Three New Zealand, now a Discovery channel, is migrating its complete video archive to the cloud before vacating the TV station’s offices and studio in the coming year. In December 2020, Discovery acquired the channel from its previous parent company Mediaworks.
The decision to migrate to the cloud involved several factors. In some ways, cloud storage gives broadcasters like Three a chance to save money, compared to the traditional capital expenditure required for on-premise hardware. Three’s existing library of news and entertainment content totals around 1.2 petabytes, stored on LTO5 tape media, and migrating this to AWS S3 Deep Glacier will result in changes to their operational costs.
Actually, tape storage is already very inexpensive. AWS S3 Deep Glacier is also cost effective but data retrieval adds extra costs. Retrieving data from either location incurs a delay, and LTO5 is now a fairly old tape standard – the ninth generation of LTO Ultrium was released in 2020. Manually optimising file management across hybrid cloud storage in order to make sure video assets are always in the most cost-efficient, flexible storage layer is challenging when working between cloud, on-premise disk and LTO libraries.
Automated iNews Archive
To make files straightforward to manage between tiers and to find and access, Three decided to use a video storage management platform, choosing Masstech Kumulate because the software is also able to automatically archive its daily news run-downs through Kumulate’s integration into AVID iNews. This process keeps local disk space free while sequences and assets remain available, whether they are archived in the cloud, on tape or on local disk.
Kumulate makes content on all storage tiers transparently available to all Avid users with shared storage workgroups. Sequences are automatically archived based on the rundown, and script and video are perpetually linked. Availability doesn’t require media management staff – FlashNet, also integrated into Avid, is used to create a link between MAM applications and storage, and to keep local disk storage free by managing content between local and deeper tiers.
Apart from automated rundown archiving and intelligently optimising storage management, Kumulate has a UI for finding, editing and storing assets. Searching can be done from inside users’ applications using metadata generated from several sources. Partial File Restore, from any of the storage tiers, is supported and saves costs by pulling out only the parts of the video that are needed. A transcoder is integrated that delivers material in the requested format and size.
Kumulate’s workflow orchestration is based on the platform’s modularity. Once the user determines which modules are needed, the Kumulate Workflow Orchestrator builds them into automated workflows, incorporating AI services, if desired, and 3rd party media processing software.
Discovery New Zealand is adopting Kumulate on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription model due to its lower initial investment because, at this time, Three is focussed on their cloud migration and the Avid integration. But later on, the subscription will allow them to scale as required and add functionality as business requirements change. Kumulate engineers configured and commissioned the system remotely, in line with COVID-19 restrictions, using Magna Systems as local support. www.masstech.com