Content is from the “Post-Production Storage Trends for 4K Video Content. 2018 Survey Results from postPerspective and Quantum.”  Click here to read the survey results.

Video production continues to evolve rapidly. Consumers expect compelling visual content displayed in ultra-high definition, whether they are watching their favorite sporting event on a big-screen TV at home, a 30-second ad on their smartphone or a blockbuster movie at their local theater.

To meet consumer expectations for high-quality visual content, video production and post-production organizations are making the move to 4K. They are capturing high-resolution video and adopting 4K workflows for a range of post-production tasks.

The transition to 4K will require many organizations to refresh their technology infrastructure. In addition to implementing high-performance workstations and the latest software applications, they will need to bolster their storage environment. They need solutions that can support 4K workflows, providing the right balance of performance, scalability, collaborative capabilities and cost-efficiency.

Organizations Need Solutions that Offer Scalable Capacity and Collaborative Capabilities

Working in 4K can require significant changes in storage. For example, organizations need scalable capacity to support significantly larger video files. When organizations choose a high-resolution format, they often use higher frame rates, dynamic ranges, and color depths than they would with SD or HD video. All of those decisions contribute to the file size.

As organizations explore new storage solutions for 4K video workflows, defining their collaborative needs will be key. How many team members need to work together on 4K projects? And how many streams will each team member use?

Understanding the level of collaboration will help you determine the degree of flexibility and accessibility that the storage solution must provide. For example, if your organization has 20 geographically dispersed team members who need to collaborate on 4K projects, a DAS approach is not the best strategy. Supporting a large number of team members might also require a solution with the ability to accommodate a variety of operating systems and software.

How many streams does each collaborator typically use? Understanding stream counts can help choose between flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) and more economical hard disk drives (HDDs)—flash is a better fit for extremely high stream counts.

Cost, Capacity and Performance Top the List of Concerns for Accommodating 4K Workflows.

Adopting a 4K workflow can require significant changes for an organization’s storage infrastructure. But what challenges and concerns are most prominent? Cost and capacity tend to be the biggest concerns. Organizations need to boost capacity to support more 4K projects—and the larger files that those projects generate—while keeping cost under control.

Performance is another top challenge and concern. For some, performance refers primarily to compute resources (the speed of workstations) or networking. But dialing in the right level of storage performance will also be critical in optimizing infrastructure for 4K. Organizations must be able to provide a responsive experience to team members as they access and work with large 4K files stored in a shared environment.

Find the Right 4K Storage Solution

Whether your organization is already making the move to 4K or planning to do so soon, now is the time to reassess your storage infrastructure. Do you have a solution in place that can deliver the performance and capacity for handling large, high-resolution files, and supporting collaborative workflows, all while controlling costs? Quantum SureStaQ™ 4K reference architectures are designed to address the key challenges of 4K video production. Quantum can work with you to identify your requirements, find the right reference architecture and define a configuration that can meet your evolving needs.

Ready to Learn More?

For more about the Quantum 4K reference architectures—and the extensive real-world testing that helped create them—download Quantum’s 4K reference architectures white paper.

When you’re ready to figure out which 4K reference architecture is right for you, use Quantum’s reference architecture estimation tool.