Media and entertainment industry facing rise in storage requirements

Big Data is a clear challenge in the media and entertainment industry today, and storage solutions that companies look at need to be flexible, scalable and ready to address these new challenges.

In an interview with Networks Asia, Jeff Greenwald, Global Solutions Marketing Lead for Communications, Media and Entertainment, at Hitachi Data Systems, says that storage needs and requirements are changing across the entire M&E industry.

“While today’s storage policies and applications solutions are still adequate, we predict that there will be two areas that will soon encounter problems which companies will required to address. These are the network bandwidth and the ability of architectures to disaggregate the data from the media and the application,” said Greenwald.

The M&E industry includes content creators, such as studios, post-production houses, to content deliverers, such as broadcasters and Internet TV providers.

In the following interview, Greenwald talks about the M&E industry’s challenges with storage  and the technologies that may help the sector overcome them.

Why are their storage requirements increasing?

One major driver for the shift in storage technology is simply that movies cost more to make. As cost pressures increase, there is new pressure on content generators to generate profit. As a result, producers, post-production houses and studios are focused on trying to keep productions costs down, while exploring new avenues for profit generation.

Another major trend that is affecting the entire industry, particularly content distributors, is the shift in how end users consume media, particularly with the massive adoption of smart mobile devices which are able to receive, generate and deliver content, giving rise to the need for personalized, on-demand entertainment on a range of platforms. Not only has this changed the way everyday end user consume content; it has also increased the strain on network bandwidths and storage architecture.

In Asia, we are noticing an interesting trend that has driven the need for scalability in studios. Given that Asian films, as compared to western markets, are less likely to see huge profit margins, “Crowd-funding” has become a more common method of raising funds. This is where public and venture funds are able to evaluate video products and short clips of a film before deciding whether to further invest in a video project. What this translates to is the potential for small operations to suddenly swell to huge enterprises overnight, thus driving the need for scalable solutions.

As we move to digital, how will this affect storage needs?

In Asia, broadcasters are facing a mandated digitization deadline of 2015 for all television and cable broadcasts across the markets, including India. As it stands, only 35 million of the 140 million Asian households with pay TV are now digitized. As you can imagine, this has changed how viewers are consuming content, particularly opening up opportunities for services, entertainment, gaming and other video library services.