Front Porch Digital, the global leader in cloud-based content storage management (CSM) solutions, today announced that the Archive eXchange Format (AXF) open-archiving technology has reached a major milestone on its path to standardization. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) 2034 AXF Working Group has submitted its final draft of the AXF specification for two-week review, which is the final step before balloting to become an official SMPTE standard.
"This is an especially proud moment for Front Porch Digital as it represents the culmination of years of work and dedication to the invention, development, and deployment of AXF," said Brian Campanotti, chief technology officer at Front Porch Digital. "As a founding member of the SMPTE AXF Working Group, Front Porch Digital has been a driving force behind AXF since its inception."
The process has been in the works since the 2011 NAB Show, when Campanotti announced that he and his team at Front Porch Digital had completed the design and development of AXF based on the original SMPTE Working Group concept and agreed to contribute the company's specification back to SMPTE. This work forms the basis for the specification currently making its way through the standardization process.
AXF supports interoperability among disparate digital content storage systems and ensures the content's long-term availability no matter how technology or applications evolve. AXF also acts as a content carrier for network-based transfer of valuable file-based content between systems, an especially important capability for cloud-based applications such as Front Porch Digital's LYNX(SM).
"The submission of the AXF specification for its two-week review comes at a time when other approaches continue to fragment the market, which makes is difficult for content owners to make decisions regarding long-term storage, archive, and preservation," said Campanotti. "For example, the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), endorsed by a number of manufacturers, is often referred to as a standard although it is nothing more than a set of open-source tools that each has customized for various proprietary applications."
AXF includes all of the functionality of LTFS, overcomes its well-known limitations -- lack of spanning support, capacity constraints, applicability to data-tape only, etc. -- and adds key resiliency and preservation characteristics such as encapsulation, provenance metadata, fixity, and more. AXF is a universal, IT-centric format that applies to all current and future storage technologies, including data tape, spinning disk, flash media, optical, and others, and is focused on the protection, transport, and preservation of any type, number, and size of files -- not just media files.
"Industry standards are of paramount importance as content owners struggle to ensure protection of their valuable assets now and into the future," said Campanotti. "With a decade of experience in content storage management, Front Porch Digital was able to bring a lot of depth to the development of this standard. The AXF standard will continue to revolutionize the way content owners store, preserve, transport, and protect their valuable assets, now and in the future, regardless of the storage technologies selected."
Since the company launched AXF two years ago, Front Porch Digital has amassed nearly 20 customers around the world -- including film archives, production houses, and major studios -- that rely on AXF to store, protect, and secure petabytes of valuable media assets. The success of AXF in real-world applications will accelerate its implementation by other manufacturers in this and other industries while minimizing risk for content owners adopting it.
More information about the AXF format and Front Porch Digital products is available at openaxf.org and fpdigital.com. More information on the SMPTE AXF specification can be found at smpte.org.