Business Continuity for Avid Post Production
09 August 2016

Business Continuity for Avid Post Production

What if …… my Post House went ‘off line’ one day?

With the scale of shared storage and number of concurrent editing clients increasing so dramatically over recent years, the amount of ‘work in progress’ and the value of the ‘in production’ assets in the post production facility can often run into millions of pounds. It represents a significant ‘concentration of risk’. Ever shortening and demanding delivery schedules has meant the risk to a major post production business from IT failures or environmental hazards such as fire or flood, or even human error, has become intensified to an almost un-insurable risk. For top post companies, simply backing up data or implementing a disaster recovery scheme has become too crude, too slow and too late, as it may take several days to restore work in progress. The advent of 4K workflows has made the problem even larger.

So what’s wrong with Current Disaster Recovery Plans?

A disaster is easy to recognise for example no electricity for days and lots of water in the facility are good indicators. However, it’s the recovery part that is unlikely to be fit for purpose. It’s likely to be a manual process that few understand, it’s unlikely to be regularly tested for real and it’s often assumed the outage is recoverable. In a fire it may not be. Even worse in very large systems the restore and recovery alone could take weeks.

Archiving a workspace onto tape is a common solution which we see employed throughout the industry. However, for a typical facility it may take many days to get key projects back on-line by restoring an entire back-up archived in this way. For time critical projects and to keep to contractual deadlines this maybe too slow and late. A delayed delivery or missed deadline could be particularly costly to the business as it may trigger contractual penalties, including consequential losses.

However many industries such as banking, financial markets, and telecommunications, also cannot afford operational outage through storage infrastructure failure. For these industries sophisticated ‘Business Continuity’ strategies protect real time data and services. These can maintain almost real time mirrors of live transactional data say for example in New York, London and Tokyo and this gives them operational resilience in the case of losing a data centre.

So ‘Business Continuity’ is the ‘Gold Standard’ for work in progress protection, it mitigates business risk enabling no operational outage. Marquisbroadcast are the first company to bring ‘Business Continuity’ levels of protection to Avid Workspaces. In the context of a major outage, Workspace Parking Sync offers a ‘world class’ insurance policy against loss of time critical ‘in production’ workspaces and assets.

Workspace Parking Sync intelligently and automatically synchronises production critical workspaces to different locations. This new process allows entire workspaces or selected folders on a source Avid system to be synchronised to different Avid workspaces in a second location. Unlike data back-ups the synchronisation is very advanced, as the Workspace Parking Sync identifies changes on local workspaces and pushes these to the remote system, including all file creations, modifications and deletions. Backup locations can also be defined per job rather than per Workspace Parking instance and users can create an exclusion list for Workspace Backup, providing an enterprise-class business continuity for Avid Workspaces.

In the event of failure in a primary location, an identical workspace can be opened in a second location and an editor and production team can continue a production without any outage. The client simply selects the frequency of the synchronisation typically 30 minutes based on available bandwidth.

What will Marquis be showing at IBC to Address These Challenges?

Marquis has developed Workspace Parking, a ‘set & forget’ business continuity solution designed to get a production back-up and running on a second site in minutes. At IBC this year, we will be showing the new functionality in Parking V5 which includes the addition of Avid workspace synchronisation. The MarquisBroadcast ‘Project Parking’ family of products currently backs-up and protects over 30 PetaBytes of ISIS and NEXIS storage worldwide.

To find out more please visit us at IBC2016 on booth: 7.G05


This article was previously featured in Broadcast Film & Video August 2016

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Marquis moves media and metadata between different systems in broadcast and post-production workflows.

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