High-speed archiving in a high-res world


Lee Sheppard TV-Bay Magazine
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by Lee Sheppard
Issue 102 - June 2015

SGL has partnered with Avid for the past 11 years and the companies continue to deliver solutions that are required by today's modern broadcast facilities. SGL FlashNet, the engine that drives Avid Interplay Archive, provides customers around the world with an integrated MAM/PAM archive solution. Built around a clustered architecture, which allows virtually infinite scalability, FlashNet provides Avid users with an archive regardless of size, from the smallest TV station to the largest network operation.

FlashNet comprises three base modules, which can be run on a single server to provide cost-efficient archive operations in a compact installation, or can be installed across multiple nodes to form a cluster that provides automatic failover and high levels of I/O (input/output). Its central SQL database constantly monitors every node in the cluster. In the event that a node fails, its duties are automatically taken over by other cluster members, without interruption to archive operations and without requirement for manual intervention.

With the advent of HD, 4k and 8k, users within the SGL and Avid ISIS shared storage environment now require ways to transfer high resolution material faster. To provide a solution to this, SGL has developed Direct Connect. Traditionally content passed between SGL FlashNet and Avid ISIS is sent via Avid's archive provider. In the past when file sizes were smaller this worked well but for high-resolution file-based content this method has some performance implications. Direct Connect enables FlashNet to connect directly to the ISIS storage system using 1/10 GB Ethernet.

Direct Connect provides significant benefits when working with longer form content, which means that clips or sequences over a few GBs in size see significantly shorter archive and retrieval times, as do shorter clips with high bit rates, such as HD trailers and commercials.

As well as the Avid ISIS shared storage environment, SGL FlashNet is also integrated with Avid Interplay Web Services. Whilst the fully implemented Avid Interplay | Archive provides a seamless user experience, smaller work groups may require a paired down version. SGL's support for Avid Interplay Web Services means that customers can use the archive capabilities that they currently require, but can upgrade to Avid Interplay | Archive at any time in the future without the need to re-archive any content.

This has significant benefits within the LTFS environment. Over the past few years the industry has seen a sea change in its approach to archiving, with the archive moving much further forward in the production process to sit alongside ingest. SGL has been at the forefront of this change. With the successful take-up of LTFS, supported by SGL, broadcasters and content owners can benefit from true interoperability between what were once disparate systems. SGL's Interplay Web Services Plug-in provides drag-and-drop archiving using Interplay watch folders, without the need for Interplay | Archive.

With a mature network of both hardware and software partners, SGL has developed an integration programme that provides broadcasters and content owners with a highly adaptable and flexible content management solution. Key customers include: BBC Wales, BBC Scotland, C-Span, CBS News, CNBC, ESPN, Fox News, HBO, ITV, MTV, NBC News, RTL, RTM and Sky Italia.


Tags: iss102 | sgl | flashnet | archive | high speed | high res | Lee Sheppard
Contributing Author Lee Sheppard

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