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TV Globo Metroethernet Backbone

Some broadcasters have turned their backs to the IT world because, to them, IP means “interruption protocol.” It turns out that current IP technologies have decreased costs in all areas, especially when one talks about the media backbone, where dedicated links are too expensive and present little flexibility. Globo TV’s METROETHERNET caught this wave and has implemented an IP gigabit backbone between its main facilities within Brazil. The concept is to leave service-oriented, point-to-point links and move toward a multiservice, networked environment, in which all TV services, from live video contribution to offline content server transfers, could use the backbone resources dynamically with reliability and intelligence.

Dense wavelength-division multiplexing links between sites guarantee QoS requirements and provide for bandwidth upgrades. In this first stage, links vary from 1Gb/s to 2.5Gb/s, but they are ready to go up to 40Gb/s. Telecom operator Intelig was chosen to provide this redundant optical backbone at this stage of the project, but others will be included for the backbone’s evolution. At each end, there is an optical converter to Ethernet frames. On top of the transport structure, Cisco ASR 9006 routers were installed to provide a multiprotocol label-switching (MPLS) core. By using MPLS, online video services are provided with fast convergence and low latency/jitter metrics, because offline noncritical services balance their traffic through all connected links. Other lower-priority services, such as Web publishing, content editing and Internet provisioning, fill the remaining bandwidth available inside the MPLS-TE tunnels.

One service that has seen great benefits is live video contribution. On former asynchronous transfer mode links, video encoders had to be assigned to decoders, one by one, by unicast. By using multicast on top of the MPLS network, different sites could receive the same content provided by the main headend, consuming less payload on the network and reducing the needs for encoder/decoder pairs. Also, because of this high-capacity network, Globo TV is considering the implementation of JPEG 2000 technology to improve quality and reduce latency for live events.

In light of this new backbone, service level agreements with internal clients have improved, and because the network is configured to be redundant, there is no single point of failure. At each site, there are two edge routers working in failover condition, and all services have been configured with redundancy, respecting their priorities on the queue. Monitoring is accomplished with Cisco’s Active Network Abstraction (ANA), which creates a virtualization of all network elements on the backbone and gives the operation/support engineers full control of what’s happening in the physical and logical layers, with different levels of information. From port failure to VRF and VPN analysis, the system in monitored to avoid service interruption.

Compared to previous links, the METROETHERNET project has increased link capacity at least 20 times with 40 percent less monthly expenses. The new carrier Ethernet-class backbone has increased productivity while bringing Globo TV sites to a new level of connectivity in an IP environment.

  • New studio technology — network
    Submitted by Globo Comunicação e ParticipaçõesDesign Armênio Lobato, tech. advisor; Maurício Kilikrates, tech. advisor
    Globo TV: Marcelo Souza, proj. mgmt.; Júlio Limo, proj. mgmt.; Evaldo Jesus, Álvaro Antelo, Diego Ramos, Abílio Simão, Thiago Abreu, Robson Raiol, Marcelo Miguel, Edson Moura, Marcos Nishioka, Frederico Pereira, Ricardo Muniz, Cláudio Sousa and Luis Loureiro: network design.; Ana Eliza Faria e Silva, gen. mgr.; Luiz Carlos Abrahão, gen. mgr.; Josemar Cruz, gen. mgr.; Carlos Fini, gen. mgr.; Fernando Wiktor, gen. mgr.Technology at workCisco: ASR 9006 aggregation service router, 3560 catalyst switches, ANA network infrastructure manager, UCS C-Series servers
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