Post Production Storage: Object Matrix Has A View

Much is made of cloud as a universal panacea for flexible, fast and cost-effective workflows across the industry - but to what extent has post production shifted? Nick Pearce-Tomenius, Sales & Marketing Director, Object Matrix runs through the pros and cons of on-prem versus cloud storage.

Is the ability to apply AI/ML an increasingly significant benefit to storage in the cloud?

Nick Pearce-Tomenius, Object Matrix: It is a fallacy to think that AI “belongs to the cloud” - especially where video analysis is being considered. Data gravity demands that data is best processed where it lies - be that on-prem or in the cloud. There is good evidence that leading AI engine suppliers are focusing their efforts on on-prem AI rather than being just cloud based.

The ability to auto-metatag is an increasingly significant benefit to video storage. The next two years will be full of things found in archives that we never thought we had. One example where we will see this being useful is the trend for consuming old TV series. AI can help find both other programmes from a specific series, even if it was made 20 years ago, and it can also help find other programmes featuring the same actors potentially. This suddenly makes it easy for broadcasters to monetize their legacy content.

This can potentially apply to all content and workflows, but for some scenarios, human intervention will be necessary to ensure all is well. One example is ensuring age appropriate nature of the content – AI is not yet good enough to get that 100% right and broadcasters cannot afford to get things like that wrong.

Does the cost of transferring and accessing content to and from the cloud make this option cost inefficient for certain facilities or applications?

The cost of the cloud is definitely a factor and that is why we are seeing most broadcasters take a hybrid approach. The cloud is great for sharing with other off premise users, having a geographically distributed backup and for tapping into on-demand cloud based software services. If you combine that with on-premise or a media focused private cloud, you can also benefit from high speeds of access for users whilst integrating into existing and future workflows. Ultimately a combination of the two approaches gives maximum flexibility and cost-efficiency.

However, the key to manifesting hybrid workflows for storage is the integration layer. Many organisations rely on a third party orchestration layer to synchronise the content between private and public cloud platforms. Tight integrations and automated workflows ensure operational efficiencies and elastic scale of hybrid environments. This in turn makes it possible to fully maximise the potential of AI.

What media management solution do you have that makes hybrid workflows more efficient?

MatrixStore is a media focused private cloud platform, designed to give users fast access to their content when they need it. It is integrated into existing workflows and allows users to consolidate silos of storage and thus easily find and access content. MatrixStore uses an intuitive web based interface for search, browse and share. At the same time, it is highly secure and enables sophisticated access controls to ensure the right people have access to the right content.

The hybrid storage architecture enables customers to utilise their existing investment into on premise software packages that link into MatrixStore, as well as taking advantage of as-a-service software packages that link into cloud storage. Because it is tightly integrated with hybrid solutions, it works as a seamless experience, enabling customers to access and move items from one simple interface, no matter where they are physically stored.

Do security concerns still make an on-premise solution most valid for certain types of work/clients?

Security concerns will remain important for many broadcasters and for many specific types of content. Both on-prem and cloud solutions generally provide the tools needed to make data secure, however, it is the responsibility of the customer to implement those security tools correctly.

Some companies will feel safer having the most sensitive content stored on-premise than in a publically accessible place. This is another reason why hybrid will work well, enabling those companies to keep sensitive material on-premise and choose when to have copies of items in the cloud, perhaps once ready for distribution.

How do you think storage will evolve?

I don’t believe we will see an everything in the cloud future, but what we will see is more sophisticated hybrid cloud deployments. Hybrid is set to become more and more popular over the coming months, as media companies begin to recognise the wealth of potential for streamlining workflows, flexibility and generating revenue. When accomplished correctly, and applied in a suitable manner, hybrid workflows have the ability to revolutionise the way that content is created, developed, shared and stored. Solutions are quickly coming together to provide seamless experiences for the users, removing the need for deep technical skills and allowing people to better spend their time. In particular we have witnessed technical partners working closer than ever before to provide joined up solutions that have truly interchangeable parts.

Over the coming months, we will also see continuing industry segmentation and understanding of what makes sense in the cloud and what doesn't. We will also see an explosion of third party specialist companies offering “services” on your video archive on premises and on cloud. Some of the companies that initially rushed to put everything in the cloud are taking some content off the cloud to save costs.

Let us know what you think…

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