Netwerkinfrastructuur Televisieproducenten - Business Case United | BPSolutions

New network infrastructure for Media & Broadcasting company United

Facility services for TV producers

Now that the consumer has embraced the laptop, tablet and mobile phone and wants to watch television on large and small screens, United is faced with the challenge of adapting the technical facility services. Today it is expected that video content can be found on different platforms and that it can be played on different screen sizes. For United, the time was ripe for a more powerful infrastructure.

The Dutch United, part of the European Euro Media Group (EMG), provides television producers with facility services from, for example, single cameras to broadcast facilities for large outdoor sports events. The company has, among other things, provided the broadcast facilities for the Fifa World Cup and manages more than 45 percent of Dutch television productions. United also works with international television channels such as the American NBC and ESPN and the Brazilian TV Globo.

In addition to the delivery of cameras and satellite dishes, the associated staff can also be outsourced to United, according to Marc Ruessen, manager of business development at United. He says he started an IP-based network system seven years ago to edit and broadcast HD-quality broadcasts. ‘The first system worked fine. Later we bought two more systems that we integrated. That was more or less a piece of wood-string work, which did not reflect on delays, security and other network-related concerns. “At the same time, United grew as coal, thanks to the acquisition of several small companies.

Brocade VCS-technology

Everything had to be on the shovel. The time was right for a new network infrastructure with sufficient power and scalability to meet the current and future demand for more bandwidth. The network at the time sighed under the load of video files of hundreds of gigabytes large which on a daily basis produced sixteen terabytes of data, which then had to be prepped for different platforms.

United wants to deliver exceptional broadcast services to customers and partners via a scalable, reliable and powerful Ethernet fabric and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) core routing platform while supporting the growing video and data traffic. The new network must simultaneously reduce operating costs.

Brocade’s VDX 6720 datacenter switches

For the data center, Brocade’s VCS technology is deployed on the basis of VDX 6720 data center switches that together form one logical chassis. These provide less delay, which is very important in video. The VDX switches also consume considerably less energy than other switches, which results in a cost saving. The MLXe series and NetIron CER 2000 series routers provide 10 Gigibit bandwidth via Ethernet and therefore offer sufficient scalability. In order to reduce costs and complexity, Brocade’s Converged Network Adapters were used, including Brocade Network Advisor, to simplify the management of different networks. Brocades Mobility Access Points and Controllers were also used to make the data accessible via mobile networks, such as Wi-Fi. Finally, FastIron SX, -WX and -ADX series application develivery switches have been implemented, as well as the FCX series.

The old network had multiple weaknesses, or multiple points of failure. The Brocade Ethernet fabric prevents single-points-of-failure, which increases network performance. The MLXe series router provides 10 Gigabit bandwidth via Ethernet, in the future to be scaled up to 100 Gbit. The network is therefore prepared for the expected increase in network traffic, such as new HD channels and more video streaming.

Reliable data transmission

United can now reliably send data via various devices and from multiple points simultaneously. The Ethernet-based network infrastructure also ensures that virtualization plans can be realized more easily, without the headache often associated with the management and configuration of VMs. For example, the VCS fabric makes it possible to migrate VMs, whereby the port profiles and MAC address mapping automatically move from the source port to the final destination. Because there is communication directly with VMware vCenter, manual configurations are superfluous. There is now much more control over the bandwidth and the infrastructure is ready for a high degree of virtualisation. Brocade’s Ethernet Fabric makes the network more intelligent, simpler and more resilient while at the same time improving its performance. Especially customers benefit from this, because they can now use higher speeds and extra services that United can offer with this network.

With the 10 Gigabit fabric Ethernet technology, United can move forward for a while. Brocade helps the it department with a cost-efficient path to a future high density infrastructure based on 100 Gigabit Ethernet technology. The equipment is already prepared for this.


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Jean-François Michotte EVP Business Development Belgium