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February 6, 2023

SymplyPERIFERY for Avid Shared Storage

avid sports, media and entertainment workflows with symplyperifery and storagedna

In today’s data-driven world, content is the lifeblood of the Sports, Media & Entertainment industries. Growing amounts of content is being created in studios and remote locations, with media professionals utilizing Avid shared storage adding to this. Production and post-production is often split between facilities and with dispersed workers, who need to retain media assets for the long term while maintaining fast, frequent access. The combination of SymplyPERIFERY and DNAfabric allows companies to efficiently secure content from disaster, whether that be from malicious attack, data corruption, storage system failures, or accidental deletion, whilst still providing a highly resilient long-term media archive, to store valuable content for the purposes of monetization and distribution, that is cost predictable and easy to access at any time.

Threats to Data Security and the Explosion of Content 

Ransomware and hardware failures are currently considered to be the top two threats to NAS solutions such as Avid Nexis. According to a 2022 security report by CheckPoint, there is a ransomware attack every 10 seconds in the world, and the Sports, Media & Entertainment industry is not immune, indeed it is being targeted at a higher frequency than ever before. So a robust data protection strategy is a must. 

Traditionally many broadcasters, production houses, and post-production facilities, have dealt with the explosion of content by increasing the capacity of their Avid Nexis estate, or by using more generic NAS solutions, LTO solutions, and/or public cloud providers. Increasing the Nexis capacity or turning to generic NAS solutions to increase capacity, does not solve problems associated with hardware failures, RAID rebuild times, and silent data corruption caused by bit rot (an important consideration for long-term data retention). NAS solutions also typically have a finite life span, so there is a requirement for migrating data every few years. Avid Nexis and other NAS storage systems also have little or no resistance to Ransomware attacks. 

LTO tape library systems are undoubtedly a cost-effective solution to deal with large volumes of content, and provide an air-gap as protection against Ransomware, but content is not instantly accessible; and tapes need to be migrated between generations which often incurs costs for new LTO drives, media, software licensing, and customers also need to consider the time it takes to migrate data, along with the impact this may have on their workflow. Time, after all, is money. Public cloud solves some problems but raises questions of its own, including the challenges of unpredictable recurring costs, data sovereignty, with the biggest factor, which is almost universal, being the inability to meet local performance requirements.  

SymplyPERIFERY and DNAfabric 

SymplyPERIFERY S3 cloud native in-facility appliance combined with StorageDNA’s DNAfabric, the leading unstructured data management platform, provides a highly secure, resilient, and scalable solution to manage Avid backup, archive and replication across on-premise, remote and cloud deployments. SymplyPERIFERY features a parallel architecture and includes Elastic Content Protection providing both replication and erasure coding content protection strategies making recovery from hardware failures extremely fast. The inbuilt health processor continually checks for failed hardware, bit rot on the disk media, replica and erasure coding anomalies, and even network problems, ensuring exceptional levels of content protection at all times. Built-in multi-layer security defends your content from ransomware and other cyber threats.

Whether you are using Avid Media Central (or Interplay as it was formerly known), Archive One, Avid Nexis, or Avid Edit on Demand (EOD) services, or any combination of the above, SymplyPERIFERY and DNAfabric combined, give users simple and fast access to their content from anywhere, at any time, no matter where their content resides. 

In addition to integrating with Avid Media Central and/or Archive One for archive workflows, allowing for intelligent and selective retrieval of assets, with conform processes happening via ALE directly from the SymplyPERIFERY storage. Uniquely, DNAfabric can replace content archived to SymplyPERIFERY with stub files on the shared Avid storage, an easy way to reclaim space on Avid Nexis, thus freeing up capacity. An Avid editor can simply click on the stub file to trigger high-performance rehydration of the content from SymplyPERIFERY as required. 

The combination of DNAfabric and SymplyPERIFERY enables backup of Avid projects, bins and workspaces, enabling high levels of granularity for managing any Avid storage. Additionally, the solution can snapshot the entire Avid estate, including Avid Edit On Demand (EOD). These snapshots can be securely stored securely on SymplyPERIFERY, allowing entire directories or volumes to be rolled back at high speed to a previous version in the event of a disaster. 

Multi-site Avid replication is also made possible by DNAfabric and SymplyPERIFERY, with one-way, two-way and multi-way/multi-site replication using SymplyPERIFERY as a high-performance “cache” to enable synchronization of content. Multiple Avid Nexis and EOD can be replicated securely, with DNAfabric managing the project and bin locking, between replicated systems. The unique replication technology can also be used to open up Frame.io workflows with content stored in SymplyPERIFERY automatically synchronizing both up and down to Frame.io, enabling remote workflows.

Hybrid workflows are also made possible by features of DNAfabric and SymplyPERIFERY. Any S3 bucket within SymplyPERIFERY can be connected to any other S3 bucket and data can be synchronized between them. This could be a public cloud such as SymplyNEBULA, or any other cloud storage providers such as AWS, Azure, or GCP. S3 buckets in SymplyPERIFERY can also be replicated to LTO via Object to Tape gateways including FujiFilm, Spectra Logic and XenData, allowing for LTO disaster recovery strategies. DNAfabric can bring added functionality to these data movement workflows, and widen them to include other leading on-premise and cloud-native file systems providing a truly connected workflow. 

Ransomware whistleblowing is also enabled by DNAfarbric periodically scanning both Avid Nexis, and any other NAS system in a facility. During this process file metadata is checked, ensuring files that are being silently encrypted are detected. The system also flags unknown file extensions; this, combined with metadata checking, provides an early warning against Ransomware attacks and also disk media corruption. Whitelisting is also employed to make sure that only known file types are protected, preventing infected files from being backed up. 

SymplyPERIFERY supports immutable objects, a feature that locks the data for a specified period of time (days, months and even years), until the time lock expires it is impossible to modify or delete the stored objects. The combination of snapshots, whitelisting and object immutability, enables system admins to catch Ransomware or detect hardware failures before they spread, and in the worst case enable fast recovery from these failures.

The Conclusion

The combination of SymplyPERIFERY and DNAfabric enables Sports, Media & Entertainment customers to both secure their valuable content across Avid Edit On Demand (EOD) and in-facility Avid Nexis storage, for the purpose of business continuity, as well as provide a highly scalable, performant and secure store, for content distribution and monetization purposes. SymplyPERIFERY removes the headache of data migration, with the ability to easily retire and add additional storage nodes as needed. Hardware failures no longer need to be treated as emergency situations, instead they are handled as routine background tasks. These features and more provide organizations with ultimate peace of mind that their valuable content is secured for the long term. SymplyPERIFERY and DNAfabric, the last Avid media archive you will ever need.

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