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DoD Visual Information Storage Challenges and Lessons Learned

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Defense Media Activity (DMA) is the Department of Defense's (DoD) direct line of communication for news and information to U.S. forces worldwide. The agency informs DoD audiences, entertains DoD audience overseas, trains Public Affairs and Visual Information professionals, and manages the DoD's visual information. Defense Visual Information (DVI) manages DoD visual information in support of U.S. military activities and operations and conducts visual information planning, policy, procedures, guidance, management, and standards. Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC) provides DoD enterprise-level visual information services including operational support, digitization, storage, access, records management of the Department of Defense's visual content, and accessions to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

DVI has a need, like all archives, for digital storage. Hence our study of the storage industry and the solutions they develop, which vary significantly. The need for more storage conflicts with our constant budget pressure, necessitating the right balance of performance versus cost. Solutions must be reliable and fast enough to support the mission while not breaking the bank.

Research into the various solutions available began in 2006 when a new effort was started by DVI to fix the digital asset management problem.

This paper will discuss the history of storage systems used by DVI, why the first system could not be used, research with various vendors and the requirements presented to the vendors. The paper will also discuss the selection and use of very high capacity storage designed to hold video master files. The paper will also explain how we moved the storage system in 2011 to the new agency.

The paper continues by discussing the growth of the storage system in DVI, moving from vendor to vendor. The paper concludes with a discussion about current cloud storage options and what that means for DVI.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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