Making The Grade With Video Archive

Scalar LTFS Provides Cost-Effective Backup for University’s Growing Video Library

Online courses, distance learning, and other video initiatives were swallowing more disk storage than Biola University’s IT budget could support. Looking for a more affordable option, the IT team graduated to tape archiving using Quantum’s Scalar® LTFS appliance. The result: Cost-effective storage made easy. 

Too Much Data, Too High a Cost

Biola University is a private college serving more than 6,000 students in Southern California. To reach an even broader audience, Biola offers free content, extended courses, distance learning opportunities, and more. This outreach initiative has meant video. Lots and lots of video–5TB to 10TB of raw footage with an additional 5TB of edited files every semester.

Storing the volume of video produced was becoming not only an administrative headache, but also a budget buster, according to Ben Wright, Director of Systems Administration. Biola needed a storage solution that would accommodate the growth, as well as a centralized solution so the marketing department could self-manage the storage, protect the content, and keep track of individual files.

When the Biola team learned about Linear Tape File System (LTFS) technology, they quickly realized it could meet their needs. LTFS allows the use of tape almost as if it were a hard disk. Files can be easily dragged and dropped from a workstation or server to a tape cartridge. Users can see the list of saved files using a standard operating system directory (no backup software catalog needed) and use point-and-click to restore.

Benefits: Simple Use, Lower Cost

After looking at other vendors, Biola chose the Quantum Scalar LTFS appliance as the linchpin of its storage process for video production. The ability of LTFS to present tape storage as just another file share significantly simplifies the storage environment. The IT group doesn’t have to stage data; there’s no special client software required; and individual groups can self-manage their storage needs.

In addition, Quantum’s Scalar LTFS appliance allows the university to leverage the overall IT infrastructure already in place. The LTFS appliance sits in front of Biola’s existing tape library, a Quantum Scalar i500, and enables individual drives to be assigned to remote LTFS access or traditional data backup.

Going with a company they were already using for other backup tasks has worked well, according to Wright.

“We already had Quantum products for tape backup, so we knew the company was easy to work with and offered solid products,” Wright says.