One Sweet Storage Solution – The LTO Program at NAB 2017

In April, over 100,000 attendees from around the world flocked to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas to get a closer look at the latest technology solutions that will help them to better prepare, produce and protect their video projects and rich media assets. In line with the latest LTO promotional activities, attendees found their way to the LTO Program booth to get an ice cream treat served up by the LTO Program team, and a big helping of live demos featuring LTO-7 tape and the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) showing how easy it can be to protect content with this sweet storage solution.

In this BlogBytes post, we review how an animation video producer utilizes LTO tape and LTFS, a data protection presentation by Scott Miller, from DreamWorks Animation, and more. Read on!

Shaun the Sheep is Safe and Secure

Aardman is a British award-winning studio that creates film, broadcast, advertising and interactive entertainment for both the domestic and international market.  Some of their projects include: “Wallace and Gromit,” “Shawn the Sheep Movie,” and “Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas,” which was awarded an International Emmy® Award for Best Animation at Cannes in early April.  As you can imagine, managing and efficiently storing each phase of production material is critical to protecting the content and production investments. Paul Reeves, Production Engineer at Aardman, visited the LTO Program booth and mentioned that, “…we use LTO tape drives and libraries along with LTFS to store each step of the workflow on-site and off-site to get safe and secure protection of our projects.” Reeves continued, “LTFS has made the process easy for our animators and Production Technology staff.” 

Where do Dragons Sleep?

DreamWorks Animation, creators of Dragons, Shrek, Trolls, Boss Baby, Kung Fu Panda and many more, use complex computer animation to produce these visually enticing feature films.  As described at the NAB session introduction, the filmmaking process requires more than 350 terabytes of data, 80 million rendered hours and half a billion digital files, all of which must be safely preserved and accessible for future use. Scott Miller, a Technology Fellow for Engineering and Infrastructure at DreamWorks Animation, gave a presentation at NAB explaining how DreamWorks Animation leverages LTO technology for short-term archiving and long-term asset preservation. The Dragons and their animated brethren rest safely on LTO tape.

LTO-7 Tape and LTFS Live!

(Figure-1) LTO-7 LTFS Demo’d Live!

LTO-7 technology and LTFS were on display and live at the LTO Program booth. Laura Loredo, an LTO Program team member, demonstrated how LTFS makes tape easy-to-use like using disk or a USB drive. Loredo described how one LTO-7 tape can hold up to 6 terabytes of data native and up to 15 terabytes with compression (Figure-1), helping to securely preserve huge amounts of content.

In essence, it was an exciting time for everyone attending NAB! Visitors not only received a sweet ice-cream treat, but also learned how they can count on LTO technology to help safely store and protect rich media assets for both current and long-term projects – and understand how LTFS can make their content readily available for all phases of the workflow.