Multi-cloud workflows to save time and money for media & entertainment industry

The media landscape has changed drastically over the last couple of decades, and will continue to change as technology advances. Companies are looking to lower costs across every part of the production process so how can entertainment creation be made faster and more efficient? As the amount of data continues to grow, companies need a […]

Written By Giorgio Regni

On November 19, 2018

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Solve the challenges of large-scale data, once and for all.

The media landscape has changed drastically over the last couple of decades, and will continue to change as technology advances. Companies are looking to lower costs across every part of the production process so how can entertainment creation be made faster and more efficient? As the amount of data continues to grow, companies need a better storage solution.

The following is an excerpt from a live chat between Giorgio Regni, CTO, Paul Speciale, CPO, and Wally McDermid, VP Business Development, all from Scality. The group discussed how cloud workflows can save time and money for the media and entertainment industry. View the chat in its entirety and stay tuned with future ZenkoLive chats on Zenko Forum.

The media and entertainment industry is currently being challenged by four big things

  • Explosive and unrelenting data growth. The amount and the type of content have certainly drastically changed and continues to change. With that comes complexity for media companies in how they generate, curate and distribute that content.
  • Data gravity impeding global team collaboration. For example, how do you easily get data, your video files, from where they’re created in Europe, to your creation team maybe in the US, and then distribute it to a market in Asia?. There’s a sense of data gravity and how that slows down the distribution of content internally within a media company.
  • On-demand consumption model reshaping the established landscape.The way we consume content has also drastically changed. It used to be a single television set and now it’s any number of cell phones and tablets and laptops, and it’s YouTube and it’s Daily Motion and it’s Facebook.

Monetization pressure from new emerging business models

It used to be (to oversimplify it) the media company would send us a television program, insert 2-4 commercials every 10 or 15 minutes, and that was their business model. Now, we subscribe to Netflix. There are ads embedded within videos, or overlaid on top of videos.

Media and entertainment customers don’t want to use the cloud just to back-up or archive – they actually want to process the data.

Paul: It used to just be about one-time data movement, and now it’s much more about active data workflows. You’re really inserting the cloud services into the workflow. It’s kind of a pipeline from capture to delivery. The services are integral to that. And you need to do that in a very efficient manner.

When you talk about media, there’s always a concept of a media asset manager. How does that play with something like Zenko?

Paul: The whole idea of media asset managers is to provide the business intelligence to the end user to catalogue things, to find things. You’re going to have thousands and millions of assets spread around your on-premises system. But now imagine the idea that you have it not only on-premises but in two or three clouds.

The idea of using an intelligent metadata manager like Zenko to tag the metadata and to be able to have the application and Zenko interplay to do things like intelligent searches, seems to be a perfect marriage.

Customers are very concerned about data transfer costs. How cost-effective is a solution like Zenko?

Wally: If you are actually moving less data around the world overall, because you have a global namespace, that will certainly save you network costs. Even if it’s internal data movement from your origin server in the US to, for example, an origin server in Europe. You’ll save money just on the transfer cost across your network. But you’ll also make your workers more efficient, which is a slightly softer cost.

Content is being created so quickly, and needs to get pushed out to consumers so quickly, that anything media and entertainment companies can do to become more efficient and faster in their workflows will save them money/increase their revenue.

It used to be that the standard workflow was to start on-premises, and then flow the data to the cloud as needed. But we’re starting to hear kind of the reverse – where the origin of the storage is in the cloud.

Wally: The larger media and entertainment companies that have an existing on-premises infrastructure and data center are probably going to go on-prem to cloud. But some of the smaller companies who may not have that same expansive footprint on-prem will likely start in the cloud, do much of their work, and then just bring the important summary results back down on-prem.

Paul: The idea is to use cloud first. It’s probably the right place for collection if you have a distributed team. If you’re doing collaboration with teams across the planet, it makes sense.

There’s the old cliché that with great power comes great responsibility. I think sometimes with the cloud providers, it’s ‘with great power comes great complexity.’ I think that’s the challenge that Zenko aims to solve.

Is there a way that people can benefit from the cloud and also enable existing data to be sent to one of the big cloud providers for processing?

Paul: One of the things we realized that can be done through Zenko is to discover that data. We can discover it, we can basically assess the file system, and not move the data but import the metadata into the Zenko name space.

It’s a lighter-weight operation. It doesn’t incur movement of the heavier assets. Once it’s captured in Zenko, there is the ability to apply policies to it. Some of those policies could be to replicate the data to the cloud, to move it to the cloud. It becomes part of the cloud workflow.

Wally: Nobody likes a whole-scale lift-and-shift. Lots of companies have hundreds of filers with a bunch of data on them. The solution we’re talking about simply ingests and creates metadata from your existing data, which can remain in place for as long as you want. Over time you can use it and/or migrate it to different platforms, and you can do that on your own schedule.

How does the cloud impact a collaboration workflow?

Paul: So much of the media industry has been focused around how to move data efficiently between teams. But ultimately, isn’t it better if they’re not moved around?

The cloud provides a global view and global access. But a system like Zenko is even better. Because on top of that it can abstract a global namespace. That global namespace will not only consist of one cloud, it may be multiple clouds, and as we just talked about here it can also include the on-premises systems. I think from a sharing and collaboration perspective, having a global namespace –  there’s nothing better than that.

Photo by Stuart Grout
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