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Imagine ensures business continuity for Saudi Broadcasting Authority

Imagine ensures business continuity for Saudi Broadcasting Authority

Imagine ensures business continuity for Saudi Broadcasting Authority

Saudi Arabia:

The Saudi Broadcasting Authority (SBA) has begun implementing five playout disaster recovery (DR) sites in order to provide continuity in the event of disruption. Each of SBA’s five DR sites makes use of a condensed version of the same Imagine Communications’ IP-ready technology that was implemented at its main playout centre in Riyadh, which recently went on air with 12 fully redundant HD channels. The sites were by Imagine in partnership with First Gulf Company.

“Business continuity is an increasingly important consideration for broadcasters, who want to be assured of delivering to their audiences at all times,” stated Hatim Abounassf, vice president for engineering affairs for the Saudi Broadcasting Authority. “Our plan was demanding, with five disaster recovery sites, so we needed a technology solution that was efficient and scalable and could support synchronisation across our whole network, without adding to our workload. Imagine’s technology had all the hooks for synchronisation already available, so we could implement our sophisticated fallback plans easily, quickly and seamlessly. Commonality with our main playout centre also gives us the advantage of eliminating the need for training for our operators and engineers as they move around.”

The five sites are geographically dispersed around the Kingdom and each can deliver five premium channels together with any associated advertising streams. All five have been integrated with Imagine’s Nexio+ AMP video servers (each with six bidirectional channels) and backed by a Versio IOX NAS with 75TB of storage. COTS servers maintain on-air reliability while running under the control of the manufacturer’s ADC playout automation, while Nexio Motion asset management software keeps content in synchronisation between the playout centre and each DR. This ensures that, should any disruption occur, failover will be immediate and transparent.

Additionally, a Platinum router with integrated SX Pro multiviewers handles monitoring and signal delivery, and Selenio 6800+ infrastructure modules provide additional processing power. The whole architecture is duplicated for redundancy at each individual site to ensure SBA avoids any interruption in their operations.

“In the past, adding disaster recovery to playout automation was a major undertaking,” noted Anas Hantash, head of Middle East, South Asia and North Africa at Imagine. “Now, with the Imagine software-centric architecture, we could quickly and easily implement SBA’s complex requirements of a 12-channel centre with five DR facilities, spread across the country, and each capable of managing five premium channels. Our systems provide completely automated and intelligent synchronisation of content, allowing SBA to rely on the five remote sites to take over any or all channels, at any time.”

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