When Viceland was looking for a media storage solution for its new Benelux service, the reliability and ease of integration offered by the PixStor system from Pixit Media made it the ideal choice

International television network Viceland boasts Emmy Award-nominated shows and culturally relevant content aimed at young people – refecting international perspectives on music, food, news, technology, sex, fashion and more. Owned and programmed by global youth brand Vice Media, Viceland launched in the US and Canada in February 2016 under the direction of Academy Award-winning writer/ director Spike Jonze.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 17.40.21The Viceland network encompasses both linear and digital platforms, and focuses on high- quality original programming, either created in-house or commissioning globally or locally. Since 2016, it has expanded into the UK, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier this year, the network broadened its reach with the launch of Viceland Benelux.

What we needed was a lot of storage space on a budget, but with a rock-solid file system under the hood. And because the system would be supported remotely, we needed something we could trust to be massively resilient.

-Toby Taylor, head of the Viceland UK technical team.

 

Vice Media consulted with Pixit Media to determine how best to create the new Benelux channel infrastructure. The infrastructure would need to include transcoding, QC, MAM connectivity, editing and other applications running off the storage system. PixStor, with a proven track record of reliability and ease of integration with existing infrastructures, was the ideal choice. The system was installed and implemented on- site by ERA and Pixit Media.

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IMPLEMENTATION

It was determined that PixStor offered the capacity, scalability and functionality that Viceland Benelux required, largely because its high reliability, performance and ease of integration had worked so well for the Viceland UK operation. Furthermore, Viceland’s media workgroups are typical of the facilities ERA and Pixit Media serve, with workstations and servers running a mix of Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

Because PixStor is a software-defined scale-out storage solution, Vice could incorporate any storage subsystem it saw fit. The global brand turned to NetApp E-Series, renowned for its extreme bandwidth, enterprise reliability and global support.

NetApp E-Series is the storage array preferred by many post houses and broadcasters because it is the only one with 99.999% reliability. Large broadcast production workgroups and boutique 4K facilities, which have zero tolerance for dropped frames, rely on NetApp E-Series.

Use of ash in hybrid arrays optimises support for ancillary transcoding and rendering workflows. ‘Phone-home’ features alert NetApp of potential disk failures before a hard disk fails, allowing NetApp or Pixit Media to replace the drive without any impact on Viceland’s production workgroups.

Pixit Media’s bespoke two-node PixStor system came with 300 terabytes of storage, on-site installation in Amsterdam, and continuing support. This enabled us to move the whole Benelux channel to entirely centralised storage, allowing the team there to easily expand beyond the limits of their previous system.

Moreover, it enables those of us in the UK to easily see and understand the status of the Benelux storage at any given time. It has also massively changed the workflow there, vastly reducing time wasted previously on file management. And it has opened up distributed file systems over Europe, which improves cross-site resilience. Also of particular benefit are the system’s in-built snapshots, which add an additional layer of protection.

The Pixit Media and ERA team has been incredibly efficient and professional, and they’ve been a pleasure to deal with during the entire install process.

-Toby Taylor, head of the Viceland UK technical team.

According to Vice’s vice-president of international operations Tim Bertioli: “Vice’s storage solution needs to be best-in- breed. Ultra-high-performance is, of course, a given requirement, but we also need easy administration and intelligent features, all of which the Pixit Media system provides. In terms of deployment and support, I have now worked with ERA for nearly a decade and knew they could be trusted to deliver.”

Find out how we can help you

If you would like to find out more about what we can offer you we are more than happy to meet with you or speak to you to understand more about your existing environment and your specific data management challenges and workflow requirements. We can then offer bespoke solutions uniquely tailored to your needs.