Archiving as a service at BBC Studios and Post Production


Kevin Shaw TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Kevin Shaw
Issue 97 - January 2015

BBC Studios and Post Production (BBC S&PP) is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC that competes for work from both the BBC and the market at large. In the Digital Media Services (DMS) department, we provide an end-to-end solution for what we refer to as "post-post production." Our services include digitization of film and tape, quality control, technical review, compliance editing, restoration and remastering, transcoding (including viewing copies and proxies), file delivery, and hosting.

As the industry transitions to file-based delivery and mastering, we saw a need for managed long-term archiving. Most of our customers already store digital files, but they do not have a long-term archive solution. An archive requires considerable investment in hardware, software, and expertise. For many companies, the cost of a reliable single-owner archive is prohibitive. As for disaster recovery, the most common and indeed simplest approach is to store a second copy in another location that is not connected to the primary source. Yet even for companies that do indeed have their own archives, many feel it would be worth paying to keep a redundant copy.

After doing our research and talking to customers, we decided to add secure, long-term storage to our "post-post production" services, the infrastructure for which we built into our new bespoke facility. A market evaluation exercise led us to Front Porch Digital and its DIVArchive content storage management and DIVAdirector media asset management systems. We started using the systems in April 2014 and in only the first three months have successfully contracted with four diverse clients, plus we use it internally. We are very happy with the interest and demand that we are seeing for our services, and believe that the number of clients and the volumes they use will grow dramatically.

DIVArchive and DIVAdirector enables data to be stored and retrieved as objects and also provides redundancy, error checking, migration, and all the services that distinguish archive copies from a file on a drive. Also, with the variety of clients we support in BBC Studios and Post Production Digital Media Services department, we rely on a number of different workflows depending on the job, and the DIVA systems are flexible enough to handle all of them - from digitizing a small college's film archive and ensuring its long-term preservation even if the storage technology becomes obsolete, to enabling an archiving, editing, and asset-sharing workflow for a multisite enterprise with vast libraries of media.

The level of automation and the number of strict rules and validity checks that are built into DIVArchive has enabled us to consistently offer a cost effective archiving solution to customers. The features remove the possibility of human error and save on human effort, reducing storage costs for customers and increasing DMS' storage capacity greatly. We can now offer a powerful metadata depository and search engine for the archive, enabled by DIVAdirector. The biggest fear of a digital archive is that a file or object will be wrongly named and thus lost forever, even though the data integrity is perfect. This type of virtual loss becomes highly unlikely through the use of tools like DIVA architecture and the integrity of their workflow.

Now that we've been using the DIVA systems for a few months, we've also discovered a use we hadn't anticipated. BBC S&PP DMS has large amounts of work-in-progress (WIP) storage ranging from high-bandwidth SAN volumes to more humble NAS blocks. However, there is always a period after work has been completed when projects are left on our expensive WIP storage awaiting confirmation from the client before we close the project. On bigger projects, this waiting period can tie up many terabytes of storage for a month or more, and block or hinder progress on new projects. We now use DIVArchive to archive these jobs temporarily and free up WIP storage for new projects.

When searching for an archiving system that would suit our needs, we considered many criteria, chief among them being reliability and reputation. In addition, because many customers are wary about buying into a service that commits them to a single supplier in perpetuity, we insisted on a solution with a proven track record of integrating with multiple storage, transcoder, and workflow systems, so that customers could make changes in the future without jeopardizing their investment.

As part of the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) compliance program, Front Porch Digital is committing resources to ensuring its technology meets the latest British delivery standards, indicating a long-term commitment to local clients' emerging needs.

As a result of investing in this software ourselves and offering archiving as a service, BBC S&PP DMS can provide customers with all the benefits of long-term archiving at a lower cost. The archive service is a popular added value for our many digitization clients because we can keep a disaster recovery instance in offline storage in case of problems with their own WIP storage.

It's too early to say just how large our archive will become, but we expect to serve clients with content ranging from terabytes to petabytes consisting of anything from a few hours of master assets to an archive with years of material. One thing is for sure: The demand for reliable, secure off-site backup is real and marketable, so as BBC Studios and Post Production's Digital Media Services' portfolio of clients increases, we have no doubt that we will expand DIVArchive's capacity and performance to match.

Tags: iss097 | kevin shaw | post production | bbc studios | digital media services | archive | Kevin Shaw
Contributing Author Kevin Shaw

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Image Systems at IBC2011

    Image Systems at IBC2011

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • Autodesk at NAB 2012

    Autodesk at NAB 2012

  • SGO at IBC2011

    SGO at IBC2011

  • Verizon Digital Media Services at IBC 2017

    Verizon Digital Media Services at IBC 2017

  • NOA Archive Solutions at IBC 2014

    NOA Archive Solutions at IBC 2014

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

    SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

  • ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

  • SGL at NAB 2014

    SGL at NAB 2014

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy at IBC 2013

    Cinegy at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy: Multiviewer at NAB 2013

    Cinegy: Multiviewer at NAB 2013

  • SGL at NAB 2013

    SGL at NAB 2013

  • Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

    Facilis Technology at BVE 2013

  • SGL at NAB 2012

    SGL at NAB 2012

  • Editshare at NAB 2012

    Editshare at NAB 2012

  • Nexsan at NAB 2012

    Nexsan at NAB 2012

  • Arkivum at BVE 2012

    Arkivum at BVE 2012

  • TMD at BVE 2012

    TMD at BVE 2012

  • FOR-A at IBC2011

    FOR-A at IBC2011

  • Netia at IBC2011

    Netia at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Den Lennie talks Archive and Storage

    Den Lennie talks Archive and Storage


Articles
How Broadcasts Can Simplify The Delivery Of Live Video Streams To Affiliates
Phillipe Gonon In today’s fast paced environment broadcasters need to quickly, easily, and simultaneously share high-quality live content with multiple affiliates or other broadcast facilities. However, today it’s typical for each third-party transmitter to be connected to its own receiver with its own platform and management system. This results in major TV channels having several web interfaces and/or screens to receive and distribute feeds coming in from third-party devices.
Tags: iss138 | aviwest | stremaing | rtmp | rtsp | rtp | hls | Phillipe Gonon
Contributing Author Phillipe Gonon Click to read or download PDF
The World of 12G 4K/UHD Processing
Varun Patel Technology moves fast and when it comes to audio and video broadcasting, there is always room for improvements in audio and video quality and ease of production. One of the main goals of broadcasters and content providers today is to create an immersive experience for the viewers, giving them the feeling of being part of the viewed content. The 4K/UHD buzz has been in the consumer world for some time but what does that actually mean for the content producer?
Tags: iss138 | lynx technik | ott | greenmachine | yellobrik | conversion | Varun Patel
Contributing Author Varun Patel Click to read or download PDF
How the Womens World Cup was Boosted by Broadcast
John Griffiths As we write this article, England’s Lionesses have just beaten Norway 3-0 and are smashing viewing figure records, with 6.9 million viewers tuning in to watch them play Cameroon on BBC One. Rewind to the previous World Cup in 2015, and England’s group and early stage knockout games tempted up to 2.5 million viewers for each match. It’s safe to say that women’s football is finally having its moment; what was perhaps once considered a niche sport is finally gaining momentum in the mainstream space with broadcasters giving it the attention it deserves.
Tags: iss138 | wwc | world cup | spicymango | diversity | John Griffiths
Contributing Author John Griffiths Click to read or download PDF
How Providers Can Win Man of the Match With Live Sports OTT
Chris Wood Times are tough for traditional broadcasters and live TV; the rise of on-demand TV and paid subscription services isn’t a secret and a large amount of the population are turning to these alternatives rather than their established counterparts.
Tags: iss138 | spicymango | ott | live sports | cdn | Chris Wood
Contributing Author Chris Wood Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation: Wings, Fine Coffee and Fake Nudes
Dick Hobbs - new One of the many attractions of this time of year is that I get to meet with my fellow judges for the IBC Innovation Awards, and see what the industry sees as the most important, most forward-looking projects of the day. For me, this says what the key talking points are going to be in September, far more eloquently than the endless press releases from vendors which are already tumbling into my inbox.
Tags: iss138 | ibc | smpte 2110 | deepnude | cisco | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF