CBC Upgrades TV Production and Delivery Services with NetApp

Pixit Media and NetApp build new production storage and disaster recovery infrastructure to improve CBC’s broadcast service offerings throughout Germany

“Although CBC’s legacy storage infrastructure gave them the basic media bandwidth they required, they quickly found they needed additional enterprise-class scalability, reliability, and support to guarantee video throughput for all of their graphics and edit workgroups,” said Barry Evans, CTO, Pixit Media. “Given their needs, we knew immediately that a mix of the NetApp E- Series all-flash and hybrid systems would best support their video and audio production needs.”

Since 1994, CBC (Cologne Broadcasting Center) has become one of the leading broadcasting and television production companies in Germany. Numerous renowned TV stations and producers rely on CBC for a wide array of individualized services, including broadcast operations and services, and teleport, postproduction, and media services. To serve customers better, CBC replaced its aging file system with Pixit Media’s PixStor scale-out NAS software running on NetApp® (NASDAQ: NTAP) E-Series storage arrays for centralized graphics production storage and online disaster recovery.

CBC’s new storage system is part of a facility upgrade to replace an aging existing infrastructure within the graphics and postproduction area to better support broadcast operations. CBC’s core requirement was for a centralized video editing and graphics production storage system that could deliver files using standard protocols over IP rather than legacy Fibre Channel. The new infrastructure had to be able to play back hundreds of video streams, including HD and ultra-HD video formats, as well as audio for Steinberg Nuendo workloads. CBC needed a software-defined storage solution to scale the system without making forklift upgrades and a single storage namespace split into multiple storage pools to handle different workloads. The platform had to work with both Mac and PC operating systems. In addition, all the video content in the file system had to be replicated remotely so that there would be two copies of the data for disaster recovery.

To meet those requirements, CBC chose Pixit Media to install the PixStor system. The PixStor unified scale-out NAS and SAN solution provides flexible scalability and predictable performance without relying on expensive and proprietary hardware technology. CBC and PixStor chose NetApp E5660 storage arrays with NL-SAS drives to support video production and EF560 all-flash arrays to support audio production. The overall infrastructure delivers 6 gigabytes per second of guaranteed video performance to sustain 450 streams of simultaneous XDCAM HD422 at 50Mbps playback.

“An integrated storage infrastructure provides central storage and nearline disaster recovery for CBC’s postproduction and audio departments,” said Jason Danielson, Product and Solutions Marketing at NetApp. “With the combination of NetApp and PixStor, CBC can now transition from expensive Fibre Channel connectivity to more flexible and inexpensive 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity via SMB 3. Together, our solutions are helping hundreds of CBC users access video workstations to more easily edit video for news, sports, lifestyle, and entertainment programming.”

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