Imagine Communications Implements Cloud Playout Service for Al Rayyan in under 48 Hours

Leading MENA region broadcaster using Versio to provide business continuity for premium channel

Imagine Communications, a global leader in video and advertising solutions serving the media and entertainment, multichannel video programming distributors and enterprise markets, today announced that it has implemented an end-to-end integrated cloud playout system running on COTS hardware for leading Middle East broadcaster Al Rayyan. The deployment, implemented in just 48 hours, provides Al Rayyan with a completely software-based and virtualized business continuity solution that delivers significant improvements in agility and cost efficiencies compared to premises-based backup facilities.

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The installation uses Imagine Communications’ Versio™ software playout system, running in a virtual machine environment on an HP compute and storage platform. Currently a proof-of-concept installation, the system is shadowing the main Al Rayyan Europe channel, providing disaster recovery services to ensure business continuity in the event of a service disruption. It shares all the metadata and media, with HD content stored as DVCPro 100 Mb/s. The Versio software enables comprehensive playout functionality, including animated branding and live switching.

The implementation also includes the Imagine Communications Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator software control system, deployed with Selenio™ video processing and compression equipment. This ensures that the playout system is fully self-contained, including the transparent management of hybrid SDI, ASI and IP content with all the necessary on-ramp and off-ramp translations for an all-IP internal architecture.

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Al Rayyan, based in Doha, Qatar, and a long-time technology partner of Imagine Communications, installed a comprehensive traffic, planning, scheduling and playout system in 2014. The Versio software integrates transparently with the existing systems, continually sharing data to ensure that the cloud disaster recovery system is synchronized at all times.

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“As a leading broadcaster, we need to innovate technically to ensure we best serve our audience,” said Haitham Zaidan, acting director of engineering at Al Rayyan. “Our strategy is to move towards an all-IP infrastructure in due course, and this installation of a playout channel in a data centre is an important step along the way. Imagine Communications showed that they could do it today, and our proof-of-concept installation is now part of our architecture.”

“We are leading the way in creating complete solutions for the IP transition, and implementing this first proof-of-concept in the MENA region is an important demonstration of our comprehensive abilities,” said Paul Wallis, sales director for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at Imagine Communications. “Playout in the cloud leads to real economies, not just by using virtualized systems on standard hardware, but in the reduced cost of machine rooms, power and cooling. We congratulate Al Rayyan on recognizing the way forward, and we are proud to have worked with them on this huge advance.”

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The Versio implementation at Al Rayyan was completed in 48 hours in June 2015, and it went live in early July in parallel to the existing facility. As well as providing business continuity, it also allows Al Rayyan engineers to make direct comparisons with the traditional system, comparing functionality, performance and resilience.

About Imagine Communications
Imagine Communications Corp. is a global leader in video and advertising solutions serving the media and entertainment, multichannel video programming distributors and enterprise markets, spanning 185 countries. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse through more than 3 million Imagine Communications products deployed around the world. Imagine Communications provides the most complete end-to-end video solutions and is innovating to deliver the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the world.

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