Tape Ark helps the company complete the acquisition of a production studio based in Australia by liberating the content from legacy tapes. The company is one of the largest international content producers and distributors in the world.

Customer Challenge

Subsequent to the customer’s acquisition of a production company in Australia, they needed a way to digitize the films and television programs that they had acquired as part of the merger. A lot of this content was stored on tapes which they had no way of ingesting themselves. In many cases that was the only copy of the program: it was thus too risky to ship the tapes overseas. These seriously valuable assets were quite literally one-of-a-kind. It was therefore vital to all parties involved that the content be extracted completely intact. This is why they came to the experts at Tape Ark to ensure the safe migration of their content to the cloud.

Our Solution

Tape Ark are global experts in tape to cloud migration with extensive experience and demonstrated capability working in the Media & Entertainment industry. Tape Ark’s scalable technology stack and highly experienced team rapidly position data in the cloud, regardless of tape type and format. The unique cataloguing process contextualizes library metadata for enhanced searchability and greater discoverability, and efficient auditing processes offer an accurate indication of the expected cloud footprint for precise budgeting.

The Tape Ark team deployed their customized Mass Ingest Workflow to move the customer’s visual assets from physical media to AWS, depositing it in the customer’s bucket. The workflow for this project is documented below:

The Tape Ark Mass Ingest & Restore Workflow

Tape Cataloguing – Tape Ark received the newly-acquired tapes at our HQ in Perth, Australia. Upon receipt of the archive, a media audit was performed which included photographing each tape, reading RFID data chips, and applying a supplier QR code. This created a detailed catalogue of tapes and hard drives for quick retrieval, should they happen to be needed mid-project. The audit also provided crucial information regarding tape contents and data volumes for migration planning and cost prediction.

Data Extraction – Data was extracted from the tapes and each file interrogated to ensure it was fully extracted. Each file underwent a complex restore process and detailed metadata was generated including media information and checksumming, for a central database.

Data Upload – Extracted files were securely uploaded to the customer’s Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket via a single or multi-part uploader, ready to be absorbed into their media portfolio. The company’s multi-genre media portfolio contains over 180,000 hours of original programming which they license to streaming platforms and channels.

Results and Benefits

The impeccable migration of the customer’s content from legacy tapes to Amazon S3 Glacier allowed them to expand their media portfolio – the very thing they had bought the production company to do. It meant they could dispense with the studio’s equipment instead of having to maintain it to access the tapes. Access to the tapes was no longer place-specific: they could access it now from any of their bases worldwide. The fact that Tape Ark operates in Australia meant that the job could be done without shipping the tapes, something that was non-negotiable for the customer. The ingest was carefully managed for the customer without any disruption to their day-to-day operations.

Tape Ark helped this M & E customer get full value on the assets they’d acquired. Without our assistance they would have had to maintain all the old company’s tape drives and hardware just to be able to read the tapes’ content, and wouldn’t have been able to expand their portfolio. Tape Ark’s solution meant that they didn’t have to worry.

This project showed the benefit of Tape Ark’s global reach for contracting and collaborating with other global companies. Tape Ark’s strong presence in Oceania meant that we could perform the job to the customer’s requirements. Seeing how necessary this migration was for the customer to make good on their purchase, it again underlines how much can be gained by M & E companies who take out our services. If not how much can be gained, then at least how much can be lost if they don’t – without this job their acquisition would have failed. Tape Ark’s partnership with AWS means that we do the initial work of ingesting knowing that the content will be put to good use once it’s eventually up in the cloud. The platform is perfect for this type of customer, it just takes Tape Ark to help them get there.