Western Digital Media & Entertainment Executive Council
Industries & Applications

Western Digital Media & Entertainment Executive Council

Sunday night wrapped up this year’s Sundance Festival in Utah, and we were there talking with key executives and IT stakeholders behind the scenes of the media & entertainment industry.

It’s not by chance we chose Sundance as the location for the first meeting of our Media & Entertainment Executive Council. We have been working with the Sundance Institute and helping them to unlock their media data in an active archive where they can preserve, access and transform their existing assets.

This year was the first year Sundance have integrated preservation into their workflow. Expandability, accessibility, and security are critical to preserving the heritage and legacy of the institute and the filmmakers they support.

Western Digital Media & Entertainment Executive Council

At Sundance, Western Digital executives had the opportunity to collaborate with a select group of media & entertainment (M&E) CTOs, technology managers, and other executives. It was an opportunity to learn about our strategy and strong M&E focus, and enabled us to listen and gather insights from the voice of the market on our strategic direction.

Over a day and a half of meetings, these discussions will help shape the features, functions and go-to-market strategies that ensure we have the voice of the customer engaged in our engineering efforts and product roadmap.

Justin Simmons, Director of Technology Services, Sundance Institute, joined us and we got his perspective on what it takes to make an event like Sundance happen from an IT perspective and the innovation that’s going to fuel future events.

Everyone who participated found this a valuable collaboration and has asked that we continue this forum in upcoming M&E events. If you and your organization are interested in being a participant in our M&E Executive Council, please reach out to me directly.

The Need for Innovation has Never Been Greater

Data has the potential to unlock a new world of possibilities, but it needs storage solutions that make it economical to make data alive at scale. Western Digital is leading the transformation, making both fast and big data come alive. Our expertise and level of integration, including the SanDisk, Tegile, HGST and G-Technology brands, give us an unmatched ability to deliver carefully calibrated solutions for segments such as M&E.

“The relationship with Western Digital has given Sundance Institute a solution to our preservation problem, while giving us a petabyte scale solution for the future…it’s not just a five-year plan; we’re talking 10-15 year plan, and that’s a tremendous peace of mind for us. ”

Watch how Sundace Institute is preserving history with the ActiveScale system:

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Erik Weaver
Erik Weaver is a specialist focused on the intersection of Cloud and the Media and Entertainment Industry. He is a project manager at the Entertainment Technology Center. The project unites senior leaders from the six major studios to develop next generation Cloud standards, support Hollywood organizations and major Cloud vendors, and produce proof of concepts. The group encompasses many aspects of the Cloud including transport, security, metadata, long-term storage, and formation of an agnostic framework that unites key vendors and studios. Previously, Mr. Weaver was CEO of Digital Ribbon, Inc., where he helped pioneer early rendering in the cloud for animation and special effects. Other projects included, leading the largest online gaming simulation for the “Rock Band” video game and working with CERN to developed HPC clouds used in Biomedical research.