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Cloud Computing in the Media and Entertainment Industry: Customer Case Studies with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

Welcome to our series of blog posts that explore how Cloud Volumes helps various verticals meet their sector-specific challenges and reap all the benefits of cloud computing. In this post we look at the media & entertainment (M&E) industry, which provides us all with print and online newspapers and magazines, TV and radio, and, of course, movies, video games, music, and books. The next post in this series will examine the NetApp Cloud solutions for SaaS challenges and DevOps challenges in the Software vendors sector.

Globally, the M&E sector was valued at $2.1 trillion in 2018, of which the US accounted for $678 billion. By 2023 the entertainment industry market size is expected to grow by 23% to a value of $2.6 trillion. The top players include household names such as Comcast, Disney, Time Warner, YouTube, and Netflix, but the sector also includes thousands of small-to-medium enterprises and as of 2017, employed more than 1.6 million people in the US alone.

In this blog post we take a closer look at the benefits of cloud computing in the media and entertainment industry, and how media companies have successfully leveraged NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP to stay ahead of the curve.

The Advantages of Cloud Computing for Media & Entertainment

How do businesses use cloud computing? In this section we look at how the advantages of using cloud storage are helping the M&E sector face four of its most important challenges.

Demanding Consumers, Unpredictable Demand

Today’s consumers of media and entertainment content expect flexibility and choices. In addition, consumer demand is unpredictable, with spikes and surges in viewership that have to be dealt with in real time. The on-demand characteristics of cloud computing provide the levels of scalability and flexibility that the M&E sector needs to cost-effectively meet volatile demand, automatically spinning servers up and down as demand ebbs and flows.

Agility, Speedier Time to Market, Continuous Expansion of Content

In order to stay competitive, content creators in the M&E sector are under pressure to produce and/or distribute original content more frequently and faster. Without the cloud it would be close to impossible to store, manage, and deliver these huge quantities of digital content in an agile, dynamic and cost-effective manner. Hybrid and/or multicloud deployments can provide an even greater measure of flexibility, allowing workloads to be shifted seamlessly across public and private infrastructures.

Cost Benefits of Cloud Computing

Traditional M&E distribution companies such as cable or broadcast television are being challenged by new trends in television broadcasting and agile, low-cost OTT (Over the Top) companies that sell and/or deliver streaming audio, video and other media directly to consumers over the Internet. Other factors that are challenging the bottom lines of the content-oriented M&E companies are the rising costs of content licensing, as well as shortened technology lifecycles.

Cloud computing in the media and entertainment industry offers opportunities to contain technology and storage costs in order to balance the rising costs in other areas. By shifting from a CAPEX model to the cloud’s OPEX model, for example, M&E companies can reduce their sunk costs in storage and delivery technologies and infrastructures. Also, using the different tiers of cloud storage SLAs for their hot vs. cold digital assets can reduce storage costs considerably for M&E companies.

High Performance, Minimal Delays/Downtime

High streaming performance, with minimal delays and downtime, is critical both in terms of user experience as well as advertiser expectations. A six-second delay in streaming an ad for a hit show, for example, can cost a media company hundreds of thousands of dollars that they have to give back to the advertiser.

The cloud provides ample opportunities for dispersed and redundant architectures that support high availability and high-performance SLAs, such as multi-region, multicloud, and hybrid deployments.

M&E Customer Success Stories

The cloud providers themselves offer tools and services to help their users monitor and manage storage and compute usage and costs. However, cloud-native tools and services may not sufficiently meet the demands of complex cloud infrastructures that straddle multiple—and often siloed—cloud consumers within the organization, as well as hybrid and/or multicloud deployments.

NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP data management system, which runs as an instance on Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud storage, brings a wide range of cost-containment and other advantages to cloud computing in the media and entertainment industry. This section provides some concrete examples of how M&E companies are leveraging Cloud Volumes ONTAP to lower costs, boost performance, and overcome the challenges of cloud computing.

EidosMedia

Each day 32K+ authors and coordinators use EidosMedia’s content creation and delivery platform to manage 280K+ digital assets as they serve 45K+ multimedia stories to 65M+ readers and viewers across five continents. Its customers include the Financial Times, Dow Jones, Le Monde and Deutsche Post DHL.

With scalability, agility and innovation key competitive factors, EidosMedia faced a number of business challenges:

  • Improve their ability to simultaneously publish to multiple destinations worldwide.
  • Accelerate the development of new features.
  • Migrate to a SaaS model.

EidosMedia deploys Cloud Volumes ONTAP HA for AWS in order to reap the following benefits:

  • High availability: In Cloud Volumes ONTAP HA pairs, if one node crashes, workloads immediately and automatically failover to another node, ensuring continuous operations and fault-tolerant business continuity.
  • True hybrid data management: Workloads move seamlessly from on-premises to the cloud and back across the NetApp Data Fabric.
  • Shortened development cycles: Eidos can easily spin up and tear down dev/test environments using FlexClone®, which leverages NetApp’s resource-efficient incremental Snapshot technology to clone writable volumes instantly and at zero capacity no matter the size of the source data.
  • Enhanced performance and compliance: SnapMirror® replicates data highly efficiently and cost-effectively, making it easy to move data assets where needed to meet latency and data sovereignty requirements.

Read the full EidosMedia case study here.

Galatz Radio

Founded in 1950 by the Israel Defence Forces, today Galatz Radio is composed of two popular Israeli radio stations that are regularly listened to by 56% of Israelis. Galatz Radio had a priceless archive of 90,000 hours of programming on fragile analog tapes, which was becoming cumbersome and risky to access. As part of its overall digital transformation, Galatz Radio decided to digitize its archives and move them to a NetApp storage environment. From there it was a natural step to use Cloud Volumes ONTAP for Azure to migrate their digitized assets to the cloud.

The successful cloud migration has been instrumental in making this unique recorded history available to the public. Additional advantages that Galatz Radio gets from its Cloud Volumes ONTAP deployment:

  • Use the same data storage management interface for their on-prem as well as cloud-based assets with NetApp Cloud Manager. Cloud Manager provides an intuitive, single-pane interface with full visibility and control across hybrid and multicloud deployments.
  • Storage efficiencies: Their storage costs were reduced by 70% by migrating to the cloud combined with Cloud Volumes ONTAP storage efficiencies that automatically compress, deduplicate, and compact data to cut down cloud data storage costs.
  • Backup and recovery: They use SnapMirror to maintain a backup and recovery replica site that meets stringent failure recovery metrics.

Read the full Galatz Radio case study here.

Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror)

The UK largest regional newspaper group Reach, has a monthly reader base of 45 million people—19 million through its print publications, including the iconic Daily Mirror, and 34 million through its digital content.

With the company and its data experiencing exponential growth, Reach had to address a number of business challenges:

  • Breaking down data silos between its print and online businesses.
  • Reduce downtime and delays to a minimum in order to keep up with the relentless pace of real-time publication.
  • Escape their disaster recovery (DR) on-premises infrastructure refresh cycle.

Reach was already using NetApp to centralize its siloed editorial and advertising systems on a common infrastructure and content management system. Reach then turned to Cloud Volumes ONTAP for AWS to build a disaster recovery (DR) platform for its business-critical cloud applications. The benefits of the successful deployment include:

  • Exceeding their 60-minute recovery time objective (RTO): Using SnapMirror replication, Cloud Volumes ONTAP supports seamless DR failover and failback operations with zero loss of data (RPO=0) and an RTO of 10 minutes.
  • Storage footprint reduced by 50% with Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s storage efficiencies that minimize costly storage sprawl. In addition, its thin provisioning feature allocates storage capacity dynamically, as it is needed instead of ahead of time.
  • Reducing DR and image library storage costs with automated data tiering: Cloud Volumes ONTAP deployments benefit from seamless data tiering between a high-performance tier for “hot” data on Amazon EBS volumes, and the higher-latency, less-expensive object storage tier on Amazon S3 or Azure Blob for “cold” data.

Read the full Reach case study here.

A Final Note

Sectors like media and entertainment that generate and deliver huge volumes of data and are held to high standards of performance and responsiveness are turning to the benefits of cloud computing for scalability, elasticity, availability, continuity—and NetApp is their natural data management partner.

We invite you to use our AWS calculator and Azure calculator to see how layering Cloud Volumes ONTAP over the public cloud services can provide cost effective cloud storage.

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