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Associated Press deploys EMC Isilon NAS system

A single EMC Isilon system and software are being used to support the ‘big data’ demands of the AP’s high-definition video production and archive workflows.

A single EMC Isilon system and software are being used to support the ‘big data’ demands of the AP’s high-definition video production and archive workflows.

Implementation of Isilon, it is said, allows the AP to boost the performance of copy and transfer rates, streamline storage management, improve reliability and lower video archive storage costs, without compromising on any of these requirements.

Among other specific benefits, EMC Isilon delivers a 6X video copy and transfer rate performance increase over AP’s previous tape archival system, as well as a scale-out architecture that will enable AP to increase from about 800 terrabytes today to approximately 2.5 petabytes by mid 2013.

As newsgathering organisations continued transitioning to HD video in 2011, AP needed to upgrade its standard-definition video content offerings. Having previously implemented Isilon for its video editing workflow, AP expanded its use of Isilon into video archiving as part of a complete video infrastructure revamp to support the HD video upgrade – from camcorders to servers to storage.

Consequently, AP deployed EMC Isilon NL-Series and X-Series platform nodes in its New Jersey and London data centres to support its video production and archival system. The Isilon OneFS operating system, and SmartPools and SmartConnect software enable AP to aggregate all storage assets into one pool, assign appropriate levels of service to individual users, and perform other storage management tasks. EMC Isilon has enabled AP to move from four storage tiers to two (object-level and block-level), and to unify multiple content archives in one infrastructure, further simplifying IT management and reducing storage costs.

Don Merrick, storage and backup services manager, Associated Press, commented: “As part of its multimillion-dollar upgrade, the AP is transforming its video business by switching its entire newsgathering, production and distribution systems to HD, forming the largest rollout of HD by any news agency globally. As part of a complete production environment transformation, we deployed EMC Isilon to take our video storage capabilities into the next generation. Now we don’t have to compromise capacity for performance – we can grow both at the same time. With EMC Isilon we’ve made content access much faster for our clients, and we’re gaining a competitive advantage over other content providers.”

Sam Grocott (pictured), vice-president of marketing, EMC Isilon, added: “Media organisations around the world depend on the Associated Press for timely content, whether it’s video, still images or news articles. Every second counts in the newsgathering process, and EMC Isilon is helping AP deliver the fastest possible video content access to its customers while also helping AP reduce storage costs and simplify IT management.”