“LeapCloud effectively turns the old way of doing things on its head,” says Alec Stichbury, CTO at Deluxe Broadcast Services. “Broadcasters have traditionally owned and operated all their own systems in-house, including proprietary hardware and the mechanical and engineering infrastructure that supports it. That’s tended to make it difficult and expensive to launch new services, upgrade to HD, migrate to tapeless workflows or set up and dismantle pop-up channels quickly.”
LeapCloud solves those challenges by transforming from a capital-intensive model involving investment in broadcast hardware to a scalable, OPEX-based model. The service delivers live linear TV and content services as a platform that broadcasters can access and use in much the same way as if they owned and operated it themselves, but without any capital investment. Broadcasters can serve channels – ranging from simple thematic ones, through to much more complex ones that require insertions such as breaking news, live events or subtitles – at the highest quality to any platform.
“LeapCloud enables significant operational efficiencies and cost savings,” says Stichbury. “Broadcasters have comprehensive visibility of their assets and channel outputs, giving them extensive control over their inventory and greater playout flexibility.”
In addition to operational excellence, Interxion also has a dedicated digital media team who understood what we wanted to achieve and were ready and able to support us
As Stichbury points out, however, none of this would be possible without a reliable data centre partner whose facilities deliver the security, resilience, uptime, power and connectivity that underpin the entire service. Deluxe has chosen to colocate its LeapCloud infrastructure with Interxion. Stichbury explains why:
“When we did our research, Interxion came out head and shoulders above everyone else. Their award-winning, accredited data centres offer redundant power and cooling, multiple layers of security, and the sustainability features our customers expect. They also give us plenty of capacity to scale our installations or expand to other European locations.”
“In addition to operational excellence, Interxion also has a dedicated digital media team who understood what we wanted to achieve and were ready and able to support us.”
The LeapCloud infrastructure is hosted at Interxion data centres in London and Amsterdam, connected by diversely routed fibre supplied by different connectivity providers for maximum resilience. The architecture is designed to eliminate outages by delivering an N+N active/active broadcast playout model that provides comprehensive disaster recovery and automated seamless switching to an alternative path or site in the event of a problem.
In addition to ensuring the right colocation environment for the service, Interxion also provides access to a wide choice of connectivity partners for content ingest and distribution, thanks to its carrier neutrality. Interxion is home to all the main fibre-based media contribution network providers and to a growing community of satellite service providers, facilitating content acquisition.
Interxion data centres sit on the main highways of the Internet, enabling Deluxe to optimise the cost and performance of content distribution by selecting from a broad range of IP carriers, ISPs and CDNs to deliver content from the LeapCloud platform to broadcast and IPTV head-ends, or ‘over the top’ directly to the increasing numbers of consumers watching via the Internet and on mobile devices.
Since the launch of LeapCloud at NAB Show® 2013, over 20 broadcasters and content owners are already using it for playout and media asset management. Deluxe foresees strong growth in customer numbers over the near term owing to the capabilities and year-on year cost savings the platform has demonstrated it can deliver.
“With Interxion as our data centre partner, we’re confident we have the optimum environment for the LeapCloud platform,” says Stichbury. “Working with Interxion gives us the peace of mind to concentrate on our core business of providing broadcast services, while they take care of everything else.”