ERA Partners With DataCore To Offer Unique Approach To Object Storage

Application-driven demand from the M&E industry leads to deal between software-defined storage expert and leading Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) specialist.

ERA, the leading UK provider of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and workflow solutions to the media and entertainment industries, has announced that its client services have been enhanced with the addition of Swarm object storage from DataCore Software.

For new and existing customers of ERA’s wide range of IT solutions, this move means they have access to a managed service that profoundly streamlines the ability to organise, store, and protect data while allowing S3/HTTP access to any application, device, or end-user.

With all IT operations based in secure, low-latency data centres, ERA clients already enjoy off-site infrastructure and storage services, remote workstation access and editing, cloud rendering, archiving, and connectivity, as well as 24/7 technical support, but Swarm is the first object storage system offered by the company. In fact, it’s the first hosted Swarm service offered in the industry. Another unique aspect of ERA’s hosted service is the price – customers are charged per terabyte.



“ERA already has a strong relationship with DataCore and Swarm is an industry-proven solution for object storage,” said Sean Baker, Managing Director of ERA. “For existing customers of our hosted infrastructure service, our Swarm solution offers access to object storage that is both faster and more cost-effective than competing solutions.

For M&E companies, object storage offers several key benefits: many users can access the same data concurrently; it’s simple to add capacity; and it has a very high redundancy level.

“Block storage in a production environment is still more cost-effective, but we’re responding to an application-driven demand from the M&E industry,” said Baker. “We are starting to see a need for object storage, mostly for synchronisation or archiving purposes.”

According to Baker, whether your MAM application requires an S3 interface, or you need to access data in multiple locations, the new Swarm service will provide everything necessary to exploit the benefits of object storage. And with 24-hour technical support in place, the ERA Swarm solution in effect offers subscribers a personal engineering department, on call whenever required.

“Over and above the technical support and the service that we offer, we charge a per-terabyte price to our customers,” said Baker. “There’s no hidden cost. There’s no egress cost. There’s no ingress cost. There’s no connectivity cost. There’s nothing hidden. You just pay for the space you use.”

He added: “Working with the giant providers of object storage, even for the IT literate, is not necessarily straightforward. ERA makes it very simple. We support the customer in getting connected, we hold their hand right through to the first use of the service, and then we manage that service for them. Fundamentally, while we provide the same level of object storage as the big cloud providers, it’s a much more personal service.”

Craig Hatter, Country Manager, UK, DataCore Software, commented: “ERA was selected as one of the first object-as-a-service providers using Swarm because of its expertise in the object space. We are looking forward to mutually growing the service.”

ERA’s trusted approach to providing IT services removes the stress and complexity of on-site infrastructure and technical support and allows customers working in VFX, broadcast and postproduction to get on with their core business of providing entertainment content. As a result, the company has grown by 80% in the last eight years and has seen its customers enjoy global success and expansion. Adding DataCore Swarm to ERA’s range of services will surely lead to even greater growth and further opportunities for the M&E industry.


About ERA

ERA is one of the UK’s leading independent providers of IT workflow systems for the Media, Post Production and Broadcast sectors. Based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire and delivering solutions since 1998, the company helps organisations reduce costs and most importantly deliver flexible, faster, and more efficient ways for its clients to address their ever-demanding project needs.

Solutions cover all aspects of Managed Services, Remote Editing, Cloud Services, IAAS, System Maintenance and Consultancy.

By taking a vendor-neutral design approach and understanding no two customers are the same, ERA has developed a large and strong customer base including clients such as Absolute Post, Discovery, Encompass, Ericsson, Jellyfish Pictures, Halo Post Production, STV, The University of Salford, and. Vice Media.

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