Eager to get to Las Vegas on Tuesday for the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB), engine trouble and many hours of waiting at SFO made for a different form of entertainment for a group trying to get to the show. I finally did make it in time to mingle at an afterparty with folks I have had the pleasure of working with in 2014.

SwiftStack already works with top solution partners, content producers and broadcasters using new technologies to advance the state of the art in media creation and delivery. This year, there was a much larger presence for storage vendors, especially those offering solutions for IP workflows, hybrid cloud and Active Archive. Here are some of the interesting things I saw spanning all technologies:

Drones, Drones, everywhere

While still technically illegal to fly in many cases, there was an audible buzz. Literally, buzz from tiny propellers, not just in the Aerial Robotics Pavillion but everywhere. Naturally the interest is around putting cameras in new places they could not go before, meaning more footage to transfer and store. Amazon Prime delivery is far out there, but video drones are here today.

Do you see what I see?

Talking about more cameras, wearables create angles closer to the ground, but now everyone can be a first person shooter not just the guys with the big rigs. SwiftStack users like Pac-12 Networks already have a scale-out storage solution for Active Archive, so they are ready for when athletes become camera-men and camera-women on courts and fields.

Speaking of athletes, what a cool ‘wearable’ at NAB!

I have space, do you want some?

While SwiftStack did not have a booth, the south hall contained no fewer than 10 different companies featuring EMC, HDS, DDN, NetApp, Quantum, HGST, Scality, Cloudian, Cleversafe and Qumulo. Add to that gateway vendors like Avere expanding support for cloud storage with Google, and it is clear that the movement that was first evident only last year has grown. Gotta find a new space to put all of that new footage!

Workflow, Workflow, Workflow

What’s clear is that new workflows have emerged that put a lot of pressure on the storage. More cameras are capturing more angles, higher resolution and bit-depths. All this footage creates the need for more storage. What’s uncertain is, if the current workflows that incorporate file and tape will survive over the coming years? Data volumes are going up, production times can’t slow down and the cost of storage certainly can’t go up.

Private and Hybrid Cloud, not just Public

From the solution vendors with cloud based offerings, each seems to be more forward with hybrid cloud as a use case. Public cloud can work great for some users like those of our friends at Digital Film Tree. It is great to see Hybrid and Private Clouds also becoming a bigger part of the conversation from SaaS providers as well, for users that can benefit from extending their current on-premises infrastructure to include Cloud. SwiftStack partner Aspera launched their Aspera Files SaaS offering combining multiple cloud and on-premises storage systems. For that on-premises storage, standard servers and OpenStack are becoming a better fit for more and more phases of media production.


And that, my friends, is another NAB take-away. Even though it was harder getting there this year, we’re even more excited about the future!


About Author

Joe Arnold

Joe Arnold

Joe founded SwiftStack to enable multi-cloud data management and cloud storage infrastructure. He currently serves as the Chief Product Officer and President of SwiftStack.