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Taking center stage at IBC2012: how to protect and archive digital content

Simon Watkins.jpgBy Simon Watkins, Worldwide Tape Product Marketing Manager, HP Storage


The International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) – one of the world’s premier tradeshows for over 50,000 professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of electronic media and entertainment (M&E) – kicks off this week in Amsterdam.


I’ve attended IBC twice before and am really looking forward to this IBClogo.pngyear’s show. More than ever before, much of the pre-show buzz this year is about how best to protect and archive digital content, the lifeblood of the media and entertainment industry.  


What are the storage options for the media and entertainment industry?


Current storage options can be expensive and difficult to use, increasing production costs that are already soaring to record levels. Enhanced by the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), LTO tape is evolving from its historical role as a backup medium to a solution that addresses a broader set of storage goals across media workflows. 


As a result, the spotlight at IBC2012 will be very much shining on LTO with LTFS-based solutions.


So how is LTO-5 with LTFS making its mark on the media & entertainment landscape?


StoreOpen with LTFS_icon.jpgStorage capacity and management demands in the media and entertainment industry are growing rapidly, driven predominantly by the move to digital file-based workflows and the requirement for higher resolution formats such as HD, 3D, 4K and 8K during the creation, editing, archiving and distribution of digital content. As an example, the stereoscopic 3D digital production of films such as Avatar requires several petabytes of storage.


The 2012 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report from Coughlin Associates forecasts that between 2012 and 2017, there will be a 5.6 x increase in the required digital storage capacity used in the entertainment industry.  The Coughlin report also predicts that archiving and preservation will remain the largest applications for digital storage capacity.


Tape represents around 43% of the total storage media shipped for all digital entertainment content segments in 2012, according to the Coughlin report, and it’ s not difficult to understand why.  LTO tape’s unique blend of cost effective, scalable, durable and removable storage has always delivered proven benefits when it comes to protecting and retaining digital content.  And with the introduction of LTFS, content on tape is now as easy to access and share as disk.


The power of LTFS


LTFS is a tape-based file system that is a true game changer when it comes to the usability and portability of LTO tape.  LTFS makes LTO-5 tape a self-describing, file-based and easy-to-use solution. Simply load a tape into the LTO-5 tape drive, mount it into the file system, format the cartridge for LTFS and it becomes visible just as a disk. Using standard file operations like drag-and-drop, files can be accessed and directories can be created just like a USB drive or memory stick. In addition, LTFS allows the sharing of content across Windows, Apple and Linux platforms.  With LTFS, user data is no longer locked down in a proprietary format making it accessible today and in the future. HP StoreOpen software simplifies the process of using LTFS so it is even easier to take advantage of this groundbreaking technology.


Check out my previous blog post, HP StoreOpen with LTFS for Windows: Making tape as easy to access and share as disk, for a demo of HP StoreOpen with LTFS in action.


The growing ecosystem for LTO with LTFS solutions in M&E


Growing market traction for LTO with LTFS is driving the introduction of a slew of LTFS based solutions across all aspects of the M&E workflow.  These include on set applications and appliances that move content from camera to LTO tape for archive, transport and insurance, archive NAS solutions that make tape accessible like a NAS disk as well archive storage management applications and appliances.  An ever-increasing number of M&E focused software and hardware vendors now support LTFS including HP partners such as Cache-A, StorageDNA, TOLIS Group and XenData.  


A bright future for LTO with LTFS in M&E


LTO-5 with LTFS has made its mark on the media and entertainment landscape over the last two years, with LTFS acting as a catalyst for a host of new tape-based backup and archive applications.    As studios and networks continue to specify the use of LTFS, post-production, effect and archive houses will comply, thus creating a tipping point for broad LTFS adoption.  It is this cycle of adoption that will drive LTO with LTFS as a major format for media data interchange and long-term digital media archiving in media and entertainment. Check out these resources for further information on the role of LTO-5 with LTFS technology in the media and Entertainment industry:



Case studies and testimonials:




Webinars:  HP StoreOpen with LTFS Webinar


HP Software download: Download HP StoreOpen with LTFS software



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