Not long ago, people looked at us like we were speaking in alien tongues when we asked if their applications supported object storage.  They didn’t know what object storage was or only knew of it in the context of Dropbox or Google Drive. How things have changed!

Flying home from IBC, what struck me most about the show—other than the impending jet-lag—was the proliferation of object storage support across the media application landscape; and similarly prominent were discussions and technologies that involve a hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud approach.  For example, our friends at Dolby Hybrik allow organizations to use affordably-priced and infinitely scalable public cloud compute services for transcoding without the need to first copy their assets to the cloud.  This saves both time and ongoing storage costs.

Dolby Hybrik and SwiftStack Workflow Diagram

Across the board, it seems like media orgs are finally starting to understand how the public cloud does—or often, more importantly, does not—fit into their workflows.  As an example, it makes a lot of sense to use the public cloud for transcription thanks to quick, pre-tuned services and relatively insignificant egress costs when the only output is plain text; conversely, it makes less sense to use the public cloud for video distribution, because egress costs will drastically outpace the up-front cost of on-premises infrastructure.

Armed with this knowledge and experience, media technology leaders are using public cloud resources appropriately for things like AI-based transcription workflows while realizing that solutions for workflows like the active-archive should remain on-premises to avoid unreasonable storage and egress costs.

Media Solutions Supporting S3-compatible Object Storage

Solution providers in the MAM (Media Asset Management) space have been particularly quick to adopt object storage in the past year or so—particularly in response to customer demand for hybrid-cloud workflows that involve the S3 API.  For example, we’ve seen an increasingly common workflow of performing simple editorial tasks—or “clipping”—from within the MAM’s web interface using proxy media streamed directly from object storage. Once complete, the MAM (or transcoding system) performs a “partial file restore” using the full-quality source asset rather than the proxy.  This allows for quick and efficient editing without compromising quality.

From among our Technology Partners, we’d like to thank the following MAM vendors for their ongoing partnership and recognize their industry leadership in support of object storage:

In addition to MAM vendors, we are excited to continue working with many other media partners who are enabling users to experience the benefits of object storage:

Looking to the year ahead, with 4K/8K, HDR, and SMPTE 2110 transitions in full swing alongside further maturation of hybrid-cloud media workflows, I am excited to see how far the industry will have come when we gather again at IBC 2020! 

Upcoming Media Events

Meanwhile, the SwiftStack Media Team would love to meet with you at the following events:

If you cannot make it to any of these events and would like to further explore how you can leverage S3-compatible object storage in your workflows, please feel free to reach out.

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About Author

Vince Auletta

Vince Auletta

Vince Auletta is the Director of Media Solutions at SwiftStack and a lifelong fan of visual storytelling, technology, and the many ways they intersect. Based in Los Angeles, Vince focuses on helping SwiftStack's media clients get the most out of their solutions through a combination of on-site consultations and meticulous testing in SwiftStack's high performance Media Solutions Lab. Prior to joining SwiftStack, he was the Director of Technology & Security at Premiere Digital, where he helped pioneer the use of scale-out 'cloud' techniques and technologies on-premises for extremely high volume workflows. Vince holds a B.A. in Film and Media Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he honed his skills as a cinematographer and colorist during the transition from celluloid film to digital cinema cameras.