NetApp Aims StorageGRID, All-Flash Arrays at Video Companies

Posted on April 02, 2015 By Pedro Hernandez


What good is jumping into high-resolution 4K video if there's nowhere to put it and no way of effectively managing it?

NetApp wants to help broadcasters and video production companies store and manage their growing collections of high-definition (HD) and 4K footage with software designed to handle massive data stores and hardware that uses solid-state drives to enable brisk file operations. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based enterprise data storage systems maker – an exhibitor at next week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference – will be showcasing its object storage platform, StorageGRID Webscale and its EF series all-flash arrays.

The company is no stranger to the broadcasters and video production companies. NetApp claims that over the past three years, the company has installed more than 300 petabytes (PB) of capacity at over 100 media organizations, ranging from studios to Internet streaming providers.

Given consumers' inexhaustible appetite for high-quality visuals, storage requirements are expected to grow even faster as those companies pump more HD and 4K files through their systems. "Our customers are looking for storage solutions that can improve efficiency across production, management, delivery, transaction, and analytic workflows," said Jason Danielson, media and entertainment solutions at NetApp, in a statement.

"NetApp's recent advances in data mobility, flash integration, and video bandwidth can allow better HD/4K production, media lifecycle management, viewer analytics, data security, and cloud transition strategies."

Those advances include StorageGRID Webscale, an object storage platform for multi-petabyte data repositories. Launched in September as a hybrid cloud storage solution, the Amazon S3 and Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) compatible offering is available as a physical appliance or via software, and can serve as the software foundation for general cloud storage, Web data stores, and of course, media repositories.

NetApp is enlisting flash storage to speed up video editing workloads. The company introduced its first all-flash array, the EF550, in late 2013. Now, the company is banking on the EF portfolio's "lowest IOPS [input/output operations per second] per dollar" to give a flash-enabled performance boost to "production workgroups who need to edit, render, and transcode concurrently."

Flash also features in NetApp's FAS8000 Series enterprise storage systems and its Clustered Data ONTAP scale-out storage environment. Targeting large broadcasters and boutique players is the company's high-end E-Series storage. With five-nines (99.999 percent) reliability, according to the company's testing, dropped frames are one less worry for video specialists.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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