France Televisions Chooses MatrixStore for Remote Locations

Press Release

Object Matrix, provider of highly resilient nearline storage solutions today announces that the France Televisions group (French public television network) has chosen MatrixStore to protect its file based content at its overseas locations.

During a review of playout operations in remote territories (French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Wallis & Futuna, Saint-Pierre & Miquelon) France Televisions identified the requirement for secure nearline storage.

“We embarked on a comprehensive review on the future of our playout facilities earlier this year,” said Erwan Roth, Deputy Technical Director. “Until then we had a standard architecture built around video servers connected with an LTO storage robot for medium or long term archives. We consulted several manufacturers during this process, and for the playout platform we chose Omneon. In terms of price and technology, they made the best offer. However our storage capacity requirement was greater than the storage present in the playout servers, and therefore we looked for a nearline parking solution. Again we studied the market offerings and Object Matrix with their MatrixStore solution was proposed to us by French systems integrator DID Technology. Once they had presented the benefits of MatrixStore, we selected that solution.”

Updating the infrastructure at the remote locations is always a complex process, given some of the stations are composed of a hybrid between locally produced broadcast content and broadcast content delivered from central operations near Paris, in Malakoff.

The facilities in Guadeloupe and French Guyana house both broadcast and production operations; however broadcast from other stations is managed from HQs in Malakoff.
As a consequence, France Televisions Guadeloupe and Guyana needed greater capacity;  as outlined by Erwan Roth, “The requirement for nearline storage is to protect 15 months of content, with a broadcast codec DV 25. For obvious cost reasons we could not use the Omneon and we did not wish to continue using LTO robot platforms due to limitations we have experienced with those solutions in the past. For us, the best solution was to increase our nearline capacity, and in this specific case, we needed 100 to 150TB at both sites”.

Fast access, high data security, excellent value for money, and ease of deployment are among the main advantages observed in the Object Matrix solution.

“When I looked at the different solutions on the market, I had the choice between pure IT companies, or others with more background in video. We did not need ultra performance, because the programs are already stored in our main site in Malakoff. One of the key requirements was the system’s reliability and ease of use,” said Erwan Roth.

MatrixStore is being used in two ways: as a secure nearline platform and also providing file sharing capability using FTP to access the content.

“The CarbonCoder application manages and watches for content placed in a folder on the FTP server and automatically moves the elements into the Omneon playout server. Also, this new storage strategy enabled us to develop file-based delivery for programs coming from external producers, with significant benefits obtained in the process. Also, the MatrixStore architecture allows access to rushes directly from an Avid editing seat. The benefit of this use-case is that it is bi-directional, allowing us to both receive and transmit via FTP.”

Installation for the stations in Guyana and Guadeloupe required 144TB of MatrixStore nearline storage consisting of 4x 36TB MatrixStore nodes. The systems were integrated in metropolitan France. All the hardware was configured, cabled, commissioned and then placed into containers that were shipped out to the stations. Once received, the installation of all the systems was done in situ within three weeks. Another two weeks were then spent testing prior to being used in production.

“Regarding the MatrixStore solution, I admit I was amazed by the simplicity of installation and the ease of use. At the stations I have no engineers, but with MatrixStore there is no need for specialist training to understand how it works.”

For the stations in Wallis and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon respectively, the capacity of each MatrixStore was 27TB made up from 3x 9TB MatrixStore nodes. The two clusters at those locations are used primarily for FTP data exchange.


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