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Warner Bros.

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- Warner Bros. is saving around $200,000 a year thanks to an ambitious ILM project that has opened the door to cheaper storage media.

Harold Shapiro, the firm's technology architect, told an audience here yesterday that spiraling storage costs on Warner's Media Asset Retrieval System (MARS) prompted an infrastructure overhaul back in 2003. MARS, he explained, handles a wide variety of digital data, from still photos and marketing materials through commercials and trailers.

But three years ago it became clear that the storage needed to support MARS was "out of control," according to Shapiro. The exec projected that his 5.7 Tbytes of digital data would double by the end of 2004 and triple by the end of 2005.

To make matters worse, this data was all stored on expensive disk technology. "No matter what the timeliness of the data, it was all put on EMC Symmetrix Fibre-Channel-based disk," explained Shapiro. "We didn't have very good storage management. The cost was eating us alive."

An ILM strategy appeared to offer the answer. Warner Bros. opted for a three-tiered storage plan. Digital assets now can be shifted from expensive Fibre Channel disk through to less expensive ATA, and finally tape, as their importance decreases.

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