Up in the air with Dick


Dick Hobbs. TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

In the last issue of this magazine was a very interesting article by Lee Sheppard of SGL, talking about the pros and cons of archiving in the cloud. While there is a lot of conversation about cloud storage, its pluses and minuses, I have to confess to still being slightly confused about the practicalities and economics of it. So armed only with Google and the calculator on my iPhone I set about some back of envelope thoughts.

When we talk about the cloud we are vaguely aware that there are a number of vendors offering services. For simplicity, I looked at Amazon Web Services, and its Simple Storage Service (S3). Its website is extremely clear and helpful about what it does and what the costs are.

In fact there are three versions of S3: Standard, for general purpose storage of frequently accessed data; Standard-Infrequent Access, which sort of does what it says on the can; and the wittily-named Glacier for long-term archiving that you are rarely going to ever look at again.

Each comes, as you would expect, at a different price. Generally, you can move data between services at no cost.

For our purposes, it seems to me that S3 Standard is the obvious choice. It offers 99.999999999% durability (yes, I did count the number of nines when copying from the website), which is impressive. For us in the broadcast business, availability is a slightly dodgy 99.99%, over the course of a year.

Pricing starts at $0.03 a gigabyte for the first terabyte, dropping by not very much, reaching $0.0275 if you are storing more than 5000 terabytes a month.

Because I find it hard to get my head around these numbers, this is where the back of the envelope calculations take place. Overwriting any sense of modesty, I assumed I was the producer of Happy Valley. Six BBC-length episodes, say 58 minutes each.

Google failed to find me the camera used for Happy Valley, but we can assume it might be the Arri Alexa. Shooting at 25 fps HD, that is a data rate of 275 Mb/s. 58 minutes by six episodes by a shooting ratio of 20:1 suggests you generate 14.355 terabytes of rushes. Add in the deliverables and some effects shots and if you called 20 TB you would be safe. On S3's sliding scale of charges, that is $590.50 a month for storage.

It is free to upload, but downloads are again on a sliding scale. Up to 10 TB a month is $0.09 a gigabyte (generously, the first gigabyte is free), again reducing slightly the more you move. Say, for whatever reason, you needed to download the rushes twice. That is going to cost you $3340.35. As Lee pointed out in last month's article, if you have a standard 1 Gb/s connection you have a maximum capacity of around 8 TB a day, so you would be committing quite a lot of your relatively expensive band width to moving this content around.

You might use an acceleration service, like Signiant or Aspera, but again this comes at a cost. AWS offers transfer acceleration, at $0.04 a gigabyte in or out, so if we are still theorising all the rushes up once and down twice, that would add another $1722.60. Again, not a huge number, but it would need to be put in to the budget.

Just to put these numbers into context, you can buy LTO-6 data tapes (on Amazon, as it happens) for the equivalent of around $40 each. A tape holds 6.25 TB, so you would need two for all the rushes, and good practice would suggest you need three copies.

On the face of it, $240 for the tapes is a lot better deal than two and a half times that a month for cloud storage, plus all the transfer costs. But that is only half the story. Armed with an SxS card reader plugged into a laptop, you could transfer the camera rushes to AWS S3 by drag and drop with no other IT knowledge or infrastructure required. An LTO tape is no use without a player, and without the IT infrastructure to manage the database and retrieve it as necessary.

Most important, you would need to develop your own security processes to keep that data secure, and you would need to maintain the data integrity, continually exercising the data tape, checking for errors and migrating to new media. That means you have to start employing IT people, which begins to get expensive.

My gut instinct is that, outside GCHQ, AWS probably employs the best computer security people in the world. Why would they risk their business without them? Indeed, GCHQ may outsource to AWS. I know the American spook services do.

Archiving in the cloud might superficially look like a significant and continuing cost. But if you want to be absolutely certain your pictures and sound are going to be around and accessible when you need them, it could be a price worth paying.


Tags: iss115 | sxs | sgl | archiving | cloud | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs.
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs.

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

    SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

  • SGL at NAB 2015

    SGL at NAB 2015

  • SGL at NAB 2014

    SGL at NAB 2014

  • SGL at NAB 2013

    SGL at NAB 2013

  • SGL at NAB 2012

    SGL at NAB 2012

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Facilis at NAB 2014

    Facilis at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at IBC 2013

    Dalet at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

  • TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

    TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

  • Object Matrix at BVE 2013

    Object Matrix at BVE 2013

  • Remote access-U-CPU enabling hybrid cloud computing from G&D at IBC 2019

    Remote access-U-CPU enabling hybrid cloud computing from G&D at IBC 2019

  • Xytech Mediapulse V9 Cloud platform with new user interface at IBC2019

    Xytech Mediapulse V9 Cloud platform with new user interface at IBC2019

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

  • Blue Lucy with BLAM3 and their very own cloud at IBC 2018

    Blue Lucy with BLAM3 and their very own cloud at IBC 2018

  • Playbox Cloud Air at IBC 2107

    Playbox Cloud Air at IBC 2107

  • Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

    Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • Hybrid Cloud Media Aggregation from Cantemo at NAB 2017

    Hybrid Cloud Media Aggregation from Cantemo at NAB 2017

  • Elemental Technologies cloud innovations at NAB 2016

    Elemental Technologies cloud innovations at NAB 2016

  • FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

    FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

  • ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

    Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

  • Playbox at IBC 2015

    Playbox at IBC 2015

  • ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • NETIA at BVE 2015

    NETIA at BVE 2015

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • Comigo at IBC 2014

    Comigo at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

    Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

  • Tedial at NAB 2013

    Tedial at NAB 2013

  • Haivision at NAB 2012

    Haivision at NAB 2012

  • Chyron at NAB 2012

    Chyron at NAB 2012

  • TSL at BVE 2012

    TSL at BVE 2012


Related Shows
  • KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 6th April 2021

    KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 6th April 2021


Articles
The Future of Broadcast Technology
Sebastian Richter

Spotlight on Sebastian Richter, Vice President Media Systems at Rohde & Schwarz.

We are currently in the middle of a transition phase with migration to several new technologies, from the move to IP-based infrastructure and the shift from linear to video-on-demand (VOD).
The question for all of us is how long that transition phase will last; it is going to be faster for some customers then for others – national broadcasters, for example – it will be a slower process.

Tags: broadcast | 5g | 5g broadcast | rohde and schwarz | Sebastian Richter
Contributing Author Sebastian Richter Click to read
Spotlight on James Gilbert, Director of Product and Solution Management
James Gilbert

Over the next eight years we are going to be in transition, and within that there will be vastly different rates of change among content owners and media organisations. As a technology provider the onus is on us to be flexible and adaptable to meet this wide range of requirements from our customers.

Tags: | James Gilbert
Contributing Author James Gilbert Click to read
Spotlight on Karl Mehring, Director of Professional Services, Broadcast, Amplifier and Media
Karl Mehring

How has the role of Professional Services evolved in recent years and what vision do you have of the broadcast technology business? Covering new opportunities that the move to remote brings, new technologies such as 5G broadcast & the impact on the broadcast industry, and the challenges for broadcasters and how can they overcome them.

Tags: COTS | cloud | remote production | distribution | 5g broadcast | Karl Mehring
Contributing Author Karl Mehring Click to read
The Future of Broadcast Technology
Manfred Reitmeier

Now that OTT and VOD have become more mainstream, many commentators talk about traditional broadcast methods, like terrestrial transmission, being a thing of the past. With so many new platforms and non-traditional content services carving out a growing slice of the market, you can be forgiven for thinking that linear over-the-air television is on its way out. The reality is that the industry must strike a balance between meeting consumers’ shifting habits and the business and operational needs of content providers.

Tags: Rohde Schwarz | 5g broadcast | Manfred Reitmeier
Contributing Author Manfred Reitmeier Click to read
A switch in time: how KVM can unlock the future of broadcasting
Chris Smeeton

One of the major changes for broadcasters during the pandemic has been the shift towards remote production; by no means a new phenomenon in an IP environment, yet accelerated under lockdown to accommodate travel and gathering restrictions. A 2021 report found that almost 40% of broadcast professionals now employ remote production, up 9% on the previous year.

Tags: KVM | ARGOSY | GDSYS | KVM Tech | Chris Smeeton
Contributing Author Chris Smeeton Click to read