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Video Asset Management

When it comes to video asset management, one only needs to watch the telling documentary "Side By Side" (produced by Keanu Reeves) to realize that we are in a digital media explosion that just won’t quit. Where are the flexible video asset management systems that are able to receive and auto preview to team members globally the recent 5K clip shot on location? These types of benchmarks will not be hit without exploring all of the ramifications of clearing the most challenging digital video asset management hurdles.

More and more companies are contacting us about large-scale video collections where the volumes are tens to hundreds of terabytes which would make them unlikely candidates for an online video asset management system - unless, of course, we subdivide this problem.  What if we’re really not talking about one system – but two systems that work in concert? The online video asset archive would be purely a system that provides key personnel a lens into video assets - previews only, highly searchable, and near real-time posting of clips. It’s fine to leave the heaviest video assets in massive local SANs. This two-part video asset solution could provide a simple video preview of tagged assets, as well as levels of access controls along with a checkout system where administrative governance can be survivable. Now if the digital video librarian has a real video asset request from a real user she can pull the exact multi-terabyte file out of the archives and ship it on a drive to the recipient without delays of days or weeks of attempted global communication.

But I can hear people thinking to themselves, "But that’s not me – I just have a few hundred video clips for our marketing department over the last five years and I need my team to have access to the most relevant brand approved assets for Q3 and Q4."  Regardless of the situation, there are video assets that need to be retired, are obsolete, are not approved by legal, have rights management issues tied to them, exist but are not on anyone’s hard drive that still works in the company, and on and on.

While this may be the most daunting task for your company to wrap its collective heads around – it is the same exact process that we’ve been discussing with companies since 2001.  All of our engagements include a full data strategy and our expert guidance on aggregating, tagging, and creating security access control mappings (i.e., who can see/download/request which files) of your soon-to-be organized assets.

But just one more quick word on the future of video asset management.  The above stated two-part solution is a workaround while bandwith prices and infrastructure improve.  Ideally image or video assets that are as massive as we are now able to create with digital imaging devices need to be parked indefinitely at one location.  Moving 100 TB to another location is an extremely expensive process - even if that move is to a disk array sitting on a fiber channel right next to the first array. Parking such massive video assets is good management.

With video assets in one location you can run processes against these assets, generating an infinite number of device-ready previews which can be pulled from any location through backbone or near backbone level of public Internet connectivity.

Ingestions and synchronization of tens to hundreds of terabytes could be achieved through gigabit level point-to-point connections to a local datacenter where a 100 MB/s will start to change the dynamics nicely. 

Corporations in the Central Ohio area seeking a next-generation video asset-management system can contact us regarding setting up a VLAN with a point-to-point storage adjacent to your Honeycomb Archive System. The addition of a VLAN would be an add-on to an existing Honeycomb Archive Enterprise-level digital asset management system.

Journal Entry 3/27/2013
//Jordan Gray

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