Long before silent film and well into today’s multi-channel streaming, the media and entertainment (M&E) industry has embodied evolution. Yet even as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) projects worldwide M&E revenues to reach $2.4 trillion by 2022, the industry is a dichotomy between old and new. M&E’s transition from traditional to digital has spurred exponential content growth and an ever-changing set of demands for access, productivity, and security. But this growth has also slowed the very process that used to drive success.
Take video production, for example; this is one area that has a unique set of needs, specifically in post-production workflows, which encompass creative project data that involves editing, music, motion graphics, animation, color correction, and sound mixing. M&E companies struggle with the fact that network storage, often upwards of 100s of terabytes of data or more, continually fails to keep up with the demand of video production workflows that involve any number of on-premises workers and freelance staff, all of whom need access to content on-demand and across distances.
With legacy storage area networks (SANs) unable to keep up with growing business demands, M&E companies are often stuck with on-premises access, which means they can’t do post-production work off-site or remotely without figuring out how to send the project data to the remote location. But how? Drop a thumb drive in Fed-X or otherwise physically deliver it to the remote location? That’s too old-fashioned and time-consuming. Dropbox™ might seem like a viable option, but Dropbox introduces an additional expense and a separate process that is also time-consuming, cumbersome, and duplicative. The ability to easily edit and share large data files remotely, on-demand where they are stored is the Holy Grail to a successful workflow for M&E companies. An enterprise-scale, cloud-native file service built on object storage can deliver precisely that. You might say it’s the next evolution in the M&E industry’s digital transformation.
LucidLink Filespaces™ is uniquely suited to deliver on-demand, global remote access to data housed in object storage. LucidLink mitigates distance and latency issues present in cloud environments by reducing the traffic between applications and remote storage, and enabling file data to be delivered efficiently and streamed on-demand. Sophisticated data prefetching, based on a proprietary, adaptive algorithm; parallel TCP streams; local write-back caching; and in-line compression further supports data access optimization.
M&E companies can see LucidLink in action at John McNeil Studio (JMS), a California-based creative studio focused on building brands from production, motion, image, and design, to technology, strategy, and innovations. JMS was looking for a shared storage solution to enable out-of-the-office collaboration. Because JMS was already using G Suite by Google Cloud, the company first turned to them for a solution. However, at the time, Google Drive required users to download entire files for access, and with 100s of terabytes on JMS’s production servers, Google would have had to cobble together a solution. Both companies quickly realized that Google was not optimized for that amount of data in large files and could not scale for post-production workflows.
JMS then turned to established solution providers, Dropbox Business and Box for Business. But neither solution was able to adequately meet all their needs for rapid access to large data files. In fact, like Google Drive, both solutions required the user to sync entire data sets, sometimes several gigabytes in size. Given the typical MacBook used by many remote and freelance workers isn’t likely to have enough disk space to accommodate such large files, these solutions would have required extra time and additional storage resources, and further frustrated the process.
Already using Quantum® for its on-premises storage and Amazon S3 as its remote destination, JMS chose LucidLink Filespaces to augment their on-premises storage and provide a seamless way of moving data to where it’s needed, fast and securely. Now, JMS employees and freelancers can work remotely without any change to the team’s workflow. With LucidLink in place, JMS can provide streaming access to files – no matter the size. Productivity is up, and the company is saving time and money by leveraging more cost-effective storage and additional freelance resources.
As JMS has realized, on-demand streaming file services are the next evolution in M&E’s digital transformation because they can optimize the industry’s new paradigm for distributed workflows to significantly reduce complexity, increase flexibility, and enhance remote team collaboration and productivity. LucidLink has taken a fresh approach to the problem of file access and latency, thereby allowing M&E customers to stream access to their data, on-demand, as if it were on a local disk. It’s truly the next evolution in collaborative productivity for the M&E market.