WP42 Superguide 4 | SUPERGUIDE TO ENTERPRISE VIDEO: MANAGEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION JUNE 2017 SPONSORED CONTENT
Video workflows are very different from the enterprise
applications that I T organizations are accustomed to
deploying and supporting. Large video files and the demand
for fast access and real-time performance result in the need
for highly scalable storage systems with high throughput
capabilities, consistently low latency, and the ability to
effectively support highly specialized video applications.
I T organizations in the enterprise world may be
accustomed to focusing on applications such as CRM, ERP,
and email, as well as core elements such as databases and
virtualization technologies. Though unstructured content is
gaining in importance, in the enterprise world data is often
block-oriented, and the relevant performance measure is
frequently transactions per second.
In the video world, the focus is on workflows, where
various specialized applications are utilized almost like
stations of an assembly line to process and distribute video
content. In such an environment it’s critical to quickly access
concurrently large video files bet ween different systems in
the workflow. Thus the key performance metrics are around
latency and bandwidth, not transactions per second.
Previously, video workflows were based on analog media.
Moving images were captured on film or analog videotape,
and clips were physically spliced together to create new
film or video materials in final form (e.g., TV shows, movies,
commercials, etc.). Digital, film and video media production
workflows are now predominantly file-based. As with many
I T applications, the video processing infrastructure may
initially use islands of direct attached storage (DAS).
However, with workflows requiring that video files be
shared across different applications and by different users,
the ideal approach is to have high-performance shared
storage at the heart of file-based video workflows.
UNIQUE STORAGE REQUIREMENTS
FOR VIDEO WORKFLOWS
There are unique, challenging requirements for shared
storage to support a video workflow:
1. Predictable, Real-Time Performance: Many video
productions must run at 24, 25, 30, 50, or 60 frames per
second, and storage must be able to reliably support the
consistently high bandwidth required to deliver these
frame rates to the requesting application without excessive
latency. There’s no extra credit for running faster (except for
file-based processing), but running slower is unacceptable.
2. High Bandwidth: Accessing and ingesting many large
video files places enormous demands on throughput.
Storage systems for video workflows are often required
to support gigabytes per second of bandwidth.
3. Media Application Support: Media applications involve
workflow functions such as ingest, editing, transcoding,
and playout, and the storage system that works well with
Microsoft® Exchange™ or SAP® ERP™ may flounder when
tasked with handling these capabilities.
4. Effectively Support Hundreds of Terabytes of Large
Files: General-purpose IT storage is often optimized for
transaction processing performance with small files,
in environments where storage capacity is measured
in terabytes or perhaps tens of terabytes. In contrast,
throughput-oriented video applications use large files and
storage capacities measured in hundreds of terabytes—or
even multiple petabytes. This different type of workload
can put unique strains on shared storage.
5. Continuous Operations: If storage goes down, the
workflow grinds to a halt. In the best case this means
that a lot of skilled people have to take a long break, but
in the worst case it means that the video that thousands
or millions of people wanted to watch is not available.
Shared storage for video workflows is mission-critical:
If the data is unavailable, revenue is lost.
6. Easy Scaling: The ongoing rollout of HD content, and
now Ultra HD, is just the latest in a continuing series
of advancements in video technology. Though higher-resolution formats may provide a better viewing experience,
they also result in larger video files to process and store. As
these continuing advancements are adopted, requirements
Why Video Storage Is Different:
Understanding the Unique
Requirements for Video Workflows