As the company grew, more storage pools were added. The result is various pools of legacy storage that have culminated in a disjointed and complicated infrastructure. Additionally, this silo’d approach meant staff were unable to track and audit content, leading to failures in the system couldn’t be identified.
Mediapro recognised this setup was a risk to efficiency and productivity. The company needed a platform that could satisfy current business requirements and also expand along with it.
Complexity of Multiple Storage Platforms
Mediapro, was faced with the following problems:
- Having multiple small storage platforms after years of production
- Multiple production teams, producing 12 channels simultaneously
- A transatlantic network
- Unable to audit files
- Continuous expansion
Mediapro established its production centre back in 2008. Since then it has been growing year by year. As mentioned above, the existing set up consisted of multiple legacy storage pools. As the company expanded at a fast pace, this involved many more members of staff from different continents, accessing large volumes of content in different pools of storage. Naturally, that made things pretty complex and made it nearly impossible to get an audit trail for that content. Accessing the content was also far too complex, with many people often dipping into 3-4 storage pools at once. Operating a transatlantic business only added to that complexity.
Ultimately, Mediapro was suffering from inefficiencies, which were costing valuable time, resources and money. It also meant that the risk of mistakes was high and in a media environment, especially when delivering high profile content such as premiership football games, that is not a risk any provider wants to take.
“We identified that we needed to consolidate our various legacy storage pools into a more robust and scalable unified platform. Managing multiple silos of storage not only takes time and resource but also makes finding and accessing content very difficult,” commented Xavi Verd, CTO and Head of Barcelona’s Office, Unitecnic, the integration arm of the Mediapro group.
Unified Platform Storage
Knowing that a change was needed, Mediapro enlisted Unitecnic, to recommend and implement a solution. The first decision it was faced with was whether to just grow some of the existing storage pools or whether to implement a major change. In the end, Mediapro elected for the latter, determining that it would be much easier to continue to expand with a unified object storage platform.
The brief was to deliver one unified platform with global access. At the same time, it was important that any solution could easily expand according to future needs. Of course, with the production centre working 24/7, it was also crucial that the existing workflow and infrastructure was not disrupted during the changeover. Ongoing business continuity was also important. As with any media company, security remained a key concern. This is especially important when allowing global access to high profile content.
Mediapro selected MatrixStore, a leading Digital Content Governance platform from Object Matrix to provide integrated and automated object storage. Unitecnic worked closely with Ivory, the representative for Object Matrix in Spain. Ivory has extensive knowledge and understanding of both the product and of media workflows, and was able to manage the qualification process, whilst also being on hand throughout Unitecnic’s installation.
“We wanted to make our storage more capable. Being able to change workspaces depending on the needs of production; being able to recover accidentally deleted files. The biggest advantage was the capability to expand the storage without any hindrances,” added Verd.
MatrixStore keeps content secure whilst ensuring well-defined access controls, audit trails, and business continuity. Crucially for Mediapro, MatrixStore means that people in disperse locations can have instant access to the same content, even across the Atlantic. All this from a simple, easy-to-use web interface.
A Global Audit
Mediapro has a vast workforce needing access to many formats of content, including graphics, audio and production content. This means that auditing access to content is another important area for Mediapro. It is about understanding who has accessed content, made edits and where something went wrong in the case of failure. A decent audit trail, rather than being about pointing fingers, simply means that lessons can be learnt to avoid the same mistakes being repeated in the future.
Thanks to MatrixStore, Mediapro can now instantly see the precise lifecycle of every piece of content within its storage.
“It was important, with so many staff across the two transatlantic offices, that we were able to check on the access to storage. It is important to understand what may have gone wrong when there is human error, simply to learn from mistakes,” commented Verd.
The Next Phase
In the initial phase, the production teams have now been fully migrated to using MatrixStore. The teams are continuing to push the storage to the max and are fine tuning the configuration to make sure the rules and automations are setup to ensure best efficiency. With that well underway, Mediapro expects to move to phase two in Q1 2018, where the playout teams will be integrated into MatrixStore as well. This will mean that production can simply send completed items to storage and playout can pick it up easily from within the same platform.
“Our experience with Object Matrix has been extremely positive. It really has an excellent customer service, and the storage itself has given us a lot of confidence in what we are going to be able to do in the future in terms of expansion.”