Israels i24news


Jason Danielson# TV-Bay Magazine
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by Jason Danielston
Issue 92 - August 2014

Israeli international news channel i24news went on air in July 2013. Broadcasting from Jaffa port, Tel Aviv, it airs international news on three channels in three languages: English, French, and Arabic. The channel provides news content and magazine pieces to 800 million households around the world on cable and satellite, as well as realtime viewing on its websites at www. i24news.tv.

i24news has a sizeable, complex newsroom operation. More than 150 journalists must be able to access and share the same content at any time from more than 100 user workstations in order to produce news bulletins, talk shows, and magazine programs in all three languages.

The Challenge: Reliable Storage From Ingest to Air

i24news journalists and editors work around the clock to develop and edit stories using content arriving in the facility from multiple simultaneous feeds. Content is then pushed to the playout servers from the storage system. i24news editors need reliably fast access to all of that video so that they can see it in real time, without any stutters or dropped frames. That job calls for an effi cient, fi eld-proven active storage infrastructure that is not only reliable but works seamlessly with the technology around it.

How to Choose

When deciding on an active-storage system for the brand-new facility, the fi rst requirement was for always- on reliability to match the always-on nature of the news, with the ability to upgrade or expand without ever having to turn it off. The storage also had to be easy to manage so that engineers would be free to handle more pressing tasks. Just as important, it had to play perfectly well with the chosen automation and longterm storage solutions, i24news was researching.

In the end, i24news chose a NetApp FAS6200 series storage system to serve as production storage for its demanding operation, along with the Dalet News Suite to integrate its many workfl ows into one fl uid system.

“After looking at all of our options, installing NetApp was an obvious choice,” said Effy Lupo, i24news chief technology offi cer. “NetApp storage is not only the most used, most tested enterprise-grade storage solution in the world, but it is also the most recognized and cost-effective choice for use with Dalet proxy creation and editing. Once we decided on Dalet, the fact that NetApp is used in more than 150 Dalet installations worldwide was very compelling to us.”

NetApp in the i24news Workflow

i24news stores its immediate and recent content in the NetApp FAS system for easy access and quick turnaround during proxy editing. i24news’ FAS system includes 108 15K, 450-GB drives for a total of 40 TB of usable storage. In terms of bandwidth, the drives can accommodate 1 GB/s of video fl owing in and out.

Material arriving at the station is ingested into the Dalet system via Dalet Brio servers and sent immediately to the NetApp FAS storage. The Dalet system automatically creates proxy versions for use in content review and production, and writes those proxies to the NetApp storage as well. The material that has been ingested on the NetApp storage is available for craft editors who use Adobe Premiere to create long-form programming.

Good Reasons to Use NetApp

NetApp’s unifi ed storage architecture across both proxy and broadcast resolutions was simple to install and easy to maintain, with superior fl ash integration. The NetApp platform provides fi ve 9s (99.999%) reliability, which means there’s no need to waste money replicating the content or the infrastructure. It also offers plenty of bandwidth so that access is always available to any client.

“Having NetApp storage helps keep our editing workfl ow running smoothly,” Lupo said. “We can use the fi les 10 seconds after recording. That kind of accessibility ensures that we can go to air with a piece of content very quickly, which is the name of the game in a 24-hour news operation.”

Ready for the Future

i24news has only been on the air for a few months, but when the time comes to add storage, the NetApp FAS6200 will be simple to scale thanks to its nondisruptive design. With the FAS6200, i24news can scale to more than 69 PB capacity, so it is ready for whatever the future holds.


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Contributing Author Jason Danielson#

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