R&S storage delivers efficiency to Swiss service provider TPC

Created July 24, 2017
Applications and Research

Broadcast and production service provider TPC Switzerland AG relies on the combination of the Rohde & Schwarz SpycerBox Cell storage solution and IBM’s Spectrum Scale file system solution. TPC, whose clients include the Swiss broadcaster SRG SSR, will use the solution to optimise its workflow as well as to ensure quality and reliability.

In April 2017 Rohde & Schwarz introduced the new, intelligent storage and file management solution at the NAB trade show in Las Vegas. The IBM Spectrum Scale file system on the R&S SpycerBox Cell and R&S SpycerBox Ultra TL considerably facilitates workflows.

Together with its partner, system integrator Jordi AG, Rohde & Schwarz landed a project for Zürich-based customer tpc. According to Michael Jordi, CEO of Jordi AG, “As a system integrator, Jordi AG values the expertise of R&S as well as the professional collaboration with their team.”

Versatile management solution
TPC already has two R&S Venice ingest and playout servers in house. In the past, two four-channel R&S Venice servers generated up to 80 read/write streams in parallel to eight automated third-party transcoder systems, each with four transcoding units, all of which had to be managed.

The new storage and file management solution will be added to an existing network. The network only has a limited number of ports and there is limited space in the available racks. System integrator Jordi AG came up with the solution to install two clusters – one for read and one for write – each with two R&S SpycerBox Cell units using SSDs in a RAID 6 configuration.

IBM SpectrumScale is used for file management. A 40GbE link using the NSD protocol serves as the backbone for each R&S SpycerBox Cell. A second 40GbE link from every R&S Spycerbox Cell combines two storage units into a SAMBA cluster and connects it to the central 40/10GbE switch.

This provides the media links for the transcoder farm as well as the I/O connections for the overall system. Each R&S SpycerBox Cell uses an additional 10 GbE dual link, running NSD blocks via the central switch to the connected R&S VENICE servers. Separating the systems into input and output clusters optimises the I/O performance for the massive data rates within each cluster. The solution fulfills all performance requirements within a single system of only four HUs.

Matthew Peach

This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.