Storage and Archive - Ask the expert


What is Arkivum?
Arkivum specialises in the management and storage of an organisation’s data, whether that is financial records, documents or video footage. Formed in 2011 as a spin-out from the University of Southampton, our solution is built on several decades of knowledge in retaining and archiving of data. Our goal is to ensure the safety and security of our customers’ data.
How is it possible to keep data safe and secure?
Arkivum uses its own infrastructure to store the client's content, ensuring that there are always three copies of the data, one of which is kept in escrow in the unlikely event that all others are lost. We store this data on Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape, which offers much greater integrity and less power consumption than spinning disk solutions.
Why should the post-production and broadcast industry move away from in-house archiving?
Exponential data growth is a trend that is being seen across several industries. Nowhere is this more true than in the broadcast and post production industry, which is largely making the transition from capturing and storing footage on film or video tape towards a digital, file-based workload. Before this move, archiving for the industry was relatively simple, as video tape or film can be filed away on a shelf in a library. But the move to file-based workloads undoubtedly requires a new approach to archiving.
The tendency is to store such material on in-house hard-drives, but this would be a mistake for long-term archiving as they are expensive to run, can break down and do not have a particularly long shelf-life. An LTO based archive, is much more reliable, but in-house it requires a lot of investment and expertise to run. In this day and age of austerity it is inevitable that corners will be cut, which will severely reduce the integrity or effectiveness of an archive.
The answer is a remote LTO-based archive that assures integrity and provides instant access to files.
But won’t a remote archive make it difficult to access files?
Unlike other industries, there is a clear need in broadcast and post-production to be able to have instant access to all archived content. During the production and post-production process, content needs to be archived to ensure it is safe during the months or even years it can take to complete a project, but it also needs to be readily available for immediate use when deadlines have to be met. Additionally, producers want to make the most of previously recorded footage. The nature of these processes means that all data needs to be accessed easily and quickly.
What Arkivum does differently is to provide cost effective, long-term storage, but in the case of the media, we focus on the ability to find the data and the potential to retrieve data quickly enough to support a rapid workflow. This means we need to support a more sophisticated storage model, where a lo-res version of a file would be available immediately online, and a higher res version available in a more cost effective way a few minutes later.
How do you see archiving progressing in the next few years?
The data storage industry will continue to be driven by the huge growth in data. The interesting challenge that we have at the moment is the year on year increase in capacity of hard drives is slowing down. Whereas in previous years the answer has been to just throw more disks at it, that is not possible any more as it is too expensive. The industry will be led by those companies that make the most cost effective and efficient use of storage.
What are you doing at IBC?
We will be demonstrating our innovative archiving solution, A-Stor, at IBC. If attendees would like to come along to our stand, we will be able to show them how our product works to manage data, how it ingests the data into the archive, how to search for data and how to retrieve data. They will also have the opportunity to sign up to the Beta version of A-Stor.
What are your plans for the future?
The full A-Stor service will launch in October and initially our focus will be on UK-based data. We will then be looking to expand our service into the US and Europe.

Tags: archive | arkivum | storage | a-stor | iss057 | N/A
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