By Marc M. Batschkus
Archiving video footage and other media requires specific features to simplify browsing, searching, and re-use. Media production especially profits from archiving by saving production storage and time for finding assets. Long-term protection for reference, re-use, and monetisation add to the benefits of a video archive management software.
What to Look for in a Video Archive Management Software
Feature #1: Easy to install and run
Getting started within minutes is an important part of efficient workflow building. Archiware P5 installs quickly and additionally offers setup assistants and tape library auto-discovery to configure the basic Archive, including tape drive, library, or cloud storage quickly.
Feature #2: Customisable metadata fields and menus
Years after production is completed, finding files often depends on the associated metadata. Since the perspective and requirements differ from one company to another, flexibility is of key importance. Each company can build its own individual metadata schema with P5 Archive. Descriptive metadata, as well as technical metadata fields and menus, can be combined to build the metadata schema that best supports production. Additionally, metadata can be harvested from the file header.
Feature #3: Support for multiple storage media: disk, tape, and cloud
Many options in today’s storage landscape offer multiple storage strategies. Disk, as well as tape and cloud, all have their specific strengths. It all depends on individual strategy, scale, and resources. Archiware P5 Archive is storage agnostic and supports archiving to disk, tape, and cloud storage.
For maximum flexibility concerning storage and long-term strategy, having the choice of all storage categories is important. P5 Archive supports LTO single drives and tape libraries by vendors like HPE, Dell, Quantum, IBM, Overland-Tandberg, Oracle, Qualstar, Spectralogic, mLogic, MagStor, and others.
Cloud services that are supported by P5 Archive include:
- Amazon S3: S3 Standard, S3 Intelligent-Tiering, S3 Standard-IA, S3 One Zone-IA
- Amazon Glacier: Standard, Deep Archive, Amazon Snowball
- Generic S3
- Backblaze B2, Backblaze Fireball
- Google: Standard, Nearline, Coldline
- Microsoft Azure: Standard Hot, Cool
- Wasabi Cloud Storage
Feature #4: Browser-based access
The Archive catalog becomes the single source of truth because it contains all finalised files and productions. As a result, all browsing and searching for media takes place in the catalog. Giving everyone in the company access to this catalog via the browser turns it into a productivity tool. Restore privileges can still be restricted.
Feature #5: Drag and drop Archiving
On a regular workstation or editing station, users want to archive as easily as possible. Using drag-and-drop is the simplest way to move files in the archive. The P5 Companion App offers this flexibility for P5 Archive.
Feature#6: Offers MAM-like Features for browsing and searching
Sometimes, the best way to find specific media is to browse visually. This is especially helpful when productions date back months or years, and the content has been forgotten. Combined with searching for specific metadata, these features considerably contribute to a powerful video archive.
Feature #7: Supports access from multiple locations
If a company has multiple locations that all need access to the archive, then deployment in Amazon EC2 AMI is an excellent choice. This way, all parties can log in and use the archive independently. P5 Archive makes use of all resources offered and configured within Amazon. Cloud storage can still be used by other vendors if desired.
Feature #8: Scaling easily
Often, the growth of an Archive is underestimated. The number of files and file sizes of individual productions may grow, and legacy material might be integrated into the Archive as well. What started small may soon become a petabyte sized project. Archiware P5 Archive grows and scales extremely easily. The software and interface stay the same, and only the growing storage has to be licensed if applicable. The number of tapes written is unlimited and does not require a license.
Feature #9: Runs on multiple platforms
The platform choice of today might change in the future. Having Archive software that supports many platforms makes changes easier. In the case of P5 Archive, the configuration simply moves from one platform to the other. Archiware P5 Archive runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Additionally, NAS systems like QNAP Synology and NetGear are available as native platforms for it.