A Sporting Analogy...

Media storage is simple to understand, but notoriously difficult to manufacture. One aspect that should be easy to grasp is the storage tier:

Tier 1 Online is high speed, shared storage for intense processes like video editing, broadcast playout and animation development. In athletics terms, it’s the muscular sprinter…

Tier 2 Nearline is quick, cost-effective, expandable and secure shared storage. Our Echo and Echo 36 units are ideal as a secondary server for back up and archiving, giving users instant access to files and projects. Nearline is the lithe, stable and efficient 1500m runner.

Tier 3 Offline storage provides secure, long-term, tape-based back up and archive. Using the sports analogy, it’s the lean and durable marathon runner…

The Big But

With nearline the waters have been muddied over recent years. And for no particularly good reason. The problem is that other manufacturers’ nearline cannot deliver the speed necessary for instant or shared file access.

Architectures such as object based storage may be efficient for cloud organizations such as Dropbox and Spotify, but for workgroups on local networks and video teams where data is added on a daily – or even hourly - basis, it’s inefficient and slow.

And generic IT storage is just not designed to manage thousands of small HD video clips alongside massive 20-minute 4K RAW files. They simply don’t have the performance.

In short, they’ve turned nearline into a steeplechase with all sorts of hurdles to jump and water obstacles to wade through.

The Campaign for Real Nearline

There is no need to change the definition or role of nearline just to accommodate slow storage. The media industry needs zero delay systems that help them meet on-air deadlines and deliver clients’ projects on time. Long live real nearline.


  Tim Grant - Marketing Manager at GB Labs