T hinking about adding a little flash to your workflow? You’re not alone. More and more, video production teams are incorporating flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) into their storage environment as a way to boost performance for key post-production tasks.
But how many organizations are really adopting flash? What do they expect to gain, and what do they see as potential challenges?
Quantum recently surveyed a broad array of video professionals to assess flash adoption trends and to better understand factors that might affect storage decisions. The 460 respondents represent a full spectrum of organizations—from post-production houses to sports teams. But many have common challenges and share similar plans for addressing them.
Here are four key insights from the survey:
1. Flash is the future—and the present.
There’s no doubt that more organizations are moving to flash. In fact, more than half of the survey respondents (53%) already use flash storage in some way within their storage environment. An additional 20% plan to implement flash for the first time in the near future. Only 27% don’t use flash and don’t plan to.
2. The need for speed is driving the trend toward flash.
Most survey respondents (67%) see performance as the primary benefit that flash can deliver. Organizations need that performance to work with higher-resolution files at higher frame rates. Approximately 64% of survey respondents produce finished content in at least HD, with 42% producing 4K or higher content. Many see flash as the way to deliver a fast, efficient, and responsive experience for team members working in HD or 4K.
3. Cost is a top concern.
Whether or not to invest in flash is not an easy decision for all organizations. Nearly 60% of respondents are concerned about the cost of flash technology. Even as the cost of flash systems declines, flash drives are still generally more expensive than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs).
The good news: the survey shows that 40% of respondents have experienced IT budget increases in the past year, and those increases could help pay for new flash technology. Still, budgets remain flat for 47%, and another 12% have seen budgets shrink. Tight budgets mean the majority of organizations will have to plan well if they want to incorporate flash into their environment.
4. Capacity is another top storage challenge.
Along with cost, capacity is another potential obstacle to flash adoption. Approximately 25% of survey respondents identified capacity as a top storage challenge—the same percentage that chose cost. Performance was selected by 20%.
It’s not surprising that capacity would be a key concern. As organizations take on more high-resolution projects, many will need to scale capacity to store those larger 4K files. Unfortunately, flash drives do not *yet* typically offer as much capacity as HDDs. And the cost of scaling flash systems is prohibitive in many cases.
The challenge is balancing the three essential needs of performance, capacity, and cost. And for many organizations, the way to achieve that balance is to build a multi-tier environment that incorporates flash alongside more economical, higher-capacity solutions, including HDDs, digital tape, and cloud storage.
The Quantum flash survey provides additional insight into respondents’ organizations, their storage environments, the storage challenges they face, and their plans for overcoming them. For a more in-depth look at the survey results, download the e-book, “The State of Flash Adoption in Media & Entertainment.”
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