Leading Australian Broadcaster Finds Xsan Replacement In StorNext

High-Performance Collaboration is Critical

Each of Foxtel’s genres—movies, sports, lifestyle, documentaries, and so on—has its own production team for promotional material, ads, and localization. “We have multiple non-linear editing suites and separate media asset management for each of the teams,” says Paul de Heer, Foxtel contribution support manager, “and it is critical that they are able to access the content that comes from our suppliers, share it among themselves, and work collaboratively to produce high-quality promotional material on aggressive production schedules.”

Keeping Up with Foxtel’s Growing Needs

To meet the needs for its increased offerings, platforms and delivery formats, Foxtel needed a solution that provided high-performance data sharing.

“Once we decided to make a complete change, we put everything on the table,” says de Heer. “We spent a great deal of time doing research and talking to the team at our integrator, Digistor, for help in making the best choices for both technology and cost. Digistor has been critical to our program. They know our needs and what is available in the industry incredibly well.”

Needs Include Performance, Continuity, and Low Cost

Foxtel wanted a system that would support its current tools and processes and limit the number of Fibre Channel workstations required. The team also wanted one vendor with a long-term commitment to media and entertainment, and future options for leveraging multiple storage tiers, including object storage and the cloud.

StorNext Meets All Requirements

The more de Heer and his team looked at other options, the more it became obvious that StorNext was the right solution. “Its base technology is compatible with our legacy system, Xsan—which we hoped would mean an easy transition—and its use is incredibly widespread in the media and entertainment market, so we know there is a long-term commitment. We also talked to a large of number of people who had successfully made the transition to StorNext.” StorNext also provides automated support for multiple tiers—including the cloud, object storage and tape.

The new Quantum solution includes a controller running StorNext software, QXS RAID arrays, a Scalar LTO library, a Brocade fabric and gateways for Ethernet access. “One of the nice advances that the new StorNext system provided was the ability to provide very high-performance access for some of the workstations, while letting others that need less bandwidth access, access content over lower-cost Ethernet.” Today, the library backs up the data, but can also serve as an archive.

Careful Planning Makes Transition Smooth

Foxtel made the transition carefully, first running the new system in parallel with Xsan, and then transitioning each of its eight production groups over one at a time. The new system preserves all the existing production tools and Xsan’s collaborative workflow, but now the performance is faster and the system more reliable.

“StorNext has provided us with high-performance, flexible connectivity, compatibility with all our apps, terrific support, and rock-solid reliability that has kept us up and running without a break, 24/7 for the last year.”