Got Big Data? 4 Things to Look for at the NAB Show

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In this special guest feature, Spectra Logic’s Kevin Dudak writes that the NAB show has Big Data at its core.

I just got an email from the organizers of the NAB Show in Las Vegas this April about my registration confirmation. I’ve always enjoyed attending this show, as it has a lot of things you don’t see at the typical IT show. How many storage shows have provisions for helicopters to fly in and be displayed?

This show draws a wide cross section of organizations, with lots of educational seminars, as well as vendor displays. What they all have in common is data. The capture side creates the raw data, editors and post-production change the data, and broadcast distributes finished data.

It got me thinking, there is so much to see and do at this show, what do I want to make sure I learn at NAB? I will specifically be looking at four things:

  • 4K and Beyond – Video takes space, and HD 1080P video takes lots of space. It has become so easy to capture HD video these days with things like the Go Pro Hero Cam (they should have a cool booth in the Expo Hall), I’ve got hours of footage from bike rides, autocrosses and other events consuming lots of storage. 4K makes 1080P looks small, and there is talk about what follows that. Increases in sensor resolutions will drive bigger video files not just in media, but also in security and other applications. I want to see what is coming, as storage systems need to be ready to hold the additional data.
  • Digital Workflow – I think everyone looking at Big Data issues can learn a lot here. M&E has spent several years converting to digital file-based workflow. This means lots of huge, high value files that need to be analyzed for meta data creation, modified, rendered and distributed. Every year, they get a little more efficient at the process, something we can all learn from.
  • Storage – Of course, as a storage guy, I am going to be interested in any new ways to use storage. There will be everything from extreme speed storage for playout at broadcast stations to long term archival storage of digital assets. Asset management of the archives ties in here and is equally important. A lot of the problems that are being solved for long term archive today for M&E will have a broader application in the near term.
  • Data Movement – How does someone move a Terabyte of data, or a Petabyte securely and with confidence? I am very interested to see how different organizations are solving the data mobility challenge. With 4K video capture becoming more mainstream, and higher resolutions on the horizon, many entertainment companies are a generation or two ahead of the rest of technology users on this front. Lessons learned here will help us all.

There is a lot of potential to learn some interesting things at NAB this year. They are facing the same challenges many Big Data industries are, but they come at it without the preconceived notions of how IT is supposed to work. I think that gives them the potential to create some interesting solutions that can benefit us all.

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