For many consumers, cloud computing and television are nearly synonymous due to the wealth of video streaming options online. For those on the production side, however, the cloud is often not much of a consideration, according to a recent report from workflow management software firm Nativ. Yet with rich media such as video files acting as one of the biggest strains on enterprise storage arrays, more businesses in the television and film production industry may want to consider cloud-based solutions.
According to InformationWeek’s 2013 State of Storage survey, rich media is the third most prevalent cause of Tier 1 data storage growth. Files such as video, audio and images are the top driver of Tier 1 data growth in 12 percent of organizations, up from 9 percent in 2012. Additionally, 62 percent of companies reported holding on to rich media for five years or longer, meaning that this information remains an ongoing source of storage bloat.
At the same time, while many organizations are taking to the cloud to better manage their storage needs, television and film companies remain resistant. The Nativ report concluded that these industries have mostly avoided the cloud and “are perhaps furthest behind in capitalizing on cloud.” Several major factors – particularly enormous file sizes, complex arrays of software components and a lack of all-in-one solutions – are discouraging these businesses from moving to cloud storage.
Moving toward cloud computing
Nonetheless, the cloud offers some tempting advantages, Nativ CEO Jon Folland wrote in a recent column for Broadcast Engineering. With budget pressures limiting the resources production companies can spend on media management, the cost savings of replacing on-premise hardware with cloud infrastructure can be substantial. Additionally, the importance of cloud delivery is growing, and organizations that can enable seamless file distribution will be best positioned to move quickly in a changing environment.
“In the new world of multi-platform TV and film, harnessing content and cost-effectively managing its production and delivery offers huge opportunities for content owners and brands,” Folland wrote. “Whether it is branded content or feature length films, it has never been more important to reach new and existing consumers any place, any time. Despite this, many media companies have a difficult time exploiting that opportunity. As demand for high-quality content increases, so too do file sizes and the complexity of managing and delivering it to a myriad of platforms.”
In a recent ClickZ column, digital marketing expert Adria Saracino explained that cloud-based storage and video editing can give production teams a better backup solution and more effective collaboration tools. For instance, if a production company and marketing agency are partnering on developing a marketing spot or a production team is using multiple editors in different locations, cloud storage is a much simpler alternative to trying to send massive video files back and forth.
Given the unique demands of media companies, however, moving to a cloud solution is slightly more complicated than for most businesses. Large file transfers create specific storage and network bandwidth challenges that may exceed the capabilities of basic cloud services to handle. By working with a managed IT services provider such as FlexITy, film and television production companies can develop a path to the cloud that supports their custom business needs.