At the NAB Show 2018, Cloudian surveyed over 300 attendees about their media archive storage. The goal was to learn about the archive challenges faced by post-production professionals, and how these challenges are being met.

The results were surprising, indicating an industry very much in transition. Workflows are demanding more from media archive storage, driving capacity and search challenges. And media owners are now responding by migrating away from tape — towards new disk and hybrid cloud solutions —  and integrating advanced solutions to accelerate search. A cool infographic has the results here.

Cloudian media archive storage survey shows increase in media archive capacity challenges

Capacity management challenge with growing media archive storage

Capacity management is a growing challenge with 4K media now pervasive and 8K media on the way.  Furthermore, producers now want to capture and keep every bit of the shoot. Cameras are on all the time, and every bit of that footage now gets archived.

In our survey the average archive size was 1.2PB, and 52% of respondents reported ongoing capacity challenges.

Cloudian survey shows media archive storage search challenges, with AI and machine learning emerging as a solution


Media Archive Storage Search Headaches Increasing*

* But solutions are on the way!

A majority of respondents (58%) reported ongoing problems with finding assets. This admission heard more than once: “It’s sometimes easier to re-buy stock footage rather than find the footage we already have.”

Search tools are not always as advanced as you might hope, with 30% of respondents saying they still use a combination of Excel sheets and labels on media. More surprisingly, that 30% figure was true for archives of all sizes, even those over 500TB.

Furthermore, users employing MAMs or other databases still had challenges, with 73% of those users reporting time consuming management.

The good news is that help is on the way. A popular topic at the show was metadata, and how it can help with media archive storage search. 79% of respondents seek AI and machine learning tools that can enrich metadata to boost search intelligence.


Cloudian survey shows increase in hybrid cloud usage for media archive storage

Hybrid Cloud Combines Best of Both Cloud and On-Prem Media Archive Storage

Respondents indicated significant interest in hybrid cloud, with 78% indicating as interest in moving to hybrid cloud within three years, up from just 16% on hybrid cloud today.

A hybrid cloud combines on-premises storage and cloud storage in a single management environment. The combination provides the quick-access and security of on-prem storage with the utility of cloud storage. In this setting, the cloud might be used for disaster recovery copies, content distribution, or with cloud-based applications for transcoding or metadata enrichment.

Tape use declining as storage for media archives

Tape is Going Away

Tape as an archive medium appears to be on the decline, with 51% of tape users saying they plan to move away from it in the next three years. The reasons given are:  too much management overhead (a tape lasts only 7 years, according to Steve Anastasi, VP of Global Media Archives at Warner Bros), too much physical handling, unreliability, and slow to find and retrieve assets.

Comments from media professionals

Speakers at NAB echoed the same themes in the talks linked below. Media archive storage is in a transition that will make it easier to store, find and protect your company’s most valuable assets. Learn more about how Cloudian helps here, and download the cool infographic here.



Listen to Matt Yonks, archivist for Saturday Night Live talk about his move from tape here:

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Listen to Shane Miner of WGBH (Frontline, Nova, Antique Roadshow) talk about his move from tape here:

Listen to Sarah Semlear of Vox Media (SB Nation) talk about her move from tape here: