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If Buddha was Welsh would he still go OM?

Commodity hardware, commodity disk, commodity platforms are enabling interesting developments in the world of storage infrastructure; especially in what I like to think of as Boutique storage which is probably a posh and pretentious way of saying Niche!

Object Matrix with their MatrixStore product is one such development; aimed squarely at the video market with post houses, in-house video production teams and anyone who wants store and archive video assets in cost-effective and efficient manner; the team has developed an object store which has quietly been becoming a bit of a hit in the UK and is now spreading far from its roots in Wales.

Chatting with Nick Pearce, one of the co-founders, you find that he has a background in object storage spreading back into to the early days of Centera being responsible for…well, I’ll let him admit to his folly but suffice to say, he is a bit of veteran with all the scars required to mean that he knows of what he speaks and sells.

But most importantly, he knows that they don’t need to spend a fortune on hardware RnD and that they can concentrate on building a robust software product which runs on top of an open source operating system. They have decided to still ship with a hardware platform, Nick explained that this is to minimise the sheer amount of testing and verification that they have to do which allows them to keep support and development costs down. However it is still built on industry standard components which allows them to leverage performance and capability quickly and easily.

We can expect improvements in network capability, although it is not really a bottle neck for them at the moment; these are NL and archive solutions and not designed to support live streaming and editing.

We can also expect them to leverage the newer large capacity hard drives in the near future; further enhancing the value proposition; talk to Object Matrix if you want their costs but even list prices are actually very attractive and took me aback. These guys are not about building out of commodity components and sticking a crazy premium on top like some of the other broadcast specialist companies.

Supporting compliance, distributed search, off-site replication, application integration and an exposed API; MatrixStore might actually be the product that many post-production teams are looking for and the guys actually talk your language. They use the same jargon, they know the same people and they know the industry dirt…and they won’t turn up in suits looking like they are here to collect the rent. They have the local knowledge which is very important in this space but they also know the IT side; they know that Broadcast IT is more about ethernet cables than SDi cables these days but they do know what an SDi cable is.

More importantly, Object Matrix are no longer what I would class as a start-up and they dropped some seriously large names in conversation; they are quietly building themselves a market position. No, you won’t come across them in your IT department but if you look beyond, you might find that your in-house video production team has one or two stuck in cupboard pretending to be something innocuous.

And although they are rather cautious about moving beyond the video and broadcast arena, it might be worth having a look at them if you have an object storage requirement…

They also have some interesting ideas as to what to do with all these extra CPU cores; things which address some of the potential data-refresh and format challenges going forward.

[Disclaimer: Nick Pearce bought me a couple of drinks and ham, egg and chips but if you think that’d sway my opinion, I’ve got a bridge in the centre of London to sell you.]

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