Archive eXchange Format (AXF) Takes Major Step Toward Standardization

Front Porch Digital (Booths SU3602, SU3605) announced that the Archive eXchange Format (AXF) open-archiving technology has reached a major milestone on its path to standardization. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) 2034 AXF Working Group has submitted its final draft of the AXF specification for two-week review, which is the final step before balloting to become an official SMPTE standard.

AXF is a universal, IT-centric format that applies to all current and future storage technologies —data tape, spinning disk, flash media, optical — and is focused on the protection, transport, and preservation of any type, number, and size of files, not just media files.

The standardization process has been in the works since the 2011 NAB Show, when Front Porch Digital announced that it had completed design and development of AXF based on the original SMPTE Working Group concept and agreed to contribute the company’s specification back to SMPTE. This work forms the basis for the specification currently making its way to standardization.

AXF supports interoperability among disparate digital-content–storage systems and ensures the content’s long-term availability no matter how technology or applications evolve. AXF also acts as a content carrier for network-based transfer of valuable file-based content between systems, an especially important capability for cloud-based applications, such as Front Porch Digital’s LYNX.

AXF includes all the functionality of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), overcomes its well-known limitations — lack of spanning support, capacity constraints, applicability to data-tape only — and adds key resiliency and preservation characteristics, such as encapsulation, provenance metadata, fixity, and more.

Since the company launched AXF two years ago, Front Porch Digital has amassed nearly 20 customers around the world — including film archives, production houses, and major studios — that rely on AXF to store, protect, and secure petabytes of media assets. The success of AXF in real-world applications will accelerate its implementation by other manufacturers in this and other industries while minimizing risk for content owners adopting it.

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