Scality RING Provides Video Distribution Storage at RTL2, a German Television Channel
IT Operations Manager at RTL II
Hans-Josef Lauer in the RTL II datacenter
With more than 100M views per month, the RTL VOD service requires high read performance and efficient handling of very large files.
Viewers have very low tolerance for downtime, and in a highly competitive market, near perfect accessibility to VOD services needs to be assured.
Use of Scality RING, in combination with chosen hardware vendors, proved to be exceptionally cost-efficient compared to earlier SAN system.
There is no pause button and little time for a short break. Programming needs to be current. Changes foreshadowed in the last hour in social media need to be reflected in the broadcast. Those are the expectations of todays TV viewers.
A key player in Europe’s Reality-TV and Docu-Soap market, the German TV station is stepping up to that challenge. With in-house production and high-quality content licensing, it generates hundreds of Terabytes of movie and TV programming per year. Editing and curating that content to deliver to its audience over broadcast and streaming access channels in near-real time is the goal of RTL II.
To this end the company knew it would need to modify its content storage infrastructure. As VP of IT & Services, Reinhard Görtner realized that it was not fast enough, nor could it scale to reach this target. With the existing system, editors faced a constant uphill battle to finalize their broadcast. Upload times were slow, restricting editing work to no later than six hours before the scheduled broadcast time. Any last-minute change to information just could not make it. Because the system did not scale well, archived content was not easily accessible, further complicating editing work.
“We view Scality as technology for the future. Their RING storage is exactly what we need for our petabytescale business. The question was then, which hardware platform should we choose? After looking at SGI and EMC, we found the HPE ProLiant SL4540 Server was the perfect fit for Scality and our existing HPE server infrastructure.”
The new system had to be fast and furious. Upload speeds had to increase by orders of magnitude and it had to scale easily to nearly any size. In addition, it needed to be completely reliable. Without costing the bank, naturally.
Reinhard and his team managed to deliver on all requirements. With the Scality RING deployed, content growth was no longer a problem. Editing was possible in near-real time, with upload times reduced by a factor of 10 – broadcast quality movies required less then 7 minutes. RTL II’s multi-Petabyte content archive was not only accessible in full for the editors, access speed were getting faster as more content was uploaded.
Deployed in a geographically diverse structure, the RING also virtually guaranteed that the TV station would never miss a broadcast.
RTL II is now ready for even more reality. Programming is always current and editors can actually find time for a break.
— Reinhard Görtner,
Vice President IT and Services, RTL II