NASCAR Productions chooses Spectra tape library for petabytes of video

NASCAR Productions recently chose Spectra Logic's Spectra T-Finity tape library to store video footage, including broadcast video and broadcast-related data sets.

NASCAR Productions recently chose Spectra Logic's Spectra T-Finity tape library to store 180,000 hours of high-resolution video footage, including historical broadcast video and broadcast-related data sets.

According to Spectra Logic, the T-Finity library will replace a Spectra T950, and NASCAR performed the data migration using the library's TranScale feature. Steve Stum, vice president of operations and technical production at NASCAR Productions, said the transfer took a few hours and was completed with a chassis change.

The company said TranScale allows existing users of the vendor's library technology to move their current components into a new chassis that can accommodate greater capacity or throughput needs, allowing customers to retain details such as the serial number asset tags from their original tape library.

"We looked at several other vendors, but found no one that could come close to providing the quality of service that Spectra does," Stum told SearchDataBackup.

According to Stum, NASCAR Productions is the division of NASCAR that archives and preserves the sport's footage. The division also offers full-service production facilities in Charlotte, and produces live event programming for the Speed Channel at all Sprint Cup Events, along with 23 Camping World Truck Series races. NASCAR Productions also manages NASCAR.com, including posting of daily content and live content from weekend events, as well as producing weekly corporate and Web highlights for teams and sponsors.

NASCAR Productions bought its T950 library in 2008, and configured it to archive 50,000 hours of footage. But, during the intervening five years, broadcast data grew to about 180,000 hours. According to Stum, NASCAR Productions currently has about 6 PB of data and expects to add an additional petabyte each year.

"We are working on the plan to move the entire library over to LTO-6 in the fall. That will free up some space for short-term growth so we should be able to expand as needed fairly easily. The next big expansion will be to add another robot at an off-site location as a DR [disaster recovery] plan where we can fully replicate the current and ongoing library," he said.

LTO tape remains a billion-dollar market. Santa Clara Consulting reported that tape was a $1.33 billion market in 2011, although sales have fallen since 2007, when the industry had about $2.28 billion in revenue. However, LTO tape sales were up slightly in Q4 of last year, the consulting firm reported.

Spectra Logic reported "strong revenue and profitability" for the first half of fiscal year 2013, during which the privately held company reported that it installed 550 PB of tape library storage.

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