The Ark Stays On Top Of Data Flood With Object Storage

StorNext and Object Storage put London's The Ark ahead of the Competition

In a digital world where data is being created at an increasingly rapid rate, companies that deal with large amounts of data such as post-production facilities are constantly challenged to maintain reliable and easily accessed archives. London’s The Ark put itself ahead of the competition by adopting Quantum’s Lattus-M solution combined with StorNext® Storage Manager software to deliver highly efficient services for the company’s worldwide customers.

Multiple Demands Require New Approach

The Ark, one of the leading post-production facilities in the United Kingdom, was faced with ever-tighter production deadlines and growing amounts of media content to manage in various formats. The company’s ability to meet customer expectations hinged on finding new technology capable of handling a multi-petabyte archive of digital assets.

“We’ve noticed an exponential growth in the amount of content that we are capturing and storing on behalf of customers,” says Ark CEO Brendan O’Reilly. “This has meant that we need a solution that is highly scalable.”

Staying abreast of the latest technology has been critical for the Ark in a highly competitive post-production industry. Challenges continue to evolve in an industry where the switch from analog tape to digital assets has been swift and unrelenting.

“As technology has moved, so the Ark has moved,” says Ark CEO Brendan O'Reilly. “We have tried where possible to not only keep up with technology but to move into new areas.”

The company had been considering object storage as a possible solution for the future because of its unlimited scalability and cost effectiveness. In addition, as it was looking at alternatives, the Ark was influenced by the fact that the company already had an existing StorNext solution.

“Like the majority of post facilities, we use StorNext to manage our data,” O’Reilly says. “Being able to add Lattus™ seamlessly, the Quantum solution seemed like an ideal choice.”

An Integrated Solution

Working with the technical experts at CCK, a U.K.-based Quantum certified reseller, for product selection and installation, The Ark chose StorNext and Lattus products throughout its end-to-end digital content workflow. The Ark solution implemented included three Quantum products:

  • Lattus-M, which integrates next-generation object storage technology with StorNext Storage Manager in a highly durable, scalable, and efficient disk-based archive
  • StorNext M660 metadata appliance, which delivers the high performance and flexibility of the StorNext File System in a pre-configured appliance that enables collaboration across the entire workflow from ingest to delivery and archive; and
  • StorNext QD6000 disk array, providing high-performance primary online storage optimized for StorNext environments

“With the architecture now available to us, we are not only able to store large files but we are also able to deliver large files worldwide in a very cost-effective manner,” O’Reilly says. “This gives the Ark an edge over a lot of companies in that we are able to work across multiple platforms and multiple codecs to create a highly efficient, tapeless workflow for our customers worldwide.”

Benefits Include Speed and Reliability

The combined Lattus and StorNext solution provides a number of benefits to the Ark. The solution provides policy-based movement of digital assets for automated operations.

In addition, Lattus-M offers much greater durability than traditional RAID offerings, including true self-healing and self-protection capabilities, and enables automatic multi-site protection without the need for replication. The result is a highly resilient, disaster-tolerant, scalable archival repository that doesn't need to be backed up. This is cost-effective and easier to scale and maintain.

"We pride ourselves on our quality of service, communication with clients, and our quick turnaround,” O’Reilly says. “After evaluating several object storage solutions, we found that Quantum's Lattus combined with StorNext were unmatched in the industry by giving us the infrastructure that integrated seamlessly into our workflow and even enhanced it for greater access speed and robust content preservation."