Media and Entertainment - Tech

Navigating the Data Storage Challenges of On-Site Production

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In today’s modern age, production can involve multiple stages in disparate locations: shooting footage on a beach in the Caribbean while post-production is in a California studio, for instance. However, with the aid of sophisticated cameras and editing tools, it is also possible for all phases of production to take place in the same place. The challenge of properly storing, accessing, and editing data remains in either case.


Production teams aim to provide a substantial amount of content to the editors, enabling them to work with intricate details, making every additional angle highly beneficial. However, this objective comes with some challenges. The cameras utilized on-site store the data onto memory cards, which require someone to physically retrieve them and transfer the data onto a computer.

This brings about another difficulty production teams face which is storing a massive volume of data because the storage systems employed on-site typically have limited performance. When shooting videos in high resolution, such as 4K or 8K, the generated files can be large. Consequently, it becomes challenging for production teams to store numerous high-quality video and audio files.

At the end of a shooting day, production teams must review the dailies to ensure that everything is captured as intended, which involves the sharing of data. Since the directors, cinematographers, and editors all need to review the dailies, the quickest method of sharing the data is usually by physically transporting the storage media. This is mainly because terabytes of data cannot be transmitted over mobile networks, and even with high-speed links like DSL or cable, the transfer process can take an extended period of time.

When working in remote locations, the risk of misplacing or losing a drive is more significant than in a studio, which poses security challenges to on-site production. Additionally, some storage systems used on-site lack proper data security measures, such as encryption, increasing the chances of content being stolen or leaked if a drive is lost.

Furthermore, some of the storage systems used on-site are quite complicated to set up, operate, and maintain. As a result, they require a storage specialist to be present on-site. The filming process can be very demanding, with long hours and tight deadlines, so the production team members do not need a storage system that adds complexity and issues and is time-consuming.

Overcoming Content Challenges

Securely and reliably storing the content shot daily becomes crucial during on-site production. Losing or being unable to access the data could result in significant financial losses. However, most on-site data challenges faced by production teams can be resolved with an appropriate storage solution. 

The storage solution selected by production teams should possess the following features:

  • Mobile storage systems in remote filming locations
    When production teams need to film in remote locations, they require a mobile storage system that can accompany them wherever they go. Therefore, the system must be easy to transport and set up. Additionally, it must be reliable since it will store valuable content and needs to always be accessible.

  • High-performance storage on-site
    Production teams require high-performance storage to work with high-resolution content, such as 4K and 8K. Therefore, the storage system must be capable of handling these files and providing sufficient capacity to save large files when required.

  • Seamless data sharing
    To facilitate the review process among crew members, data must be easily shared. This is especially important when multiple crew members need to go over the dailies. Additionally, since production teams have limited on-site storage capacity when working in remote locations, they require the ability to send data to their centralized storage to offload their on-site storage.

  • Data security
    To safeguard production teams from content loss or leaks, the storage system must provide data encryption to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the content. Additionally, they require secure data transfer to central storage when offloading their on-site storage.

  • User-friendly storage
    For on-site production, the storage solution must utilize standard servers and be straightforward to manage. This eliminates the need for a storage specialist to be present on-site, making it more convenient for production teams.

Benefits of Quobyte for On-Site Film Production

Quobyte is a distributed parallel file system designed to provide high performance and 360-degree security to clusters in any location. With its advanced features, such as the Quobyte data mover, clusters can be in sync at all times, making it an ideal solution for production teams working on-site. Some of the benefits that Quobyte offers to on-site production teams include:

  • Take your storage where you needed
    Quobyte was designed to run on any location, including on a data center, in the cloud, and on on-site clusters – even on small servers like a 2U server with four nodes. With a small footprint, this solution offers full fault tolerance and speeds of up to 40GB/s, making it a powerful on-site storage option that is both mobile and portable. These servers can be conveniently placed on a mobile rack, allowing production teams to take them anywhere they are needed.

  • Achieving peak performance
    Quobyte is capable of delivering full performance on clusters both in your data center and on-site. With a 2U server that has four nodes and a combination of flash and hard drive, you can achieve optimal performance.

  • Security for data protection
    Quobyte offers a range of security features to ensure that your valuable assets are always safe. With its encryption feature, the system provides protection against external threats. Additionally, multi-tenancy and access control lists (ACLs) give you complete control over who can access your data.

  • Automatic multi-cluster data synchronization
    Quobyte’s Data Mover enables easy synchronization of data between clusters, allowing production teams to transfer content seamlessly between their on-site cluster and their data center or studio servers. This feature enables editors to access the data easily, no matter where they are located. Moreover, this synchronization helps to offload the on-site cluster, thereby preventing performance issues.

  • Simplicity at its best
    Quobyte offers a highly automated and user-friendly experience, making it easy to use for production teams. It runs on standard hardware and requires no complex setup configurations. Moreover, users can access the storage as a file system from any OS, including Linux, Windows, or Mac, as well as via S3. This feature allows them to use the operating system that they prefer, enhancing their workflow and productivity.

Discover how Quobyte can accelerate all stages of media and entertainment, including post-production and distribution, by reading our blog “Simplifying Collaborative Projects for Creative Professionals” or visiting our media-specific webpage “Storage for Media and Entertainment.”

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