Jazz Montreux Festival plans 1.2PB archive for 40 years of music

Object-based storage will serve up performance footage to cafés, students

Forty years worth of performances at Europe's most prestigious jazz festival will soon be stored in a digital archive that will be shared with students and in cafés around the world.

The EPFL, a Swiss technology institute, has partnered with Jazz Montreux Festival to built a clustered storage array that, when completed, will have 1.2 petabytes of capacity.

The object-based online archive will keep 10,000-plus hours of recordings on disk drives from previous years' shows. They include performances by Weather Report, The Fourth Way, Nina Simone, Jan Garbarek, and Ella Fitzgerald The performances aren't limited to jazz, though, and include rock-and-roll sessions from Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

Sting at the Jazz Montreux Festival festival. (Image: Jazz Montreux Festival)

Alexandre Delidais, director of operations and development at the EPFL, said his organization is building the video archive on an AmpliStor array from Belgium-based Amplidata. The storage array was chosen because of its high reliability and sufficient streaming throughput for content of all encoding qualities.

Today, the digital archive is only 100TB in size. But as it continues to grow, it will eventually allow people to enjoy 40 years of performances that were filmed or videotaped. The past 20 years of shows were captured in high-definition video.

First, FTPL takes the film and video and transposes it onto a file system with about 40TB of capacity and performs quality control checks to ensure the integrity of the footage. Then content is backed up to LTO magnetic tape cartridges that reside on a Hewlett-Packard tape drive carousel. The tapes will later be used as an archive to ensure the performance footage is never lost. The video is then compressed at a 2:1 ratio and streamed over a 10Gbps LAN to the AmpliStor array, were the accessible footage resides.

The typical size of an HD video is 500GB for each hour of a recording.

The smallest AmpliStor system consists of eight storage nodes, each with 10 hard disk drives, behind three controllers. The controllers, each of which has two 10Gbps Ethernet ports, use Intel Xeon processors. The storage nodes have Intel Atom processors. That helps keep the cost of the system low, according to Tom Leyden, director of alliances and marketing at Amplidata.

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