Save Your Content and Your Costs – Your Guide to Painlessly and Profitably Replacing your Archive Management System

Want to change the content storage management system that controls your valuable media archives, but afraid it will be too difficult, time-consuming or risky to switch? Tired of escalating annual support and capacity-based costs, but think there’s no alternative? Masstech has the solution, with technology to enable you to effortlessly and non-disruptively replace your existing CSM system while significantly reducing your total cost of ownership.

The Opportunity to Save Meets the Freedom to Switch

As a media enterprise, your content assets are your lifeblood. Your valuable archives of important and hard-to-replace media assets are critical to your future, enabling you to efficiently re-use that content in new productions or re-purpose it for new, revenue-expanding distribution opportunities. Content storage management and media asset management systems are the keys to your archives. For users of many vendors’ CSM systems, however, escalating support and capacity-based costs are a significant and intensifying concern. Unlike Masstech, many vendors increase their support fees each year and charge additional licensing fees based on the storage capacity being managed – rapidly increasing customers’ total cost of ownership as exploding content volumes and formats beyond HD consume more storage, while further compounding the high annual fees they have been paying.

With this concern, content storage management users would love to have the freedom to switch systems. They may, however, feel like they are stuck with their existing solution, with all of their existing archived assets bound to it. While tape access standards such as LTFS enhance asset portability across storage systems, even the latest file wrapper specifications offer only a limited degree of cross system metadata interchange and would require exporting CSM-stored metadata into the media files themselves – an extensive process. As such, there is a perception that replacing a CSM requires time-consuming conversions and migrations that will disrupt operations and put the availability of their assets at risk.

Fortunately for CSM users, there is a painless solution to all of these challenges. Masstech offers media companies the ability to replace their existing CSM with a scalable Masstech solution – quickly, easily, safely, and without operational disruption. Supporting multiple types of CSMs, Masstech’s unique technology enables valuable metadata in the existing CSM database to be quickly switched to the new system and existing tapes to be read directly, avoiding lengthy migration procedures.

save-imgThe cost savings of the switch are immediately tangible. Masstech does not automatically increase support rates each year – in fact, in our 15-year history, we have never increased support rates on our customers. And equally important, Masstech does not charge additional license fees just for expanding your storage capacity in the future, nor based on storage type — whether LTO tape in a library, LTO tape on a shelf, spinning disk , or in the Cloud.

Cost savings would be meaningless if the replacement procedure and new system didn’t meet or exceed your requirements, of course, so let’s take a closer look at how the CSM replacement process works with these systems.

Replacement, Not Migration

With over a dozen years of focusing on the archive and asset management markets and helping premium media and entertainment customers manage their precious content, we know how crucial your archived assets are to your business. Hundreds of media enterprises worldwide rely on our proven solutions daily, and that reliability extends to our approach to replacing your storage management software.

Our CSM replacement process is entirely non-destructive and designed to put you at ease while ensuring that your existing assets are protected and preserved.

The process starts with a thorough system review and consultation with our support and deployment specialists to ensure that all of your requirements are discovered and documented. For complex installations, proof-of-concept tests can be performed in Masstech’s labs using a backup copy of your own actual database and duplicates of your own tapes, validating the replacement process with your own real-world data and media.

When you’re ready to deploy, the process continues to be non-destructive and seamless for your existing archives. A copy of your database, including metadata, is quickly imported to the Masstech system, leaving your existing database fully intact and unmodified. The Masstech system can directly read your existing tapes using your existing storage library, enabling archived content to be transparently accessed without the need to migrate it to different media. (Of course, if you want to migrate your content to different media or a different format, our solutions can do that too – but it’s not necessary). Your existing tapes and database are still usable by your previous CSM system as a safety net.

Once a copy of the existing CSM’s database (including valuable metadata) is imported to the Masstech system, the new solution can directly access existing tapes on the existing storage library —no lengthy conversions or migrations required, and with the old database and metadata still intact. The previous system can then be decommissioned.
Once a copy of the existing CSM’s database (including valuable metadata) is imported to the Masstech system, the new solution can directly access existing tapes on the existing storage library —no lengthy conversions or migrations required, and with the old database and metadata still intact. The previous system can then be decommissioned.

By avoiding typical, lengthy migration and conversion steps, this approach also minimizes disruption to your operations and workflows. The intuitive Masstech user interface requires very little training, and users don’t need to know whether the content they’re accessing was archived with the old or new system – any required technical considerations are addressed entirely behind-the-scenes.

To even further minimize risk, you can deploy the Masstech solution on separate computing hardware from your existing installation, enabling you to run both systems in parallel for an initial period before decommissioning your old CSM. Your existing system’s hardware platforms may be aging, out-of-warranty and due for a refresh anyway, and doing so can have its own cost advantages. Masstech’s ability to run multiple system components on each modern computing platform can significantly reduce the amount of hardware needed for many deployments, providing additional long term operational savings in power, cooling and physical space requirements. In one recent replacement at a major market broadcaster, for example, the eight servers required for their previous CSM environment were reduced to just three newer servers for the Masstech deployment – all while increasing system performance.

If, however, your circumstances require you to run the Masstech solution on your existing CSM’s computing hardware and it meets minimum performance requirements, a snapshot image of your existing installation will be created prior to deploying the Masstech software, enabling you to revert back to your previous CSM. This provides yet another safety net so you can rest easy during the transition.

A Path to the Future

Deploying a Masstech solution for content storage management offers not only cost advantages but also technical and operational benefits over alternative CSM systems. Deep, API-level integration with third-party production, automation and playout systems enables unmatched efficiency. Meanwhile, LTFS support safeguards your investment and media assets by enhancing the portability of content between tape-based storage systems.

These are still, however, just the beginning of the benefits and capabilities that Masstech can bring to your operations. Optional extensions let you expand beyond content storage management to a comprehensive Media Asset Management environment. Options include fully-integrated native transcoding; workflow automation to bridge disparate operational systems; and an elegant HTML5 browser-based user interface with advanced, precision search tools and embedded video playback, and logging. As the volume of content you’re handling and storing continues to increase exponentially, a robust MAM solution is essential in efficiently managing, finding, accessing and moving those assets. Masstech’s flexible and scalable solutions are designed to grow with your needs.

Start Planning Your Switch

Masstech’s proven archive management transition process gives you the freedom to quickly, non-disruptively and safely replace your existing CSM solution. By switching to Masstech, you can significantly reduce your annual costs and total cost of ownership while opening a path to a comprehensive MAM environment. And with Masstech’s rich history and unwavering focus on helping media and entertainment customers manage their assets and archives, you can be confident in your archive’s future. Contact us today to start planning your move to Masstech.