Every summer in Cooperstown, New York there is an induction ceremony into the Baseball Hall of Fame. A highlight reel of each inductee's storied career is played before he takes to the podium. Each video includes legendary on-the-field moments, iconic still shots, and clips of post-game interview quotes as a fresh-faced rookie to grizzled veteran—some of which hasn't seen the light of day in decades. Yet a video producer or editor is able to string together an exciting montage in minutes without delving through hundreds of hours of footage hunting for highlights in real time.

There are countless other examples of similar applications outside the world of sports, such as B-roll footage for movies and news stories, the on-air tributes when a celebrity passes, or showing chronological progressions from traditional annual events leading up to this year's festival or parade. The list goes on, but the common denominator is the need for and the ability to access files that potentially have not been touched in years. You don't know when you might need all this unstructured data, maybe never, but it cannot be discarded for historical, posterity, or compliance purposes.

Rather than fill valuable hot tier storage assets with long-term archived data (one year old or more), media and entertainment companies can capitalize on the cost efficiencies of a cold storage platform. Curate and retrieve rarely used files for a fraction of the cost and fees incurred using an Azure or AWS solution, but with nearly identical access. And Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) Object Storage with elastic search capabilities offers a new way to do it.

Object storage architectures offer an alternative to the hierarchical tree structure of file systems. They store data in flat address spaces, offering unique identifiers to the applications for fast access to content. While this architectural difference may seem small to the end-user, the scalability provided by this efficiency translates into substantial cost of ownership savings. Using this architecture, Dell EMC’s ECS offers a number of advantages that significantly reduce the cost of storing, protecting, and accessing high volumes of long-term archived data.

In terms of hardware, Dell offers a number of products including the scalable EX300 with a starting raw capacity of 60 TB, the expandable EX500 with multiple drive and disk options up to 6.1 PB per rack for midsize enterprises looking to support modern applications and/or deep archive use cases, and the EX3000 with a maximum capacity of 11.5 PB per rack with 30 to 90 drives per node for enterprises with the largest data footprints. All offer a very low cost per terabyte to store mountains of unstructured, archived data at the lowest possible cost.

Here's why media and entertainment companies are embracing Dell ECS Object Storage as a model for cost effective on-premises, long-term storage and retrieval of rarely accessed data:

  • ECS is designed to store and keep active, massive, multi-petabyte, unstructured data in a single pool of storage.
  • ECS supports metadata searching for objects using a rich query language. This powerful feature allows S3 object clients to search for objects within buckets, using up to thirty indexable metadata fields per bucket to return queries quicker, especially for buckets with billions of objects. So, for example, a producer can search for clips of a particular player at a particular stadium at a specific time that occurred during past Monday Night Football games, and only Monday Night Football games.
  • ECS provides a global namespace with strong consistency, which enables ECS users to store NFS file data on a globally distributed object infrastructure, eliminating cloud gateways.
  • ECS software-defined storage (SDS) architecture offers the ability to leverage industry-standard or commodity hardware to dramatically reduce the capital cost of storage infrastructure.
  • ECS software solution enables customers to repurpose their hardware and choose different software-defined solution (SDS) vendors if needed, so that they won’t be locked into working with a certain storage vendor.
  • ECS has the ability to mix and match different hardware types as well as integrate new hardware into the storage pool, eliminating costly and disruptive data migrations.
  • ECS provides automatic resiliency across nodes and geographically diverse sites via failure tolerance, triple mirroring, and erasure coding.

As a Dell Technologies Platinum partner, IIS offers expertise in unstructured data systems powered by the Dell EMC ECS Object Storage product and portfolio. In concert with Dell EMC Isilon storage products and services, we can design a solution that addresses both your hot and cold tier data storage requirements. Reach out to the IIS sales team for more information on how we can reduce your long-term archival costs while speeding access to needed data.

Jay Singh

Written by Jay Singh