By Marc M. Batschkus

New cameras, bigger files and an increased number of delivery formats create a challenge for entertainment data management.

How do you keep all files safe with minimum effort while keeping costs low?

With fast disk storage becoming cheaper, it became easier to store and work with big file sets. Keeping all files safe also profits from this development.

A complete and efficient strategy needs more. Let’s take a closer look.


Entertainment Data Management in 2020

Approach #1: Replication/Cloning as Routine Backup

Not long ago, replication from disk to disk or RAID to RAID was only justifiable for time-critical data. Disk storage was too expensive to keep a backup of all files.

This has changed. Cloning disk to disk might even be the better Backup for most productions. Since all files are replicated to secondary storage, they are immediately available all at once in case something goes wrong. 

Archiware P5 Synchronize can be set up in minutes to replicate even big file systems. Replication as a general procedure simplifies entertainment data management because it protects all files and makes them available as a complete data set if needed.

Approach #2: Off-site storage in the cloud

Maximum protection of files needs off-site storage. Many things can happen at any location and having an independent copy of important files can save the production. This used to be mostly the domain of tapes being rotated between on—and off-site.

Cost-effective Cloud services, like Backblaze and Wasabi make Backup to the Cloud affordable even for smaller productions. This simplifies operation and saves manual processes for rotation of media. Both P5 Backup and P5 Archive support Cloud storage.

Approach #3: Archive as Single Source of Truth

The importance of archives has increased with increased file sizes. Production storage fills up faster than ever. Finalised productions need to move away from production storage to the archive. Since every finalised production moves to the Archive, it will grow over time to become the file memory of the company. Searching and finding files becomes really easy when there is only one location to look for files: the archive catalog.

P5 Archive is a Single Source of Truth that supports production with the reuse, referencing and monetisation of already existing material. Having only one location to look for finalised productions and assets saves time, compared to searching in multiple storage locations.

Approach #4: Archive as Mini-MAM

Finding files is easy with the mini-MAM feature that Archiware P5 Archive offers: media thumbnails, proxy clips, customisable metadata fields, and menus, as well as combined searching.

Requests for returning customers become easy to fulfill. Referencing and re-using media is a matter of minutes. The browser interface of P5 Archive can be made available to the whole company so that everyone can check the catalog for existing media. All previous assets can now support ongoing production and even generate an additional revenue stream.

The P5 Archive restore catalogue with mini-MAM Archive

Approach #5: LTO Tape as cheap file memory

Archive storage needs to be very cost-effective and reliable for the long-term. Starting at only 10USD/EUR per TB, it has the cheapest cost per TB of all professional media. The tape has its strengths exactly where needed for Archive: best price per TB, proven long-term durability for decades, easy scalability by just adding tapes, and simple off-site storage.

Entertainment data management profits from tape’s features, simplicity, and low cost. Growing your archive storage by simply adding tapes is a big advantage. This is the simplest way to scale, compared to all other storage categories—the original setup remains and only media are added. All archived files are accessible via the Archive catalog (see #4).


Conclusion

Entertainment data management should make use of the benefits of current technologies by using each where it contributes the most. Replication combined with Backup to the cloud protects all ongoing productions.

A consistent Archive strategy simplifies referencing and re-use and is cheapest to build using LTO tape. Archiware’s P5 suite offers replication, backup and archive with one browser interface and simple setup, yet powerful scalability options.


5 Modern Approaches to Entertainment Data Management