Tv-bay magazine

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DISTRIBUTION & DELIVERY Green storage, fat wallets by Ben Pearce, Director, GB Labs I t’s not just eco campaigners that want to reduce their carbon footprint. It’s also the financial director. Whether you’re a small company or a transnational enterprise, you run the risk of losing control of your data and buying more and more disk space. You may be storing many copies of each fi le on multiple external drives, possibly in several locations. You may be clogging up your fast tier 1 storage with completed projects. Put aside the data security issues for a moment and consider the practicalities of keeping thousands of hours of content on fast spinning disks, running 24/7: every drive independently powered and individually backed up. It’s incredibly ineffi cient. Even big data centres suffer. Reports by Gartner and by McKinsey & Company have shown that most data servers sit idle; they are rarely used to process fi les. Requiring cooling, maintenance and back-up generators, data centres can be massively wasteful of electricity. According to JISC, data centres in UK universities use around 8% of the institution’s entire electricity consumption. And 50 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 91 JULY 2014 according to its 2012 report, the BBC’s average footprint is 8.3 tonnes of CO2; per production hour, a fi gure that could be reduced by getting to grips with its media storage. 850 metres of tape The simple answer is perhaps to shift data to tape. Our Space LTO- 6 systems can copy fi les fast (an aggregate speed of 620MB/s) giving a durable and very energy effi cient archive. The benefi t of LTO is that it is highly expandable: drives can be added to a network to meet the facility’s needs. Each tape is also scalable: fi les and projects can be spanned over multiple tapes, meaning that there’s no limit to the capacity that libraries can hold. Nevertheless, tape storage is an incomplete answer. It’s linear, delivers comparatively low fi le access speeds and often involves a manual process. Therefore, it’s perfect for deep archive but too slow for time pressured environments such as breaking news, sports or live TV. Dynamic capacity The fundamental issue for broadcasters and media organizations, however, is that they require very high performance storage platforms for HD and 4k editing. These tier 1 systems will necessarily be power hungry. The key therefore is to maximize the effi ciency of these devices, which can be achieved by using asset management tools to identify unwanted duplicate fi les, migrating completed projects to tape and shifting old fi les onto economical archive storage. With GB Labs Space, these processes can be automatically handled according to rules the user sets: data is dynamically moved from tier 1 Space, to tier 2 Echo and off to Space LTO for deep archive. Avoiding the dead parrot Many system administrators fall foul of the temptation of simply moving fi les to external hard drives for deep archive. Not only does that make fi le management diffi cult, but it jeopardizes the data: hard disks unused for prolonged periods of time can develop mechanical faults, rendering them useless. We advise customers NEVER to leave valuable archive content on unpowered external drives. LTO tape with its 30 year