It’s time to make remote editing easy and cost-effective.

The Pandemic forced companies to make it possible for media production professionals to work from anywhere around the globe, enabling creators to edit and work on large projects and access the media files on demand. And while this shift to work-from-anywhere has created endless possibilities, it comes with additional cost and complexity. Accessing files in the new virtual work environment has become exceedingly complicated, time-consuming, and potentially expensive. The result: creative professionals are now at risk of sacrificing precious production hours, reverting to antiquated techniques and substandard workflows to retrieve files in a more costly manner.

For instance, post-production creatives require a clear understanding of the costs associated with cloud migration. Whether ingesting to the cloud or extracting assets from the cloud, production companies need a tool that provides accurate cost information to make more accurate, intelligent, and impactful business decisions.

The fact is—the cloud has evolved far past rudimentarily storing and archiving media—it’s now a place to work on assets in real-time. And though the cloud can be a highly effective media pipeline for transcoding, image recognition, speech-to-text, closed captioning, and more—placing assets in the cloud and having timely access to those assets is the challenge, especially when there are potentially significant data movement costs involved.

Unfortunately, due to the multitude of user types and varied projects, most post-production environments find it nearly impossible to calculate proper storage and cloud costs. Moreover, the ability to efficiently move data is the lifeblood of every modern business. Nevertheless, the inherent file size of modern production media often results in remote editors and production professionals struggling to access assets in the cloud quickly—significantly hindering workflow performance and speed-to-delivery for end products. This situation results in a compromise to retrieve or use proxy-based files. The bottom line? Leveraging the connectivity between on-prem and cloud infrastructure can result in the challenge of accelerated data movement and the costs associated with it.

So, why is data movement potentially expensive? The costs are all based on egress, access, and retrieval times. After all, the cloud Service Level Agreements (SLA) differ depending on your data’s storage tier. As a result, the speed or Cloud SLA at which you access or move your data translates directly to how much your cloud vendor charges you—the faster you want it, the more you pay. In short, you may be forced to spend much more of your budget to reduce production time.

Fortunately, modern, innovative solutions—purpose-built for the media and entertainment industry ensure creative professionals can standardize their file structures efficiently through remote media asset management tools or by project based workflows and insight into real-time migration analytics. Utilizing analytics and real-time insights to make informed decisions about when to migrate data to and from the cloud enables post-production creators to filter and locate data sets, select different storage tiers, estimate costs associated with each tier, and execute a “dry run” to provide an accurate cost estimate for the intended migration before moving a bye of data.

These modern solutions provide users with a comprehensive and easy-to-use data management application that is flexible enough to contend with the complexities of managing multiple storage targets wherever they are, enabling production companies to understand data value, storage costs, and time and expense associated with data movement.

By taking the steps mentioned above, production companies can reap the benefits of comprehensive remote access while minimizing the costs and risks associated with cloud migration.

Enhancing MAM archiving to Cold Storage in the Cloud

If you’re in the production industry, you’ve either heard of or used a Media Asset Management (MAM) platform—a typical tool among post-production companies. Therefore, as the demand for digital content continues to increase, MAMs are a critical component used to manage and distribute media assets of all types.  

Unfortunately, although MAMs can be crucial for post-production—the most common existing plugins that allow for cloud storage lack key functionality, such as accelerated data movement directly to and from cold storage and cost and time analytics. Of course, MAM providers may offer help with workflow orchestration by moving media assets through a media supply chain. Still, even the most advanced plugins don’t help users determine the cost and time to store and retrieve cold assets. 

Case in point: large media file transfers are a significant component of any post-production environment. Knowing the implications associated with the cost and time of storing and retrieving assets from the cloud is essential. Unfortunately, most MAM cloud plugins don’t provide this information, as they’re often limited to rudimentary data set transfers, making it challenging to manage budgets and meet deadlines. 

Further complicating matters is the inability of current MAM solutions to provide accelerated data movement. The reality is that traditional data transfer mechanisms can be painfully slow and time-consuming, leading to workflow bottlenecks—significantly impacting turnaround times and delaying delivery of time-sensitive projects. 

Worse, cold storage is a critical component of any large-scale media workflow, as it allows for the long-term storage of assets that are not currently being used. Unfortunately, most MAMs don’t natively write to cold storage, and if auto-tiering is used, the restoration process of these assets can be complicated and time-consuming—again, MAM plugins lack the necessary features to handle this process effectively.  

So, what can you do to enhance your MAMs archive capability? Luckily, a far better approach exists—one that will enable you to accelerate your data movement, better analyze your costs, and ultimately ensure that your project and your company are a resounding success. First, look for a data movement solution that offers advanced predictive analytics to calculate the cost of data transfers before movement, giving you the required business intelligence to choose the right storage tier for your hot and cold data. 

Additionally, select a data movement application provider that enables you and your team to monitor, track and tag every job by users, groups, projects, and departments to quickly and easily know who moved what data, where, and when the transfer occurred.  This can be useful for billback and chargeback for departments and projects. 

Lastly, choose a purpose-built data movement application to seamlessly integrate with your current MAM platform—enabling a more streamlined approach to your overall data management workflow, movement, and cost analysis. By investing in a comprehensive, modern solution—production companies can enhance their MAM integration and manage their assets more efficiently and effectively—and on budget.  

After all, with the right tools and features—integrating a state-of-the-art data management and cloud cost analytics tool with your MAM—you can improve the efficiency and accuracy of your workflows and achieve your goals more effectively. A practice that always leads to a healthier bottom line.  

How to Optimize Media Workflows with Cloud Bursting

If you’re a post-production company looking to expand your operations while reducing capital expenditures, bursting media workflows could be a game-changer. It’s becoming increasingly popular because it enables media companies to spin up and down resources as needed, only paying for what they use.

However, one challenge of using cloud infrastructure is accessing data quickly and securely in native formats. That’s where cloud bursting comes in—it temporarily expands a media production workflow to the cloud to handle peak or unexpected demand, ultimately enabling companies to maximize their on-prem resources and expand their work without making a significant CAPEX purchase.

This flexibility is especially beneficial for production creatives working on-premises or remotely with limited access to the tools they need or when multiple users require simultaneous access to a single project.

Utilizing cloud infrastructure allows businesses to scale their media workflows to handle peak demand while reducing associated or hidden migration costs. Bursting to the cloud can also help avoid delays and ensure projects with tight deadlines are delivered on time.

To ensure a successful burst strategy, leveraging a tool with built-in data acceleration and built-in end-to-end encryption is critical. Acceleration can speed up data transfer to and from the cloud while maintaining data security, which is especially beneficial for large media files that require high-speed transfers.

Having a strategy with load balancing and automatic failover in case of downtime ensures that the data is always available to cloud applications, including sudden spikes in demand. In addition, having an agent-based model allows resources to be automatically scaled up and down as needed, reducing costs and improving overall efficiency.

Bursting to the cloud may include tools offered by cloud providers, including video editing, VFX, Speech to text, closed captioning, AI with object and facial recognition, and many more.

Modern media production solutions are committed to providing secure and accelerated data movement. These solutions represent the entirety of media workflow data, enabling content ingestion, camera-to-cloud workflow, archive, content collaboration, and much more, all while providing insightful cost visibility and advanced business intelligence for any storage type.

By using the right accelerated data movement application, businesses can leverage the benefits of cloud infrastructure while maintaining data security and integrity throughout the media workflow bursting process.

In fact, we can show you how! Book your free demo.

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When it comes to cloud storage and its tiers, stop choosing poorly.

Let’s face it, determining data value and where to store it is becoming more complex by the day. Unfortunately, this complexity means that choosing the right tiers of data storage can be exceedingly difficult, especially without the insight required to make the right choice. 

Within the last decade, cloud storage has become an increasingly necessary option for post-production environments to store and access their data remotely. With the rise of remote and hybrid post-production environments and the increasingly vast amount of data generated daily, cloud storage has become an essential part of media production.

However, when it comes to choosing the right cloud storage tier, organizations fail to choose the proper storage solutions for their unique data access needs. As a result, these organizations fall victim to hidden fees, surprise cloud bills, security risks, and a lack of data availability and reliability.

First, let’s discuss the different storage tiers available: cloud storage is typically divided into three tiers: hot, warm, and cold. Hot storage is the most expensive and is designed for frequently accessed data that needs to be readily available. Warm storage is less costly than hot storage. It is intended for data that is accessed less frequently but still needs to be readily available. Finally, cold storage is the least expensive. It is designed for rarely accessed data but must be stored for long periods and may not be immediately accessible.

Hosting your hot-to-cold storage in the cloud is not unlike hosting it on-prem—with one significant difference: cloud storage is not a one-time CAPEX purchase. Unfortunately, charges incur every time data resources are moved in or out of cloud storage. Worse yet, the faster the access, the higher the monthly cloud costs. 

Complicating matters is that choosing the right storage tier can be challenging, especially without the necessary insights to make an informed decision. As a result, post-production environments often choose the wrong storage tier due to a lack of cost insights, resulting in excessive costs and inefficient data management. For instance, using hot storage for rarely accessed data or cold storage for data that needs to be accessed frequently can lead to higher storage costs, longer retrieval times, and business disruption.

Your organization must have a thorough understanding of its data and its dependencies. For example, you need to identify which data is frequently accessed, which data is accessed less frequently, and which data is rarely accessed but still needs to be stored. This knowledge gives insight into which storage tier is appropriate for your unique needs—resulting in significant cost savings and improved data management.

Moreover, the ability to accurately calculate the cost of cloud storage is critical. Unfortunately, calculating the cost of cloud storage is not a straightforward process—due to complicated pricing models, fluctuating prices, and technical limitations. 

Further, because cloud storage providers often charge based on the amount of data stored, the data retrieval rate, the data transfer rate, and the storage tier—the cost of cloud storage can vary depending on the provider and the data center’s location.

A variety of cloud calculators are available that can help you compare prices of cloud storage options before data is moved. However, many of these calculators are either difficult to use or highly inaccurate, as users are often guessing what they have. As a result, many organizations make poor cloud storage decisions based on inaccurate cost estimates. Receiving a bill for hidden fees is never a pleasant experience; fortunately, it can be avoided. 

The solution is to use a cloud cost optimization application that can accurately calculate real-time cost estimates of cloud storage based on your specific needs and requirements and on your data set. This type of solution can also help you optimize your cloud storage costs by identifying areas of inefficiency and recommending ways to reduce your storage costs. You also need a tool that can tell you before you move your data the cost and time it will take, as well as integrate with cloud SLAs to expedite or make large build transfers saving cost.

Making better cloud storage decisions is essential for media production organizations. Choosing the right storage tier for each data type is vital. There’s an easy solution to help you accelerate, analyze, and succeed. It all starts here. 

Cloud Migration: Understanding Costs, Storage Ecosystems, and Tracking Data Movement

In today’s digital world, data in the cloud and the movement of that data have become increasingly important to modern companies. The benefits of cloud computing are well known, including scalability, cost-effectiveness, accessibility, security, and analytics. By migrating their data to the cloud, companies can save money on physical infrastructure, improve productivity and efficiency, gain insights, and make data-driven decisions. Additionally, the movement of cloud data allows companies to move data efficiently between different systems, applications, and cloud providers, providing greater flexibility and agility in their operations.

However, with the increasing importance of cloud data, companies also need to pay attention to tracking the movement of that data. Tracking data movement is essential for compliance, audit, and security purposes. By monitoring and tracking data movement, companies can ensure that their data is secure, and they can quickly identify and respond to any potential threats or issues. Moreover, tracking data movement can provide valuable insights into usage patterns, which can help companies optimize their operations and improve their decision-making.

That all said, cloud migration can be a challenging and complex process, especially when managing costs, ensuring compatibility across storage ecosystems, and tracking data movement. In this blog, we will discuss these three key factors that are essential for successful cloud migration.

One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is the ability to pay for only the resources you use. However, understanding the costs associated with cloud migration can be tricky, especially when it comes to data transfer. Predictive analytics can play a critical role in helping organizations calculate the cost of data transfers. Cloud calculators can help, but using predictive analytics tools on your real data set can provide insights into the amount of data that needs to be transferred, the time it will take to transfer the data, and the costs associated with the transfer. This intelligence can help organizations choose the right storage tier for their hot and cold data, thereby reducing costs and improving performance.

Another critical factor to consider when migrating to the cloud is the complexity of the storage ecosystem. A storage agnostic solution is designed to put organizations in control over all the systems in their facility, including SAN, NAS, Object, and cloud protocols—this means organizations can migrate their data to the cloud without worrying about the underlying storage architecture. In addition, storage agnostic solutions provide a flexible and scalable platform that can support different storage protocols, data formats, and data access patterns. This makes it easier for organizations to move data between different cloud providers or even back to their on-premises data centers.

Tracking data movement is crucial when it comes to cloud migration. Organizations need to know who moved what data, where and when the transfer occurred, and how much it cost. This information is essential for compliance, audit, and security purposes. A solution that enables organizations to monitor, track, and tag every job by user, group, project, or department can help them quickly and easily track data movement. In addition, this solution should provide real-time visibility into data transfers, alerts for suspicious activity, and reporting capabilities to help organizations comply with regulatory requirements.

In all, cloud migration is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. By understanding the costs, ensuring compatibility across the storage ecosystem, and tracking data movement, organizations can successfully migrate their data to the cloud while reducing costs and improving security. Predictive analytics, storage agnostic solutions, and data movement tracking tools are essential for successful cloud migration. Organizations should carefully evaluate these factors and choose the right tools and technologies to ensure a seamless and secure cloud migration.

Don’t let cloud migration costs negatively impact your business

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, more than ever, organizations must keep up with the latest developments to avoid falling behind their industry peers. In recent years, the most significant shift in the business landscape has been the move toward cloud computing. And while from the outside looking in, it may seem counterintuitive for organizations to be apprehensive about switching to remote computing, many companies are hesitant to transition to remote cloud services due to concerns relating to the upfront and often hidden cloud tier costs and slow migration times involved.

One of the primary concerns for cloud users is the cost of migrating their data to and from the cloud, yet not having a clear understanding of the cost of cloud migration before executing any data transfers. It’s a paradigm shift from using a CapEx to an OpEx, and when paying by the month, it is important to understand the costs upfront.

Modern solutions can provide real-time insights into the cost of migrating data to help companies make intelligent decisions about what data to migrate to and from the cloud. These solutions allow users to filter and locate data sets, select different storage tiers, estimate costs associated with each tier, identify hot and cold data, and execute a “dry run” to provide an accurate cost estimate for the intended migration.

While cloud calculators are available that claim to provide predictive cost estimates, these calculators can be complex, inaccurate, and only offer a limited view of actual costs. By contrast, solutions that enable real-time cost estimates can provide more accurate and detailed insights into the cost of cloud migration.

Another benefit of using these real-time cost estimation solutions is that they enable companies to select different buckets of their actual data for migration—this allows users to choose which data sets are most important to migrate to the cloud and which can remain on-premise or in a lower-cost storage tier.

In addition to cost estimation tools, companies should also consider using storage agnostic solutions. These solutions provide users with control over all systems in their facility, including SAN, NAS, Object, and cloud protocols. By using a storage agnostic solution, companies can more easily manage their data across different storage systems, both on-premises and in the cloud.

Tracking data movement is also crucial when migrating data to and from the cloud. A solution that enables organizations to monitor, track, and tag every job by user, group, project, or department can help companies quickly and easily identify who moved what data, where the data was moved, and when the transfer occurred. This is valuable for compliance, audit, and security purposes.

In conclusion, cloud data migration costs are a primary concern for businesses looking to move their data to the cloud. By using real-time cost estimation tools, companies can make more intelligent decisions about what data to migrate to and from the cloud and estimate the cost of migration more accurately. Storage agnostic solutions and tracking data movement can help companies manage their data more efficiently and securely. By taking these steps, businesses can reap the benefits of cloud computing while minimizing the costs and risks associated with cloud migration.

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