Many things changed because of the pandemic, but a few things remain constant: The time to create content continues to shrink, the need for ever greater storage capacity grows, and more people need access to content regardless of location.
Today as always, the needs for that next storage system are evolving. For example, things like security have become a huge concern as cloud storage systems have emerged. Or the ease of use – I love the technical stuff, but I don’t want to nerd out on my storage: I want to plug it in and get busy creating. But, of course, at the end of the day, both the creatives and the people employing them want to be busy creating – so setting up or accessing storage shouldn’t be the blocker.
When we evaluate storage, we come at it from a particular perspective or need critical for the use case. For example, “I need to edit three simultaneous streams of 4K ProRes with effects” underscores the need for data throughput speed. Another example might be where multiple people need access to the storage at the same time. The challenge is that we solve one or two of the most critical issues but forget or dismiss many others.
So, as we consider what the ideal storage system looks like for the future, the team at LucidLink has been trying to understand what customers want and the vectors of change that will drive usage in the future. When I first saw these six items together, it was an epiphany because while I considered all of these elements at one time, I never put them all together as a cohesive whole.
Look at these aspects of storage below and see how many are essential to you.
Scalable – Simply put, the need for more storage for creatives has been a constant. The average size of a hard drive in 2021 is over 4TB, but we can use even more. If you have 10TB today, chances are you will need 15 or 20TB before you know it. Adding additional storage on-premise is not always straightforward, and adding to a unified storage pool can be a significant capital investment.
Security – When the pandemic began, I believe many companies rushed to send their creatives home with hard drives and laptops to make sure they would get their projects delivered. Safety was a prime concern, but security for workflows and protecting the content took a temporary back seat. As we move forward, security must be a principal concept in the evaluation of a storage system.
Simplicity – This one is so powerful to me, and yet it is the one we rarely consider. Simple tools mean creatives are not interrupted in their workflow, which means more productivity. I have often talked with large companies whose broadcast toolchain is so complex that it is difficult to change. Regardless of the scale of your company, simplicity should be an important motive when considering storage options.
Instant Access – There is access, and then there is access! Deadlines are never getting longer, and when you can shave off hours, minutes, or seconds, you do it. What I’ve realized is that people’s definition of access to the content is sometimes wrapped up in inherent compromises with existing storage solutions. The ability to get access to the content immediately is of prime importance.
Global – We live in a globally connected world, and even medium-sized companies have offices and people across the globe. Having access to your files regardless of distance or location is a key concept as we move forward.
Any application – Another simple concept that we don’t often consider when evaluating the landscape of solutions today. Does application XYZ work with the storage solution? What if I have some Linux clients, as many businesses do? Sure my non-linear editor can access it, but what if I want to put some PowerPoint files there – will Microsoft see it?
One of the things that the Covid-19 pandemic changed was how we approach location. Initially, video production was painful and messy. Still, as companies and individuals adapted and adjusted, we learned how to be productive despite not being in the office with the traditional production infrastructure that we felt we needed.
LucidLink intelligently addresses all these points and provides local-like performance for all media workflows.
As the world emerges from the pandemic and adjusts to new ways of working, we recognize that content production has changed forever. It is not enough to have global accessibility and security or use any application with ease of use. Customers who produce content regularly will need to consider all six of the points for a solution that will meet changing needs.
If you want to see it for yourself, try LucidLink for free for 14 days. Then, give it the full test and sign up for an Enterprise Filespace.
SaaS offering, no hardware or IT support required
End-to-end security encryption
Works with any object storage
Instant on-demand file access from anywhere
Works with any OS