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Tips for improving archive and business continuity workflows

Traditional archive technology limits the ability to access content from anywhere with its built in bottlenecks and public cloud infrastructure is still surprising many with its real cost. Over the last 24 months, the Object Matrix team canvassed their customer community, prospects and technical partners, and received a list of their least productive and efficient processes when it comes to storage and archiving.

Based on that list, Object Matrix have provided their top 5 recommendations for improving productivity and operational efficiency within your organization when it comes to protecting, accessing and sharing archive content.

1. Time & Resources

The lack of integration, automation, and governance can often lead to disk being treated the same way as handling LTO tape – with manual processes. Not only can this cause bottlenecks, and create a greater risk of errors into the workflow, but it also means that media companies are wasting valuable time and resources on managing storage rather than more beneficial functions. This can result in a number of un-secure, un-managed storage silos, made up of scalable NAS, USB drives, or large cloud buckets full of content you can’t find, or afford to use.

MatrixStore object storage simplifies the complex by providing the highest levels of digital content governance (audit, immutability, etc.), multi-tenancy, analytics, metadata management, search, sharing, and collaboration in a package that is easy to manage and even easier to use.

Top 3 time consuming processes:

  • Using home grown scripts, or manually copying data to Disaster Recovery Business Continuity location.
  • Finding and restoring content when local outages occur.
  • Backing up to LTO/disk and putting them on a shelf. Then trying to find content off the shelf archive.

2. Access to Your Media Content

Being able to access your archived media content quickly is important. The very nature of archived footage tends to mean that much of it is stored on physical copies, or LTO, which requires manual input to gain access.

Transferring your content onto a more modern online system means that creative teams can access content from anywhere in the world. Access controls can be implemented meaning the right teams will have access to the right data. Metadata and clever media management technology will enable you to simply search for content and have the footage handed to you within seconds.

Digital Content Governance (DCG) will ensure your content is protected at the highest level, so you can concentrate on revenue-generating activities. If organizations wish to profit from their content, or build a successful community, they need their hands on their data 24/7 to use, re-use, re-shape and re-use. Digital Content Governance platforms enable that, but they also focus on the whole package required to protect, curate, share, distribute and audit digital content.

Top 3 time sinks when accessing your media:

  • Servicing requests for content from creative professionals.
  • Using LTO for an active archive, business continuity, or live workflows (too much to restore).
  • Traversing folder trees across disperate NAS devices to find that clip from 2004!

3. Media Asset Security

Is your data disconnected from the rest of the organization in siloed networks, or on tapes on shelves? With cyber-crime on the increase, your data is vulnerable. To keep your data safe and secure, you should avoid having access to large amounts of data from single PCs or logins. This can create a major security hole.

Consider keeping your data safe in purpose-built storage that adheres to good Digital Content Governance principles. Exposing everything via a file system can be extremely dangerous. By getting into the mind of a hacker, you can form a DCG strategy that protects your data.

MatrixStore was built from the inside out with data security in mind. It provides a great number of benefits over SAN/NAS/scale-out file systems. If you take digital asset security seriously, but don’t want to spend your time managing complex cryptography, firewalls, and data policies, then you’ll appreciate that the storage is pre-configured with those core benefits and that individual storage pools of assets automatically have a high level of security applied.

Top 3 time delays when protecting your media:

  • Restoring content from cloud, or LTO when hackers attack.
  • Relying on RAID as your only protection against data loss.
  • Calling around to find out who took the content that ended up on YouTube.
Media Asset Security

4. ROI

Cloud is highly efficient at data distribution and sharing production workflows. Recent world events have seen an unprecedented uptake of cloud, enabling teams to work from home. This can be very cost-effective in most situations.

However, the public cloud in creative workflows is often deemed as far too unpredictable cost-wise, meaning ROI is challenging to forecast and report on. ROI is driven by generating new revenue streams from latent content currently sat on offline media. This ensures revenue generating activities continue even in the event of local outages. This is a topic often talked about within the creative community. For people looking to move to the cloud, or those who are already years into the journey, the message is still the same.

Finding the right storage platform and workflow has to meet the needs of all stakeholders in your organization; from the Producer and Editor to the CTO, CFO, and CEO.

Top 3 time sinks when it comes to ROI:

  • Explaining to your CFO that cloud storage is not cheap when taking into account DevOps, communications, and egress fees.
  • Trawling through your glacier bucket, at great cost, just to see what you have that might be valuable.
  • Emailing your cloud provider to explain that the mass download was due to human error and can you please have the $30k fee back?

5. Find, Share, Secure & Audit Your Media Assets

Many organizations rely on dated technology, non-automated workflows, and fragmented working practices to access their content. This approach presents many risks, such as data security, not having an audit trail of your content, or lack of a data deletion recovery process.

Creative professionals are time-bound when waiting for tapes to be loaded, or a drive to be posted, when what they need is instant access to their content. It’s a process hindered by data technologies and working practices. They need to be able to efficiently find, view, sub-clip, and share media assets from anywhere at any time.

Object Matrix Vision is a light, powerful, and secure web-based media management application. Firmly integrated with MatrixStore object storage, this brings together the power of automated metadata extraction, advanced search options, and the tightness of access controls, ensuring freelance or permanent employees can find the content they are authorized to access.

Top 3 time delays when searching for media:

  • Finding things. If you cannot find it, you do not have it. Creative professionals spend hours every day trying to find content, or waiting for the media manager to locate a clip.
  • Waiting for a courier to turn up with a drive that was sent to the wrong location.
Questions? Get in touch.
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