ABC considers cloud storage, says 3PB+ of disk needed by 2015

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has outlined its storage strategy in a tender for new suppliers that puts HDS' and NetApp's incumbency at risk, calls for the introduction of policy-based tiering and says the broadcaster wants to explore cloud storage.

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has prepared a new storage strategy that has seen it tender for "Responses from vendors (or a consortium) for the supply of data storage hardware, storage management and monitoring software and professional services, over an initial term of three (3) years with two possible one (1) year extensions at the ABC’s discretion."

The tender says the organisation currently uses "approximately 1.6 Petabytes (PB) of raw disk storage and approximately 2 PB of data on tape," but adds any new suppliers will not immediately replace Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), which currently provides the broadcaster's SANs. That hardware, the tender says "is expected to continue to be utilised until its life cycle ends (3-4 years)."

The organisation is, however, already looking ahead to its future needs, having noted a steep increase in its storage requirements.

"Over the last 18 months there has been a dramatic increase in storage growth predominantly in broadcast video media," the tender states. "As the media industry moves away from analogue tape into digital based technologies, many new storage challenges and requirements have evolved. These changes now confront the ABC with new business challenges around digital media management, life cycle and the cultural change associated with the industry movement."

Those challenges are spelled out in the tender as including"

  1. "the cultural and operational implications of transitioning from tape based to file based production environments"
  2. "the ABC’s portfolio of disparate content types (e.g. tv, news, radio, online) and the complexity that this entails with regard to content life cycle management, data models and metadata frameworks "
  3. "the need to make more effective use of existing data storage assets to accommodate the increasing quantities of content being produced and the legislative obligations for its archiving"

The tender also states that the ABC is "experiencing an ever increasing rate of digital content creation due, for example, to the systematic digitisation of tape based assets, increase in user generated content and the transition from tape to file based production."

"In order to control growing storage costs there is a need to make more effective use of each storage dollar. From a business process and education perspective this relies on dynamic, granular reporting of storage use, and advice and guidance being provided to programs on how to use their storage more effectively. From a technology support perspective it requires the dynamic management of assets through the storage tiers based on business rules around content type, usage and access profile."

Considering cloud

The tender also makes it plain that the national broadcaster is considering cloud storage as one option for some material.

"The ABC is interested in exploring options for augmenting existing local systems and data stores with the use of cloud computing," the tender says ."The ABC sees the potential for its use of the cloud being divided into two broad areas, with distinctly different time horizons: Business applications / services – this could include services such as email, document management, collaboration platforms and their associated data sets. The use of the cloud for business services is considered to have immediate potential. Media Asset Management – this could include asset storage, as well as browsing, editing and playout. Any such cloud-based solution would need to provide the appropriate quality of service and reliability. The ABC currently considers the use of the cloud for media assets as a Horizon 2 or Horizon 3, as the necessary technologies and delivery models mature, but has aspirations to possibly be an influencer in this space."

Current ABC environment

The lengthy tender also states that the successful bidder for its new storage infrastructure will need to possess skills with Symantec's NetBackup and Brocade products, both of which are currently in use on current SANs.

The SANS themselves are all supplied by Hitachi Data Systems, with Oracle's StorageTek tape libraries also in place.

The latter store "... approximately 685TB of data across 2400 LTO4 tapes. 

 

Table below: The ABC's current storage infrastructure

 

Site

Arrays

NAS Gateways

Tape Libraries

Fabric

Sydney

(Ultimo)

HDS:

1 x USP-V

5 x AMS2500

1 x AMS1000

1 x AMS500

IBM:

1 x FastT700

HDS:

4 x HNAS3100

1 x HNAS3080

NetApp:

2 x V3070

StorageTek:

1 x SL3000 (800 Slots, 10 x LTO4)

1 x SL24 (20 Slots, 1 x LTO4)

IBM:

1 x 3584L32 (1570 Slots, 5 x LTO2)

1 x 3584L32 (290 Slots, 2 x LTO2)

Brocade:

2 x 48000

2 x 200E

26 x 4024(HP)

1 x 7800

Sydney

(Gore Hill)

HDS:

NSC55

AMS1000

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

NetApp:

1 x V3070

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (50 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

Brocade:

4 x 5000

6 x 4024(HP)

1 x 7800

0

Melbourne (Southbank)

HDS:

AMS2300

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (140 Slots, 4 x LTO4)

Brocade:

2 x 5100

Melbourne (Ripponlea)

HDS:

1 x AMS2500

1 x AMS2300

IBM:

1 x FastT200

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (30 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

IBM:

1 x 3584L32 (720 Slots, 4 x LTO2)

Brocade:

2 x 5100

Canberra (Northb-ourne)

HDS:

AMS2300

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (140 Slots, 4 x LTO4)

IBM:

1 x 3584L32 (140 Slots, 2 x LTO2)

Brocade:

2 x 5100

Brisbane

(Mt Coot-ta)

HDS:

AMS2300

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (50 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

Brocade:

2 x 5100

Adelaide (Collinswood)

HDS:

AMS2300

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (50 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

IBM:

1 x 3584L32 (140 Slots, 2 x LTO2)

Brocade:

2 x 5100

Perth

(East Perth)

HDS:

AMS2300

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (50 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

IBM:

1 x 3584L32 (140 Slots, 2 x LTO2)

Brocade:

2 x 5100

Hobart

HDS:

AMS2300

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (50 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

IBM:

1 x 3584L32 (290 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

Brocade:

2 x 5100

Darwin

HDS:

AMS2300

HDS:

1 x HNAS3100

StorageTek:

1 x SL500 (50 Slots, 2 x LTO4)

IBM:

1 x 3582-TL (140 Slots, 2 xLTO2)

Brocade:

2 x 5100


 


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