Creative storage panel storage for content delivery
June 28, 2011, Creative Storage Conference, Culver City, CA—a Panel looked at Storage for Content Delivery.
Paul Rosenthal from CSU-LA moderated the panel. Members included Allan Ignatin from Bitspeed, Michelle Munson from Aspera, David Sallak from EMC Isilon, David Trumbo from Media Technology Market Partners, and Vivian Sultan from CSU-LA.
Ignatin opened by discussing big data. Total volumes of data are growing exponentially as evidenced by such sites as YouTube where 48 hours of material are uploaded every minute. Network bandwidth is becoming a major bottleneck and calls for much more WAN optimization.
The main problem is that storage vendors are optimizing for use and not bandwidth. Very few are considering the effects of latency and bandwidth. The existing protocols reduce data speeds with distance. To address this issue, people need to move to a torrent-like protocol to improve throughput.
Munson agreed that moving big data is a problem and noted that the TCP/IP protocol has a built-in bandwidth and packet-loss limiting function for transport. As packet errors increase, the protocol drops the speed to minimize packet loss. The existing solutions don't address the bandwidth issues, so a good solution is to drop the TCP/IP protocol.
Cloud-based storage is designed for small "blobs" of data, so it can operate well with TCP. An alternative for big data is to use many parallel HTTP streams to achieve greater than 300 Mb/s throughput as is done in UDP.
Sallak stated that the goal is to deliver content to the users. The audience, however, is drifting away from linear programming to unscheduled viewing. As a result, the infrastructure is becoming edge-centric and a chasm is growing between the data and users' ability to access that data. The public cloud is best suited for data at rest, but a private cloud built on shared infrastructure could fit the bill for better data availability. Transport of video data is too slow, especially for the coming 4k and higher resolution video data generations. The existing systems have too much delay and limited bandwidth.
Trumbo espoused the use of LTO-5 and LTFS storage formats to hold the non-operational data. The newest format allows file- and folder-based searching, rather than the linear search from previous formats. LTO tapes are projected to last over 50 years and are ideal for storing and monetizing large video libraries.
Sultan called for a major change in the businesses to use a collaborative platform for the supply chain and a shared distribution model. She acknowledged that the greatest issue will be getting the various participants to co-operate and share in the risks and rewards.
In response to a question relating to pricing not being a function of cost but of distance and volume, Munson responded that the systems need to address efficiency and social policies. Technology ties an application to bandwidth and cost. Because TCP was not designed for Web 2.0 type functions or video, users must use multi-threaded highly parallel streams because one cannot achieve the packet loss numbers to keep up with the traffic speeds. We still need TCP as a standard protocol, but there is a design gap at today's high speeds and volumes. Ignatin disagreed and pronounced TCP as capable to do the job.