Need for storage to increase dramatically

A new report says that storage requirements by media and entertainment companies are poised for dramatic growth, set to almost double between now and 2016. The report found the single largest and most challenging application for digital storage in coming years is the digital conversion of film, video tape and other analog formats.

The "2011 Digital Storage Media and Entertainment Report" by Coughlin Associates (a data storage consulting firm) projects sales will increase from $3.8 billion in 2011 to $6.4 billion in 2016. This includes digital storage demand for content capture, post production, content distribution and content archiving. It also predicts that digital storage requirements are increasing due to use of HD and 3-D content.

The media industry, according to author Tom Coughlin, will need 7.7 times more digital storage capacity in 2016 than it did in 2011. Storage capacity shipments per year will grow about 5.6 times from 11,248PB to 62,736PB.

Tape is still the dominant storage media in 2011, with about 43.6 percent still using the format. This is followed by hard drives at 39.1 percent, optical media at 17.1 percent and flash memory at 0.2 percent. Use of hard drive and flash storage are expected to rise dramatically in coming years, the report said, while tape and optical media are expected to decrease.

The revealing report says that more than 46EB of digital storage will be used for digital archiving and content conversion and preservation by 2015. There is a pressing need, the report said, to develop policies and procedures for format conversion to combat format obsolescence.

Content distribution systems are driving the growth of network and direct attached/local storage. More than 1600TB may be required for a complete digital movie production at 4K resolution and there is some production work as high as 8K as well as growing production to support 3-D content delivery

Nonlinear editing requires high-performance storage devices. Over the forecast period, lower network storage costs and higher performing low-cost storage networks will result in faster growth of network storage than direct attached and local storage during the forecast period.

The full report can be downloaded at,%20051611.pdf.