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Agence France-Presse rises to global news media demands
IBM Systems and Technology Media & EntertainmentCase Study Agence France-Presse rises to global news media demands Using IBM storage solutions for optimal flexibility, performance and cost-effectiveness Regarded as one of the oldest press agencies in the world, Agence Overview France-Presse (AFP) has delivered in-depth news coverage for more than 175 years. Based in Paris, France, AFP draws from a network of The need 200 bureaus in 150 countries, providing news on politics, sports, Agence France-Presse (AFP)—needing a new approach to store growing digital entertainment and other topics. AFP delivers news to clients ranging media volumes—adopted a strategy from TV networks such as BBC and CNN to websites such as Yahoo! based on small storage arrays designed and Google. to ensure high performance and scalability. Addressing increasing demands for digital news The solution The agency implemented IBM® media Storwize® V7000 storage systems and One challenge faced by AFP was the need to respond to growing client evaluated IBM Storwize V3700 storage demands for digital news media. According to Laurent Cervera, storage systems. AFP also used IBM System and virtualization architect at AFP, “Each day, we produce about 5,000 Storage® Easy Tier® and IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller. text dispatches, 2,500 photos and 200 videos, as well as about 100 graphics. During major events, such as the Olympic Games, we can The benefit produce as many as 10,000 photos and 200 videos.” Not only is it AFP deployed a Storwize V7000 system in one day using one technician in response challenging for AFP to handle the exponential data growth, but it also to video demands during the 2012 can be difficult to ensure high performance of agency storage resources Olympic Games; the IBM solution while keeping up with client demands. Reliably delivering news media provided improved scalability and to clients with minimal interruption is critical to AFP’s business. reduced costs. AFP needed to take a new approach to its storage strategy, increasing its focus on growing client needs for media. Instead of relying on its existing storage area network (SAN) infrastructure—made up of monolithic high-end and midrange storage arrays that were difficult to manage and scale—AFP decided that using smaller storage arrays with better management capabilities could improve storage flexibility and cost-effectiveness, and also satisfy storage performance requirements
IBM Systems and Technology Media & EntertainmentCase Study driven by client demands. Cervera says, “With this configuration, we can dedicate a small array to a large volume of photos and videos, and “The IBM solution allowed another small array to indexes and databases. This configuration can us to expand storage easily, help us to achieve high performance while significantly reducing our little by little, which was storage costs.” much better than our Approaching storage from a different angle previous large After consulting with IBM and carefully considering its options, the architecture that was agency implemented IBM Storwize V7000 systems. According to overly complex.” Vincent Louvel, manager of storage, virtualization and backup facilities at AFP, “We needed a system capable of storing our multimedia data so we could bring richer content to our customers. We selected Storwize — aurent Cervera, storage and virtualization L architect, Agence France-Presse V7000 arrays because they offered great performance and excellent data compression.” Ideal for smaller arrays, the Storwize V7000 also enabled easier management with reduced administration. Regarding the systems’ simplified management and scalability, Cervera says, “The IBM solution allowed us to expand storage easily, little by little, which was much better than our previous large architecture that was overly complex.” After AFP deployed nine Storwize V7000 arrays, IBM offered the agency the chance to evaluate the new IBM Storwize V3700 systems as part of a beta-testing program. AFP took advantage of this opportunity and quickly recognized that the Storwize V3700 could provide impressive benefits for management, flexibility and efficiency in a smaller footprint. Currently, AFP is using several features on its Storwize V7000 systems. Thin provisioning enables AFP to purchase capacity as needed— thereby reducing disk costs. Nondisruptive migration helps AFP to migrate data between storage arrays without interrupting data access. AFP also leverages IBM System Storage Easy Tier technology on the Storwize V7000 to optimize its deployment of solid-state drives (SSDs) and to further reduce disk costs. The agency uses IBM SAN Volume Controller on its Storwize V7000 and Storwize V3700 systems to perform mirroring, creating a redundant storage architecture. This helps AFP ensure reliability to meet client demands without interruption. 2
IBM Systems and Technology Media EntertainmentCase Study Providing cost-effective flexibility and Solution Components: scalability After deploying Storwize V7000 arrays, AFP realized several benefits Hardware impacting the agency and its clients. The systems’ scalability helped • IBM® Storwize® V7000 AFP to easily expand storage capacity according to its fluctuating client Software needs. For example, AFP added a storage array to accommodate the • IBM System Storage® Easy Tier® increased client demands for videos during the 2012 Olympic Games— • IBM System Storage SAN Volume an expansion that required only one day of installation by a single Controller technician. Regarding the user interface behind the simplified installation and management, Louvel says, “We really like the Storwize graphical interface. It is very modern and user-friendly.” The high density of the Storwize V7000 disks enabled AFP to reduce both its storage footprint and its disk costs. The system also demonstrated impressive flexibility, with multiple small arrays proving to be ideal for the agency’s grid-computing approach. Future deployment of the Storwize V3700 systems at AFP’s remote offices will help the agency achieve its storage goals on another level, enabling consolidation and sharing of more data with an adaptable, low-cost, high-performance storage platform. The Storwize V3700 provides AFP with advanced software capabilities usually found in more expensive storage systems, giving the agency the flexibility to provide media storage for specific data types or for certain geographic regions. “With the Storwize V3700, we have the disk density and flexibility that will enable our storage capacity to evolve,” says Louvel. The ease of installation and use provided by the Storwize V3700 has demonstrated a management advantage for AFP. The Storwize V3700 includes an interface similar to the one found with SAN Volume Controller, which the IT staff was already familiar with. “Everything is graphical and clear. You don’t need to study for five years to manage your storage,” says Cervera. Continuing to stay ahead of global media demands Having now formed a strong partnership, AFP plans to continue working with IBM to meet the evolving storage needs of the agency and its clients. In Storwize systems, AFP has found the right set of capabilities to help it stay ahead of the digital news media curve and deliver rich content in a demanding global environment. 3