Rainbow Media’s VOOM HD Networks efficiently manages its HD storage
VOOM HD Networks, a subsidiary of Rainbow Media, provides movies on five of its 15 channels throughout the day, which led to the network finding itself overwhelmed by the task of managing the HD content storage playing out nearly 150 HD movies.
VOOM HD’s channels include movies, sports, music, travel, fashion, the arts, cartoons and news. Each of these HD video files is about three times the size of equivalent SD programs. Rainbow Media had established a data tape-based playout model for SD assets used by its national networks, but the faster operation of the data tape drives compared to the network’s server systems resulted in bottlenecks at the server. The network wanted to approach HD content management from a new angle.
To manage effi cient storage of the network’s significant library of large HD files, the network turned to Front Porch Digital’s DIVArchive. The storage system enables interoperability between large digital media storage devices, video servers, editing systems and digital media workfl ow applications, simplifying the process of preserving, managing and accessing content.
The network had two main objectives: to ensure that all the VOOM content could easily be transferred in and out of nearline storage faster than real time, and, in the process, to maximize effi cient use of the data tape technology being used.
In order to achieve these objectives, a twotier storage layer was incorporated into the design under the management and control of DIVArchive. The fi rst tier uses 20TB of Nexsan ATABeast FC disk storage, and the second tier uses an ADIC Scalar 10K library with seven IBM LTO tape drives. The DIVArchive Storage Plan Manager policy engine controls all of the network’s content throughout its lifecycle and stores it on the appropriate devices based on performance and cost.
The network now stores any new HD content on the disk system for 30 days, then transfers the media to data tape and stores it in a scalable data tape library. The timeframe corresponds with the time a particular HD video file remains among current movie offerings. As a result, the content most in demand can be accessed quickly by the facility’s Harris ADC automation system and Grass Valley Profile MAN video servers for playout. As content ages, it is stored in a more cost-effective, long-term archive.
Today, two separate DIVArchive systems are in operation. One handles the facility’s SD archives and the other handles HD assets. As the network continues to refine its use of the system for HD archiving, it will take advantage of the disaster recovery capability and the expandable 300TB data tape library.