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Panasas’ Take on Trends at 2018 NAB Show

David Sallak | April 27, 2018

We recently returned from the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) in Las Vegas, the world’s largest convention dedicated to the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. During the four-day event, we showcased a series of AI, production and VR workflow demonstrations supported by our ActiveStor plug-and-play, high-performance storage solution. We asked media & entertainment professionals what’s required to support the future of content production and it became increasing clear that the role and importance of shared-access storage is only going to increase.

Here are some of the key media & entertainment trends we observed at NAB that are going to make storage decisions even more critical: 

  • Media format complexity and density keeps increasing with HDR production and delivery – New media formats are nothing new – but the key question is: can your workflows respond? Format size and complexity increase demands on storage. This requires a storage infrastructure that keeps pace with shifting performance requirements, has the ability to scale on demand, and delivers always-on reliability.
  • Virtual Reality and Immersive Storytelling – VR offers new ways to view and experience content, especially in social gathering spaces. VR in post-production workflows creates challenging storage performance demands, requiring editors to have rapid, real-time access to raw content in 360 degree views. As VR continues to achieve broader adoption, post-production teams will need the best storage infrastructures to keep pace. At this year’s NAB, Panasas partnered with Adobe and Blackmagic Design to demonstrate how everyday tools are able to process VR content in media production workflows supported by a shared storage infrastructure that allows creative studios to scale quickly to meet the higher performance demands of VR content.
  • Adoption of Microservices – Sprawling adoption of microservices in IT is making its way to M&E. The concept of microservices in media represent having the ability to quickly deploy critical IT, storage or process elements – or the “smallest unit of functionality that can be provisioned in the network to provide a tangible business value,” as Darren Gallipeau of Imagine Communication wrote in a Thought Leadership piece for Newscast Studio. For Broadcasters, this means being able to spin-up a project, work-in-progress, or storage instances on an as-needed basis, allowing them to scale for unique moments like elections or special events. Storage with on-demand, simple and pay-as-you-grow scale becomes essential in the new microservices landscape.

The NAB Show again delivered on its promise as the place for featuring breakthrough technologies and innovations for the media & entertainment industry. It’s exciting to see the growing and evolving role of technology in content creation and across multiple platforms in general, and in particular the foundational role of high-performance storage in enabling modern media workflows.