Cinenet Leverages Brocade MLX Series to Facilitate Distributed Production Model
A specialist network service provider running on Brocade® (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking infrastructure is helping transform the way Australia’s television and screen media production industry accesses and leverages critical IT resources. Having been a catalyst in the development of a distributed production model leveraging shared facilities, Cinenet is now instrumental in the industry’s move toward cloud-based operations.
The Adelaide-based company was established with a vision of creating a shared, connected infrastructure for studios, producers, editing facilities, visual effects providers, sound facilities and DVD producers to create and exchange large digital assets. The past few years have seen a rapid uptake in the use of Infrastructure-as-a-Service as “bare metal” render farms have replaced in-house facilities. Virtualized resources within private cloud computing infrastructure now represent the future, with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center in Sydney the primary model for this new approach.
“This is a high-tech industry, but it is in just about everybody’s interest to be able to share critical – and expensive – IT resources. That, however, is easier said than done since the industry deals with very large data sets that place huge demands on the network,” said Cinenet director, Tony Clark.
Clark added, “For example, each frame in a digital production can easily require two gigabytes of source material, so the total data volumes are massive. A finished digital print is around 250 gigabytes, but distributing it to 500 cinemas across the country is still a huge job, which is why we – and in fact much of our industry – rely heavily on our Brocade network infrastructure to keep things moving.”
Cinenet’s core network nodes – located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney – are based around Brocade® MLX® Series routers with extensive and diverse connectivity to many major data centers using high-speed optical fiber network links. These nodes represent the hubs that support much of Australia’s TV and movie production.
According to Clark, Cinenet selected Brocade routers and switches due to the extremely high level of utilization the network has to cope with. With 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) links being used at maximum capacity for hours on end, Cinenet’s infrastructure must be capable of non-stop operation with all router and switch ports running at wire speed.
“The Brocade MLX platform has proven to be an extraordinary piece of hardware. We have deployed a Brocade MLX router at our Brisbane point-of-presence site, but some of the older units on our network have been running close to five years without skipping a beat,” said Clark.
Based on this highly robust foundation, Cinenet is now facilitating the direct connection of customers to the AWS data center in Sydney through its high-bandwidth virtual private LAN service. This virtual private LAN can transfer data to the data center at approximately one-fifth the cost of Amazon’s Internet data transfer charges. This cost efficiency represents a significant benefit to Australia’s film industry as it moves toward its cloud-based future.
“We have been delighted to watch the Brocade platform provide true business benefits for Cinenet,” said Greig Guy, Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand for Brocade. “The streamlined network configuration allows Cinenet to build and collapse scale as required, with virtually limitless performance. We applaud its use of Brocade solutions to innovate and deliver an exciting industry offering.”
Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking solutions help the world’s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. (www.brocade.com)
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