It’s inescapable—the media and entertainment industry has gone global. Creation, production, and distribution happen all around the world. From the C-suite on down, the problem of how to manage and monetize content globally is a focus of concern.


A single movie is likely to have visual effects production in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Television networks have distribution facilities around the globe. Enabling these workflows requires a large-scale central repository that can be geographically dispersed. A repository that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, with content at the right place, in the correct  format, when it’s needed.  This is now the expectation; isolated silos of disparate content are fast becoming a thing of the past.


In media and entertainment, not all content is created, or distributed, equally. A wide variety of workgroup technologies employ a plethora of production applications. Some content, like broadcast news, is topical and transient; other content, like movies,  is globally distributed and will be available for years. So being able to access your content from multiple applications in multiple locations at the right performance and cost tier is essential.


Given the scale of content in media and entertainment, you might think that the primary driver would be the cheapest possible cost per gigabyte. Not so. Just optimizing for cost isn’t enough. There is more cost, and therefore more cost savings possible, in optimizing the overall workflow and lifecycle of the content. Duplicates, poor or no deletion management, time spent searching for errant lost copies, unused content sitting in an expensive storage tier—this is where the high costs come in.


NetApp® StorageGRID® Webscale, our object storage solution, is designed to solve these challenges. StorageGRID provides policy-based data placement across locations and storage tiers, making it ideal for media and entertainment content.


We’re seeing two major use cases. The first is global production. Content is ingested where it’s created and then moved to cities where it will be accessed over the next day, week, or month. Finally, when the content becomes less valuable, the replications are reduced. The content is then moved to a more cost-effective tier, or erasure coded for better storage efficiency.


The second important use case for StorageGRID is as an integral part of your cloud strategy. Once your content is in a global repository such as StorageGRID, you can use automated lifecycle management to move it to the right location and tier. Public cloud can be one of those locations. Having StorageGRID manage where your copies reside and when to place them there gives you a measure of cloud independence.  StorageGRID also offers a private cloud option for content that must be on premises for reasons of performance and sovereignty.


A big reason to go to cloud is to move from capex to opex. This is no longer a trade-off between public cloud and on premises.  StorageGRID can now be consumed as opex or as pay-as-you-go. And because it’s a software-defined system, it can be deployed in VMware, OpenStack, bare-metal, or NetApp’s engineered appliances, offering deployment flexibility for each location and cost profile. All sites don’t have to have identical hardware or capacity, which allows capacity growth to be flexible and to support the varying demands of individual sites.


A good example of a company realizing the benefits of StorageGRID is ProSiebenSat.1, the #1 broadcaster in Germany in ad sales and viewership. They reach 42M households in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.


As a broadcast production service provider to more than 10 channels in Germany, ProSeibenSat.1 has an enormous amount of content stored on digital tape. They want to move that content to disk under media asset management control for more efficient access. Eventually the plan is to integrate with cloud storage for deep copy.


ProSeibenSat.1 deployed 54 StorageGRID appliances (more than 25 petabytes of raw capacity) across 2 data centers with a dual copy solution.  Through the StorageGRID S3 interface, they will be able to replicate to the cloud for a low-cost deep archive.


The company chose NetApp for the strength of our vision. They value the StorageGRID policy engine, which lets them control where and in what tier they store content. They can also integrate the public cloud into their solution to achieve further efficiencies.



If you’re interested in learning more about StorageGRID, tune in to my discussion with Duncan Moore, in which we discuss in detail the needs of media and entertainment companies. You can also visit, where you’ll find lots of information about StorageGRID and how it can help with your production and distribution challenges.


Remember, the next movie or show that you watch may very likely have gone through NetApp to get to you!

Jason Danielson

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