by Jason Danielson
Those of you who know me, know I’m more apt to be making dinner reservations in Vegas than writing a blog, but this year’s NAB show is going to be especially exciting for me, and very fun for those of you who stop by our NetApp booth, SL12716. I know data storage doesn’t always cause a big stir, but the performers (and I’m not referring to NetApp engineers) who will be joining us at our booth will really shake things up. I’m sure you’re curious, but first a little context.
This year our marketing keywords are "agile" and “flexible." Why not Bigger, Better, and Faster, or Smaller, Leaner, and Greener? Those might apply too, but we think the media industry has focused on particular features and dedicated solutions (and for that matter dedicated problems) for far too long. Dedicated storage for editing, dedicated storage for archiving, dedicated storage for playout have arguably been needed for the last twenty years. In some key areas, like 4K finishing, they will be desirable for the foreseeable future. But the essential issue is this: we don’t know what a given company’s media operation is going to be asked to perform just a few years down the road. BUT, we do know that the infrastructures that are being built today are going to need to support those unknown workflows.
So, while functionality like application performance, bandwidth, capacity, scale-out, and non-disruptive operations matter—the one essential ingredient that’s needed is AGILITY—the ability to cost-effectively turn on a dime. Whether it’s supporting 10 editors, 100 transcode operations, 1,000 shared application processes, or 10,000 render nodes, media operations are going to need to count on their storage infrastructure to get the job done. That’s agility.
That’s why we are highlighting some very impressive and “agile” performers in our booth at NAB. So alongside clustered Data ONTAP, the world’s #1 storage OS; E-Series with its extreme bandwidth for realtime production workflows; and StorageGrid object store for repositories housing billions of objects across dozens of locations, we’ll have a juggler juggling six balls concurrently, and we’ll have a contortionist, who will do things with her infrastructure you wouldn’t imagine possible. Have you ever seen a Cirque du Soleil performance? It’s not to be missed.
If you can make it by at the top of each hour (11-4) you’ll see our human performers and if you stop by at any time we’ll be ready to talk to you about our platforms. We’re going to highlight success stories and differentiated technology for 4K compositing and digital intermediates, news and sports production, collaborative sports and program production, animation rendering, transcoding and distribution, active archiving, TV Anywhere, Anytime and Internet media services. It’s going to be a three-ring circus!