Special Report: What’s Driving Change in Store?

Store = Storing content throughout its lifecycle.

Examples of Products and Services Supporting the Process

On-premise and cloud object storage, SAN and NAS – including disk, SSD, optical and data tape. Storage management. Archive storage. Video servers and VTRs.

What are the drivers of change in Store from your perspective?

Whereas the cost of fiber infrastructure has become prohibitively expensive, we have the cost of 25 and 100Gbit ethernet and NVMe decreasing rapidly. We have applications supporting high performance workflows using ethernet changing how content is edited at high speed. We have AI and other data analytics driving automated workflows, which call for single global namespaces and data movement to cloud. We have remote personnel driving change on how content is edited and accessed in parts of the workflow, where previously it was done on-premise only.

The Store market remains very turbulent as prices continue to decrease and new vendors continue to emerge. How do you differentiate your company in such a marketplace?

Scale Logic has always had an interoperability lab which differentiates our company as a value for long term investments. In this lab, we have 2PB+ of physical storage available, including HDD, SSD & NVMe running all NLEs and most common workflow tools used for ingest, asset management and archive. We constantly test our storage with these NLEs and tools to optimize performance. Not only will our customers feel good about their initial investment: they can also see Scale Logic is there for them for the long-term, as their facility makes changes into the future. Scale Logic is able to finetune value to the workflow. One area is using NVMe for multi-purpose in our storage products. Not only does NVMe provide the lowest latency and highest IOPs: it also allows us to differentiate by using it to store the metadata for the global namespace as well as pin small files there (like .xmp, xml, .json, and .pek), creating accelerated access to other file system-level metadata.

(Also would very much high light enterprise support services 24X7 etc. most competitors can not do this so is a big deal in todays world)

Adoption of next-generation formats such as 4K/UHD and VR (and growth of content production) is a driver of revenues in this category. How do you see the adoption of these technologies going forward and is this rise in demand being offset by increased competition/price compression? Have companies deprioritized these upgrades due to COVID-19?

Our customers are dedicated to Netflix, Disney+ and others where certainly 4K has already made its driving factor instead VR is anticipated. Scale Logic sees this evolution as just another reason to ensure infrastructure is scalable. Not only is it just in our name, but “Scale” is also critically important to futureproofing a workflow including advances in NVMe technology.

With the growth of VOD, we saw a move away from “dead” archives to on-line storage systems that can be easily accessed for content monetization. This is reportedly a more expensive proposition (please argue if you disagree!); how are you helping users deal with these increased costs? Have you seen any trends when it comes to this and the impact of COVID-19 on productions forcing media companies to leverage their archives more significantly than ever before?

We absolutely agree. Dead archives are still there and we completely see the need for the archive to be monetized, which is best done by being able to search the metadata of your archive, and being able to access your content in a reasonable timeframe. The most efficient and effective ones deploy MAM and spinning disks with either 100% on-prem or a mix of on-prem and cloud. We help users deal with these increased costs due to our great affordable price point for spinning disk archives, very high-density rack mount chassis which lower power and cooling requirements and save real estate. Scale Logic has the ability to fit in 1.5PB of storage in a 8U density. Scale Logic also offers complete interoperability with multiple MAM partners via our global file system. COVID-19 has impacted a number of users to create an online archive, which removed their direct involvement from a human involvement standpoint. No longer did these companies have someone available to “fetch a tape;” instead, they had to relocate their archives.

We have seen the adoption of cloud focusing on collaborative workflows but is the cost of moving content in and out of the cloud hindering adoption? Do you see this reported barrier diminishing in the near future – or will on-premise storage continues to be a better economic and/or operational proposition in some (or indeed, many) applications?

The cost of collaborative workflows in the cloud is hindering adoption and will continue to do so. In-and-out fees are the main concern, and tracking the costs is also an issue. To effectively contain these two main concerns, companies must adopt a proxy workflow or a complete 100% cloud solution that aims to limit the back-and-forth of data movement. Scale Logic continues to look at the value of all our solutions—including our Remote Access Portal (RAP) economical shared storage and archive solutions—to continue to pay for themselves within three years’ time and, in some cases, a lot sooner. Investment and ROI continually plays into our product development. No longer does shared storage have to be in the same building as you.

How is the cloud changing Store workflows?

Tape v cloud archiving – what are the arguments for each and where do you stand?

Neither is our core business; however, if companies truly need to constantly monetize their archive, we have seen the spinning disk archive powered by MAM to be the most effective. We do understand if cost is a factor over time to data we see Backblaze as our core partner for cloud archive.

How do you see the adoption of object-based storage and what are the challenges preventing media companies from increasing demand for this? How are you helping to counter these challenges?

Object is still used in multi-PB installations. Scale Logic is addressing the 1 to 2 PB spinning disk archives with a real-time file system able to present itself as SMB, NFS, or REST API.

AI is an interesting topic in storage. How do you see its role in optimizing storage systems?

Scale Logic enhances the metadata operations for the file system. AI’s increased strain on metadata lookups, searches, file system notifications, and tree walks are all enhanced on Scale Logic systems. AI should drive automation, whereas increasing the systems’ overall data throughput performance is also a key factor.

What’s coming next in content storage technology and workflows and what is your company planning for?

One of our main aims is to integrate seamlessly and natively to S3 compliant cloud. We are also actively progressing client and server side performance with RoCE RDMA technologies, as our clients request zippier metadata performance and higher top end throughput. Single global file systems above 20GB/sec are also on the roadmap, as well as actively researching and planning into 200 and 400Gb ethernet.

Roger Thornton
Copy Cruncher
Skype live: lordrogg