The 4 IT Pain Points of High-Resolution Video

This is the sixth and final installment in our series, The Unstructured Data Explosion, which explores how new technologies are creating file growth challenges within today’s leading industries.

You don’t have to be at a major advertising firm, creative agency or entertainment company to understand the impact of high-resolution video on storage capacity. Anyone with a newer model iPhone has probably run into this problem. The ability to shoot a 4K video on a pocket-sized device is amazing, but that digital file swallows up storage. One test found that a single minute of 4K video shot at 30 FPS takes up 375 MB.

And that’s just an iPhone. An hour of standard definition digital video shot on a professional camera used to require roughly 12 MB of storage per minute. By one approximation, raw 4K video uses 2GB in just one minute. The latest DSLR from Canon, the 5D Mark IV, uses 4GB per minute when shooting in 4K mode. For an individual, this kind of growth is a headache, but for a company, it’s a much larger concern. One that has far-reaching effects across the organization.

The 4 IT Pain Points of High-Res Video

After working closely with several leading firms in the media, marketing and advertising industries, we’ve identified four IT pain points stemming from the use of high-resolution video.

1. Unpredictable Growth – When a single project can demand TBs of capacity, it becomes almost impossible to forecast storage growth accurately. For many of the companies we work with, this reality drove them away from traditional storage. Agencies can’t afford to rely on expensive storage hardware when capacity grows this quickly and unpredictably.

2. Strained Bandwidth – Today’s creative workforce isn’t centered in one office. Imagine that an agency is covering an event in London. The firm might have one team capturing the video on-site. The actual video editors will probably be based elsewhere. And the creative team overseeing the whole project will most likely be working out of still another office. If all that unstructured data has to be pushed over the corporate network from one location to another, it’s going to swallow up bandwidth. Costs will increase, other end users will complain about performance and, of course, IT will get the blame.

3. Rapidly Increasing Costs – The positive side of all this new camera technology is the stunning imagery, which leads to better results and happier clients. But all those extra pixels mean more data, and more unstructured data typically translates into higher costs. These files need to be stored, protected, managed and made available at numerous locations. To extend the full set of Enterprise File Services, the companies we’ve been working with were relying on multiple solutions from multiple vendors. This was complex and unwieldy, and their costs were skyrocketing.

4. A Strategic Disconnect – When your business is trying to become more agile and efficient, the last thing you want to do is seek approval for a massive, unanticipated storage capacity upgrade. When a film editor in a remote office complains about access speeds, you don’t want to have to tell her to be patient. Unfortunately, traditional storage solutions leave firms struggling to store, protect and extend access to these video files at a reasonable price. The fingers point to IT as the source of the problem, when in reality it’s the overpriced and inefficient storage solutions forced on them by legacy vendors.

More Pixels Mean More Data

These problems are not going to fade away. 4K video is nearly old news already. 8K is out there now, and 16K is on the horizon. More pixels mean more data, so file sizes will keep increasing. Companies in the advertising, media, marketing and entertainment industries are going to need a cost-effective, reliable, long-term enterprise storage solution that aligns with their larger business goals and allows their creative teams to get the most out of these files.

Take a look at how we’ve been helping some of the leading firms in these industries, and let us know if you’d like to talk about your own file challenges.