Caringo adds digital workflow capabilities in Swarm 11 platform release

The object storage platform provider looks to expand their video use cases and push deeper into the media and entertainment vertical.

Tony Barbagallo, Caringo’s CEO

Austin-based object storage vendor Caringo has unveiled their Swarm 11 Platform, with the enhancements being laser-focused on enhancing digital video workflow ability, in order to strengthen their position in the media and entertainment [M&E] vertical and other content-driven use cases. Specifically, the changes accelerate speed of access to archived material, allowing video workflows to be accessed directly from the archive layer.

Caringo, in business since 2005, is one of the pioneers in the object storage space.

“This is our first vertically-focused launch focused on making both the admin and the end user’s lives easier,” said Tony Barbagallo, Caringo’s CEO. “We tried to keep it very straightforward in our focus, which is particularly targeted at the M&E user. We have always had video use cases. We have a three-letter agency customer with over 50 PB stored. But we are making a push into the M&E vertical.”

Barbagallo stated that in addition to the growth in pure demand typical of almost all storage markets today, digital storage has further complexities of its own.

“With digital, it’s not uncommon for a customer to have 40 to 50 versions of the same video file, to satisfy all the devices that will use it,” he said. “The increasing sizes and formats produce an order of magnitude jump from a capacity perspective in terms of what you need to store it.”

Caringo sees their differentiated value in a world of inexpensive commodity storage as providing access to these archives which is both easily accessible and reasonably priced.

“Time is the issue,” he said. “There is a place for both cloud and tape, but when things need to be online and accessible, we are the best for that. Cloud is  expensive if you access it, and tape isn’t easily accessible. Swarm 11 focuses on  accelerating archive access by providing instant access for time-sensitive use cases.”

One enhancement is the ability to access and import only the specific portion of video needed, not the whole thing, which saves both time and money.

A partial file restore in Swarm 11

“This partial file restore means providing the ability to grab a piece of a video from an archive – not bring the whole video down from the object storage layer,” Barbagallo said. “That’s what we have done here that is unique, is be able to bring just the specific part you want directly from the archive layer. You don’t have to bring it down to primary storage. That’s really one of the key advantages here, that you don’t have to bring it into primary storage first. If you are in a truck somewhere, you may not even have that primary storage available, but will still be able to access the video needed.”

For example, to move a 60 minute uncompressed 1080p video @ 60-fps across a 10Gb LAN to near line storage would take 22 minutes traditionally to move 1.5 TB. Swarm 11 can isolate the three minutes actually needed, which is 75 GB, and import it directly in less than one minute.

Swarm 11 also allows up to 5x faster file upload from any browser.

“This takes advantage of a multi-part upload capability which we originally developed for our Swarm NFS product,” Barbagallo said. The bulk upload capability generates the 5x faster upload speed by writing data segments in parallel directly to the Swarm cluster without spooling content on a gateway. This lets any number of large, multi-GB files be directly uploaded from any web browser.

This version of the platform also simplifies content sharing.

“Now, the Swarm Content Portal lets you click a button to copy a URL and send the link by email, download or instant message for secure sharing,” Barbagallo said. “This eliminates the need for third party applications or services like Box or Vimeo, or content delivery networks. You can distribute and share the media directly from the object store.”

Finally, Swarm now makes it easy to backup to Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier through S3 Lifecycle rules, for organizations who want to keep a backup copy in an S3-compliant tape system or leverage an enterprise subscription with an S3-compliant cloud storage service.

“This ensures content accessibility with distributed protection,” Barbagallo said. “We have had a Feed capability in Swarm to replicate data, but with this we can now replicate to an offsite S3. Many M&E companies have already been able to test and verify functionality in 5 or 10 minutes thanks to S3.”

The other big public clouds are on the roadmap for this as well, he indicated.

“For partners, this ability to DR to AWS or any other S3 target will provide additional value to customers, by both setting it up and maintaining it,” Barbagallo added.

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