Transforming the Indian Film Industry’s Storage Infrastructure

by March 18, 2015 0 comments

Yashraj Films uses the latest Dell storage arrays in their studio to access and use their archived catalogue of films for a range of media projects across platforms such as YouTube, Netflix, and iTunes and make them accessible to millions of film lovers
– Adeesh Sharma
Over the years, YRF has widened their horizons into home entertainment by marketing and distributing DVDs, VCDs and Blu-ray discs around the world. With YRF producing between five to eight films per year, the company’s growing archive of films was being stored on a variety of devices including servers, tape drives, and HDDs. With the digitization of content giving the company greater flexibility to expand the distribution of their films and film footage over multiple media platforms, the company needed a solution to archive their catalogue.
What they deployed
YRF considered solutions from HP, Isilon, IBM and Dell. The studio wanted a dedicated storage solution that would ensure archived films remained highly available, and deliver reliable data protection. With the final film being stored on high-resolution files, all the digital assets of a film can require up to 10-15 terabytes of hard disk space. The studio reviewed the Dell EqualLogic PS6500E virtualized iSCSI storage array with SATA disk drives, for archiving their film catalogue.
Digital transformation benefits achieved through this solution
The studio now has the flexibility to access and use their archived catalogue of films for a range of media projects across platforms such as YouTube, Netflix, and iTunes. With these platforms being accessible to millions of film lovers, having an easily accessible film catalogue that is searchable down to the level of the single frame is critical for ensuring global distribution of YRF. Specific film files are delivered to dedicated workstations where the IT team can package the film or film clip in the appropriate format for upload, thereby ensuring maximum exposure for the entire YRF catalogue.
A big advantage was the snapshot restoration feature of the Dell EqualLogic SAN where they could restore a single frame that may have been corrupted, rather than having to restore the entire film. That saves them a sizeable amount of time and ensures no delays during the film’s promotion and distribution. Fully redundant and hot-swappable SATA disk drives means the studio has the confidence of data protection for its film files.
Due to continued technical innovation within the media industry, the increased use of computer-generated and computer-altered imagery and a greater demand for high definition (HD) films, YRF’s storage requirements will rapidly increase. Without a centralised archive, scaling storage meant the team had to predict future storage demands in advance of the need. Purchasing additional physical storage solutions increased their data center footprint and resulted in poor utilization of resources. Being able to scale their current storage solution whenever they need enables them to maintain a unified platform for film archives. That makes film management easier and means they can deliver a high level of service to media partners who in turn receive quick access to their catalogue.
Ease of management has reduced time spent on archiving from days to hours and has enabled the team to focus on new projects. YRF can integrate the storage array with industry software to add metadata tags to their digital assets to make their film catalogue easily searchable in response to specific industry requests.
With a small number of IT staff dedicated to the entire film studio, the team relies on Dell ProSupport with Mission Critical 4 hour Onsite Response service to support their storage solution and keep the studio on schedule. Despite the expanding archive requirements and increasing demands from media partners, YRF has been able to maintain the size of their IT team.

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