Preserving the British Film Institute Archive


David Feller TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

Today, the media and entertainment industry faces numerous challenges. To remain successful and competitive, these organisations must be ever innovative, agile and cost efficient in the way they produce, store, manage and distribute their digital assets. Content creators have traditionally relied upon outdated storage models, comprised of legacy interfaces, file structures and historical proprietary storage management software that tend to be complex, cumbersome and expensive. This makes it difficult to forecast and budget for ever-growing content in the effort to reach viewers.

With exorbitant data growth both in volume and quality, broadcasting companies must take a critical look at their processes and workflows, upgrading to new technologies capable of delivering the cost and operational efficiencies that will support the needs of the business and enable the creation of greater revenue. This requirement was no exception for the leading body for film in the UK, the British Film Institute (BFI).

The Challenge

The­ BFI­ National­ Archive ­holds ­one ­of­ the­ largest­ film­ and­ television ­collections­ in­ the­ world. Dating from ­the earliest­ days ­of­ film­ to­ the ­live ­capture ­of ­current­ television content, the collection contains over a million titles. In 2012, the BFI launched its Unlocking Film Heritage project as part of BFI’s Film Forever strategy. ­ A­ core objective ­was ­to ­digitise­ 10,000 ­films­ from ­the ­BFI­ and­ UK ­regional­ and national­ film­ archives ­by­ the ­end ­of­ 2017, ­and­ to­ provide­ safe­ and­ secure­ long-term­ storage of and access to heritage­ film ­in­ a ­new digital preservation­ infrastructure.

The ­new ­digital­ repository ­needed ­to ­integrate­ with­ existing­ workflow­ applications, ­be ­flexible­ with future ­applications, ­and­ accommodate ­predicted­ data­ growth. The BFI team was also concerned about being locked into a single vendor’s technology drive and media roadmap. They relied on the trusted expertise of OvationData, worldwide provider of sophisticated and scalable data management solutions, to determine the best strategy. OvationData selected a digital tape solution as the best choice for the BFI’s unique storage requirements.

The Solution

Several tape-based market options were in consideration for this new digital preservation infrastructure. The preferred solution was a Spectra Logic architecture with two expanded Spectra® T950 Tape Libraries and two Spectra® BlackPearl® Converged Storage System appliances.

Spectra Logic technology is non-proprietary and integrated easily with the BFI’s Imagen media­ asset management. ­ The BFI­ configured­ its four-frame T950 with LTO-6 drives and media, and its dual-frame T950 with IBM® TS1150 tape technology, creating both genetic diversity and eliminating future roadmap worries associated with implementing a single technology.

The digital archive solution operates flawlessly, enables ­quick,­ easy ­public­ access, and has proven to be the best-in-class, long-term digital preservation for the nation’s cultural assets.

Spectra BlackPearl Converged Storage System ­was­ designed­ to­ provide a modern, simple portal to a multi-tier storage architecture and to break away from traditional and legacy solutions that are based on licensing models, driving greater cost when scaling. Designed for organisations where content and long-term integrity is at the core of their business, BlackPearl ­allows data­ to ­move ­seamlessly­ to disk, tape and cloud storage, in a way not­ previously­ possible. BlackPearl enables­ users to deploy multiple tiers of storage to create an architecture that is cost effective, easy to manage and scalable to exabytes of data. BlackPearl’s­ simple ­RESTful­ API­ and­ integrated advanced bucket management (ABM) retains and manages organisation’s assets at very low per-gigabyte costs.

Spectra T950 tape library is designed and built to meet the stringent requirements of the enterprise for data integrity, data security and high reliability. The T950 library reduces staff involvement­ significantly,­ affordably­ scales­ in capacity and throughput, and delivers the best total cost of ownership of any tape solution. Support options range from the­ expected­ 24x7 worldwide­ on site ­support to more advanced offerings including Spectra’s ­industry-first­ Assisted­ Self­ Maintenance (ASM) program as well as proactive management and reporting tools that ensure optimal system availability.

Solution Snapshot

  • Two ­Spectra ­Black Pearl­ Converged Storage Systems
  • Four-frame T950 with LTO-6 drives and media
  • Dual-frame T950 with IBM® TS1150 drives and media
  • Isilon disk arrays
  • Imagen MAM

The genetic diversity deployed in BFI’s solution powerfully strengthens its digital preservation strategy. It is a key measure to ensure data security, essentially storing information across more than one media type to digitally preserve data indefinitely and prevent against vulnerability to attacks.

The challenges created by the transforming M&E market are driving the need for greater efficiencies and ROIs. Those willing to take advantage of modern technologies, position themselves to reach new audiences, maintain an edge on competition, while safely preserving their digital assets.

Stephen McConnachie, Head of Data and Digital Preservation, BFI said "Our Spectra Logic solution has helped us create a content strategy to preserve the BFI National Archive digital collection long-term. BlackPearl integrates seamlessly into our workflow applications and allows us to easily store and quickly access our files on tape libraries. The non-proprietary format of the system and its genetic diversity gives us confidence in our system’s future roadmap."

About BFI

The British Film Institute (BFI) is the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. It is a cultural charity that curates and presents the greatest international public programme of British and World Cinema for audiences; in cinemas, at festivals and online. The BFI cares for the BFI National Archive – the most significant film and television archive in the world. The BFI actively seeks out and supports the next generation of filmmakers and works with Government and industry to make the UK the most creatively exciting and prosperous place to make film internationally.

Partner Profile

Partnering with Spectra Logic, OvationData provides total data management solutions to preserve, manage, and understand digital data and media in a way that maximises value. This partner specialises in geophysical data services for the oil and gas industry, as well as full-suite solutions for media & entertainment clients.

Photo credit : James Cumpsty

Tags: iss136 | bfi | archive | blackpearl | spectra | storage | film | tape | David Feller
Contributing Author David Feller

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • NOA Archive Solutions at IBC 2014

    NOA Archive Solutions at IBC 2014

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

    SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

  • SGL at NAB 2013

    SGL at NAB 2013

  • Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

    Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

  • Editshare at NAB 2012

    Editshare at NAB 2012

  • Nexsan at NAB 2012

    Nexsan at NAB 2012

  • Arkivum at BVE 2012

    Arkivum at BVE 2012

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

  • SGL at NAB 2014

    SGL at NAB 2014

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy at IBC 2013

    Cinegy at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy: Multiviewer at NAB 2013

    Cinegy: Multiviewer at NAB 2013

  • SGL at NAB 2012

    SGL at NAB 2012

  • TMD at BVE 2012

    TMD at BVE 2012

  • FOR-A at IBC2011

    FOR-A at IBC2011

  • Netia at IBC2011

    Netia at IBC2011

  • TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

    TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

  • Facilis Technology Shared Storage at IBC 2018

    Facilis Technology Shared Storage at IBC 2018

  • All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

    All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

  • Object based Storage Solution from Object Matrix at IBC 2017

    Object based Storage Solution from Object Matrix at IBC 2017

  • Glyph External Storage including the Studio and Atom raid at IBC 2017

    Glyph External Storage including the Studio and Atom raid at IBC 2017

  • Storage DNA at BVE 2016

    Storage DNA at BVE 2016

  • Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

  • Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

    Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

  • Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at NAB 2014

    Facilis at NAB 2014

  • GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

    GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

    Global Distribution with mLogic at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • Object Matrix at BVE 2013

    Object Matrix at BVE 2013

  • Facilis at BVE 2012

    Facilis at BVE 2012

  • Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

    Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

  • Suitcase TV at IBC2011

    Suitcase TV at IBC2011

  • Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

    Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

  • ATTO Technology at IBC2011

    ATTO Technology at IBC2011

  • KitPlus filming rig used at NAB 2017

    KitPlus filming rig used at NAB 2017

  • KitPlus filming rig used at BVE 2017

    KitPlus filming rig used at BVE 2017

  • Filming kit review from NAB

    Filming kit review from NAB

  • FilmGear LED lighting at IBC 2015

    FilmGear LED lighting at IBC 2015

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Digital Film Technology at IBC2011

    Digital Film Technology at IBC2011

  • SmallHD shows the Cine 7 monitor with camera control and integrated Teradek Bolt at NAB 2019

    SmallHD shows the Cine 7 monitor with camera control and integrated Teradek Bolt at NAB 2019

  • Bebob V-Mount Batteries at NAB 2019

    Bebob V-Mount Batteries at NAB 2019

  • DoP Choice show the latest lighting solutions at NAB 2019

    DoP Choice show the latest lighting solutions at NAB 2019

  • Area 48 Colour from BBandS Lighting plus more announcements at NAB 2019

    Area 48 Colour from BBandS Lighting plus more announcements at NAB 2019

  • Fujinon 18-55 Lens at BVE 2017

    Fujinon 18-55 Lens at BVE 2017

  • Cineo HS2 at IBC 2015

    Cineo HS2 at IBC 2015

  • LiteGear at IBC 2015

    LiteGear at IBC 2015

  • LiteGear LED LiteMat at IBC 2015

    LiteGear LED LiteMat at IBC 2015

  • Cineo Matchbox at IBC 2015

    Cineo Matchbox at IBC 2015

  • Movidiam at BVE 2015

    Movidiam at BVE 2015

  • Polecam Antelope Pico at IBC 2014

    Polecam Antelope Pico at IBC 2014

  • Air Alloy Tripod System from Miller Fluid Heads at IBC 2014

    Air Alloy Tripod System from Miller Fluid Heads at IBC 2014

  • Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

    Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

  • Photon Beard: Space Light at NAB 2013

    Photon Beard: Space Light at NAB 2013

  • DJI Innovations at BVE 2013

    DJI Innovations at BVE 2013

  • Cintel at NAB 2012

    Cintel at NAB 2012

  • IAC at ProVideo2011

    IAC at ProVideo2011

  • Cintel at IBC2011

    Cintel at IBC2011

  • Image Systems at IBC2011

    Image Systems at IBC2011

  • Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

    Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

  • Pronology at IBC 2014

    Pronology at IBC 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

    Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013


Related Shows
  • StorageDNA LIVE at BVE 2016

    StorageDNA LIVE at BVE 2016


Articles
NAB Intelligence
Bruce Devlin - new It's that time of year again. 06:30 on road bikes on the Las Vegas Strip with a merry bunch of folks who believe they look good in lycra. As we pedal West up the hill towards Red Rock there will be stories of the year just gone and questions about what to look for at the show. I, for one, will be attending the Devoncroft event to check up on who is spending what and where. I will then look forward to the topics that might be buzzing around the halls. I predict there will be many displays of Machine Learning hiding under the banner of Artificial Intelligence. Some of these will show better picture quality, others will show personalisation engines, some will be improved search tools and yet more will be synthesising pictures and motions to replace reality with and Artificial reality that's more compelling for the viewer.
Tags: iss136 | nab | class | ai | smpte | st2110 | imf | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read or download PDF
Keeping Your Post Prodction on Track with Subclips and Search Bins
Alex Macleod

For my 2nd Kit Plus article I thought I’d try and build on the theme of my first, and that’s one of making sure things are organised at all levels of your post production projects.

Last time I talked about trying as best as you can to stick to the ‘two week rule’, making sure that the names & locations of every asset you import, and every bin & sequence that you create in your project - will make sense to you regardless of how long it is you spend away from it.

Tags: iss136 | mediacity training | subclip | premiere pro | gvs | bve | bve2019 | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
Remote Teams and Talent
Megan Cater If your studio works with non-local creative talent, you already know that there are opportunities and challenges associated with distributed production and post production. Bridging the distance not only allows you to find the best talent for the job anywhere in the world, it creates the potential for a diverse and globally-minded workforce that boosts the creativity and vision of your entire company.
Tags: iss136 | signiant | file acceleration | ftp | dropbox | sharepoint | slack | saas | media shuttle | Megan Cater
Contributing Author Megan Cater Click to read or download PDF
Looking for the Silver Lining
Harry Grinling According to the World Meteorological Organisation, there are 10 different types of cloud, each of which can be divided further into sub-types. They range from the cirrus, the thin floaty clouds which generally serve only to make the sky look beautiful to the towering, all-embracing cumulonimbus which can deliver fearful quantities of rain – the biggest cumulonimbus clouds can contain 50 million tonnes of water.
Tags: iss136 | cloud | lto | archive | storage | Harry Grinling
Contributing Author Harry Grinling Click to read or download PDF
Rotolight Anova Pro 2 User Review
Andy McKenzie The Anova PRO 2 is the fourth generation of Rotolight’s studio/location light, offering 70% more power output than its predecessor. It is claimed be one of the brightest LED lights ever launched in its class, delivering 10,700 lux at 3 feet yet consuming only 72 watts. Figure 1 shows the front with accessory mounting spigots (1), optional barn doors (2) and a gel frame holder.
Tags: iss136 | rotolight | anova pro 2 | led | lighting | flash light | dmx control | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF