How to future-proof sports content workflows with hybrid storage

By Rhian Morgan, Perifery

If organisations weren’t prioritising media asset contingency planning and access before, they certainly are now. Traditional tape-based storage isn’t quite hitting the mark when addressing the dynamic challenges faced by broadcasters and sports rights holders. With increasing volumes of content, and a higher need for rapid access and collaboration, many organisations are leveraging hybrid storage workflows

In today’s fast-evolving media landscape, the need for robust and flexible content management solutions has never been greater, making the switch to hybrid content storage workflows not just a trend but a strategic necessity. Here’s why many broadcasters and sports rights holders are making the move.

Adding value with a tech refresh

Replacing outdated or discontinued products such as LTO and ODA or augmenting them with new technologies and a non-siloed storage approach, offers more flexibility. A popular solution is integrating on-prem object storage with cloud-based storage, creating an ideal workflow balance in a hybrid environment.

The hybrid model provides the perfect mix of remote access for content collaboration and deep archive, with the security of on-prem backup in case of an outage. This approach appeals to broadcasters and sports rights holders for many reasons.

Whether working from the studio or out in the field, seamless content accessibility is essential for sports broadcasters. By combining on-prem and cloud storage, production teams can collaborate seamlessly on assets that are always within reach.

This setup is hugely beneficial during live events, where quick access to high-quality sports footage is critical. Imagine a team capturing real-time highlights, player interviews and behind-the-scenes content that needs to be instantly available for editing and broadcasting. With a hybrid workflow, content can be uploaded to the cloud immediately, allowing editors and producers to access and work on it from anywhere, ensuring that the audience receives up-to-the-minute coverage.

As well as giving organisations better control over their data and ensuring compliance with internal regulations and data sovereignty laws, hybrid workflows can boost disaster recovery and business continuity while optimising storage costs. With copies kept both on-prem and in the cloud, assets are protected against data loss from failures or cyber-attacks, ensuring uninterrupted coverage. Costs are optimised by storing high-demand content in the cloud for quick access, while offsetting less frequently accessed footage to on-prem archives.

It also enables quick and efficient storage scaling. For major events like the Olympics, World Cup, or Super Bowl, the cloud can handle surges in content creation, while on-prem storage keeps footage securely archived and accessible for the future.

The power of metadata

Storing media assets is only part of the equation. If users can’t find and retrieve it from the storage environment, then it’s worthless. Searchable content is crucial for hybrid workflows, and any effective content management strategy requires metadata.

Metadata makes it easier for users to find exactly what they need within extensive media libraries. Using AI to automatically enrich media assets further enhances the search and retrieval process. Teams can locate required assets in a matter of minutes by searching for specific keywords, timestamps, or descriptions. This can be hugely beneficial for sports broadcasters needing to pull up footage of a specific player’s performance from several seasons ago, or highlights from a particular match. Metadata makes this possible with just a few clicks.

In a hybrid workflow, metadata needs to be attached consistently to assets to ensure it can be managed and accessed across different storage environments. Developments in AI technology are making it easier to auto-tag content on ingest, saving time and maintaining consistency in the long term.

Embracing the hybrid future

For broadcast and sports organisations seeking a cost-competitive solution that maintains on-prem storage for original files while offering a cloud media hub for accessing, searching, and working with media assets from anywhere, hybrid workflows are the answer.

Balancing cost and performance, hybrid storage environments enhance accessibility, streamline search and retrieval, and ensure future proof scalability. For the dynamic world of sports broadcasting, a hybrid approach provides the flexibility needed to thrive in a rapidly changing industry.


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