UAE Broadcaster Goes Live With Imagine Communications-Based DR Solution

The design of SBA’s new disaster recovery solution will ease the broadcasters IP migration.
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DUBAI, UAE—Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA) in March went live with an Imagine Communications disaster recovery (DR) solution that ensures business continuity and protects the broadcaster’s program archive at its backup center in Al Thaid, UAE.

At the IP-SDI hybrid disaster recovery site, SBA, formerly called Sharjah Media Corp., is using software-defined technology in a primarily IP-connected environment, said Imagine. The site provides full DR for four SBA TV stations, which also rely on an Imagine playout solution.

Selenio MCP

Selenio MCP

The new system will support a software-defined network-based expansion of SBA’s operations, including new channels to reach fresh audiences in the Emirate and throughout the region, said Imagine.

“This project is a really important step on our migration path toward IP networks and virtualization,” said Aisha Alzareef, SBA director of broadcast technology and information systems. “Collaborating with Imagine helps us ensure that our technical and operational teams understand the challenges of these new technologies.”

The implementation of the new IP-centric DR solution puts SBA “in a great position to prepare plans for future developments and the complete migration of our main playout center,” he said.

The new DR site maintains perfect synchronization with the broadcaster’s main site and provides full content mirroring, said Imagine. This is the system’s main benefit because the design provides for a seamless switchover in the event of a problem.

SBA is using the Imagine Versio virtualized integrated playout solution, providing a geographically dispersed operation as the centerpiece of its DR deployment. The Versio software runs on commercial off-the-shelf hardware from Hewlett Packard Enterprises. The setup provides full automation and playout in addition to server and content management, graphics, storage, master control switching and management of synchronization and mirroring.

To support its legacy SDI infrastructure, the broadcaster is relying on a Platinum VX router and Selenio MCP processing platform. The design provides for SDI-IP conversion. An Epic MV multiviewer provides SBA with a comprehensive means to monitor the entire operation.

SBA is using an Imagine Magellan SDN Orchestrator software control system to manage and control its legacy infrastructure as well as incorporate next-gen technologies, switching and interworking between HD, Ultra HD and uncompressed, real-time SMPTE ST 2110 streams, Imagine said.