Crawford Media Services Ups Storage Game

Atlanta-based Crawford Media Services has upped its storage game of late, adding the capacity to hold an initial 1.2 petabytes of archived assets from clients who are moving their legacy content to digital formats, as well as the ability to support ongoing media storage and management for new content ingested during ongoing projects.

The Lattus object storage system comes via scale-out tiered storage firm Quantum and will better help Crawford handle the mass digitization of clients’ content, which covers thousands of high-bit, large-size media files.

“When you are dealing with large archives of media files at preservation quality, you start creating a data footprint and a performance demand that outstrip the capabilities of typical IT departments,” said Steve Davis, EVP and CTO at Crawford Media. “Our challenge was to develop a digital archive that would become more robust as it grew in size, rather than more fragile.

“We explored solutions that would allow us to keep large data sets cost-effectively in perpetuity without degradation, and to survive the costs of media and technology refreshes over time. After extensive research and testing, it became clear that object storage with erasure code — and specifically, Lattus — was the ideal choice.”

Crawford integrated Lattus into its existing archive system, and marks the final step in the development of the company’s next-gen managed archive solution, dubbed Amber, a nod to its ability to preserve data against system failure and corruption. “One nice thing about the Lattus approach, in particular, is that the growth increments are very manageable and very flexible,” Davis added. “You don’t have to conform to a certain hard drive form factor or size to expand the system. The system simply uses capacity as you add it, becoming more robust as it gets bigger.

“The advantages of erasure code for an archive are overwhelming. Unparalleled data integrity, immunity to entropy, a smaller data footprint than replication, high immunity to system failure, automatic rebalancing of data and media refresh as the archive grows. With Lattus, we believe that Amber offers the highest level of data durability and data integrity of any digital media archive.”

Additionally, Crawford Media deployed Quantum’s Artico archive appliance, incorporating Quantum’s StorNext data management, which allows for the movement of content to and from Lattus automatically, while still maintaining full access to the files.

“When storage-as-a-service is your business, you need an underlying infrastructure that enables you to onboard new clients and new data as aggressively as possible,” Davis said. “With Quantum’s strong technology and support, we enjoy a confidence in the overall archive and its integrity over the long term. That’s peace of mind we’d never get by assembling components ourselves. The reliability of the system keeps our cost points stable, which in turn gives us the freedom to offer better services at a competitive price.”