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Quick Chat: Tom Coughlin from Creative Storage Conference

Storage. No one can deny just how important this technology is in the day-to-day lives of post production professionals, from the huge studios and facilities all the way down to the indie editor working with external drives.  And while storage tech might not be as “sexy” as the latest new camera or visual effects software, its importance is undeniable… especially in a world where 2K ,4K and now 6K (hello David Fincher) workflows are a reality.

So, if you want to talk storage and learn about trends and the latest product offerings, you might want to attend the 9th Annual Creative Storage Conference on June 30 in Culver City, California.

I’ve known data storage consultant Tom Coughlin for a few years now; he’s actually been a contributor to this site, writing about, what else? Storage. He is also chairman and organizer of the Creative Storage Conference, so who better to talk to in order to find out more.

Here we go!

How did the Creative Storage Conference begin?
It began in association with the MediaTech Conference back in 2007.

How has it evolved over the years?
We had the conference in association with MediaTech for a couple of years and did three years as a partner program with the NAB Show. For the last four years we have had this event in Culver City. The conference has grown in size, and we have had a stream of great companies showing their stuff, informative sessions and insightful keynote talks on numerous topics related to digital storage and professional media and entertainment.

What are you hearing from people in regards to storage needs? Their concerns? Archiving?
Not only has the amount of audio video content being stored increased but the need for storage system performance and costs have evolved as we have moved deeper into digital workflows. This has led to the use of new storage technologies and storage models, including using SSDs, HDDs, magnetic tape and optical discs for various storage applications.

As more and more content is kept for long periods, archiving has become more important, but today’s archiving may be an active archive with lower latency and higher performance, enabling frequent content access. Also there is a rising use of storage accessed through the internet — cloud storage, in M&E applications. Content in the cloud and content in open connected networks leads to new data security concerns and wider use of data encryption.

What should pros ask companies they are considering working with as they head toward cloud storage?
1) What happens when I want to pull my content from the cloud? Will my cloud provider be there in the future?
2) What security measures are there to prevent unauthorized access to content?
3) Cloud solutions may be more effective and lower cost for temporary solutions. Look at ROI for long term operation for cloud and local.
4) Related to my prior point, what are the advantages of using a private or public cloud?

Ok, let’s talk about the panels at this year’s conference. What do you have?
We have a preliminary agenda with the following sessions:
– The Big Vision: Changing Needs and Sources for Production Storage
– Putting it Together: Storage Challenges and Opportunities in Post Production
– Laying it on the Line: Storage Needs with 4K+ Content Delivery
– Protect and Serve: Archiving, Preserving and Managing Media Content
– Accelerating Workflows: Flash Memory in Media and Entertainment
– Professional Entertainment and Media Users Reveal their Digital Storage Needs and Desires

What about presenters?
Our speaker submission deadline is April 22. After that date we will be filling in more of the agenda sessions. .

What could an attendee expect from the conference?
Attendees should expect a great networking event with a chance to meet leading digital storage vendors and the opportunity to learn from a set of great session and keynote speakers. They will learn about the most recent developments in digital storage for media and entertainment, find out from peers about digital storage best practices and meet vendors who can help them achieve their M&E storage needs.

What do you think is the most important trend happening with storage currently?
I think the most important trend overall is that all technologies are providing more storage at lower costs.


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