The competition between solid state disk and the rotational hard disk will continue during this year’s NAB. Each year, SSDs get better and larger, but the rotational hard disks keep growing in capacity as well. The customer’s workflow is the deciding factor between speed (SSD) and capacity (HDD). Of course, the cost of the storage can often impact your workflow decisions, and the price/performance advantage still remains in the favor of the HDD camp. It will be interesting to see if there are more effective ways designed to take advantage of the higher performance of the SSD to offset the cost difference, and if SSDs capture a larger share of the storage market for NAB customers.

The archive, backup or nearline approach to storing your completed projects will be discussed across the NAB show floor. How is the trend for nearline storage going to impact the archive and backup thinking of post-production houses going forward? There are customers who will have to have off-site archive capabilities, as well as customers who will want the security of backing up their work, but the ability of a nearline storage system that can provide a backup vehicle as well as a less-expensive way to store old media that is quickly able to be brought online might impact the way editors look at performing backups in the future.

Finally, removing storage performance bottlenecks is the neverending battle that vendors wrestle with, and this will remain top-of-mind among video editors at NAB. It will be interesting to see the new ways to get better performance out of shared storage solutions, as there are a couple of new technologies that are becoming reasonably priced—such as 40 Gigabit Ethernet and 12 Gb/s disk drives. Improvements that have been made to the file system protocols also help wring out higher performance from the storage system. The vendors that can take advantage of all of these areas will be able to deliver even better storage performance, which is necessary to keep up with the demands that 4K is placing on post-production.

Corky Seeber is the CEO of Small Tree