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04.16.2013
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
AXF achieves major standardization milestone

Front Porch Digital has announced that the Archive eXchange Format (AXF) open-archiving technology has reached a major milestone on its path to standardization.

The SMPTE 2034 AXF Working Group has submitted its final draft of the AXF specification for two-week review, which is the final step before balloting to become an official SMPTE standard.

The process has been in the works since the 2011 NAB Show, when Brian Campanotti, chief technology officer at Front Porch Digital, announced that he and his team at Front Porch Digital had completed the design and development of AXF based on the original SMPTE Working Group concept and agreed to contribute the company's specification back to SMPTE.

AXF supports interoperability among disparate digital content storage systems and ensures the content's long-term availability no matter how technology or applications evolve. AXF also acts as a content carrier for network-based transfer of valuable file-based content between systems.

"The submission of the AXF specification for its two-week review comes at a time when other approaches continue to fragment the market, which makes is difficult for content owners to make decisions regarding long-term storage, archive, and preservation," said Campanotti. "For example, the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), endorsed by a number of manufacturers, is often referred to as a standard although it is nothing more than a set of open-source tools that each has customized for various proprietary applications."

AXF includes all of the functionality of LTFS, overcomes its well-known limitations — lack of spanning support, capacity constraints, applicability to data-tape only, etc. — and adds key resiliency and preservation characteristics such as encapsulation, provenance metadata, fixity, and more. AXF is a universal, IT-centric format that applies to all current and future storage technologies, including data tape, spinning disk, flash media, optical, and others, and is focused on the protection, transport, and preservation of any type, number, and size of files — not just media files.

More information about the AXF format and Front Porch Digital products is available at openaxf.org and fpdigital.com. More information on the SMPTE AXF specification can be found at smpte.org.



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