How to launch a streaming TV service when your file storage is at capacity

 In Case Studies, Hardware, Solutions, Storage

On-demand streaming services have made relaxing easy – search for a title, and hit play. But the behind-the-scenes technology that makes streaming content possible can be a lot of work to implement.

That was the recent challenge for an international broadcast television network. Years ago, it had the foresight to record and store all of its programming, and executives, eyeing up that library of content, decided to launch a streaming service in early 2016.

But the network’s glut of data stored on tape and rapidly diminishing storage space meant it was quickly approaching the point of no return. It needed an IT upgrade to not only ensure a successful launch for the streaming service, but to have a place to store new programming as well.


Too much content, not enough space

In the past few years alone, the TV network gathered about 1.3 petabytes of video data on tape backups. This colossal amount of data caused management challenges, such as a manual process of uploading and deleting files from video servers, cumbersome data retrieval, and general system and capacity limitations. Not to mention that the broadcast network was using an EMC Isilon clustered file system that was nearly a decade old.

Moving forward, the network’s IT team needed a data storage solution that could store many years of new content and easily scale up as necessary.

Finding a solution before time – and space – runs out

The TV network already had a relationship with SHI, and called us in find a solution. SHI hit the ground running – we had to, because space was quickly being gobbled up by new content. To start, representatives throughout SHI  developed a strategy with the broadcast network to complete a hardware rollout before the scheduled launch of the streaming service.

IT professionals of the TV network wanted a towering amount of storage — enough to hold five more years of recorded content. SHI’s experts in Isilon, Cisco, and other solutions assisted IT in choosing the right combination of hardware and software solutions, including its data storage needs. The TV network opted for data storage replacement that could hold about five petabytes of data, and to help speed up the deployment process, network executives and IT professionals decided to stay with an EMC Isilon system, both for its high performance and because the IT team was already familiar with the hardware and software.

Work is now underway to install, deploy, and set up management controls of this new storage and retention system. When a software and hardware question has arisen, SHI has called in its squad of technical experts and field solutions executives to coordinate with the TV network’s IT team, and assist the team with any problem or complication that has come up.

One-on-one help after hours

The TV network’s streaming service launch is still a few months away, and its IT team continues to work with SHI to coordinate the full deployment. The daily interaction allows for SHI’s diverse workforce of technical experts to fully answer any question the broadcast network has no matter the time of day – normal business hours don’t apply.

The TV network had two end points in sight – the launch of a streaming service and the last available storage space on its network. Those two scenarios could not co-exist for long, so the network had to plan for an upgrade of its data storage. Through working with SHI’s procurement team and its team of hardware and software experts, the TV network is on the path toward a refreshed data storage solution that should help make the debut of the streaming service a success.

Contact your account executive today to learn more about SHI’s professional services.

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