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Media and entertainment customer case studies with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP

The media and entertainment (M&E) industry is at a pivotal moment right now, with new approaches to both content development and content delivery reshaping the way that companies like yours operate, produce content, and reach audiences.

These changes have put more emphasis on the pace of production and the ability to offset ever-rising costs for data-heavy workloads.

In this blog post, we take a closer look at how the M&E industry is running faster operations at lower cost thanks to Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, including three in-depth M&E customer success stories.

You can read on or jump right down to the case studies by using these links:

The advantages of FSx for ONTAP for M&E

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP is a fully managed storage service from AWS that delivers the performance, protection, and cost-optimization benefits of NetApp® ONTAP® technology.

In this section, we look at the advantages of using AWS storage with FSx for ONTAP and how it helps the M&E sector overcome its most important challenges.

Flexibility for demanding consumers and unpredictable demand

Today’s consumers of M&E content expect flexibility and choices. On top of that, consumer demand can be highly unpredictable, with huge spikes and drops in viewership that your organization must deal with in real time.

The on-demand and elastic characteristics of FSx for ONTAP provides the practically unlimited scalability and flexibility that the M&E sector needs to cost-effectively meet volatile demand. It automatically spins servers up and down as demand ebbs and flows.

Agility, speedier time to market, and continual content expansion

To stay competitive, as a content creator in the M&E sector, you’re under intense pressure to produce and/or to distribute original content as quickly and as frequently as possible. However, keeping the development cycle moving and delivering new content with the shortest possible time to market (TTM) presents numerous challenges.

The FSx for ONTAP thin-cloning capability through NetApp FlexClone® technology instantly creates cost- and space-efficient data copies that you can use for development and testing (DevTest) environments. These thin copies keep your development cycle moving without the delays that are normally encountered when creating space-heavy full copies for DevTest purposes.

Adaptability to new technologies

Like every industry today, M&E is grappling with the revolution in information technology (IT) due to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and services. At the same time, new operating models such as containerization with Kubernetes and infrastructure as code (IaC) are displacing older techniques.

FSx for ONTAP supports these new technologies. For Kubernetes, FSx for ONTAP provides persistent storage that can be automatically provisioned through the NetApp Astra™ Trident Container Storage Interface (CSI). For AI, your organization can realize the value of generative AI (GenAI) by accessing data on FSx for ONTAP using Amazon Bedrock.

Cost efficiency

Traditional M&E distribution companies are still adapting to the on-demand model of delivering streaming audio, video, and other media directly to consumers.

The drive to develop new applications and to push new content is critical in the industry, but the costs need to be balanced. And the storage requirements for massive amounts of media files—sometimes unused and sometimes in use simultaneously by multiple teams during production—remain a major cost concern for M&Es.

With the help of FSx for ONTAP, you can offset these cost challenges in several ways. FSx for ONTAP uses signature NetApp storage efficiencies that shrink your overall data footprint, optimizing the total amount of storage that you consume. Thin clones help cut your development costs, and NetApp Snapshot™ technology saves on costs for versioning, backups, data protection, and more.

Plus, FSx for ONTAP can tier your infrequently used media files to a low-cost capacity tier automatically and bring them back whenever you need them. Combining these cost-saving features can reduce your storage costs by up to 65%.

High performance, minimal delays and downtime

High streaming performance, with minimal delays and downtime, is critical in terms of both user experience and advertiser expectations. Your end users and your advertisers don’t tolerate delays.

FSx for ONTAP provides several ways to protect your M&E data and workloads, from cost-efficient Snapshot copies and automatic disaster recovery through NetApp SnapMirror® technology to the dispersed and redundant high-availability architecture options. These features combine to support your organization’s business continuity, data protection, and high-performance SLAs.

M&E customer success stories using FSx for ONTAP

FSx for ONTAP brings a wide range of cost-containment and other advantages to the M&E industry. This section presents some customer case studies on how M&E companies are using FSx for ONTAP to lower costs, to boost performance, and to overcome the industry’s challenges.

Sonic Foundry reduces TCO for Mediasite with FSx for ONTAP

Sonic Foundry is a developer of distance learning and corporate communication software that enables businesses, educators, and students to connect, to stream video educational materials, and to interact. One of the company’s solutions is Mediasite.

Sonic Foundry was facing several storage-based challenges. The expanding data footprint of large media files was becoming too much for the existing data center storage systems to handle. Plus, Sonic Foundry wanted a higher level of availability and consistency for the streaming audience that was using Mediasite.

Sonic Foundry found a solution to meet those requirements in FSx for ONTAP. The benefits of FSx for ONTAP have included:

  • Easy, lift-and-shift migration. The on-premises ONTAP systems data was migrated to AWS seamlessly and with all the existing storage efficiencies in place by using SnapMirror replication technology. It was as simple as moving data between any two ONTAP repositories.
  • Higher level of availability. With the FSx for ONTAP Multi-Availability Zone (Multi-AZ) high-availability configuration, Mediasite can maintain business continuity. This uninterrupted operation is achieved by a dual-node architecture that’s spread across separate AZs.

    During any disruption or maintenance—even one that affects an entire AZ—a failover to the healthy node occurs. This node takes over full operation within moments (a recovery time objective of less than 60 seconds) and with no data loss (a recovery point objective of 0). When the impacted node recovers, a failback to normal, dual-node operation automatically takes place.
  • Better user experience. The high-performance storage of FSx for ONTAP has lowered latency, which has improved the performance and streaming experience.
  • Much lower costs. FSx for ONTAP automatically recognizes infrequently used data and tiers it to a less-expensive storage tier, reducing costs and lowering the company’s total cost of ownership (TCO).

Major U.S. internet media and services provider gets high performance and accessibility from FSx for ONTAP

This well-established internet tech company is known for the wide range of internet services it provides, from its web portal and search engine to its media-related news and community sites.

The challenge for this company was transition to a cloud-first strategy by using AWS for new workloads. One of these workloads was a critical shared file workspace for a live video-editing program that one of the company’s content studios used. The studio had multiple teams working with different file protocols in different geographical regions, and they all needed to use the same data seamlessly.

To solve these challenges, the company chose FSx for ONTAP as its storage service, among the many options available on AWS. FSx for ONTAP fit this project best by delivering:

  • Multiprotocol network-attached storage (NAS) support. FSx for ONTAP simplified the company’s editing software architecture, eliminating the need to synchronize between multiple services that use different protocols. Applications store files by using the NFS protocol while other clients access the same data through the SMB protocol.
  • High-performance storage. FSx for ONTAP meets the performance-intensive demands of the video-editing process, delivering the superior user experience that the project’s graphic artists need.
  • Business continuity across multiple AZs. With the FSx for ONTAP Multi-AZ deployment option, the company achieves an uptime of 99.99%. The editing teams get continuous access to the workspace, content is constantly available, and delivery doesn’t slow down.
  • Ease of use. As a fully managed service, FSx for ONTAP is an integral part of AWS and doesn’t require time-consuming management oversight.

Major games-as-a-service developer drastically cuts TTM with FSx for ONTAP

This U.S.-based interactive gaming and entertainment company provides games as a service, game development software, and an online shopping portal that’s used by hundreds of millions around the globe.

During the height of the COVID outbreak, this company migrated its build farm to AWS to help propel development, which had been impacted by the on-premises system’s ability to perform with the workforce mainly working at home. The move initially provided a major improvement, but the initial choice of storage service presented three challenges: long transfer times, excessive storage costs, and potential downtime.

The company decided to switch to FSx for ONTAP, which rapidly accelerated the development cycle for the company’s premier gaming title. Benefits include:

  • Faster copies of the code base reduced transfer time. The developers use FlexClone to instantly create hundreds of thin-clone copies of the source code to use in the DevTest process. This approach cut the time it took to run new builds from 4 hours to minutes.
  • Significantly lower storage costs and reduced TCO. Because clone copies don’t consume storage for the base copy and consume storage only for changes, the amount of storage the DevTest process required was drastically reduced, resulting in a significant TCO savings.
  • Increased availability keeps development going. With the built-in multi-AZ high-availability configuration of FSx for ONTAP, the development process can continue uninterrupted, even during the failure of an entire AZ. The build process can continue, and developers can still access the data that’s stored on FSx for ONTAP, keeping the TTM goals on schedule.

Enhance your M&E storage layer with FSx for ONTAP

The M&E industry generates and delivers huge volumes of data, holding companies in the sector to high standards of performance and responsiveness. It’s getting harder than ever to meet these demanding requirements for scalability, elasticity, availability, and business continuity—but AWS and NetApp have teamed up to provide a solution.

With FSx for ONTAP, your M&E organization gets the performance, mobility, cost benefits, and data protection to evolve your storage layer and to help you stay ahead of the curve in this changing industry.

For more information about FSx for ONTAP, visit our customers page.

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FSx for ONTAP Specialist for M&E