ZEEL of India Deploys Imagine Communications’ Cloud Disaster Recovery

Indian media company ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has deployed cloud-based disaster recover technology from Dallas based Imagine Communications at its Mumbai data center. This exploits the built-in redundancy of virtualized and geo-dispersed computer systems to reduce risk of outage in its playout operations, avoiding the higher cost of building and maintaining its own duplicate facilities.

ZEEL opted for Imagine Communications’ Versio playout and D-Series automation packages. The backup site supports 15 ZEE channels running on Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) servers across a virtual platform that mirrors the main site. Any changes made to the main system are immediately reflected on the DR system.

“Imagine Communications’ cloud-native business continuity solution helps to ensure that our live channels never go off the air, no matter the unforeseen circumstances we may face during the day-to-day running of our facility,” said Amitabh Kumar, Head of Broadcasting for Zee Network, the parent company of ZEEL. “The virtualized nature of the solution has already allowed ZEEL to realize savings on rack space and power consumption. In addition, the installation’s remote management capabilities help us to reduce resources at the DR site, keeping our opex low.”

Imagine was chosen to ensure that live channels hardly ever go off air, according to Amitabh Kumar, Head of Broadcasting for Zee Network.

Imagine was chosen to ensure that live channels hardly ever go off air, according to Amitabh Kumar, Head of Broadcasting for Zee Network.

A cloud-native approach to DR can utilize either private or public cloud-based facilities for restoration of broadcast and video playout operations. The idea is that it costs less and is more reliable and easier to manage than traditional business continuity solutions involving dedicated mirrored backup systems. Versio is just software running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IT platforms. It is portable to most hardware environments, including premise-based appliance approaches.

In Mumbai, Versio works in tandem with the D-Series playout automation system, which enables device control for linear playout channels and manages the movement of file-based media to multiple delivery platforms. The D-Series Remote Schedule Synchronization (DRSS) feature allows both the primary and backup ZEEL sites to run in sync.

According to Imagine, some media companies are adopting cloud-native disaster recovery operations as a first step in the transition of mission-critical operations to virtualized environments. They then plan to use the virtualized facilities for launching new channels or hosting existing ones after gaining confidence in the performance and reliability of the cloud. 

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