Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Zadara’s Cloud Block and File Storage Wins Again - Adding More ‘Cool’ to our Credentials!

- Noam Shendar, VP Business Development

CRN coolest storage startups - zadara cloud block and file storage

It’s been a great week! The esteemed CRN magazine just crowned Zadara Storage as one of The 10 Coolest Storage Startups Of 2014 awarding us the title for our Virtual Private Storage Arrays’ (VPSA) “high-performance, highly available file and block storage on a pay-as-you-go model with predictable quality of service for both on-premise and service provider deployment.”

In addition, Business Intelligence Group announced us as one of the “53 Cloud Companies that Matter in 2014,” naming Zadara Storage as a finalist in the Stratus Awards, a recognition of companies innovating in the cloud and providing offerings that are truly differentiated in the market. 

“We are proud to reward Zadara Storage in the 2014 Stratus Awards,” said Dawn Fordyce, managing director of the Business Intelligence Group. “Virtual Private Storage Array cloud block and file storage is clearly leading the market in delivering real value to their end customers by leveraging the Cloud.”

These announcements are joined by our having been selected for Gartner’s prestigious ‘Cool Storage Vendor’ report just a few weeks ago, and we are absolutely thrilled to join the illustrious circle of companies who are recognized for changing the storage industry through innovation and helping customers achieve new flexibility, cost efficiencies and data storage possibilities that were simply impossible until today.

The Business Intelligence Group’s Stratus Award winners represent the greatness that is the cloud and CRN’s award is recognition that storage innovation is alive and well, especially in the cloud!

Thank you for recognizing our innovative service, and we look forward to continuing to pioneer the most advantageous, flexible and robust storage solutions, both on-premise and in the cloud!

Stratus awards finalist zadara cloud block and file storage

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NetApp by the Hour Comes to Azure with Zadara Elastic NetApp Private Storage (eNPS)

Join me at Microsoft WPC and see how Elastic NetApp Private Storage at Azure is changing the game for data center economics and cloud disaster recovery 

 - Noam Shendar, VP Business Development 

I’m in Washington, DC, this week at Microsoft WPC launching our new, exciting elastic NetApp Private Storage (eNPS) for Azure service which was also announced by NetApp earlier this morning. 

When we first launched eNPS for Amazon Web Services (AWS), we said we would be expanding the service to meet new demand and to help customers find better, more flexible and efficient solutions using NetApp hardware in the cloud for backup, disaster recovery and dev and testing.

I’m happy to share that this is such an expansion! Zadara eNPS for Azure brings the power and flexibility of eNPS to the rapidly growing Microsoft Azure platform, recently hailed by Gartner as the only IaaS provider other than AWS worthy of the Leaders’ quadrant.

Elastic NetApp at Microsoft Azure

NetApp Data ONTAP – $1.99/hour for 6TB of usable storage 

That’s not all. There are a number of new things to discuss since our last eNPS announcement. First, thanks to increased scale and further efficiencies that we’ve developed with our partners at NetApp, the pricing has gotten even better!

Zadara eNPS now starts at just $1.99/hour for 6TB of usable storage. That’s for real NetApp Data ONTAP running on real NetApp FAS hardware, with all the features turned on! We’re very proud to be able to deliver our customers with these prices and we hope this helps more organizations to easily take advantage of bursting workloads, backup, disaster recovery and test and dev in the cloud with their existing applications and hardware architecture.

A Multicloud Reality 

Another new feature we’re thrilled about is our unique Multicloud capability which we launched with our support for Azure (you can read more about it in my recent blog post). In sites where we have eNPS connected to both Azure and AWS, you can simultaneously mount volumes to both clouds at once. That means you can add a cloud provider or change from one cloud provider to another without moving a single bit of data.

Is this cool, or what? Say goodbye to vendor lock-in and choose the best cloud computing environment for your needs, and your budget.

How eNPS Changes the Game 

I hope you see by now why this is so exciting. You can have all of NetApp’s features, reliability, and ecosystem, attached with high speed and low latency to Azure and other clouds for just $1.99/hour, on-demand – all this with no minimum commitment and no up-front costs. And if you want to try it – you can visit our website and start a free trial.

Meet me at WPC! 

If you’re in our nation’s capital, too, please come meet me at WPC. You can contact me here to set up a meeting and join me for my presentation (see abstract below) on Wednesday, July 16th, at 1pm EDT in room 149B of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

If you’d like to learn more about Zadara Virtual Private Storage Array (VPSA) solution at Microsoft Azure Cloud, and get up to $3,000 cash back – visit our website.

I look forward to seeing you at WPC!

Unlocking New Hybrid Scenarios With SQL Server and Microsoft Azure
Wednesday, July 16th, at 1pm EDT – Session BD506i
Create new business opportunities and unlock high value scenarios for your customer with SQL Server and Azure cloud services. From fast development and test, to disaster recovery, to dealing with surprise traffic spikes, this interactive session will help partners identify opportunities to mix-and-match cloud-based and on-premises data management to solve real world challenges and reveal hidden revenue potential.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Zadara Storage Summit 2014: To Understand The Cloud, Talk To Your Customers

Doug Jury, VP Americas Sales

On June 17th 2014, 50 of Zadara’s customers and partners arrived at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Their first task was to sign-in, meet and greet the Zadara team and travel via a very short ride to the newly opened, 550-ft-tall, High Roller observation wheel (LINQ). It is the highest of it's kind in the world! Last year our summit would have probably fit in in one of these huge cabins, however, this year we needed 3 to accommodate the fast-growing base of partners and customers who wanted to partake in our yearly event.

On June 18th we all settled down from the evenings activities and went to work. The theme of the summit was all about information sharing, network building and establishing the Zadara User Group, “ZUG”. We want to have our customers and partners interconnect in a way that inspires new use cases and technical capabilities to carry them forward.

Zadara-summit-2014- 56

Nelson Nahum our CEO kicked off the two-day event. His insight into Zadara and the state of the company is always appreciated. He was followed by several keynotes including Masashi Yuzawa (Zadara Storage Board Member and General Manager, Global Total Strategic Office, Cloud & Solution Company, Toshiba), Steve Kickert (CTO, Farm Intelligence), David Martineau (CTO, ContractPal) and Viktor Petersson (VP Business Development, CloudSigma).

Zadara-summit-2014- 76
All these fine speakers spoke of the cloud, futures and how storage is one of the most pivotal decisions a customer must make while choosing their cloud strategy. The status-quo cloud storage solutions of a few years ago which previously only ran test and development applications are no longer adequate for today’s bet-your-business cloud requirements. The cloud must now provide an equal to or better set of tools than their on-premise enterprise storage. Nothing less.

Whenever You Want to Understand How the Cloud is Working, Don’t Ask the Industry, Ask Your Customers

The summit then moved to a more free-flow format with panel of customers:
• Mike Hayes – Mgr of Infrastructure and Operations at Deloitte
• Bernie Velivis – Cloud Operations and Services Manager at Roadnet Technologies Inc.
• Scott Colestock – Director of Cloud Operations, Farm Intelligence
• Jamie Begin – Founder and CEO, RightBrain Networks
• Steve Bouzan – Manager Operations at Cognizant Technology Solutions


Answering questions like:
• Why did you move to the cloud?
• Were your assumption correct?
• What is missing from the cloud today and is that limiting your enterprise applications from being hosted?

Here's what some of them had to say:

Whenever you want to understand how the cloud is working, don’t ask the industry, ask your customers. They will share and enlighten you. I was happy to hear that we were getting high marks for our part in their cloud strategies.

The day continued with several presentations which are critical at every sales meeting and customer event: company roadmap, technical, and partner sessions. After sitting in our chairs for about 8 hours… we had a fun game show with some lucrative prizes - a nice way to end a busy day and have some fun bonding and again networking with the attendees.

The evening was an extension of the day’s conversation, but we also provided a distraction from the daily life, with great food, comedian and magic acts and then for some they ventured to the slots and table games. We are in Vegas, aren’t we?

las vegas zadara summit

Day 2: June 19th, we all assembled for breakfast, additional card exchanges and relationships that will hopefully become long-term friendships. We kicked things off with again 2 great keynotes speakers. Jane Li (COO, Huawei) and Steven Cohen (Solutions Architect, Daystrom). Jane spoke of the vision of Huawei in the storage arena and how they can provide a Storage-as-a-Service offerings with Zadara while Steve gave a great overview of the Media and Entertainment vertical. For those that were not at the summit you are getting a great flavor of the impact that great partners and customers are making to the cloud industry.

Zadara-summit-2014- 151

I hosted the first of what should be many Zadara User Group “ZUG” meetings. Customer were excited to offer their suggestions, comments and future directions of our flagship product VPSA (Virtual Private Storage Array). We will be asking our customers how frequently we would like to meet, most likely virtually and what the format should look like. We use the term “Customer Service is in our DNA” and the ZUG is a small part of giving all our customers a voice.

We finished the summit with a meet and ask the engineers session. Still working toward the theme of information transfer in the customer’s terms and needs.

Oh, and in case you were worries, we had the World Cup games streamed on the big screen, to make sure we weren’t missing the important stuff!

Zadara-summit-2014- 135

Zadara-summit-2014- 139

The Most Important Thing To Remember: People Make A Difference

It is my belief that this was one of the best summit I have been part of in my 37 years in the industry. There have been many larger ones with thousands of partners and customers. But for a company like Zadara to have the clientele from all over the world join, share and partner with us, was like no other in my history. People always make the difference - and here's a video to prove me right:

For those that attended, thank you from the entire Zadara Team. For those that could not make it, stand by, next year’s destination will soon be selected!

Thoughts? Questions? Feedback? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best and you know where to find me,

Doug Jury
Customer Service is in our DNA

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

[Press Release] With 800,000,000 Image Files to Store at Amazon Web Services, Realty Data Uses Zadara Storage and RightBrain Networks To Get EMC-Caliber Performance for Less

Enterprise Storage as a Service (STaaS) from Zadara Storage, Deployed by RightBrain Networks, Scales With Ease and “Same Performance of an On-Premise EMC SAN, at Half the Cost” 

Irvine, CA– June 24, 2014 – Zadara™ Storage, Inc. today announced that together with cloud consulting and managed services provider RightBrain Networks, it has enabled Realty Data Company, LLC, to deploy a massive enterprise Storage as a Service (STaaS) architecture. Designed for repository storage at Amazon Web Services (AWS), this installation typifies the greater performance, agility, scalability and cost savings possible by the right software-designed storage approaches - even at Big Data scale. Realty Data had grown to the point that its existing on-premises EMC SAN would not scale cost-effectively, and moving its 800 million+ image files to native Amazon storage options such as EBS and S3 proved problematic. The company then turned to RightBrain Networks, which helped it switch to Zadara Storage’s Virtual Private Storage Array (VPSA) and achieve its business goals at AWS without compromise.

“We were skeptical at first about an architecture going from one data center to another to pull up images, especially at our scale; but with the combination of AWS compute resource and Zadara Storage that RightBrain helped us build and deploy, we’re getting better performance than what we had from an on-premise EMC SAN, and saving at least 50% of our data center costs,” said Craig Loop, director of technology at Realty Data Corp. “Following the migration, instead of getting complaints, we actually had customers stating that they noticed a performance increase in our system. We now have flexibility and agility to try new approaches as we grow our business, without having to plan and buy the storage we need to run them.”

A property information solutions provider to the mortgage and insurance industry that serves up land surveys, titles and other documents used in real estate transactions, Realty Data made the decision to move its data center to the cloud and consolidate three EMC SANs into one unified cloud-based architecture at AWS for cost control and scalability reasons.. It chose AWS’ EC2 for its exceptional compute resources, but storage quickly proved problematic. EBS was expensive and its 1 TB per volume size limit made it not feasible for a large volume of data. Amazon’s S3 object storage wasn't compatible with the more I/O intensive, block-level storage needed by Realty Data’s application. Even though most of the application data are small image files, the sheer volume of hundreds of millions of them--and the need to access them with the same immediacy that its customers have grown to expect from an on-premises data center resource--ratchets up architectural complexities. As a result RightBrain Networks turned to Zadara Storage, whose enterprise-grade features promised a different way for Realty Data.

The result was that Realty Data’s application transformed the downsides of on-premises storage – costs, complexity, staffing, scalability challenges, inflexibility – into exactly what excelled in the storage architecture. Because Zadara’s enterprise VPSA can scale to nearly 1 billion files, all in one large pool instead of the 1 TB volume size limitation of AWS’s EBS, Realty Data could architect its storage so that it would not need the AWS EC2 server to act as a data manager using 60 individual 1 TB EBS volumes. Working in support of Realty Data, RightBrain Networks’ site reliability engineers could directly map Realty Data’s storage onto a network drive attached to an instance and deliver an image with almost zero latency.

Instead of needing sizable capital outlays for traditional storage hardware/software and the need for a dedicated hire to manage just the storage alone, Realty Data could simply scale up or down its storage resources elastically from a dedicated management interface with the click of a button. Instead of accepting less I/O performance in exchange for agility, or provisioning adequately yet consuming CapEx and staffing budgets, Realty Data’s system delivered superior storage performance on demand, without the heat, cooling, floor space and staffing hours.

Zadara’s Virtual Private Storage Arrays provides customers with data center-grade performance at cloud storage scalability and pricing, with enterprise-grade features not found elsewhere in a cloud-deployed model. Zadara’s storage stack resides on premises adjacent to the AWS US East data center and linked via AWS Direct Connect high-speed fiber connections. Zadara drives are private and not shared with anyone else, so Zadara users can obtain single-tenant performance at multitenant prices. Expansion to more drives, or switching from disks to SSDs, is as simple as clicking a button on the dedicated online management interface provided to each customer. At any time Zadara users can also eliminate drives, adjust controller performance, and fine tune other storage needs on the fly – allowing agility and control in a flexible, pay-as-you-go model. Zadara customers pay only for the storage they consume, without long term commitments or up-front fees, and can add or decrease storage requirements at any time.

“Our motto is ‘no-compromises enterprise data storage services,’ and there’s no better poster child for that motto than Realty Data,” said Nelson Nahum, CEO of Zadara Storage. “Through the help of our partner RightBrain Networks, Zadara Storage is pleased that Realty Data is achieving exactly the results we designed our VSPA to deliver – even with 800 million image files. At a time when businesses can’t tolerate traditional storage buying cycles and CapEx demands, Zadara Storage allows the high performance, scalability, elasticity and agility that are the hallmark of a well-run business.”

About RightBrain Networks
RightBrain Networks is a team of software engineers (Development) and site reliability engineers (Operations) developing applications, infrastructure and educational solutions for enterprises utilizing Cloud resources. RBN’s DevOps team can analyze the cloud-readiness of existing applications or build self-healing, highly-scalable custom software ready to deploy. The company’s DevOps philosophy and Agile software development process dramatically accelerate development and deployment cycles, resulting in a faster time-to-market. RBN specializes in advising organizations preparing for Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud deployments and is among an elite 6% of AWS partners certified as an Amazon Web Services Advanced Consulting Partner. For more information visit: www.rightbrainnetworks.com

About Zadara Storage
Zadara™ Storage is a pioneer provider of enterprise storage as a service (STaaS), delivering high-performance, highly available and predictable (QoS) file and block storage, in a pay-as-you-go model for on-premise deployment and via global service providers.

The company’s patent-pending, software-defined Virtual Private Storage Arrays™ (VPSA™) deliver flexible, multi-tenant enterprise SAN and NAS technology for peta-scale primary and secondary storage. With isolated resources, exceptional data security, management control and predictable performance, VPSAs meet the most stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs), even in public cloud deployments.

The company’s as-a-service model offers enterprises, SMBs and startups a flexible, agile and cost-efficient storage infrastructure, available on-premise and through a wide range of worldwide cloud and colocation providers, including value-added relationships with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. For more information visit www.zadarastorage.com.

Media Contacts
A3 Communications
EMEA: Federica Monsone
Phone: +44 (0) 1252 875 203
Email: fred.monsone@a3communications.co.uk

US: Mary Kae Marinac
Phone: 978-685-3136
Email: mkm@mkmarinac.com

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where are the cloud and storage industries heading? An interview with our latest hires from AWS and EMC.

- Noam Shendar, VP Business Development 

cloud direction

It’s exciting times here at Zadara Storage – we recently announced our support for Microsoft Azure, and with it the availability of the first truly multi-cloud storage solution, our customer base is rapidly expanding. We’ve even been crowned ‘cool vendor’ by Gartner’s prestigious listing.

With the rapid growth of our ecosystem, we are also continuously expanding our team. Yesterday, we announced two major hires joining our management team: Craig Carl, who is our new vice president of products, and Dani Naor, vice president of international sales.

These two distinguished storage industry veterans hail from some of the biggest forces shaping storage today: Craig from AWS, and Dani from EMC’s XtremIO group. They both had hands-on experience working with customers to help solve their biggest storage challenges, and bring tremendous knowledge, experience, and expertise.

I wanted to take this opportunity to sit down with them and talk about why they joined the Zadara team, hear their perspective on where the industry heading and what the biggest challenges ahead are for cloud and storage. Most importantly, I want to show off the caliber of our newest team members to our customers and partners. Welcome aboard!

Let’s start with what people are most curious to hear: you both held leadership positions in market-dominant companies - what made you join Zadara? 

Dani Naor: I actually know part of the team from back in the StoreAge days. It’s truly an outstanding team from a technical knowhow perspective, business understanding and vision. In addition to that, Zadara unique technological solution introduces cloud storage with advanced features that enable hosting companies, enterprise customers and service providers enormously improve their data center while lowering costs substantially. It’s a win-win situation for the customer, and that’s a value proposition I look forward to drive.

Craig Carl: At AWS customers routinely reached the limits of the storage services; EBS volume size and performance, non-sharable volumes, the absence of a file services product. AWS solution architects routinely brought Zadara in to solve these problems for our customers because we knew Zadara shared the same customer focus as Amazon and that our customers could trust the Zadara solution. During my work with Zadara at AWS, I got to see the opportunities, technology and value that Zadara brings to customers, and this made me excited. My new position is a great opportunity to be part of a dynamic start up. I love talking to customers – it’s my favorite thing in the world – and this is a great opportunity to work with them and deliver solutions that truly address their storage pain points.

What are the biggest challenges you see enterprise customers facing today when it comes to storage?

don't panic

Craig Carl: I think enterprise storage customers have been underserved by their vendors for the last several decades. True, storage has gotten faster and less expensive per TB but these evolutionary changes have primarily been driven by component manufacturers and have not been surfaced to customers as quickly as they could have been.

Despite a decade of marketing messages to the contrary, enterprise storage customers still have no effective capacity on demand storage acquisition options, are still paying a premium for massively undersubscribed arrays and then “growing into” them over several years.

There is no doubt that storage customers of every size and across every vertical are looking at the incredible power that the public cloud can offer them; it’s also true that their current storage vendor isn’t helping them move and manage workloads in the cloud. This monolithic, on-premise only approach does customers a disservice.

Multi-tenancy, workload isolation and bill-back options in enterprise SAN solutions are still weak, these are all basic requirements of on-premise, multi-tenant IT solutions (private clouds).

Dani Naor: In my view, the biggest challenges for customers these days revolve around how to manage efficiently the huge data growth requirements while ensuring data is secured, backed up, and protected against any type of failure and disaster while keeping costs as low as possible. These are huge challenges as data sets are growing at an exponential pace, and companies need to do more with this data (not just archive, but also analyze) – data has become the most critical asset, and it needs to be both managed and secured.

If I look at the market out side the USA, customers are reluctant these days to connect to a public cloud due to the fear of data security. This is something Zadara can really change in the market. Our security, privacy and dedicated resource features make the public cloud much more similar to a private cloud, with full control of where a customer’s data resides and who can access it. We can also help them build a private solution now, and thanks to our footprint and replication, very easily go to the cloud later if they are ready.

zadara logo

Where does Zadara Storage fit within this storage and cloud universe and what do you envision and are excited about for your upcoming? 

Dani Naor: Zadara Storage enables customers to use internal (on-premise), external, or mixed hybrid cloud NAS and SAN storage solutions with a full range of advanced features and on demand regardless of location. This unmatched flexibility enables the customer to use their storage in an optimized and efficient way lowing costs, while enabling full control, security and disaster recovery.

I am excited to be part of a startup team that is offering a unique and advanced cloud storage solution that is focused bringing huge benefits to hosting companies, cloud companies, enterprise customers and service providers around the globe. I’ve worked with enterprises, and hosting companies around the globe for many years, and this is a solution that really gets their challenges and can change the game for them.

Craig Carl: There have been very few genuine innovations in on-premises storage recently; Zadara is going to change that. In the short term Zadara is going to solve two major challenges for our customers; true capacity on demand and data mobility to the cloud.

Recent innovations in the way customers acquire and consume compute resources; capacity on demand, advanced accounting and bill back, workload isolation, and very granular, role based permissions all have analogs in the storage ecosystem that traditional, large storage vendors aren’t delivering to their customers. I’m excited about helping Zadara develop and deliver these new solutions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

[Press Release] Zadara Storage Adds Former EMC, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Leaders to Its Executive Team as Demand for Enterprise Storage as a Service (STaaS) Skyrockets

Dani Naor, Formerly at EMC’s XtremIO Group, and Craig Carl, Formerly at AWS, To Help Scale Zadara’s Business Following 3 Quarters of Doubled Revenues, Customer and Partnership Growth

IRVINE, CA--Zadara Storage has appointed leaders from two of the biggest names in the enterprise computing industry to its management team – leaders who will help the company scale its business in the face of exceptional demand for its enterprise Storage as a Service (STaaS) offerings. 

Dani Naor, new vice president of international sales at Zadara Storage, was previously vice president of business development and international sales for XtremIO, acquired by EMC. He has over 25 years of storage and networking engineering, product management and sales expertise, including co-founding pioneering data storage startup StoreAge and leading teams in multiple geographies. At Zadara Storage he will spearhead the company’s expansion in the EMEA and APAC regions by adding partners, channels, hosting companies, service providers, OEMs and strategic customers, along with additional team hires. Dani is based in Zadara’s R&D center in Israel. 

Craig Carl, new vice president of product management at Zadara Storage, was previously a solution architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS). He is a veteran storage systems expert across both public and private clouds with deep experience in evangelizing, designing, implementing, maintaining, and selling enterprise storage. Prior to AWS, Craig held senior roles at Gluster, 4Base Technology, Kovarus and McAfee.com. At Zadara Storage he will set the product roadmap and lead the product definition of new solutions and expanded functionality that set the stage for continued fast revenue growth. Craig is based in the Seattle, Washington area. 

These new appointments follow Zadara Storage’s three consecutive quarters of doubled revenues Q/Q – growth that speaks to the strong market demand for flexible, pure OpEx, fully managed storage in public, private and hybrid clouds. Already several of the Fortune 50 along with hundreds of major organizations use Zadara Storage’s flagship Virtual Private Storage Arrays (VPSAs) solution to enable NAS and SAN functionality in the cloud that delivers the same high QoS, high performant features of the traditional on-premise storage that is now found only in enterprise data centers. The company was named in the Cool Vendors in Storage technologies, 20141 report by Gartner and has partnerships with AWS, Microsoft Azure, Dimension Data, CloudSigma, and more – partners whose customers also need the unsurpassed scalability, reliability, availability, serviceability, and performance that Zadara’s STaaS solutions enable. 

“We are very fortunate to be able to attract talent of the caliber of Dani and Craig,” said Nelson Nahum, CEO of Zadara Storage. “Their proven track record in enterprise storage and cloud solutions will help Zadara Storage to establish ourselves as a leader in Enterprise Storage as a Service for public and private clouds.” 

About Zadara Storage 
Zadara™ Storage is a pioneer provider of enterprise storage as a service (STaaS), delivering high-performance, highly available and predictable (QoS) file and block storage, in a pay-as-you-go model for on-premise deployment and via global service providers. 

The company’s patent-pending, software-defined Virtual Private Storage Arrays™ (VPSA™) deliver flexible, multi-tenant enterprise SAN and NAS technology for peta-scale primary and secondary storage. With isolated resources, exceptional data security, management control and predictable performance, VPSAs meet the most stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs), even in public cloud deployments. 

The company’s as-a-service model offers enterprises, SMBs and startups a flexible, agile and cost-efficient storage infrastructure, available on-premise and through a wide range of worldwide cloud and colocation providers, including value-added relationships with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. For more information visit www.zadarastorage.com

1 Gartner, Cool Vendors in Storage Technologies, 2014, Dave Russell, Arun Chandrasekaran, Gene Ruth, Pushan Rinnen, Stanley Zaffos, April 15, 2014. 

Media Contacts
A3 Communications 
EMEA: Federica Monsone
Phone +44 (0) 1252 875 203 

US: Mary Kae Marinac
Phone 978-685-3136,  mkm@mkmarinac.com

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why the Film Industry Needs A Different Cloud Storage Solution

Zadara storage at Cine Gear Expo: Digital Media Storage Without Compromise

- Noam Shendar, VP Business Development

New York Skyline

This week I’ll be attending the Cine Gear Expo at the legendary Paramount Studios in Hollywood. In fact, our booth will be located right on New York Street - probably one of the coolest and most famous sets in the studio!

If you’re not familiar with this event, Cine Gear Expo is the premier Film, Video, and Digital Media Expo for the entertainment industry, the largest and most important event of its kind in the United States, and internationally recognized and attended - this will be its 18th year.

What’s unique about this event is that Cine Gear was created by professionals for professionals, and focuses on the needs of the film community, attracting specialists from all the major departments of the entertainment production and post production world.

The current state of storage in the media industry 

So let’s talk storage and the current state of storage in broadcast media and entertainment industries. On one hand there is a rapid transition to high definition (HD) and ultra high definition (UHD) digital environments with new, even higher resolution formats for music, video and film production. For us on the consumer end, we are accustomed to consume film and video content online through streaming services. But on the production end of things, the film and television industries have been far behind in capitalizing on cloud technology.

So why is that?

The film industry relies on massive storage capabilities and highly scalable storage solutions. As a recent Creator’s Project article calculated: ‘The Newest Godzilla Would Have Taken 450 Years To Design On A Single Computer’ – the storage and compute requirements for rich media are plenty. 

The problem is that high performance, security and full featured storage are not attributes usually associated with the cloud, and honestly there’s good reason why. The first is the fact that, largely, cloud storage is based on object storage – storage that can only accommodate static files (can you imagine having to upload an entire video if you wanted to change just a single frame, or for that matter one little pixel?). Editing, compositing, effects – these are parts of the production cycle where media files change frequently and object storage is simply not an option.

Additionally, most cloud storage solutions simply cannot deliver performance that is as consistent and high as traditional NAS and SAN arrays. With pressing deadlines and multimillion dollar budgets, no one can risk or has time to waste on ‘noisy neighbors’ and degraded performance due to other users sharing the same resources. Which brings up another point: shared resources. Shared resources mean less control over where the data resides, and hence less security. Can you imagine the next Batman film dailies sitting on a shared drive with someone’s iTunes library, or another studio production?

Lastly, the massive capacity and large file sizes of rich media require tremendous bandwidth, and are a true challenge for film IT when thinking of transferring projects to, and among, remote locations. With render farms reaching petabyte scale, I dread thinking about how long it would take to transfer files using a standard uplink rate of 1TB/day….

palm sunset hollywood film cloud

Why does the film industry even need the cloud? 

Like in other industries, the cloud can offer the media and entertainment new agility, efficiency and flexibility which delivers easier management, lower costs and new production and business opportunities. With growing file sizes and rapidly increasing resolutions, media data centers are growing at a rapid pace. And just like their enterprise data centers counterparts, they too need to plan for peak production time, meaning that they are over-investing in expensive hardware that often sits idle, eating up IT budgets and requiring power, cooling, maintenance and a staff.

With the cloud serving as a platform for delivery, the possibilities for film distribution are exciting. As examples, organizations can use the cloud for ingesting dailies, sharing file access among multiple VFX teams, or delivering diverse files sizes, formats and versions across the globe, just in time and according to need.

Flexible, Affordable, Private Media Storage as a Service (or in other words - cloud storage for media) 

Last year, we teamed up with Huawei Enterprise USA to deliver a new form of digital media storage that is delivered as a service and makes a significant impact on media organizations’ ability to benefit from the best of both traditional and cloud storage. That means storage with great flexibility and without compromise. That’s important enough to repeat: without compromise!

Huawei Zadara Digital Media Storage is designed especially for the Digital Media industry (for Ingest, Dailies, Editing, Rendering, VFX, Encoding, Backup, and Archival), delivering robust SAN and NAS storage capable of delivering many simultaneous streams. And it gets even better, as they are metered by the hour and can be consumed with no commitment. Literally 100s of terabytes by the hour, there and ready when you need it, and ready to be returned when you’re done.

That means production studios can have access to robust file and block storage, using both magnetic and flash-based drives, that can grow and shrink in capacity and performance on demand, by the hour, with unprecedented scale, reliability, flexibility and data protection designed especially for applications requiring variable amounts of storage and absolute privacy. Studios can finally benefit from the cloud’s flexibility, elasticity and ease of management as primary storage, secondary storage or a hybrid supplement in our location at CoreSite's Los Angeles One Wilshire and 900 Alameda data centers.

cine gear cloud storage hollywood

Zadara Storage at Cine Gear Expo 

I’ll be on the studio streets of “New York” this week in Hollywood, at the Cine Gear Expo demoing the Huawei Zadara Digital Media Storage solution. If you’d like to set up a time to meet - please contact me here. You can download a solution brief here and register for a 14 day free trial where you can test our solution with your most demanding workload!

Please visit ZadaraStorage.com for more information and I look forward to seeing you at the show!