Alliance Atlantis believes every Canadian deserves to be a star. They just need the right kind of network infrastructure to help them.
Last month, the specialty broadcaster launched Blogtv.ca, an online video portal that allows individuals with a Webcam to broadcast live their own TV-like content over the Internet and archive their broadcasts for future reference.
Jeff Stein, Alliance Atlantis’s manager of emerging technologies, said Blogtv.ca was based on a similar service that was produced though an Israeli ISP, Tapuz. That service was all live broadcast, however, whereas Blogtv.ca will offer the ability to deliver video-on-demand as well.
Alliance Atlantis realized early on that Blogtv.ca could place considerable demands on its network bandwidth, Stein said, and set up the service to sustain 20,000 simultaneous users.
“All of them wouldn’t be broadcasters, obviously, but we’ve built out our core backbone, which now is 1.5 Gbps,” he said, adding that the company houses its Cisco networking gear and other infrastructure at a colocation facility.
“It’s all blade-based, so we have extra chasses if need to deploy more Web services. On the bandwidth side, it’s tiered and burstable. Peak currency gets upwards of 70 megs a second.”
The storage for Blogtv.ca is tiered as well, including a Dell/EMC CX3-40 storage area network (SAN) for backup and EMC Centera active archiving system to handle long-term storage of videos. For disaster recovery Alliance Atlantis has set up a second SAN and additional Centera active archiving system at a remote site that can handle real-time replication between the two locations. Data archiving will be handled by Dell PowerVault ML60202, 136T and 124T tape libraries.
“Part of technology strategy is to allow them to buy what they need and seamlessly upgrade as required. Especially for an application like this, it’s hard to estimate what the demand will look like,” said Kevin Smith, Dell Canada‘s brand manager for servers. “Blogging apps can spike quite quickly.”
The tiered architecture means what needs to be accessed very quickly can be on high-performance disk, and what doesn’t need to be accessed can be in lower-tiered disk. This helps improve backup times and data response times, Smith said.
Stein said the Blogtv.ca service, which has been in beta mode since late last year, may also be featured on some of its channel’s Web sites, including Home & Garden Television.