Make news travel fast

By deploying EMC Isilon, Live India can add storage capacity on-demand
Amit Mehta, country manager, Isilon Storage Division at EMC.
Amit Mehta, country manager, Isilon Storage Division at EMC.

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Live India’s team required a storage offering that would reduce the editing production time and enable delivery of breaking news faster.

By deploying EMC Isilon, news broadcaster Live India can add storage capacity on-demand, which it claims has now helped it gain improvements in the performance of its editing software as well.

For a broadcasting channel with bureaus across 13 locations in a country, storage management is an ongoing challenge. Live India found itself in this situation recently. When the Delhi-based broadcaster decided to go for a forklight upgrade of its IT storage network, it was clear that the incumbent solution should not only be scalable enough to meet the growing demands of its dynamic business needs, but should also help it improve the efficiency of its broadcasting and editing workflows.

This was especially critical as the channel’s coverage included local news, politics, business, entertainment and technology with its content available not just on television but also through its website, www.liveindia.tv. “Earlier, we faced numerous problems related to our storage. My entire team was engaged in issue resolution, which diverted our focus from the rest of our business. This was not acceptable,” recalled Puneet Jain, IT Manager at Live India.

What Jain and his team sought was a storage offering that could reduce the editing production time thereby enabling faster delivery of breaking news. This way, the time efficiencies gained in storage management could be transferred to other core areas of the business and the IT team could deliver a flexible platform that would provide further efficiencies through online editing.

Choosing A Linear Solution

The broadcasting company then zeroed in on EMC Corporation for restructuring its IT infrastructure and chose the brand’s Isilon X-Series scale-out storage offering. Earlier, Live India was reliant on time-consuming manual provisioning of storage to ensure availability for the editing team, especially during breaking news stories where speed is required. While consulting with Live India, EMC’s team realised that this manual mode of content sharing and retrieval of archived content for editing also slowed the news stories creation, which then had to be broadcasted. “With EMC Isilon, using any of the available protocols for data or content sharing, multiple editors were able to work on the same content and could retrieve archival content related to the news stories and deliver it faster to the business,” explained Amit Mehta, Country Manager, Isilon Storage Division at EMC India and SAARC.

This was possible because EMC Isilon has a scale-out architecture where each node is a storage unit in-itself. Elucidating about its linear scalability Mehta stated that every time storage capacity is added to the Isilon cluster, a node with all resources is added to the cluster, in terms of CPU, memory, disks, front-end/back-end ports, etc. Interestingly, the maximum utilisation of the current solution at Live India is 70%.

The Indian broadcaster also faced other technical issues related to inefficiencies in connectivity and performance that interrupted its live broadcasts. To eliminate these issues, it leveraged the EMC Isilon scale-out storage to store its frequently accessed video data, archived raw and edited video and audio content, thereby providing its editors the ability to complete video editing online in the future.

Operating primarily as a news channel with an emphasis on breaking stories across India, improvements in performance resulted in a reduced time to broadcast, ensuring Live India maintains its reputation for broadcasting up-to-the-minute news, audio, feature stories, and current events. “The earlier platform was more of the DAS or internal storage of the systems. It was not exactly sluggish but the inability of work concurrently on same content and traditional sharing used to make it slow,” he added.

Storing Data At A Single Location

The EMC Isilon stores all data in a single location thereby enabling the editing team to quickly pull media archives and edit raw and archived footage, reducing the time required to complete edits and improving production times for delivering content for broadcast. The single storage solution has also reduced the management time, thereby enabling the Live India’s team to reallocate their time to other core areas of the business, including implementing standard operating procedures and improved management systems, working to reduce turnaround times, and ensuring the timely publishing of dashboards.

“In the news business, content is king and the ability to share content is tantamount to optimally leveraging the king. That is exactly how Isilon has changed the news floor,” Mehta pointed out. With the new solution in place at Live India, he said that editors could collaborate over the same piece of information since it is now stored in a single Isilon data lake and they can edit from a single content store. Online editing also means that people do not waste time waiting for another person to finish the ‘ownership of the file’.

Currently, the EMC Isilon storage is installed for Live India’s Delhi operations and the broadcaster has plans to deploy a further Isilon X-series storage system at the company’s Mumbai location for improved performance and ease of maintenance.

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