One thing that is consistent from 2007 to today is that many sports and entertainment broadcasters still rely on LTO for their archives. As the world went tapeless for production in 2009 the media industry invested in what was the only viable technology at the time, LTO.
Today media organisations from entertainment and news to OTT and sports are looking to private, hybrid and public cloud storage platforms to ensure that they can not only access their archive content at any time but also to ensure that they can access the content without needing physical access to the robot or library.
LTO archives often need some manual intervention if not all the tapes are in the robot but as has been highlighted recently we can no longer guarantee access to that infrastructure. LTO still has its place today but it does not suit the dynamic fast turnaround demands now being put on archives today nor is it suited to the demands of creative professionals needing to self-serve from the archive.
Enabling self-serve requires automation and integration from the creative tools to asset management and storage stacks. Creative professionals have spent too much time looking for content. Metadata in 2007 was written on the LTO tape label and maybe logged in a spreadsheet making content pretty much inaccessible; If you cannot find it, you do not have it. Today metadata plays a very important role in the creative and archiving processes.
LTO has its place in the stack but not near the dynamic front end and not for metadata exploitation. Public cloud deep archiving also has its place for when things truly go south.
What is needed right now, and what many agree is the model for the next decade, is a move to hybrid platforms for applications, compute and storage. This enables high performance on-prem workflows and guaranteed data and metadata access for when the world returns to the new normal and the ability to work from anywhere using private or public cloud fabrics and platforms. Hybrid platforms are the best of both worlds, that empowers creativity whilst ensuring business continuity should the worst happen.
By implementing a hybrid stack creative professionals will be able to self-serve content from work in progress, nearline, archive and deep archive storage platforms regardless of local outage or physical access restrictions.
Organisations like the Welsh Rugby Union are leading the way by implementing a private cloud archive based on object storage from Object Matrix. Their creative and analytical teams can access content from anywhere in the world where once it sat on shelves or siloed storage.
For me the ideal broadcast technology stack looks a bit like this:
– MAMs, DAMs and PAMs for asset management, tracking and collaboration – Fast production disk for editing and creative workflows
– Secure, robust and scalable media focused object storage on-prem for production
storage backup, nearline parking, metadata longevity, local archive cache (Hi-res) and a full proxy archive – Offsite object storage for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity – Public cloud for collaboration and content analysis services – LTO or Deep Cloud archive for the real ‘oh oh’ moments