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Hassle-Free, Limitless Object Storage
Updated: 37 min 35 sec ago

Can Object Storage Replace Parallel File Systems?

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 14:41

Last April, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Salishan Conference on High Speed Computing where I presented two interesting use cases for object storage in an HPC ecosystem. The first, and more traditional, as an economical active archive for simulation data, makes perfect sense. Once the computational analysis is over, why use expensive primary storage (think NAS and SAN) to house the raw data and results of simulations indefinitely? 

It makes much more sense to store that data on cost-effective scale-out object storage that is fully searchable, easily accessible both inside the organization and over the internet (think URL to the object), and allows for NFS and S3 access to the same objects. In short, these are some of the many benefits of RESTful object APIs over traditional POSIX-based filesystems. Of course, the downside is that data must be moved/copied from object storage to file-based storage to run compute-intensive analytics on that data.

But what if you could remove the network and storage performance bottlenecks of the object storage environment? Could you then replace the primary storage (traditional POSIX and parallel file systems) with more economical object storage? That leads me to the second and quite frankly a more innovative use case—as a new storage, tenant and content management solution for read-intensive HPC workflows that could actually replace parallel file systems.

Those are the exact questions that the team at the  Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) Space supporting the JASMIN project set out to answer back in 2016.

First, they tackled the network latency. STFC employs an HPC “leaf/spine” routed CLOS network with 100Gb spine switches and 100Gb leaf or top of rack (TOR) switches. Every TOR is connected to every spine switch and there is equal uplink/downlink bandwidth on every TOR switch. This design delivers a super low-latency, non-blocking network where there are only 3 switch hops of <100nS between any network endpoint—orders of magnitude lower latency than an ordinary network.

Next up was to identify an object storage solution that could deliver those benefits mentioned above, while at the same time achieving the performance required to replace their parallel file system for read-intensive workloads…enter Caringo Swarm.

At its core, Swarm is built around a “pure” object storage architecture that is simple, symmetrical and does not rely on traditional storage technologies such as caching servers, file systems, RAID or databases. Instead, data is written raw to disk together with its metadata, meaning objects are “self-describing.” Identifying attributes such as the unique ID, object name and location on disk are published from the metadata into a patented and dynamic shared index in memory that handles lookups.

This design is quite “flat,” infinitely scalable and very low latency as there are zero IOPS to first byte. It also eliminates the need for an external metadata database both for storing metadata and as a mechanism for lookups. Automatic load balancing of requests using a patented algorithm allows for all nodes and all drives to be addressed in parallel, removing the need for external load balancers and front side caching—both of which can present significant performance challenges in an HPC environment where total aggregate throughput is the goal rather than single-stream performance.

For S3 testing, COSBench was used to run ramp-up tests leveraging up to 20 physical client machines to measure the throughput potential of the entire Swarm cluster. Sequential tests were run using 2 Gigabyte erasure-coded files. In this environment, Swarm achieved 35 GB/sec throughput, over 60% better than the minimum requirement. You can download  the complete benchmark whitepaper here.

 So…can object storage replace parallel file systems? In an HPC environment where high-aggregate read throughput, as well as durability and accessibility of data over a common protocol (such as S3 wrapped in a multi-tenancy framework), are required, the answer is a resounding YES with Caringo Swarm Hassle-Free, Limitless Object Storage!

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SC18 in Big D: HPC, Cowboys and Object Storage

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 06:00

If you grow up in Texas, you know that “Big D” means Dallas—the legendary city where the series of the same name and the movie Urban Cowboy were filmed. Famous for oil barons, cowboys and honky-tonk bars, Dallas is so much more. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and part of the burgeoning DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) metropolitan area.

The DFW area is home to Fortune 500 companies, diverse industries (including information technology (IT), defense, financial services, telecommunications and transportation), private and public universities, and professional sports teams (Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks). Want more? Dallas is a mecca for shopping and fine dining as well as the home of the Texas State Fair and from November 12–15, it will be the home of SuperComputing ‘18 (SC18).

SC18 marks the 30th anniversary of the SuperComputing Conference Series. The infrastructure of high-performance computing (HPC) and its community have grown exponentially since this conference originated in 1988. At Caringo, we continue to see the trends our VP Marketing Adrian “AJ” Herrera wrote about in last year’s blog leading up to the SC Conference, including increasing data sets, visibility and end-user expectations.

Another Big D—Big Data
So, let’s talk about a different Big D—Big Data. File sizes and data sets continue to skyrocket, particularly for research institutions and laboratories as well as for those who deal with digital video files. Concerns for IT Pros and researchers are not relegated just to size, volume and protection, but also around how to manage and efficiently distribute data. Environments now need to support multi-protocol access (POSIX and RESTful) for users and applications while eliminating those pesky old data silos.

Seeing is Believing
More than just access, IT and Storage Admins need more than just visibility to the data. They need to be able to see who is accessing what and know precisely the resources those users are consuming.

The Times They Are A-Changin’
To use the iconic lyrics of the Bob Dylan tune, the times they are a-changin.’ In today’s on-demand distributed research environments, waiting minutes, hours or even days to access data is untenable. Additionally, not being able to easily distribute data and know what resources specific applications and end users are utilizing is no longer an option. This has led many organizations in the HPC space to come to the conclusion that they need to expand their storage infrastructure (beyond parallel file systems and tape) with object storage—whether it is by building a private cloud storage service, tiering data to a public cloud or using a hybrid cloud solution.

Swarm Hassle-Free, Limitless Object Storage has made it easy to do just that. It handles concurrent requests in parallel yielding the full throughput potential of all drives in the system, rivaling parallel file systems for read-intensive workflows. To learn more:

  • Watch our Swarm 10 webinar on demand to hear about our latest updates to the Caringo product line.
  • Visit us during SC18 expo hours at booth 4035 (contact us if you need a free expo pass or want to set up an appointment with an object storage expert).
  • Check out our video demos and then sign up on Caringo Connect to request a free, full-featured 10TB Swarm Dev Edition.

If you are at SC18, don’t forget to join us for happy hour Tuesday and Wednesday at 2 pm in booth 4035. Co-sponsored by our partner Boston Limited, you can quench your thirst for object storage knowledge and beer with a “Dallas Blonde” (American Ale) from Deep Ellum Brewing Company.

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How to Evaluate Object Storage in Your Workflows

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 14:05

I was on an analyst briefing call a few weeks ago and something the storage analyst said really stood out. I am paraphrasing a bit, but the comment was “…the conversation is always NAS OR Object Storage and it really should be NAS AND Object.” The analyst who said it has a solid handle on the differences between the two types of storage. That said, to those who aren’t students of storage nuances, understanding the right storage tier to use at the right time is a daunting task. Especially when storage vendors claim they do it all. And, as anybody who has ever tried to drill a hole, crimp coax cable, or cut a piece of wood knows, any task is a lot easier with the right tool. So, how do you find the right tool for your needs? Well—you first have to understand what you are trying to achieve and architect and test a solution, or you reach out to a trusted advisor.

Understanding what you are trying to achieve can be the most difficult part. Not because you don’t know your workflow, but because of how vendors (us included) communicate features, functions and benefits. Often, features are put on a matrix with check boxes, and if it is mentioned on a vendor’s site, the box is “checked.” S3 support (check), geographic replication (check), NFS support (check), versioning (check) and so on and so forth. Pretty straight forward, right? Well, not really. As we move to a software-defined data center and POSIX plus RESTful workflows, variability is everywhere. For instance, S3 is now a defacto standard, not an actual standard that is verified by a governing organization. To that point, all storage vendors and application providers support S3 differently. This means that features, performance and general functionality vary across storage types and applications. From the vendor and application perspective S3 may be supported, but it may not fit your specific workflow requirements. So what do you do?

Some organizations have the necessary skill sets in house to perform the proper analysis and architect and implement the right solutions. At Caringo, we will help wherever we can if this is the path you want to take. In fact, we just announced an appliance, Swarm Single Server, to make implementing Object Storage easier. The Swarm Single Server takes hardware and reference architecture questions off the table, However, application interoperability and complete workflow integration for your environment still needs to be certified. If you don’t have all the necessary skill sets and components in house, this is where a trusted advisor comes in.

One of the best examples of this I have seen is what our partner, Melrose Tec, did at their Open House last week. They combined three different storage solutions, hooked in the necessary content ingestion and editing workstations, networked it all via a Mellanox 100 Gbit switch, and had all servers and software user interfaces on display in their lab. In doing so, they saved their clients a tremendous amount of time, validated that all technologies played nice together and that the necessary performance was achieved. They combined NVMe storage (Excelero), a GPFS file system layer (Pixit Pixstor) and active archive storage (Caringo Swarm) and demonstrated a complete workflow. They did this by having one of their customer’s colorists come in and work on 8K footage on Resolve in real-time. Then, they demonstrated tiering this footage to archival storage and instantly calling it back.

As always, we at Caringo are here to help determine if Swarm fulfills your workflow requirements, but as Melrose Tec’s demo shows, we are sometimes just a piece of a broader solution. We have a number of partners that can help and we recommend browsing our resource section, especially our webinars, for up-to-date information on current trends and workflows. And, of course, you can always contact us and speak with one of our storage experts.

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Data Storage: One Size Does Not Fit All

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 18:45

Returning from the NAB Show in New York City, I was thinking of how many times I’ve made the remark that “one size does not fit all.” While usually this is associated with fashion, it is also true of data storage.

Massive scalability is one thing, but what if you need to start small? This is why Caringo recently launched the new Swarm Single Server—a complete on-prem S3 solution with built-in content management and delivery in a single server with 96 TBs of raw capacity.

After speaking with the diverse attendees at the NAB expo about our latest addition to the Caringo product line, I could see how excited they were at the reality that there was now a simple way to start using object storage. Many are struggling as they outgrow traditional SAN, NAS and Tape storage solutions. Just as important, they are tired of searching for files on disparate storage and having it inconvenience them and interrupt their workflow and their ability to deliver content to customers.

When we talk about the benefits of object storage, what does that mean on a smaller scale?

  • Built-in content management, search and delivery
  • Archives are online and secure within your network
  • Ongoing costs and the risks of cloud storage are reduced

For any small- to medium-sized business that needs to keep their data online and accessible, this storage model is attractive. We all know that the “pay-as-you-grow” model makes sense. Join Senior Consultant John Bell and Engineer Jamshid Afshar next week for our Tech Tuesday Webinar: Running Object Storage on a Single Server as they explain how you can store, manage, search and deliver data with just one server, while maintaining the ability to scale out by simply plugging in additional servers as your data storage needs grow.

 

 To learn more about object storage, check out our entire 2018 Tech Tuesday webinar series, now available on demand.

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Swarm 10 Object Storage for the On-Demand, Distributed World

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 11:33

Today is a landmark day for Caringo, as we launch updates to our entire product suite. Our Swarm 10 Platform is the culmination of over a decade of market hardening and continuous innovation to satisfy customers who are driven by on-demand, distributed workflows. It leverages Swarm’s unique pure-object approach to deliver unrivaled performance at petabyte scale. Before we get into the details of today’s launch, let’s talk about what I mean by “pure-object.”

What is Swarm’s Pure-Object Architecture?

Caringo Swarm has always used a purpose-built storage design that efficiently utilizes standard disks without expensive caching layers, RAID controllers or layers of software. Swarm object storage software is a parallel architecture that boots from bare metal and runs completely in RAM. Swarm is native object storage, meaning each object’s metadata is encapsulated with that object’s data as a single entity. This means that no separate SQL databases or filesystems are required to track objects. With Swarm, objects are completely portable.

This approach extracts every bit of value from standard drives, servers and network infrastructures. It is at the core of our design and our key to delivering industry-leading S3 throughput with sustained PB-scale NFS read/write. Caringo SwarmNFS delivers a high-performance translation from file to object that uses patent-pending features in Swarm which eliminate the use of a spooler in the middle. Spoolers are expensive, put your data at risk, cause performance degradation, and get crushed under sustained ingest work loads.

Why the Updates?

Many content-driven organizations prefer to store data on premises to reduce security risks and copyright infringements. They need to cost-effectively scale to petabytes with distributed ingest and they need data to reside close to access points and applications. We are giving large organizations even more of what they already love about Caringo—performance, streamlined management and granular data insight.

At the same time, we are launching a new single-server appliance for smaller organizations giving them a much lower cost of entry to the most-scalable, on-prem, object-storage solution. This appliance will be valuable for a number of use cases, particularly for Media & Entertainment (M&E) organizations such as post-production houses, studios, broadcasters.

What’s New?

Highlights from our latest release include:

  • Swarm 10 object storage has been optimized for dense, distributed environments, including an update to Elasticsearch 5. In a recent deployment, Swarm delivered an astounding 35 GB/s read and 12.5 GB/s write aggregate S3 throughput, the object storage industry’s fastest performance.
  • New Swarm Single Server reduces entry-level hardware requirements by 75%. Swarm Single Server is a fully self-contained appliance that provides all the features of Swarm with 96 TB of raw storage that can be racked or fit under a desk.
  • SwarmNFS 2.1 delivers parallel, petabyte-scale sustained streaming of NFS to object. In recent tests on standard hardware, a single instance of SwarmNFS sustained reads of 1.6 GB/s (3PB+ per month) with no caching or spooling. SwarmNFS also leverages Swarm’s parallel architecture so that multiple instances can be deployed as needed to further improve throughput.
  • FileFly 3.0 now supports AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, providing file tiering from Windows and NetApp. In addition, a new, full-featured FileFly Community Edition is available that includes 25 TB of useable data transfer to any target.

Join me at 11am PT/1pm ET tomorrow for our webinar: Swarm 10—Storage for the On-Demand, Distributed World. Our VP of Marketing Adrian “AJ” Herrera and I will talk about what is new in Swarm 10 and detail how we have evolved our product line to set a new standard for on-premises object storage.

REGISTER NOW

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Object Storage and Unleashing the Power of 10

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 09:04

Since 2005, Caringo has been strategically looking to the future and altering the storage paradigm with groundbreaking technology. A few things at Caringo have remained the same: the spirit of entrepreneurship, our focus on technical innovations and meeting customer needs, as well as an inclusive corporate culture that thrives on coffee (available in mass quantities at HQ in Austin) and collaboration (often over beer, which is a constant in the HQ fridge).

However, in other ways, Caringo has changed dramatically. The foremost example of this is the  evolution of our product line. From pioneering pure object-based storage software to a diverse and well-rounded product line that includes our award-winning FileFly Secondary Storage Platform (read the review); SwarmNFS—the first lightweight file protocol converter to bring the benefits of scale-out object storage to NFSv4; Caringo Drive; private, public and hybrid cloud capabilities; and complete hardware/software solutions, Caringo has travelled a long road to get to this junction.

At Caringo, we have expanded not just the breadth and functionality of our solutions, but the customers and industries that we empower all over the globe. Currently, we serve hundreds of organizations in Media & Entertainment, MSPs, educational and government organizations, medical facilities and research laboratories. On 10-10, Caringo will be unleashing the power of Swarm 10—Storage for the On-Demand, Distributed World.

Please consider this your personal invitation to join us on October 11 at 11am PT/1pm ET for a webinar with Caringo CEO Tony Barbagallo and VP Marketing Adrian “AJ” Herrera as they talk about what is new in Swarm 10, a landmark release that enhances every part of the Caringo product suite with unrivaled performance and cost-savings enabled by our unique pure-object approach. Learn how Caringo has set a new precedent in on-premises object storage with blazingly fast S3 throughput and sustained petabyte-scale NFS to object read and write—all on standard hard drives, server and networking infrastructure.

REGISTER NOW

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That’s a Wrap! Object Storage from IBC Amsterdam to NAB NYC

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 11:24

As I was flying back from Amsterdam after the IBC Show, I had a chance to reflect on what a great event it was. Having been at all types of trade shows every year with Caringo, I believe we have reached the tipping point where Object Storage is now a “go-to” solution for Media and Entertainment (M&E) organizations. Just a couple of years ago, many of the conversations we were having were educational—focused on what Object Storage is and how it is different than traditional storage like SAN or NAS. It was being adopted by only organizations with very large data sets and the budgets to invest in “new” technology. Fast forward to IBC 2018 and it’s easy to see the shift.

In one of my first meetings with a potential customer, the discussion was focused on how Caringo Swarm is different from other Object Storage solutions. This attendee has a quickly expanding environment and needed to understand the operation benefits of one solution versus another. The discussion went into many areas that in past years we never touched on, from what S3 tools our customers are using to expand capabilities to how does Swarm’s architecture allows for faster recovery from failed hardware. As the days went on, the conversations continued with customers discussing Object Storage as a tier of storage they need as they march into petabyte scale.   

I was able to slip away from our busy booth to explore some of the amazing solutions on the floor and spend time with some of our partners. They expressed similar impressions that there was a distinct evolution in the discussions they were having with show attendees. Many of the vendors were fielding questions on how to integrate their technology with software-defined object storage such as Caringo Swarm. Whether its FileCatalyst and their UDP file transfer solutions or Studio Network Solutions (SNS) primary storage, customers are looking to include object storage as part of their workflow. (Check out our When to Choose Object Storage over NAS for Digital Video Workflows webinar for more on this topic.)

Now that I’m back stateside, I’m getting ready for NAB NYC October 17–18, 2018, where we will be exhibiting in booth N1117. If you plan to attend NAB NYC and still need a pass, contact us and we will provide you with a code so you can get a free expo pass (offer valid until October 16). If you can’t make it to NAB NYC and have questions about how Caringo Swarm can help your organization, feel free to contact me directly and I will be glad to help. And, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how your views about object storage have changed over the past few years.

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Film Clips, Collages & Award Shows

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 12:33

The yearly Emmy award show never fails to entertain—with narratives and fashion that range from fabulous to faux pas; clips from each nominated show, actor and actress; heartfelt In Memoriam segments; to film collages showcasing the career of Lifetime Achievement honorees such as the incomparable Betty White; and this year’s actual wedding proposal. It might make you wonder: just how are all of these items are stored? How were they retrieved? And, just how will organizations continue to hang onto burgeoning stores of digital media?

Consider this: the first movies were shot in the late 1800s, and the technology, volume and rate has been accelerating every since. From silent movies to science fiction to romantic comedy to TV and everything in-between, these chunks of our history must be preserved. From old tape reels stored in studio vaults to the proliferation of 4K digital files holding today’s blockbuster movies, the preservation needs in Media & Entertainment (M&E) are extensive. Check out these stories about IQ media and NEP. However, other organizations and verticals also need to store massive amounts of data. Think about how much surveillance video is being stored by law enforcement agencies, such as our hometown, the City of Austin (read the case study). Almost all organizations are media-driven and their missions and their bank accounts will reap tremendous benefits once they manage to end storage silos and keep assets online and searchable.

Marrying the many generations of technology can be a daunting challenge, and with over hundreds of successful installations, we know a bit about that struggle. John Bell, Sr. Consultant, and Eric Dey, Director of Product Management, will speak next Tuesday about  migrating data from SAN, NAS or tape to an object-based storage solution. They will share their insights to help you understand how to move from a limited traditional storage approach to the cost-effective, limitless storage of object storage and answer any questions you might have.

REGISTER NOW

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Technology: Moving Forward While Preserving History

Tue, 09/11/2018 - 13:42

Technology is often thought of as futuristic—from how we advance society and improve the quality of life to benefiting businesses and meeting regulatory and industry requirements. However, while visiting Iceland and talking to the natives, I was fascinated by the dichotomy of how proficiently Icelanders use technology to maximize the use of their extensive geothermal resources while also using it to document and preserve their unique language, culture and history.

Knowing that they all descend from the same family tree and without the convenience of using traditional family surnames, Icelandic natives (particularly those looking to date) rely heavily on an online genealogy database called Íslendingabók (that is, the Book of Icelanders) to determine how they are related to others. Around the world, we’ve seen families become more and more distributed geographically. Most of us can no longer count on having access to papers and photographs from our grandparents much less talk to elders in our families. Therefore, most of us heavily rely on internet resources (both paid and free sites) when we need to trace our genealogy, locate graves of our ancestors, or preserve cultural artifacts captured on scraps of paper, in photographs and in video and audio recordings. Knowing how much genealogical data is now online and accessible, can you imagine the treasure troves of other types of data that are stuck on tape or not easily accessible by applications—such as that siloed on SAN and NAS devices?

As these stores of information continue to grow, so does the need for cost-effective, long-term data storage. Similar to many other use cases, in the early stages of collecting information, traditional storage (SAN or NAS) may be adequate. You might even be able to get by using tape to archive information if you don’t need it readily accessible. But, short-term, expensive solutions quickly become obsolete when you are looking to build an online, accessible pool of data (aka, an active archive). As these data stores grow and those accumulating data see the benefits of eliminating storage silos and turning their storage into a competitive advantage, more and more are likely to turn to object storage based technologies.

Get behind-the-scenes’ insight into how to migrate data from SAN, NAS or tape to an object-based storage solution in our next Tech Tuesday webinar on September 25. John Bell, Sr. Consultant, and Eric Dey, Director of Product Management, will share their experience from hundreds of successful object storage implementations to help you move from a limited traditional storage approach to the new, cost-effective, limitless storage paradigm of object storage.

REGISTER NOW

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Innovations and Object Storage at IBC2018

Thu, 09/06/2018 - 11:30

While gearing-up for the IBC show in Amsterdam this month, I took a moment to contemplate what an unprecedented period of change broadcast technology has gone through in recent times.

I’ve been privileged to work in and around the broadcast space for a number of years, and IBC has always been a cornerstone event. It is easy to recall some of the enduring (and not-so enduring) innovations that have been heralded at IBC—the move from tape to file-based storage, widescreen, the rise & fall of DVD, HD, Surround Sound, the birth of OTT & VoD, digital downloads and streaming services, the birth and death of 3D TV, video content over mobile data networks, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning—and in quite recent times, the introduction of IP networking as a replacement for baseband.

IBC has always showcased the rapid advancement and innovation of the entire content chain, from creation to distribution. The rich media supply chain continues to benefit from the introduction of new technologies, many of which were honed and proven in other industries and in varied use cases. Caringo Swarm is a prime example of this. Having proved itself for years with the US Federal Government, leading healthcare organizations, and service providers, Swarm has been tuned to provide a hassle-free, limitless storage platform for long-term retention of content.

Swarm brings the same technology used by leading cloud providers directly into the M&E workflow to solve issues associated with storing and protecting rapidly growing digital assets while keeping them online and accessible—optimising storage and access at every stage of the content lifecycle from production to delivery to long-term preservation. Read the NEP case study to learn how a leading worldwide provider of outsourced solutions to the broadcast and live event industries designed and deployed a scalable, reliable, high-performance Content Distribution Network (CDN) using Caringo Swarm.

On behalf of the Caringo team, I’d like to invite you to visit us at Stand 3.A22. In addition to providing personal demos of Swarm, we will be hosting happy hour in our booth daily September 14–17 from 15:30 to 17:30. If you need a free pass to the IBC expo or want to set up an appointment to speak with one of our object storage experts, contact us.

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All Orgs are Media-Driven; IT Execs, Keep Up with M&E News

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 09:32

One of the things that surprised me most about the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show when I first started attending is the number of organizations I wouldn’t classify as Media & Entertainment (M&E) stopping by our booth to learn about object storage (Federal, Medical, Defense, Manufacturers, etc.). After more reflection, it dawned on me—my view of the M&E industry was somewhat one-dimensional. Where else do organizations learn about media workflows? This led me to the conclusion that all organizations who deal in the digital world are now media-driven organizations. And if you are not media-driven, you should be.

I define “media-driven” as an organization that utilizes digital audio, images or video in some way to conduct their business either internally or externally. Viewed through this lens, just about every modern organization falls into this categorization. This is the primary reason I propose that those in your organization in charge of storage infrastructure make it a point to keep up to date on M&E trends. And, it is easier than you think. Here are a few recommendations for keeping up with M&E storage trends and news.

Every year, Tom Coughlin from Coughlin Associates generates a report on M&E storage trends and growth (along with hosting a number of regional M&E storage events). He just released his latest report for purchase yesterday. He also wrote up a nice summary on Forbes titled “Media and Entertainment Drivers” and Storage Newsletter published a nice summary. I like how Tom clearly points to trends happening today, such as the continued proliferation of 4K and digitization of analog formats, in addition to trends that may impact your org in 5 to 10 years (e.g., high-end video capture in stereoscopic digital or VR). For instance, Tom states, “By the next decade total video captured for a high-end digital production could be hundreds of petabytes, approaching 1EB.” While you most likely aren’t working on high-end video production today or looking at the need for an exabyte (EB) of storage, I encourage you to take a look at the storage requirements Couglin mentions in his report. After all, decisions you make today may need to support this type of scale in the not-so-distant future.

An excellent source of M&E news is the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) Newsletter. To have it delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe here. MESA does a great job of curating M&E general news along with news from their members. (Disclaimer: Caringo is a MESA member. However, even if we weren’t, I would still subscribe.)

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few upcoming events where you can learn about some specific Caringo M&E workflows including our upcoming webinar with Pixit Media: High Performance + High Capacity Storage for Every Stage of the Media Workflow.

You can visit Caringo at IBC in Amsterdam Sept 14﹣18 and the NAB New York City  Show Oct 17﹣18. Contact us today if you need a free pass to the expo or if you have questions about how object storage can help you in your media-driven organization.

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Breaking with Tradition: Why Object Storage?

Thu, 08/23/2018 - 12:19

As organizations of every kind see their traditional storage solutions strain under the explosive growth of unstructured digital assets and rapidly changing access requirements, more and more are looking for alternatives. This has led many to object storage. There are various reasons organizations are making the shift; however, there are 3 concerns driving the need for object storage present in every organization that has deployed our technology:

  1. Data loss
  2. Not being able to get to their data
  3. Not being able to find the data they need when they need it

So why is object storage better at managing and mitigating these concerns when compared to other storage architectures like block and file-based solutions? The short answer is: it’s complicated! There is a time and a place for each technology.

In our next webinar, CEO Tony Barbagallo and I will get back to basics in an educational webinar where we explain what object storage is, how it compares to traditional file and block storage, and when object storage is the right solution for your data center. We will explore the challenges with data that motivate organizations to adopt object storage and discuss how object storage can help your organization.

Back to Basics: What is Object Storage?
Date: Tuesday, August 28
Time: 10 am PT/1 pm ET

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One Size Does Not Fit All: Evaluating Object Storage

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:47

The concept of “one size fits all” is rarely accurate, and it’s particularly not true when you’re looking for data storage. There are many factors that come into play in selecting the right solution for your use case. For those with small data storage needs, SAN and NAS may be adequate solutions. In just about every industry and use case, however, we’ve seen massive growth in the amount of data that must be stored. The sheer amount of data that needs to be managed is typically associated with multiple regulations and policies for protecting and retaining it, not to mention the need to support a large range of access methods. The resulting intersection of requirements is creating a high demand for object-based storage (OBS) solutions.

Once you’ve determined that you should investigate OBS solutions, how do you know which one is the best fit for your use case and organization? Ben Canter, our VP of Sales, and I will tackle the topic of Evaluating Object Storage Solutions in our August 21 TechTuesday webinar at 11 am PT/ 1 pm ET. We’ll discuss the criteria you should use when evaluating object storage solutions for various use cases and share our knowledge gleaned from the hundreds of successful installations Caringo has managed for over a decade.

Along with considerations such as scalability, ease of data migration (protocol compatibility), data management and protection, it pays to understand each product’s approach when handling the data and metadata.

I hope you will join me and Ben for our TechTuesday webinar on Evaluating Object Storage Solutions. The webinar will be followed by a live Q&A, so you can ask questions that address your specific areas of interest. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We are happy to discuss your specific use case as you architect the future of your data storage.

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Object Storage Hits the Road with JB&A Distribution Tech Tour

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 14:31

Last year, we welcomed JB&A Distribution into the Caringo Partner family. They are a recognized leader in Media and Entertainment (M&E) Solutions with a unique mix of Distributor and Workflow expertise and an ecosystem of certified, tested and proven products.

As the need for content management, distribution and delivery grows, object storage continues to generate significant interest in M&E workflows. Recently, Nicholas Smith, JB&A Director of Media Technologies, explained how M&E IT Pros can now use Caringo Swarm Hassle-Free Limitless Object Storage to build a private cloud secure in their data center in an episode of JB&A Today.

 

The JB&A Technology Tour kicks off soon, and Caringo will be there at every stop. Attendees will experience hands-on demos of the latest technology, and learn about end-to-end workflow solutions including:

  • Media Management—from capture to storage to distribution
  • Production & Live Broadcast
  • Indoor & Outdoor LED
  • 4K Video Over IP
  • Digital Signage & 4K
  • Big Data for Enterprise clients

The 4-city tour includes:

  • New York, NY, Thursday, August 23
  • Atlanta, GA, Thursday, September 20
  • Los Angeles, CA, Wednesday, November 7
  • Silicon Valley, CA, Tuesday, December 4

This is your chance to find and see the latest, cutting-edge technology as well as ask questions of industry experts who can help solve any workflow issue. Register now.

Want to learn more about object storage for M&E digital video workflows? Watch this on-demand webinar.

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Object Storage for Living in an On-Demand World

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 20:23

I recently took a short vacation to Bar Harbor, Maine with my family. It required us to pile in the SUV and drive a handful of hours north to one of the most beautiful places in the world. During the trip, our 17-year-old son had his head buried in his phone watching a video. He usually seems to go down the Youtube rabbit hole, but based on his body language I figured he was watching a movie.   

Later that night, as we sat around our campfire, I asked what movie he watched and to my surprise he replied, “The Karate Kid, the old one with Daniel Larusso.” After I got past the realization that one of my childhood favorites is considered old (and therefore I’m old), I thought about how his expectations as a consumer are far different than mine. My wife and I proceeded to tell him stories of going down to the local record shop to get a new record or tape to hear the latest Madonna, Beastie Boys, or other favorite bands. I fear if we explained how we made mix tapes back in the day, he would have fallen into the fire.

Fast forward to one week later when I presented to @SMPTEFL on the role of Object Storage in Media & Entertainment (M&E) and I kept thinking about the on-demand world we live in. I read a report from Nielsen about video on-demand (VoD) consumption and I was astounded by the numbers. About 50% of the Gen Zs and Millennials view VoD daily. Even the Silent Generation (65+; over 20% of the survey’s respondents) view daily. With demand for VoD like that, content accessibility is critical to success in the M&E industry.

This is where Caringo can help. Caringo Swarm is perfectly designed to take your valuable content and store it in a highly secure, highly available, cost-efficient storage platform on your own premise. We eliminate the challenges of scale, complexity, and management while modernizing the infrastructure in a true software-defined approach. One example of our success is how we have partnered with NEP to provide their customers with this approach to storing, managing, protecting and accessing video assets. You can read more about it in the NEP case study.

If you organization is looking for ways to move to an on-demand world, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help. If you want to learn more about how to evaluate object storage solutions, join me and John Bell, Senior Consultant, for our next Tech Tuesday webinar. Register now to watch the live BrightTALK broadcast August 21 at 11 am PT/2 pm ET or to be notified when it is available to view, of course, on demand.

REGISTER NOW

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