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Skyview Networks Debuts Primary Uplink

Company emphasizes power of new facility and the architecture of its private digital cloud

Skyview Networks is highlighting a new audio distribution data center in Phoenix, Ariz. The facility, which opened this spring, is a satellite uplink farm and private cloud server system that Skyview says is notable for its broadcast reliability.

The company, founded in 1995, started with a focus on satellite distribution for pro sports and has evolved into a large audio distribution and inventory management provider. The facility processes and distributes ABC Audio, CBS Audio, Local Radio Networks, Alpha Media and professional and collegiate sports organizations; Skyview says it now has capacity to quadruple for new client acquisition.

“With this new primary facility, Skyview Networks’ capability and capacity more than doubles for its national news and lifestyle networks, and play-by-play sports,” it said in an announcement.

HEAVY USER WORKLOAD

According to a factsheet, the Skyview Networks Audio Distribution Data Center has 10 Megawatts of generating capacity and 100 GBps of Tier 1 Network ethernet to multiple cross-connects in North America, Asia, Europe and South America. It uses 2N+1 redundancy on its power, networking, cooling, uplink, automation and inventory management systems; and it has 300 TB of storage capability (Skyview says this is equivalent to 1.3 times the size of the print collections in the Library of Congress).

It also has 3 TB of RAM, enough to store its entire library of commercials, “equivalent to four years of audio,” but is using only half.

“Since Skyview Networks’ applications and systems support both internal and external users, it averages a 6,000+ user workload daily between its ABC, CBS and sports programming.”

It said the plant qualifies as a “Tier IV” facility, meaning multiple redundant capacity components, dual powered equipment, multiple uplinks and fault-tolerant components including uplinks, computers, storage, chillers, HVAC systems and servers.

Vice President of IT Christopher Horvat said, “The storage environment supports many workloads, including traditional core infrastructure virtual machines — Domain Controllers, management apps, etc. — application servers that include database and web servers, and the main VMs that transcode audio in real time or automate the broadcast networks of ABC, CBS and sports programs. This in full consists of over 5,000 radio stations.”

Horvat said the company aims for “sub-second” business continuity.

“To achieve those results, we maintain warm standby systems end-to-end as a 2N environment, which is why Skyview Networks has two HPE 3PAR systems and 12 blades instead of one 3PAR and six blades. The goal is to have enough capacity that if Skyview Networks’ systems fail on one side, all systems can keep running without an issue. For corruption prevention, the team maintains daily backups of all VM/Hyper-V environment and 15-minute backups of the database environment to allow for an instant restore in case the base data is lost to corruption.”

Horvat also highlighted its monitoring and protection capabilities. “I believe this is the future in software-defined cloud systems and flexible, efficient scalability for client growth,” he stated in an announcement. “As our momentum continues to accelerate in the audio space, we are well-prepared for continued expansion.”

Flexential, a hybrid IT solutions provider, is Skyview’s vendor partner for the co-location services in which Skyview’s uplink facility resides. Horvat said Flexential had the infrastructure (e.g. the ability, look angle, conduit and electrical) at its Phoenix data center to allow Skyview Networks to create its own private cloud using the high availability resources that they manage on Skyview’s behalf, such as power, WAN/BGP Networking and cooling. The transmitter farm in the photos is connected to Skyview’s cage on the co-location floor for management and signal multiplexing/modulation and powered by the redundant power infrastructure at Flexential.

Skyview has been seeking a higher profile lately and drawing attention to several of its initiatives. For example, Skyview and Amplifi Media have a partnership offering custom audio solutions for agencies and clients that want to curate branded audio content. Separately it signed a partnership with Local Radio Networks under which Skyview becomes the network sales partner and satellite distribution provider for JackFM’s Adult Variety format.

Fox Sports announced a partnership with the company for USC football and men’s basketball broadcasts, looking to increase the Trojans’ broadcast footprint beyond the West Coast.  And Skyview Networks sponsors an annual “audio upfront” event for agencies and media buyers in New York.

RW seeks candidates for technical facility profiles. Email us at radioworld@futurenet.com.

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