Managing DFI&#39s legacy video archive


Content storage management (CSM) solutions provider Front Porch Digital has announced that the Danish Film Institute (DFI) has purchased a SAMMAsolo G4 HD single-stream migration solution, a DIVArchive V7.0 CSM system, and a DIVAdirector media asset management (MAM) system for digitising, archiving, preserving, and managing its legacy video archive. Copenhagen-based DFI is the national institution responsible for preserving Denmark’s film heritage.

“The fact that Danish cinemas now work with digital files rather than 35mm films, coupled with the government mandate for producers to deposit their work at DFI for preservation, meant our servers filled up quickly, so we needed an immediate solution to handle our increasing amount of digital material,” said Jacob Trock, head of the DFI archive. “We invested in a smaller SAMMA and DIVArchive solution that would allow us to get started in proper digital archiving and expand easily as we are able. DIVArchive and DIVAdirector give us a complete professional, integrated archiving solution and a platform for easy access to holdings within our organisation.”

DFI is in the midst of integrating its SAMMAsolo unit into its preservation workflow. Ultimately, DFI will rely on SAMMA’s encoding architecture and integrated quality-control reporting capabilities to ensure optimal encoding as videotapes are ingested. DFI is using SAMMA to upscale SD video to HD files for distribution in digital cinema packages, and testing has gone well.

DIVArchive V7.0, which DFI is in the late phase of testing, features Front Porch Digital’s new open Archive eXchange Format (AXF) technology, which will help DFI to fulfill its mandate for optimal, reliant, and efficient open-standard archiving in accordance with OAIS rules. DFI’s DIVArchive will house all of the institution’s legacy video masters, trailers, digital cinema packages, distribution masters, and audio files, as well as all documentaries, short films, and feature films that are delivered to the DFI film archive for preservation. DFI has archived more than 3,000 items totaling more than 60 TB of data within the first six months of using the system.

DIVArchive uses LTO technology, which provides a more affordable storage solution than spinning servers without compromising reliability. DIVArchive allows DFI to have its entire archive in near-line storage, reducing the need for further investment in larger servers. DIVArchive also gives DFI an easy way to ingest files from outsourced, large-scale digitisation projects with minimal effort — a time-saving benefit that cuts down on labor costs. Internal DFI users access files through the DIVAdirector MAM system.

“Archiving into DIVArchive has now been integrated into our workflow when handling files, and the great advantage is that people in-house can serve themselves,” said Trock. “For example, DIVAdirector gives our festival promoters easy access to trailers and electronic press kits. At the same time, we can control and limit that access so that the promoters can get only what they need without risking loss of any other data.”

“Front Porch Digital products are making it possible for DFI to sustain a broad migrate-and-manage workflow, and as one of the early adopters of AXF, DFI will be able to ensure its archive easily serves its stakeholders for generations to come,” said Rino Petricola, SVP and managing director of Front Porch Digital International. “DIVArchive is designed specifically to handle video files and the management challenges that come with them, so it is especially well-suited to DFI’s stringent requirements for maintaining Denmark’s national video heritage.”


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