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Isilon helps STN meet demand

12 July 2010
Isilon helps STN meet demand

STN, a leading teleport service provider delivering broadcasts over satellite for Central and Eastern Europe, has successfully implemented an Isilon scale-out Storage platform to help migrate clients onto its new playout system and meet strong demand for its services.

As Tomaz Lovsin, Managing Director of STN explained: “For us, the raw performance and the stability of the storage system is critical so that we don’t suffer from any downtime or let alone data loss – that would be just catastrophic!”

With many of the channels operating 24 hours a day and often playing live events, the loss of service for even a few minutes would be extremely damaging to the firms reputation and could ultimately cause financial penalties and loss of valuable contracts.

The firm has won several major contracts including the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, MYtv and Total TV, and established itself as the largest independent satellite broadcaster in the region. With growth still strong, STN chose a new Isilon scale-out storage architecture to allow it to independently scale capacity and performance to match its current and future requirements while providing a dependable foundation for the continued growth of the business.

With the Isilon scale-out Storage now running for six months, STN has had time to evaluate its effectiveness. In terms of reliability, the 216TB scale-out Storage pool consisting of 6x Isilon IQ 36000X nodes have performed faultlessly delivering 100% uptime with levels of performance that easily meets the needs of the STN ingest and playout systems.

As a business that runs 24 hours a day, STN needs teams of administrators on site around the clock to ensure smooth operations. Unfortunately its old NAS storage systems were challenging as Lovsin explained: “Well basically, there were five people managing the storage before we installed the Isilon system and now we need just three, so that is obviously a reduction in that area as well.” Lovsin also believes that the number of people managing storage will not grow, even as the business expands, as the simplicity of a single, centralised and highly automated storage pool is well suited to its operations.

The simplification of its storage also extends to support. “Isilon setup an automated system called autosupport that continually monitors the system,” said Lovsi., “If it detects a problem, it creates a support case and sends an email with all the relevant information to both our IT department and Isilon so we are in a very good position to solve it as fast as possible.”
With a fully redundant power and network path architected into the storage, the Isilon scale-out Storage can sustain the loss of an individual drive or even an entire node without impacting on system or data integrity. The Isilon implementation delivers around 30GBps of throughput from a single file system and is able to expand into the Petabyte range. The ability to scale both capacity and performance independently is also a welcomed change from its old storage systems and provides STN with a great deal of flexibility in dealing with new types of high definition contents and services.

“If everything would work as smoothly as the installation, the configuration, the expansion and the management we experienced with the Isilon systems, I would be playing golf six hours every day.”  Lovsin concludes.

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