Lab Validation - This ESG Lab report presents the results of hands-on testing of an Omneon MediaGrid

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  • Lab Validation

    Report

    Omneon MediaGrid Content-Aware, Active Storage for the Enterprise

    By Tony Palmer and Brian Garrett

    With Steve Duplessie

    May, 2008

    Copyright  2008, The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved

  • ESG LAB VALIDATION Omneon MediaGrid

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    Copyright  2008, The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Table of Contents

    Table of Contents ................................................................................................................................... i

    Introduction............................................................................................................................................ 1

    ESG Lab Validation ................................................................................................................................ 3 Getting Started .................................................................................................................................... 3 Managing the Grid ............................................................................................................................... 4 Accessing the Grid .............................................................................................................................. 6 Capacity Scalability ............................................................................................................................. 9 Performance Scalability ..................................................................................................................... 10 Content Aware................................................................................................................................... 13 Highly Available ................................................................................................................................. 14

    ESG Lab Validation Highlights ............................................................................................................ 16

    Issues to Consider ............................................................................................................................... 16

    ESG Lab’s View.................................................................................................................................... 17

    Appendix .............................................................................................................................................. 18

    All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The

    Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to

    receive it, without the express consent of the Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. Copyright law and wi ll be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at (508) 482.0188.

    ESG Lab Reports The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals about emerging technologies and products in the storage, data management and information security industries. ESG Lab reports are not meant to replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Our objective is to go over some of the more valuable feature/functions of products, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems and identify any areas needing improvement. ESG Lab„s expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments. This ESG Lab report was sponsored by Omneon.

  • ESG LAB VALIDATION Omneon MediaGrid

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    Copyright  2008, The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Introduction The MediaGrid storage system from Omneon combines industry standard server hardware, capacity-rich SATA drives and custom software to meet the performance and capacity needs of IT organizations faced with the unique capacity and performance challenges associated with the storage, editing and distribution of multi-media and video content. This report explores how the Omneon MediaGrid handles petabytes of capacity with near- linear performance scalability while reducing the management and reliability challenges typically associated with storing rich media on a traditional storage system.

    Background Multi-media and video editing and delivery—once a problem almost exclusive to movie and TV studios—is increasingly becoming a challenge for enterprises as they address internal and external media requests such as training videos and multi-media marketing materials. Furthermore, as the world of Web 2.0 moves from the consumer to the corporate worlds, enterprises are faced with the task of larger and larger file-based data requests. Like it or not, customers of even the most longstanding traditional enterprises are looking to leverage exploding stores of rich media content that are accessed through a corporate web portal. Whether it is customers accessing a shared knowledge base, gathering to form an online community or surfing for the next great marketing promotion, the delineation between the business and the customer is becoming fuzzier. Unstructured content—essentially anything not stored inside a database, which includes audio, video and digital images—is driving an explosive wave of capacity growth. To quantify the enormity of the challenge, consider the results of a recent ESG research report.

    1

    FIGURE 1. DIGITAL ARCHIVE CAPACITY PROJECTION

    As shown in Figure 1, total worldwide digital archive capacity is projected to increase nearly tenfold between

    1 Source: ESG Research Report, 2007 File Archiving Survey, January 2008

  • ESG LAB VALIDATION Omneon MediaGrid

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    Copyright  2008, The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    2007 and 2012. The projected world-wide capacity in 2012 is a staggering 90,000 petabytes (90 million terabytes). This doesn‟t take into account the growing stores of capacity being consumed for video editing as a growing number of organizations move from the legacy workflow of “tape to workstation for editing and then back to tape” to a new model of “let‟s keep it on shared disk for faster editing.” Exploding capacity is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to meeting the real-time demands of multi-media and video content. The extreme bandwidth requirements of high definition video and audio, as well as the complexity associated with always-on maintainability, are key concerns as well.

    Omneon, Inc. Since 1998, Omneon has been focused on the design and delivery of high capacity, high bandwidth video server infrastructure for companies that produce and distribute audio and video content for television and the Internet. Well known by media professionals with a need for speed and reliability, Omneon is a market leading provider of video server systems. Leveraging the latest in server and storage technologies and open advanced architecture, Omneon Spectrum video servers have been embraced by a number of leading broadcast networks including Turner and Discovery.

    The Omneon MediaGrid Leveraging the success of the Spectrum product line for video broadcasting, the Omneon MediaGrid was designed to reliably store and process very large data files. MediaGrid is ideally suited for rich-media applications including video ingest, video editing, video delivery and multi-media archival. It is also well suited for a number of other applications that deal with large files including unstructured file archival, backup to disk and grid computing. This ESG Lab report presents the results of hands-on testing of an Omneon MediaGrid. The Omneon MediaGrid is a rack-mounted, self-contained, self-healing system built from industry-standard x86 servers and high capacity SATA hard drives. Windows, MAC or Linux clients access the MediaGrid over an Ethernet network using an Omneon file system driver or via industry standard network attached storage (NAS) protocols.

    FIGURE 2. OMNEON MEDIAGRID

  • ESG LAB VALIDATION Omneon MediaGrid

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    Copyright  2008, The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    ESG Lab Validation ESG Lab performed hands-on evaluation of the Omneon MediaGrid active storage system at Omneon‟s Sunnyvale, CA facility. Testing was designed to demonstrate the simplicity and ease of management of the Omneon system in addition to performance and capacity scalability and always-on high availability. ESG lab also looked into the benefits of running a CPU intensive application inside the MediaGrid.

    Getting Started ESG Lab testing began with a pre-racked and wired Omneon MediaGrid as shown in Figure 3. The Media Grid was accessed from a Windows XP client attached to the grid through a local area network (LAN