The traditional model of broadcasters owning and operating proprietary systems that run on dedicated hardware has often made it difficult to implement comprehensive disaster recovery (DR). The main barrier has generally been cost: the cost of replicating equipment at a second site, of transporting tapes and files between sites, and of ensuring the second site is active and available to take over at a moment’s notice.
Even if a broadcaster has implemented partial DR capability at its main site, damage to the building or loss of power or connectivity could still have a devastating effect on its ability to continue broadcasting.
Today, however, the ongoing transition from tape-based to file-based digital workflows opens the door to new ways of thinking about DR, as digital processes can become software-driven ones and applications can be engaged with from any geographic location.
When Deluxe set out to design its next-generation cloud-based media asset management, playout and distribution platform, building in cost-effective DR capability was a prime consideration. This was made possible by the IT-centric nature of the solution, and a distributed architecture housed in geographically diverse Interxion data centres to maximise security and resilience.
“When we did our research, Interxion came out head and shoulders above everyone else for operational excellence.” says Alec Stichbury, CTO at Deluxe Broadcast Services. “In addition, they have a dedicated digital media team who understood what we wanted to achieve and were ready and able to support us.”
LeapCloud is designed to eliminate outages by integrating disaster recovery as a fundamental element. Hosting our infrastructure at multiple Interxion facilities plays a key part in achieving that aim.
CTO, Deluxe Broadcast Services
Interxion’s data centres operate to Tier 3 standards as defined by the Uptime Institute, providing space, power and cooling with very high levels of reliability and performance, and follow robust processes that are aligned with the ITILv3 framework. The environment within each data centre is fully controlled with 8MVA redundant grid supply, 2N UPS redundancy, N+1 backup generators, and a minimum of dual-fibre entry points for multiple connectivity providers. A stringent SLA governs uptime.
The physical security of the LeapCloud installation is assured through data centre features such as full CCTV monitoring inside and out, 24x7 staffed security, mantraps, and proximity card and biometric readers for managing access.
The LeapCloud platform design is based on an N+N active/active broadcast playout model, delivered from Interxion’s data centres in London and Amsterdam. The data centres are connected by diversely routed fibre supplied by different connectivity providers for maximum resilience.
Because the service is software based, Deluxe can deploy redundant hardware across the two Interxion sites and mirror all the components. The two playout engines are locked together, ensuring frame-accurate delivery, with either one able to take over from the other instantaneously.
As a carrier-neutral data centre provider, Interxion provides access to a wide choice of connectivity partners, enabling LeapCloud and its customers to reach any platform simply and cost-effectively. Interxion is home to all the main fibre-based media contribution network providers and to a growing community of satellite service providers, facilitating, high-quality content acquisition and contribution. LeapCloud also has access to a broad range of IP carriers, ISPs and CDNs at Interxion.
“By selecting multiple providers, we can build in resilient connectivity that ensures delivery of content from our platform to IPTV headends or ‘over the top’ directly to consumers watching via the Internet or on mobile devices,” says Stichbury.