energy, data retrieval, and more. In terms of cost, the cloud may seem very affordable at first, but in reality, when the total cost of ownership is taken into account the costs begin to surge.

If you are thinking about upgrading your data center or abandoning it for the cloud you need to make sure you do the math. Understanding TCO is critically important to any data storage purchase decision since you will be committing to unavoidable costs for many years into the future.

It’s no surprise that the amount of data and content produced is growing by leaps and bounds, that’s why many large enterprises are turning to LTO tape technology for high capacity, reliability, and costs savings.  LTO tape can provide years of protection at a much lower cost than other storage solutions.

Today, tape and disk work together in disk-based storage systems to address different necessities like backup, offline storage, nearline storage, and capture and offload. Tape technology allows data to remain protected in the event of malware or a data security breach while saving data centers thousands of dollars.

Many enterprises spend large amounts of time crunching the numbers. To help you do the math, storage economics expert Brad Johns of Brad Johns Consulting teamed up with Fujifilm to create a free online tool to calculate 5-year and 10-year scenarios for TCO when using automated tape storage, disk-based storage, and cloud-based archive storage.

TCO calculations are based on data entered into the TCO tool and assumptions are made through publicly available sources, such as vendor websites and industry research. By entering the quantity of data loaded in year 1 (TB), the annual growth rate of stored data, and the percent of data retrieved each year, results may be derived. Capacity is acquired as needed, based on the growth rate of stored data. The derived assumptions are based on historical trends and published research as well as the user-specified capacity.

After entering data into the TCO Calculator, users have the option to download a customizable report, which includes an executive summary, key cost assumptions, and TCO by cost category. The report also includes a detailed analysis of cost type (e.g., energy costs, offsite costs, service fees, bandwidth, etc.).

Find out how you can start saving on your data storage costs. Access the free TCO calculator here.

Read More

Welcome Letter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Rich Gadomski
V.P. Marketing
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

On behalf of FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc., I want to welcome you to the Fujifilm Insights Blog. Fujifilm Recording Media is the world’s largest manufacturer of data tape – the most reliable storage solution at the lowest total cost of ownership. Our technology is born from decades of experience and a commitment to R&D that has led to breakthrough products.

In today’s world of exponential data growth, it is critical that data is not only stored but truly protected and secured. Our primary goal is to continue to store and protect—well into the future—the world’s data. We do this because we understand that a company’s data is its DNA. However, to achieve this, we will need to continue to respond to present-day data storage challenges and continue to connect with our customers on the latest industry trends and best practices in data storage.

So, what is the best way to communicate year round with data storage professionals across many markets? Do you hold more events, increase social media, or start a YouTube channel?

If you are reading this, then the answer is obvious. We began a blog because it was the most inclusive platform where our content could evolve organically as our industry evolves as well. The Fujifilm Insights Blog will navigate the industry landscape with informative posts covering industry trends, behind the scenes insights, customer Q&A’s, industry influencer interviews, and more.

We look forward to providing industry perspective and thought leadership on a variety of data storage topics and hope you will join in on the conversation as well.

As we grow, we will be looking for new topics and guest contributors in order to continue to create content that interests readers and provides value. What would you like to hear? Let us know.

Read More

LET’S DISCUSS YOUR NEEDS

We can help you reduce cost, decrease vendor lock-in, and increase productivity of storage staff while ensuring accessibility and longevity of data.

Contact Us >