M+E Daily

Technicolor: Clients Save Time with NetApp Cloud Storage

By Mel Lambert

Technicolor says that its new cloud-based storage service, which the company developed with storage specialist NetApp, enables content owners, producers, and distributors to realize new workflow efficiencies.

“In NetApp we have found a strong partner that is a storage expert with an amazing track record,” Chuck Parker, Technicolor’s chief commercial officer, tells M&E Daily. “We married NetApp storage expertise with our own expertise in video; we already have customers lined up.”

Technicolor’s Media Storage Service (TMSS), which it launched at the recent NAB Convention in Las Vegas, combines enterprise storage and NetApp’s data management expertise to manage all assets. “The new service offers a ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing model,” Parker states, “allowing our customers to scale storage to meet fluctuating demand, and avoid over-investing in off-peak periods.” Using TMSS, Technicolor’s customers “can provision the storage they need in days instead of weeks, accelerating completion of projects.”

The service is integrated with MediAffinity, Technicolor’s digital content management and access platform.

“Technicolor’s core business is about manipulating content; everything from visual special effects at the very beginning of the chain through production and post production,” Parker says. “Today, we face storage challenges. A new TV show might need maybe 500 terabytes of data for 26 weeks of shooting and then, bang, it goes away when the show is over. With that kind of workflow we need to turn on storage very quickly and then archive and retrieve it. Technicolor has all of the expertise around workflow, but obviously, we are not storage experts.”

“Our joint customers’ key requirements are time- and capacity-driven, but can be temporary,” states Rick Condgon, NetApp’s Western Area VP. “Taken together, a cloud service is about a shared infrastructure that can be turned up and turned on, and billed on a usage basis. And then when one of our clients is done with that infrastructure, they can then give it back and we can re-deploy it again to another customer. That is a very cost-effective solution.”

“We are an enabling technology behind Technicolor’s expertise and the solutions it is bringing to market, including its MediAffinity Solutions, Technicolor Production Network/TPN and other offerings around decoding and encryption,” Condgon continues.

“We had difficulty moving data around between us and a customer,” Parker recalls, “and NetApp found ways of essentially de-duplicating the data; we had saved 12 hours out of a 24-hour workflow. NetApp reaches deep into our methodology and infrastructure, with employees at our locations. In our first few pilot projects together they have added real value, by offering engineering solutions we didn’t know about. The customer was impressed and now Technicolor has a new service to offer.”

Condgon says that NetApp customizes its service according to whether the storage is on the client’s premises or at Technicolor’s.

“It’s about easy access,” he stresses, “and delivering an infrastructure that fits the client’s needs. It’s about availability and total security.”

Mel Lambert is principal of Content-Creators.com, a Los Angeles-based consulting service.