Hybrid Cloud Storage for Access Speed and Simplicity

Major broadcast company moves from SAN to Avere-enabled cloud object storage to protect data and increase productivity

Broadcast organizations face daunting challenges in managing storage infrastructure to protect mission-critical content and provide the high-speed access essential to the productivity of artists, editors, and other network clients. While broadcast businesses have long relied on SAN technology, many have been experiencing first-hand the shortcomings of traditional RAID-based storage. At petabyte-class scale, conventional SAN architectures can present potentially crippling reliability, performance, and cost issues.

To overcome the limitations of its own SAN, this well-known broadcast company implemented an Avere-enabled cloud storage solution. The Avere solution allows the broadcaster to take full advantage of nearly infinitely scalable cloud object storage while delivering an essential combination of high performance, data reliability and availability, and business-enabling economies.

Challenge: Enable Petabyte-class Scale while Protecting Content and Accessibility

Describing infrastructure challenges, one of the broadcaster’s IT managers explains that at large scale, the company’s traditional SAN architecture had become unwieldy and shortcomings inherent to RAID-based storage more pronounced. By their nature, he points out, RAID designs accept degradation in performance and protection until a failed component is repaired or replaced. As a result, in very large installations, the risk of multiple, simultaneous failures becomes too high to adequately protect data and production workloads.

Although the robustness and economies of object storage looked attractive to the IT team, utilizing cloud capacity for production would require resolution of several problems, including high latency to/from the cloud and the incompatibility between file-based protocols and the APIs required for access.

Solution: Avere Hybrid Cloud with Object-based Storage

The broadcast company’s IT team evaluated multiple solutions, ultimately determining an Avere-enabled private cloud storage solution to be the ideal architecture: the private cloud solution provides access to more fault-tolerant storage, while Avere Cloud NAS technology eliminates issues of interface incompatibility and delivers scalable I/O performance to support production workloads.

Object Storage Hybrid Cloud Solution Diagram

Today, an Avere FXT Edge filer cluster integrated with a private cloud storage solution meets the broadcaster’s requirements for massive scale, highest availability, and performance to support an array of demanding workloads. The Avere technology reduces latency to the cloud and eliminates interface incompatibility.

FXT Edge filers use object APIs to connect to public and private clouds. Transparent to both applications and users, Avere technology automatically translates between those APIs and file-system protocols to enable seamless access to any data, anywhere. Avere Edge filers facilitate the use of cloud services with all NAS applications without requiring changes to existing applications or user access methods, simplifying access as well as protecting the broadcast company’s application investments.

Benefits: Improved Performance, Protection, Access, and Economies

Higher Performance

The company reports that for hosting encode sources and temporary space, the Avere solution matches the performance of an on-premises SAN and exceeds its performance in mixed-use scenarios (small versus large files, random read/ write versus contiguous). The Avere cluster demonstrates performance equivalent to a local fibre connection and exceeds the performance of a competitive SAN tested during the storage-solution evaluation process.

Protected Content, Transparent Access

The Avere-enabled private object storage solution reduces the risk of data loss and enables enterprise-grade protection of missioncritical content. The broadcast company’s clients also benefit from simpler access to content. Avere global namespace (GNS) technology enables centralized access to multiple production storage locations. Avere software functionality also enables non-disruptive tuning and migration processes, protecting user productivity and ensuring network clients are not impacted by backend changes. Engineering, for example, can reconfigure servers and capacity without impacting workflows and productivity.

By abstracting workflows from storage, whether SAN, NAS, or public/private object storage, Avere simplifies both access and storage management.

Economies

Economic benefits include simplified content management and reduced SAN maintenance costs. Abstraction and the ability to make changes more quickly across the storage platforms contribute to time savings. The solution also protects the broadcast company’s existing storage investments, enabling balanced utilization of cloud capacity and traditional storage resources for less-mission-critical content.

The Avere solution meets the broadcast company’s requirements for scale, availability, and performance to support an array of workloads, providing an appropriate storage architecture for this network-client-centric business. The Avere-enabled cloud storage solution ensures flexibility for growth and improved data durability and availability. Avere also provides a path to public cloud object storage, a viable option available for future growth.