MLB Network Turns to DDN MEDIAScaler To Streamline Archive Access

With the staggering amount of rich historical content that Major League Baseball has produced in its century-plus existence, the ability to manage that content is no easy task. Add in the need to quickly access that content — wherever it lives — during a game broadcast, and the challenge magnifies.

Needing a way to quickly access archived footage during a game broadcast, MLB Network selected DDN Storage’s MEDIAScaler GS7K file-based storage solution to accelerate and simplify the process.

“As we explored options for expanding our disc cache storage pool within our digital archive environment, we determined that DDN’s MEDIAScaler solution could meet our performance and scalability needs while offering a dense footprint,” says Tab Butler, senior director, media management and post production, MLB Network. “The DDN MEDIAScaler GS7K system installed seamlessly into our 40-G environment, providing us with a high-performance data-storage environment capable of scaling to meet our future needs.”

DDN MEDIAScaler enables MLB Network to animate, render, edit, transcode, and collaborate in an active-archive environment.

DDN MEDIAScaler enables MLB Network to animate, render, edit, transcode, and collaborate in an active-archive environment.

According to DDN, MLB Network’s adoption of MEDIAScaler has simplified management of its live and archived video assets and reduced content-access times. In addition, because MEDIAScaler allows multiple users to work simultaneously on concurrent workflows, MLB Network can collaboratively compile packages of live and archived video quickly and efficiently from partial-file-restored clips. This is particularly effective for creating in-game highlights packages.

“Say a baseball game’s going and they’re about to go to the highlights just before they got to commercial break and [you have] six or seven people scrambling because one of the guys just hit a home run and they want to find as many other shots of previous home runs from the same guy to put into a montage that will occur just prior to the commercial break,” says Molly Rector, chief marketing officer, DDN Storage. “What you get [with MEDIAScaler] is this parallel workload where they’re all working on the same video files and pulling different pieces out. Traditional storage infrastructures had not allowed that.”

MEDIAScaler works within MLB Network’s DIAMOND System, an asset-management platform that manages the more than 40 PB of footage in a tape-based archive. The DIAMOND System captures and catalogs more than 500 hours of live video content per day and preserves all MLB Network original programing as well as the vast digitized video library spanning more than a century of baseball.

Currently, MLB Network is moving away from its existing LTO 4 tape-based archive by transferring those files through Oracle DIVArchive into MEDIAScaler active archive. Footage deemed less likely to be recalled will remain on the tape archive; however, all footage will be recallable through MEDIAScaler, resulting in a seamless experience for the user.

“Regardless of if it’s on the deep or the active tiers of the archive, the users don’t know,” says Rector. “They don’t need to know. They access their content the same way; it’s just a matter of does it take milliseconds or seconds or maybe minutes to start streaming the footage that they’re trying to access. All of our workflow management is managing those tiers of storage.”