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Case Study

DAMsmart

LTO tape libraries are traditionally thought of as offline repositories, but because of its unique features and advanced technologies, DNAevolution systems are nearline repositories. Users can browse proxies, directly access files from LTO tape for operations like partial restores, have built-in media asset management functionality, and get fast access to and from the archive. Ultimately, we will continue to have great success with DNAevolution for customers who need secure, accessible, and usable archives.
– Joe Kelly, General Manager, DAMsmart

DAMsmart is an industry-leading audiovisual content digitization and management agency that enables broadcasters, content creators and custodians to maximize the value of their audiovisual archives with innovative media migration, management, and access solutions. Many media collection owners have lost the ability to access and replay obsolete legacy media formats, with some technology approaching 50 years old. These organizations also face the challenge of degraded physical media that may have been sitting idle for years.

With its highly specialized technology and team of specialist operators, DAMsmart helps its customers address the major challenges associated with the collection and management of large archives of audiovisual content and eliminates the need for significant investments normally associated with in-house digitization programs.

DAMsmart’s video digitization suite

Based in Australia, DAMsmart serves a range of commercial and cultural organizations including: Olympic Council of Asia, National Archives of Australia, Thoroughbred Racing Productions, National Archives of Singapore, National Film and Sound Archive (Australia), PRIME Media Group, National Library of Australia, Crawfords Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Queensland State Archives, and State Library of New South Wales.

THE CHALLENGE

DAMsmart is committed to ensuring that it is able to offer both its commercial and cultural customers reliable, flexible, and comprehensive services to address each customer’s priorities for long-term archive and retrieval of critical file-based assets.

Commercial customers, such as broadcasters or production companies, are driven by return on investment and archive-restore performance because they own the rights to the assets and are able to repurpose them for new revenue opportunities. With old analog archives, content is difficult to locate and this severely limits the ability to monetize content. In moving to digital formats, it is essential for customers to have the ability to easily search, find, access, or restore content.

DAMsmart’s comprehensive rejuvenation and preparation of media prior to digitization

Cultural customers, such as museums, galleries, and libraries, are concerned with accurate digitization and secure long-term archiving so that media is preserved, but also accessible. All of the agency’s customers require a low-cost, shelf-stable storage medium for their new digitized collections.

To provide easier access and allow its customers to work more efficiently with their valuable content, DAMsmart moves disparate analog collections to new consistent digital collections, and must deliver the file-based assets back to its customers in an open archive format.

“Supporting multiple proprietary archiving platforms would be burdensome and expensive for us and for our customers,” said Joe Kelly, general manager, DAMsmart. “Because we deliver data to many customers simultaneously, we required an open archive and retrieval platform with a robust implementation of LTFS to alleviate this issue.”

It was necessary that the archival solution also help its customers save storage costs, while providing the direct accessibility of hard drives. “Many of our customers believe that the only way to store file-based content and maintain accessibility is to keep them on spinning disk, so the costs and management of hard drives has been a barrier for them to move to significant digitization projects,” continued Kelly.

THE SOLUTION

“Because DNAevolution creates, manages, and presents media archives in a very usable way for our customers, we can return digitized collections for quick and simple integration into their existing media workflows,” said Kelly. “The ultimate goal is to enable our customers to easily use the new digitized media, and with DNAevolution, we are able to get this done.” The agency also appreciated that DNAevolution doesn’t require expensive, proprietary licenses or underlying databases to manage customer archives.

“StorageDNA does the best job of exploiting today’s advanced technologies, and its implementation of LTFS for media archiving was exactly the type of solution we needed,” continued Kelly.

DAMsmart provides secure onsite storage for collections that are under their control

“DNAevolution fully addresses the requirements we have for both our commercial and cultural customers and offers tremendous value.” DAMsmart chose DNAevolution model X400-48 (48-slot HP autoloader) because it:

  • Delivers a cost-effective, reliable LTO with LTFS archive and retrieval solution that protects critical media assets long-term for its customers
  • Provides fast and streamlined deployment of new digitized archives into customer environments
  • Optimizes the archive-restore performance of LTO-5 and LTO-6
  • Maximizes LTFS enabling timesaving advanced media workflows
  • Includes a built-in media asset management toolset with powerful search and browse features
  • Offers 100% open data (LTFS) and metadata (XML)

“Our customers want the ability to search, preview, do basic descriptive metadata updates, and have control of a collection within a single integrated system that keeps their content safe and accessible,” said Kelly. “That’s why we are excited about the built-in MAM features. In addition, Smart Access, an LTFS media workflow enabled by the system, provides fast and easy partial restores for collection owners.”

Smart Access provides access to files directly from LTO tape, which turns an offline LTO tape library into a browsable archive, and makes the LTO into nearline storage.

“In terms of getting the highest level of archive-restore performance, XSIO will help us to ensure that we maximize bandwidth within a system when we move large amounts of data. “XSIO Archive Engine Accelerator is powered by a SAN/NAS accelerator, combined with a multi-job accelerator, for rapid offloads from expensive storage to LTO tape and quick restores back to LTO.

Because DNAevolution is scalable, DAMsmart provides an archive-retrieval solution based on each customer’s requirement, from desktop to more complex enterprise systems. It either pre-configures archives and ships turnkey systems, or it exports LTO media from its in-house DNAevolution for a simple import at the customer site.

THE RESULT

Working with StorageDNA, DAMsmart has successfully implemented the DNAevolution archive-retrieval workflow solution for many customers with exceptional results. “Our experience working with StorageDNA has been terrific. Customer support is excellent, with snappy response times from a team who knows the product inside and out. StorageDNA is a solutions partner who is willing to go above and beyond with product development and support,” said Adam Hodgkinson, business
manager, DAMsmart.

“Using an LTO LTFS system like DNAevolution, we can clearly demonstrate massive cost savings for our customers, especially for multiple terabyte or multiple petabyte archives. It’s easy to make the case when you compare the cost to a spinning disk environment and what customers can save over a period of two, three or five years,” said Kelly.

Cost savings

  • Long-term storage cost savings
  • 100% open content that maximizes future access and monetization of digital assets

Time and labor savings

  • Workflow efficiencies from higher archive-restore performance
  • Speeds up media environments with advanced LTFS workflows
  • Gives customers control of their collection with a media-aware interface into the LTO catalogue
  • Offers ease of use and robust metadata extraction so customers can quickly find what they need
  • Less maintenance, and down time is minimal due to a more transparent file handling and management system

“LTO tape libraries are traditionally thought of as offline repositories, but because of its unique features and advanced technologies, DNAevolution systems are nearline repositories. Users can browse proxies, directly access files from LTO tape for operations like partial restores, have built-in media asset management functionality, and get fast access to and from the archive. Ultimately, we will continue to have great success with DNAevolution for customers who need secure, accessible, and usable archives,” concluded Kelly.

The following examples illustrate challenges of DAMsmart customers helped by the integration of DNAevolution LTO LTFS software, configured with HP LTO libraries for storage of the collections. These and other DAMsmart customers have greatly benefited from the workflow solution:

Thoroughbred Racing Productions

Thoroughbred Racing Productions (TRP) produces broadcasts for more than 525 thoroughbred race meetings of the Victorian Racing Industry in Australia, resulting in thousands of hours of content each year. It also manages an extensive back catalogue and needed to evolve its digital content storage and access infrastructure to enable greater productivity, with a higher level of security for its collection. The LTO LTFS technology has provided TRP with a stable, economical, and secure storage platform that can be scaled. The DNAevolution software enables TRP to take full advantage of LTFS enabling LTO tape performance that is comparable to disk. Importantly, DNAevolution is based on open standards, which gives TRP the confidence that the collection will be accessible well into the future.

The Olympic Council of Asia

One of five continental associations recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Council of Asia’s (OCA) main objective is to develop the sport, culture and education of Asian youth, as well as to promote international respect, friendship, goodwill, and peace through sports. The OCA is responsible for preserving the moving image history of the games, and as the content custodian of more than 13,000 hours of audiovisual content, it needed to secure the valuable archive for the future and reduce the manual process involved in accessing content.

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