MatrixStore, Video and Regulated Industries

Back in the day (just for my Dad), when MatrixStore was but an unformed spark in Jon Morgan’s visionary eye the market for secure clustered storage was pretty much focused on the medical and finance compliance markets. Requirements around the authenticity of data, long-term retention (WORM) and availability of content within a reasonable timeframe were key bits of functionality any solution wanting into that market should possess.

So that’s what we did. We built security and compliance functionality into MatrixStore from day one. I would like to state now (in the way one of our percieved competitors seems to do quite often .. wow .. geee, aren’t we the bees knees, woot!) that it was our incredible foresight that saw this functionality being 100% applicable to the media and entertainment space… yeehaa. However, the reality is that as a talented team of geekoids we decided to build Rome (compliance, distributed search, seamless scaling, replication .. yada yada yada) and wait to people to come and buy it. If you build it they will come?

Anyway, back to the point of this blog post. How is it that the functionality (included free don’t you know) built for the protection of cheque images and MRI scans is applicable to companies with video workflows or legacy assets? I have covered some of the key points below and at the bottom of this post is a 2 pager on how MatrixStore helps with organisations under the regulatory cosh.

Authenticity

Producers, Facility managers want to know the content that has come off the camera and going into the post is authentic. Guaranteed. MatrixStore generates a hash (digest, digital fingerprint) of the content on the client and also on the two MatrixStore nodes the content lands on. Three different places where the content is checked ensuring the content in MatrixStore is a bit for bit the same as came off the P2 or SxS card.

Because MatrixStore keeps that digest/fingerprint as metadata with the content we are able to automatically, periodically and systematically (insert line from Grease here) ensure the content on disk matches the digest kept with it. Forever.. and ever.

Retention

Generating video content and adopting creative workflows is no longer restricted to post-production facilities or broadcasters. There is a bucket load of content being generated daily within heavily regulated industries. Hospitals, banks, police forces, utility companies. All producing video and some of them required adhering to regulations around the retention and authenticity of that video content. Banks, for instance, may face FSA regulations that require content to be kept protected and available for 1 year from creation. Another factor is that a lot of these organisations are managing the creative process in-house which means they are turning to video workflow solutions over the less appropriate IT-based tools. Solutions integrated into those workflows will win.

MatrixStore provides the option to keep content in vaults that can have retention periods set upon them. No deletion or modification before the retention date. End of. This helps not only for the long-term retention of content but also as a highly secure ingest vault for rushes/dailies coming into the post process. Set a one-month retention policy on an ingest vault and that content will be secure from the accidents that do tend to happen.

Mind you, ask most content owners how long they want to keep their completed works for and the answer will be forever. Good recurring support revenue/business if you can get it.

Access & Availability

Not providing an email for a court case has cost some companies a pretty penny. Broadcast or post facilities not being able to serve up content in a timely fashion can be equally costly. Data on demand is key functionality even if components fail.

Find is also key here, the magical eDiscovery. If you can’t find it, you don’t have it (Maxim no. 2). Metadata coupled closely to the content is very important if you are going to stand a hope of getting the proverbial needle out of the 500TB haystack. MatrixStore has that covered.

Equally important is restricting access to content from those who are not authorised to do so. MatrixStore allows content to be kept in vaults that can only be accessed by personnel who have the correct security credentials. Whilst using the same underlying hardware the vaults are completely distinct.

Auditing and Governance

Being able to provide a full audit trail of the actions performed upon a piece of content is crucial in the world of regulations and is also a nice feature for organisations with video workflow (and can actually be very useful where elements of the workflow require repeatable results). MatrixStore provides a built-in full audit trail of all actions, both management and data operations, performed against a MatrixStore cluster. Who archived the content? Who deleted the content? Who TRIED to delete the content? Who retrieved the content and put it on YouTube just before it was officially released? That sort of useful.

The view From OM

Organisations across the globe that are subsidiaries of US companies are pretty much tied to keep in line with US regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley. Even if video data is not a concern of Sarbanes Oxley the internal compliance departments within organisations tend to want all business data treated the same. It has to be protected, authentic and available when required.