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XenData and Harmonic Introduce Integrated Broadcast Archive System

COW Library : SAN - Storage Area Networks : Debra Kaufman : XenData and Harmonic Introduce Integrated Broadcast Archive System
CreativeCOW presents XenData and Harmonic Introduce Integrated Broadcast Archive System -- SAN - Storage Area Networks Feature


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XenData, a provider of digital video archiving solutions for the media and entertainment industry, and Harmonic, which offers a wide range of products for improving the quality and efficiency of video transmission, are introducing new integration between XenData's archive server solutions with Harmonic's Media Application Server (MAS) and ProXplore.

"This collaboration was driven by customers that requested our Media Application Server product to be capable of controlling archives," explains Harmonic Senior Product Manager Simon Eldridge. "We didn't want to reinvent the wheel but, instead, make managing media in a broadcast environment more simple. We already had some joint installations where XenData was providing archive management and we were providing the media management, but not in an integrated way."

Storey puts the fruits of the collaboration in layman's terms, stressing the simplicity of use with XenData's server products. "What our software does is making writing to LTO tape in a robotic library look just like writing to a standard network share, a regular Windows server," says XenData CEO Dr. Phil Storey. "What we've been working with Harmonic on is actually a very scalable integration that provides information back to the application that's using us that we just can't get using the standard file system interface."

Eldridge notes that Harmonic's goal has never been to provide a total end-to-end solution. "We tried to build our Media Application service in a way to be extended by third parties," he says. "We have done that with captioning and QC. So archive was the next logical step. It we can enable integration with best-of-breed third parties, it's much better."


Dr. Philip Storey, Co-founder and CEO of XenData
The demand for storage, notes Storey, has exploded. "The transition from SD to HD increased the amount of data stored by a factor of four or so," he says. "Then from HD to 3D doubled things again. And that's just one factor. The other factor, which has a bigger impact, is that there is no longer the by-product of videotape. In a news-gathering organization, there was always raw material on inexpensive videotape medium that was kept offline for decades. File-based production and less videotape in general means that's no longer the case. LTO fits the bill very well."

Marrying the two companies' expertise is winning for both and for the end customer Storey points out that XenData's expertise--managing LTO robotic libraries--is "actually very specialized from a development perspective." "Harmonic has the leading video servers in that range," he says. "Although we both sell worldwide--and we've got hundreds of installations especially in TV stations, high-end post houses, and production organizations--Harmonic is a much larger organization. My guess is that every other Media Application Server system from Harmonic needs an LTO archive."

The new interface can be used with Harmonic Media Application Server version 3.4 and the full range of XenData's archive server solutions, including X64 Edition software, XenData6 Server software and the XenData range of SX-Archive Servers. Harmonic MAS manages the archive and restore queue, which is executed by the XenData archive system. The Xendata system initiates FTP transfers between the LTO archive and Harmonic's MediaGrid, Spectrum or MediaDeck Servers. XenData archives and writes video assets to LTO cartridges, and passes back archive location information to MAS, which updates the metadata for the asset.


Media Application Server
For the new interface integrating XenData server solutions with Harmonic's MAS, potential customers are, says Eldridge, "anyone handling large volumes of media that is just not cost effective to store continually on disk. "All these clients are media-based but not necessarily media organizations," says Eldridge, who notes that he cannot yet release names of companies that have adopted the new interface. "That includes corporations, news organizations and traditional broadcast organizations around the world."

Both companies look forward to the launch at IBC 2011...and beyond. "I'm looking forward to getting out in the markets and getting success stories from customers," says Eldridge.

The integrated solution will be introduced at IBC, in the Harmonic booth (Hall 1, Booth 1.B20) in Amsterdam; XenData will be exhibiting other digital video archive solutions at its booth (Hall 7, Booth 7.47).



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