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What we learned at IBC 2015 – and what IBC learned from us

Visiting broadcasting trade shows is always a very humbling experience as these shows make you realize how little you know about the larger media and entertainment industry. I couldn’t say one smart thing about the newest UAV’s, drones, quad or octo-copters except for they look like fun toys. Which is the best green screen technology? Who’s the leader in mobile satellite dishes? Fortunately the Scality team knows a whole lot about video storage. Even stronger: I’d dare to say we have become an authority when it comes to building high-performance origin storage infrastructures, massive scale long-term archives and low-latency nearline archives. At any time of the show, our full team of seven was either in meetings or just having conversations on the booth with prospects, customers, partners and even competitors to learn about the Scality RING technology and how it revolutionizes scale-out video storage.

At our booth we featured 15 media partners who we enable to deliver smart solutions to their customers, including a variety of MAM technology providers, HSM and archival platforms, video streaming solutions and data transfer technologies (check our website for a full list of our media ISV partners). Our preferred partner Aspera was kind enough to have us at their booth, where we got to present the joint Aspera-Scality solutions for wordwide collaboration and content distribution. At the show, we also had several conversations with potential new partners, who will enable us to bring an ever richer portfolio of pre-integrated storage solutions to our M&E customers.

It’s not easy to establish a new company in a vertical that is dominated by dinosaurs such as EMC and Quantum. Two important trends have been helping us however. On the one hand there is the fast evolution in video resolution (HD, 2K, 4K and now 8K), which drives the demand for more scalable and cost-efficient yet high-performance storage solutions. But also, there is the search for new revenue streams, which has opened a whole series of new use cases such as Video on Demand (VOD) and Network/Cloud DVR. More and more customers realize that they can only gain competitive advantage through innovation, and that is where Scality takes the lead over traditional storage providers. With the help of our partners we had three very specific use cases on offer for the IBC visitors: Nearline Storage, Long-term (Active) Archives and Content Distribution. Each of these use cases leverage the innovative architecture of Scality’s RING storage software.

Post-production facilities are constantly challenged by the capacity limitation of their high-performance SAN infrastructures. SANs are not cheap, so you don’t want to use your SAN to store data that is not actively used. But moving data between the SAN and tape archives can be cumbersome and time consuming. So post-production teams constantly have to make choices on which data can sit on the SAN for how long. More and more post-production facilities are therefore adding an additional tier of “nearline” storage: much more cost-effient disk storage than SAN and as scalable as tape. Anyone need an exabyte?

Scality RING innovation enabling Nearline Archives: high throughput with commodity hardware, geographically distributed architectures and native file support.
One of the customers we talked to during the show told us the story of how they supported the creation of a film about a historic “hero” of their sports. The customer, who works for a sports association, provided real decades-old footage, good for more than half of the film. This would not have been possible without their massive library and intelligent MAM infrastructure. More and more sports and entertainment organization are converting their tape archives into easy to search and access active archives. While tape might be a very cost-efficient solution for long term archives, it does not enable active archives. Tape storage is a cost center; disk storage enables archives to become profit centers.

Scality RING innovation enabling Long-term Archives: massive scalability with commodity hardware, erasure coding to lower the storage overhead and integration with HSM and MAM solutions
The absolute hottest topic at IBC was of course video content distribution. Many content creators and providers are now starting to build their own Origin Server infrastructures instead of paying storage subscription fees to the CDN providers like Akamai and Limelight. With Deluxe OnDemand using the RING for their multi-PB origin infrastructure and Dailymotion getting close to 20PB of RING storage for their video distribution application, Scality has strong case studies that demonstrate our excellence for this use case.

Scality RING innovation enabling Origin Storage: globally distributed architectures, cost-efficiency with commodity hardware and integration with over half a dozen of streaming platform partners.
Finally, you know you are the cool kid in town when the parties you throw are a hit. Scality has been notorious for its parties at the OpenStack conferences and it looks we are becoming a reference for networking parties in the M&E industry as well. With twice the attendees we were aiming for, including prospects, customers and partners, I think we can call the Scality party we had at IBC a big success. Stay tuned for the Scality party at NAB 2016!

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More Stories By Tom Leyden

Tom Leyden is VP Product Marketing at Scality. Scality was founded in 2009 by a team of entrepreneurs and technologists. The idea wasn’t storage, per se. When the Scality team talked to the initial base of potential customers, the customers wanted a system that could “route” data to and from individual users in the most scalable, efficient way possible. And so began a non-traditional approach to building a storage system that no one had imagined before. No one thought an object store could have enough performance for all the files and attachments of millions of users. No one thought a system could remain up and running through software upgrades, hardware failures, capacity expansions, and even multiple hardware generations coexisting. And no one believed you could do all this and scale to petabytes of content and billions of objects in pure software.

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