With consumers rapidly moving away from traditional media channels to digital platforms, the world of cloud TV is growing and evolving at a tremendous pace. While digital content providers have a great opportunity to capitalize on this emerging trend, they also face many challenges around downlinking, managing and delivering large volumes of data. They need to have technology infrastructure that can deliver high quality content services, with exceptional levels of scalability and availability that TV audiences are accustomed to, while managing frequent fluctuations in load.
Singapore based PurpleStream is one such company that faced significant challenges in creating and maintaining a scalable and flexible technology infrastructure. Founded in Chennai in 2011, the company provides an online video platform, PurpleCloud, that is used to deliver live linear video to broadcasters, channel content aggregators and OTT providers, worldwide.
What Was the Problem?
PurpleStream relied on homegrown, self-managed technology infrastructure for all its needs. This meant that the company was investing heavily in servers, network switches, routers and all the associated hardware and software. This posed a few challenges.
Firstly, with a fast-growing business, scalability was extremely difficult to manage. With each new opportunity, the organization needed to build additional infrastructure, putting greater pressure on capital expenditure, space and human resources. PurpleStream needed to retain its own in-house team to manage this infrastructure. Being heavily dependent on people meant that the organization had a continuous challenge in finding the right domain expertise, and frequently stood the risk of being short-staffed. Being part of the television and broadcasting industry where availability is a critical success factor, the company faced significant risks in terms of managing technology, ramping up quickly and creating a technology team that could support customer needs 24X7.
The other major challenge was to ensure that performance and availability needs of customers were not compromised, even when there were huge bandwidth spikes. In the TV and broadcasting industry, especially when it comes to news channels, information surges are large, frequent and unpredictable. “Most of our clients are news channels. Whenever there is a breaking news, there is a huge surge in traffic, and you never know when that’s going to happen.”, says Mr. Subramanian, “We were actually looking at elastic bandwidth to build a robust infrastructure which can handle all these spikes.”
PurpleStream wanted to work with a strategic Cloud Services Partner who would not just provide world-class service quality, but also provide reliable bandwidth from multiple ISPs. By partnering with Netmagic, the organization was not just able to achieve its scalability and performance goals, but also use Netmagic’s world-class facility at Chennai for a DR setup and a large dish farm to downlink multiple satellites.
How Was it Solved?
When PurpleStream decided to move to cloud infrastructure, and Netmagic was an obvious choice. The company selected Netmagic predominantly for its best-in-class offerings around Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Says Karthik Subramanian. Founder & CEO of PurpleStream, “One of the reasons we were very keen to move to Netmagic is that the entire infrastructure was available on an OPEX model. That brought down our CAPEX and immediately gave us a huge opportunity to scale.”
Netmagic’s services included handling all of PurpleStream’s infrastructure needs, including server updates, operating system patches and day-to-day maintenance activities. This freed up the organization from making large capital expenditure on technology infrastructure, as well as reducing the lead-time needed to ramp-up for a new customer, from several months to a few weeks. The ability to accelerate ramp-up has enabled PurpleStream to add clients quickly and without much fuss.
PurpleStream used Netmagic’s datacentre at Chennai to meet its DR needs for its Singapore operations. All services provided by Netmagic are backed up by stringent SLAs that meet or exceed broadcasting industry benchmarks in terms of performance and availability.
The company has also used the Chennai facility to set up a dish-farm, in order to downlink multiple satellites.
How it Works
Since moving to Netmagic’s cloud infrastructure in 2014, PurpleStream has made huge strides towards building a rapidly scalable and high-performance business. With Netmagic, the scale of PurpleStream’s video infrastructure has more than quadrupled in three years. The Netmagic facility in Chennai has become one of PurpleStream’s main hubs for the Asia Pacific region, with downlink facility for 19 satellites across Southeast Asia.
Netmagic’s DR services were put to the test, and came out with flying colours, during the devastating Chennai foods in December 2015. Faced with tremendous infrastructural, power and human resource challenges, Netmagic was successful in restricting downtime, and restoring all services in under two hours.
The effectiveness of Netmagic’s DR services during this catastrophe was reiterated by Mr. Subramanian, saying that “Compared to any other datacentre, I would say that it is the best that you can expect in that kind of scenario.”