The digital video storage business is hopping. Companies like Isilon, BlueArc, NetApp (thanks to its 2003 Spinnaker acquisition) and several others are generally doing quite well now as more and more television and cable stations move all their analog film setups to digital.
IPTV is taking off, too, and don't think a lot of companies don't know this. Web 2.0 companies like YouTube need to have consistently fast access to video, and others like it are coming to the fore. We're not even talking about the video surveillance industry, which is going through the roof in sales right now.
Those companies and Sun Microsystems, which has put a great deal of R&D and marketing emphasis on the soon-to-be-burgeoning IPTV sector with its powerful Solaris/ZFS-driven X4500 Thumper storage servers and X4600 SunFire application servers, now have some stiff new competition in that fast-moving storage space -- IBM.
At NAB2008 -- which opens April 11 in Las Vegas and continues through April 17 -- Big Blue will introduce its new IBM Management Complexity Factor for Media, which the company claims to be the first "media industry-specific methodology and toolset designed to dramatically improve digital media storage environments."
In other words, it moves heavy digital video quickly from origination, to storage, to broadcast -- and back to storage. Some of the aforementioned companies will dispute, however, IBM's claim that theirs is the "first" such technology. They know IBM has made such claims in the past and has been chastised often for exaggerating its marketing message.
IBM MCF for Media's patent-pending methodology performs an evaluation and produces a custom plan to improve a media firm's fast-growing storage environment. For example, MCF for Media's analysis can produce an actionable plan to quickly reduce the time it takes to find content and make decisions about using particular video clips on demand, a Big Blue spokesperson said.
IBM has also recently signed a series of major new contracts with Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Group and N24 news channel, and Philippines-based broadcaster ABS-CBN. So it looks as though IBM is going the international route first with its new product.
And don't think for a minute that IBM won't try to sell its WebSphere servers and storage boxes into those companies to go along with its whiz-bang software.