CRN IMPACT Awards: New storage helps Australian Survivor become Ninja Warrior

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CRN IMPACT Awards: New storage helps Australian Survivor become Ninja Warrior

Shooting a TV show makes a lot of data.

And Endemol Shine makes a lot of TV shows: the production house is responsible for MasterChef Australia, Australian Survivor, Lego Masters, Australian Ninja Warrior, Married and First Sight and plenty more.

All those productions ran at the speed of tape and required a substantial team to handle requests for assets stored on the ancient medium. As implementing partner Customtec explained in its submission to the IMPACT Awards, “The cost of these traditional processes extended to the cost of storage, couriers for transport, and hardware for tape transfer and duplication. The complexity of tape extended through many aspects of the operation introducing overheads and time limitations across the business.”

So Endemol decided to change its ways. In came Scality’s Ring software-defined storage product, running on a fleet of half-a-dozen HPE Apollo servers – machines designed to offer an alternative to storage arrays.

Data was migrated from tape to the new storage systems, across three sites. Files now replicate automatically across the sites and is available online in real-time. Staff see a single namespace, rather than having to navigate three storage rigs. Resilience is impressive: the solution is rated to 14x9s or 99.999999999999% expected uptime. As a result recovery point objective and recovery time objective are both zero.

Content is also available immediately after recording, rather than having to wait for tapes to be shipped between sites.

The company’s pre-and-post production processes are now simply more efficient: it can get to work on new footage sooner and work on it faster. The end result is faster time to market.

The company’s back catalog also benefits: if customers want archived footage, it’s easier to find and distribute.

Shipping delays charges have become a thing of the past, too: crews on a shoot can access their work without having to wait for tapes to be transported.

From a technology point of view, Endemol can now use any server for its storage, freeing it from vendor lock-in. The new rig is also ready to use the cloud as a storage tier, creating an extra capacity and resilience option.

“This new storage solution has enabled us to centralise storage management across the organisation,” said EndemolShine head of IT Barry Zanelli. “It has simplified capacity forecasting, and allowed us to develop workflows that save time, effort and money. Additionally, it has significantly reduced our previous reliance on LTO tape technologies.”

It’s also made serious inroads into costs: savings of thousands a week, with more to come once tape is decommissioned, mean that this project has turned Australian Survivors into Australian Ninja Warriors.

Customtec is a finalist in the 'Digital Transformation' category in the 2019 CRN Impact Awards. For a list of all finalists and further details on the awards, please head to the CRN Impact Awards hub. The awards take place during the CRN Pipeline conference. You can get more information and purchase tickets here.

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