Introducing Frame.io Storage Connect

Some new products or features are game changing for a wide variety of users and roles across the sphere of content creation—Camera to Cloud, Adobe Firefly, and Generative Fill in Photoshop are a few that come to mind. But today, for organizations with hundreds (or thousands) of users, our introduction of Frame.io Storage Connect is the game changer especially designed for you.

As the demand for media content continues to explode, large-scale creators are looking for ways to better control the security, governance, and location of their assets while reducing overhead costs and improving efficiency.

Imagine a large studio scenario where you have teams working across multiple series and movies, news and sports programming, and creating social media and marketing collateral for all of it. You have terabytes of RAW media coming from cameras, clips and cuts being shared by editors, and generative AI assets being created in Firefly or Photoshop or Illustrator. Now, when uploading these assets to Frame.io, all of them can travel directly to your organization’s cloud storage, where they belong.

The best part? Absolutely nothing changes about your Frame.io user experience. You still have the same lightning-fast review and approval functions and file transfers, and all the creative integrations you rely on. But because only the lightweight proxies and metadata are stored in the Frame.io cloud (to provide immediate access for stakeholders), you now save significantly on the cost of storing all those original assets.

So let’s take a look at what connected storage is and how it works in more detail.

Connected storage

Connected storage, simply put, is the ability for a product or service to work with external data storage endpoints.

Frame.io Storage Connect gives your organization the option to connect your fully owned and managed AWS S3 bucket to Frame.io’s stack.

While there are many advantages that Frame.io Storage Connect provides, perhaps the most important are flexibility and control. You configure your storage according to your specific needs, monitor it yourself, and control who has access to it within your organization.

This is vital for large-scale users for a number of reasons. From an operational standpoint, it means that you can design a more seamless experience across many kinds of roles. Admins will be able to oversee the security and governance of assets as set forth by your organization, which means that creatives will have easier access to the media they need. That, in turn, empowers controllers to predict and manage the costs involved across the entire content supply chain. For organizations such as large brands and agencies, broadcasters, studios, or news outlets who are working with petabytes of assets, this can result in savings of up to 60 percent.

For organizations such as large brands and agencies, broadcasters, studios, or news outlets who are working with petabytes of assets, this can result in savings of up to 60 percent.

The functional flow

Previously, when a user uploaded an asset to Frame.io, the asset flowed through the Frame.io stack and was stored in the Frame.io AWS S3 storage bucket as an asset set that comprised full-resolution media along with proxies and thumbnails. This storage bucket was owned and managed by Frame.io.

Frame.io Storage Connect will now allow customers to use their own S3 bucket as the backing storage of Frame.io. When a creative uploads an asset to Frame.io, the original asset will be stored in the connected storage owned and managed by their organization, while only the lightweight proxies and metadata will remain in Frame.io.

If you look at the diagram, you can see that this is a two-step process. First, the system must be configured to receive the connected storage. Then, the data will be redirected to (and from) the new storage bucket.

What’s important to note is that our solutions experts will help you configure this flow. And once that’s done, the experience of using your connected storage is as fast and seamless as exchanging assets through Frame.io’s storage architecture.

Routing and configuration

Frame.io Storage Connect must first route requests for upload or delivery to the external storage endpoint. In its most basic form this will be achieved via <Account Identifier, Frame.io Storage Connect Configuration> mapping, where the account identifier is a Frame.io account ID.

A typical configuration for a Frame.io Storage Connect-connected S3 bucket would entail binding a Frame.io account identification to:

  • S3 IAM Role ARN
  • S3 Bucket or Object Key Name
  • S3 Object Prefix (optional)

Security first

One of the advantages for an organization to choose their own storage is to give them the ability to set their own security standards and to control governance over their assets. That said, security has always been a critical pillar of our service and we’ve launched Frame.io Storage Connect to give you greater flexibility with the same high standards we’ve always embraced.

In the context of connected storage, security can be modeled on either an identity access management (IAM) framework and/or by encrypting stored data at rest. When supporting AWS S3, Frame.io Storage Connect establishes trust by associating a Frame.io OpenID Connect (OIDC), the authentication protocol that verifies user identity when someone attempts to access a protected HTTPs endpoint.

The IAM model is a commonly used security pattern in the cloud in which roles and permissions govern access to data. When using your own S3 bucket the IAM policy is completely governed by your organization. Therefore, you will need to establish best practices to guarantee that your policies are stable, since they are vulnerable to being tampered with either deliberately or accidentally.

Faster error reporting

That’s why monitoring is such a vital part of owner-managed security. Because the earlier an error is detected and reported, the better to reduce the mean time to repair (MTTR). Errors can be caused by any number of scenarios, from a misconfigured IAM role committed by a user to something more nefarious. At a minimum, even simple error logging in a shared location that’s easily accessible will be helpful.

But Frame.io Storage Connect goes beyond that by using proprietary pings to detect connection failures to the storage endpoints, increasing the speed of error reporting. It also has mechanisms to distinguish between transient issues like network blips, thereby reducing the likelihood of false alarms.

Tiering and archiving

Anything that’s considered durable takes up space. And space, whether it’s real estate or computer storage, has an associated cost. Archiving data is the process of moving infrequently accessed data from an expensive storage tier that’s low-bandwidth and low-latency to a much lower-cost, high-bandwidth, high-latency storage tier.

Frame.io Storage Connect supports AWS S3 lifecycle management to move data between S3 Infrequent Access and S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval tiers when assets are actively reviewed in Frame.io. One consideration to remember, however, is that even though tiering provides cost advantages for archived assets, there may be a cost associated when retrieving data between tiers.

Backups minimize downtime

Even with strict adherence to best practices, downtime occurrences are inevitable. Downtime can manifest as losing access to connected storage due to human error, to assets being deleted as a result of making an exclusive connected storage endpoint non-exclusive.

Creating backups is one way to maximize business continuity when errors like these occur. The backup proxy workflow should be part of the connected storage bootstrap configuration setup, and the connected storage service should transparently take care of backing up proxies.

Frame.io Storage Connect supports this workflow by maintaining derivative assets like video proxies and thumbnails in the Frame.io-managed buckets, thus ensuring that creatives can continue working even if the connected storage is temporarily unavailable.

Your storage, your way

Over the past few years, we’ve worked with many of our large-scale, high-volume customers and learned that when it comes to storage configurations, there’s no “one size fits all.”

Frame.io Storage Connect now allows you to decide what best fits your organization’s size and needs. By removing storage barriers, you can experience the collaborative experience of Frame.io while boosting productivity and lowering your operating costs. We’ll also continue to develop this offering by introducing new connected-storage products along with more advanced features like deduplication.

There’s nothing more important to us at Frame.io than enabling creatives to create great content faster and more efficiently.

There’s nothing more important to us at Frame.io than enabling creatives to create great content faster and more efficiently. That’s why we’re so excited to collaborate with you as you make the transition to Frame.io Storage Connect. More power to our creatives!

Frame.io Storage Connect will launch soon as a private beta for Frame.io Enterprise customers. Initially, we’ll support AWS S3 East-1 storage buckets, with additional clouds becoming available at a later date. If you’d like to add Frame.io Storage Connect to your Enterprise account, please contact your CSM or book a demo so we can show you how it works.

Swanand Rao

Swanand Rao is director of product management at Frame.io and has previously held product and engineering leadership positions with Microsoft, Oracle, and other Fortune 500 companies. He holds an Executive MBA from University of Michigan and a Masters in Computer Science from University of Southern California.

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