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Media Shuttle: fast, secure access to any storage type, anywhere

By Jon Finegold | Feb 11, 2020

The media industry has unique challenges, and solutions that work for other industries often don’t work well in ours. Both the technical requirements and the economics can be quite different, and that’s only been magnified in the cloud era. For example, with many horizontal cloud solutions, you’re required to move your assets into the provider’s storage and work with unpredictable, consumption-based pricing models. But that doesn’t have to be the case, it just requires thinking a bit differently. And that’s where Media Shuttle comes in.

When we launched Media Shuttle, our first cloud-native SaaS solution, back in 2012, we understood the transformative potential of the cloud, but knew we needed to build a platform that aligned with the challenges the media industry was facing — massive file sizes, complex global workflows, new security threats, and pressure to deliver more content to more places within tight deadlines and budgets. The platform we developed now underpins all of Signiant’s SaaS products — Media Shuttle, Flight, and Jet — and connects more than 25,000 media companies of all sizes.

Security and efficiency: built into Media Shuttle

To understand how we got here, let’s take a look at the underlying architecture which is separated into two distinct pieces, a data-plane and a control-plane. The data-plane is where the heavy lifting is done, connecting our SaaS platform to the customer’s own storage: be it file or object storage, on-prem or in the cloud. Here, Signiant’s core acceleration technology can move any size file anywhere with speed, reliability, and security.

The control-plane is the brains of the operation, providing an application layer that sends instructions to the data plane, and reports back on status. The control plane is where administrators, operations staff, and end-users access role-specific user interfaces to perform tasks and monitor activity from anywhere in the world.

This hybrid approach brings together the best of both worlds — your storage, our SaaS.

Hybrid SaaS in action

Let’s take a closer look at how it works in the most common scenarios:

Consider Media Shuttle when used with your own on-premises storage. When an end-user sends a file to another person or uploads content to a shared folder or workflow, that asset travels directly from their workstation into and out of the customer’s storage. The assets never travel through Signiant’s cloud control plane, not even temporarily. By operating this way, not only do you get the benefits of keeping all assets under your control, it also means absolutely no consumption-based pricing. When using our SaaS with your on-premises storage there are no additional costs associated with file sizes or the total amount of data moved. It puts the customer in complete control, with predictable pricing and no limits.

Now let’s now look at how it works when cloud storage is in play. 

While on-premises storage remains widely used, there are plenty of scenarios where cloud storage makes sense and, in fact, many of our customers use both to accommodate different workflows. Our platform works with Amazon, Microsoft or Google and in all cases, it’s your storage. We don’t resell storage or move assets into our control, even temporarily.  Content moves directly in and out of the buckets or storage blobs that you create and manage in your cloud tenancy. When using cloud storage with our platform, Signiant manages the entire data-plane software for you, providing auto-scaling, monitoring and management across cloud providers and regions. In this model, a generous amount of cloud payload is included in your SaaS subscription.

Media Shuttle is the total package

Our unique hybrid approach allows for great flexibility so you can choose the storage that makes the most sense for each operation and you can mix and match as needed. Assets always remain 100% under your control and Media Shuttle provides an easy-to-use interface that makes it seamless for end-users to access the assets they need regardless of storage type or location — all with speed, reliability and security.

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