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NTC Announces Ndox Platform to Consolidate Media System Documentation

NTC
(Image credit: NTC)

GLENDALE, CALIF.—Media and broadcast systems specialist National TeleConsultants (NTC) has launched Ndox, a new browser-based solution to address the intricacies of documenting large-scale, hybrid media IP infrastructures. Ndox provides a centralized repository for all aspects of system design. 

NTC says Ndox goes well beyond the physical level and includes logical design elements such as virtual machine resources, IP addresses, and networking configuration. Ndox serves as the “trusted repository” for information throughout the system and has the ability to directly drive downstream network configuration processes in addition to providing the necessary physical level documentation. This integrated approach organizes all data in one place, NTC says, which greatly reduces the possibility of errors and provides centralized access to users across multiple business units and disciplines.

Ndox

(Image credit: NTC)

“Ndox addresses several problems common to large media system infrastructures,” says NTC Managing Partner Eliot Graham. “In the construction and ongoing support of complex IP-based facilities, it is critical to have a deep understanding of how the system works, not just in terms of physical connections but more importantly from a logical standpoint. From an operational point of view, Ndox serves as this source of information. Whenever a change is made, everyone has immediate access to the latest information.” According to NTC, Ndox is built on open-source software to address specific requirements of media system infrastructures and create a seamless user experience that unifies the previously disparate details of each sub-system.

Most recently, NTC employed Ndox in designing and installing infrastructure for a new, very large-scale media center built for a major domestic media enterprise. This media center was created to manage and distribute programming to hundreds of affiliated television stations and more than 800 distribution partners nationwide. Its technical systems include a SMPTE ST 2110 IP core, hybrid-cloud architecture, software-based media processing, and support for new media standards such 4K, UHD, and HDR.

As an on-going operational tool, NTC says Ndox will help keep network systems at the new media center facility functioning properly by ensuring that the documentation matches the physical and logical reality. Odhner notes that one of the drawbacks to using spreadsheets for network documentation is that changes to the network are not automatically reflected. “If you're keeping a list of VLANs in Excel and you change something on a switch manually without updating the spreadsheet, you have created a discrepancy,” he says. “With Ndox, the documentation drives the configuration; this automated deployment approach avoids these inconsistencies and ensures the network and its documentation stay in sync.”

In addition to new installations, Ndox can also be used to bring coherence and predictability to existing technical environments. “For facilities that are already built using traditional documentation, Ndox can be used to capture everything as it currently is and provide a roadmap for bringing systems into a desired future state,” Odhner explains.