Video workflows are very different from the enterprise applications that IT organizations are accustomed to deploying and supporting. Large video files and demands for fast access and real-time performance result in requirements for highly scalable storage systems with enormous bandwidth, consistently low latency and the ability to effectively support highly specialized video applications.
IT organizations in the enterprise world may be accustomed to focusing on applications, such as CRM, ERP and email, and core elements such as databases and virtualization technologies. Though unstructured content is gaining in importance, in the enterprise world data is often block-oriented, and the relevant performance measure is frequently transactions per second.
Attempting to force-fit traditional enterprise storage into a video workflow introduces the risk that an IT organization will have dissatisfied users unable to work trouble-free with the tools of their trade. Further, IT may face support challenges resulting from attempting to deploy storage where it simply wasn’t designed to go.
Video is unlike other types of data. In the video world the focus is on workflows, where various specialized applications are utilized almost like stations of an assembly line to process and distribute video content. In such an environment, it’s critical to quickly access concurrently large video files between different systems in the workflow. Thus the key performance metrics are around latency and bandwidth, not transactions per second.
Previously, video workflows were based on analog media. Moving images were captured on film or analog videotape, and clips were physically spliced together to create new film or video materials in final form (e.g., TV shows, movies, commercials, etc.). Digital, film and video media production workflows have increasingly become file-based. As with many IT applications, the video processing infrastructure may initially use islands of direct attached storage (DAS).
However, with workflows requiring that video files be shared across different applications and by different users, the ideal approach is to have high-performance shared storage at the heart of file-based video workflows.
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– Rene Varro, Communications Manager, Harmonic