Remote Machine Rooms
Addressing current industry concerns and to establish proof of concept, Soho-based reseller and integrator root6 has moved its machine room out of the company’s Wardour Mews HQ and relocated it in Volta’s Datacentre in Clerkenwell.
“An increasing number of our customers are contemplating such a hybrid approach,” said root6 Pre-sales Engineer David Skeggs. “Factors ranging from the frequency of power outages and data security to the increasing cost of floor space are behind these considerations. We needed to assess the viability of such a move and evaluate the technologies involved as it’s considerably more complicated than simply uprooting your racks and moving them to another location.”
Dark fibre connects root6 to the datacentre where the media processing kit now resides. This comprises an estate of more than 40 virtual machines including Avid Interplay production, asset management systems with 100TB of media storage and ContentAgent, the workflow automation tool from ROOT6 Technology. Additional technologies relocated include Rohde & Schwarz Venice with FlavourSys Strawberry asset management and archiving from Xendata. In total, 42U of Rackspace weighing more than 300kg was moved, reducing power requirements and freeing up space in root6’s HQ.
Key to the success of the move was the deployment of proprietary technologies from Amulet and Barnfind – areas in which root6 has considerable experience in customer installations. Amulet is a high performance KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) solution widely adopted in the financial and defence sectors. This enables multiple machines to be controlled from a single seat – a technology used at ITV in MediaCity to create flexible workspaces throughout the facility. Barnfind supports CWDM (Course Wave Division Multiplexing) – the ability to combine many signals onto a single fibre and reducing the costs of network extension.
Phil Crawley, Chief Engineer at root6 explains, “IP alone can’t provide the uncompressed quality and low latency that our high-end TV and DCinema customers demand for HD and 4K video. By using proprietary technologies however, we’re able to offer CWDM and KVM solutions that fit perfectly with the metro fibre network that terminates at Volta Data Centres.”
As an industry we are used to change. We have to accommodate higher quality images and sound whilst seeking to produce these as cost effectively as possible – and not at the expense of good storytelling. One aspect of this, and one we’re increasingly asked about, is the high cost of maintaining machine rooms in expensive locations. Is 2017 the year to finally move all your large, hot and costly kit out of your small, hopefully cool, space-consuming machine room?