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Multicom Entertainment Group

Multicom Entertainment Group

Multicom fully automate intelligent data life-cycle management on-premise and in the cloud

Multicom Entertainment Group is a global independent distribution company focusing on television markets and digital platforms along with publishing, licensing, and the merchandising of its IP library.

Multicom has over 6000 hours of broadcast-quality content, including an extensive catalogue of feature films, broadcast specials, and series. With theatrical releases, music concert performances, and countless acclaimed classic television series and film releases in the library, Multicom has a collection that would make any film buff envious.

Through its vast library of content and global network of broadcast and digital platform partners, Multicom has established itself as an industry leader in content distribution and content production; delivering content wherever, whenever, and however it is consumed.

To fully realise their vision of “content everywhere” and build the long-lasting trust of their customers, Multicom relies on a pixstor and ngenea, to fully automate their data management intelligently, with life-cycle management to maximise cost and performance globally both on-premises and in the Cloud.

Simplifying complex data management

Global content distribution requires managing many complex workflows across the entire distribution chain, to successfully serve the diverse and bespoke requirements of many broadcast and digital platform partners.

Multicom needed to evolve its services to maintain growth, along with supporting the evolving requirements for content delivery. With the advent of digital platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, and with previous deliverables being largely tape centric, Multicom initially outsourced delivery, post-production, and packaging to partners who specialised in digital platform deliveries.

As part of their transition from outsourced to in-house operations, Multicom initially adopted a TrueNAS solution to store all of its internally digitised content, backing up to LTO and manually wrangling their data into the Cloud. Over time, Multicom found that this solution was complex, lacked flexibility, and performance was an issue with handling the volume of LTO tapes.

Courtesy of Multicom Entertainment Group

Looking to simplify their data management both in and out of the Cloud, Multicom approached pixitmedia through reseller partner TWE Solutions, to help transform their data workflows. pixstor HCI was a perfect fit to enable them to improve on their existing on-premise solution and harness the full power, flexibility, and scalability of the Cloud without the overhead of maintaining additional software and complex workflows.

Simplifying the complex and cumbersome data management processes across different tiers and technology platforms, pixstor HCI enabled Multicom to unify its view of data to users under a single global namespace, whether the data resides on-premise or in-Cloud. ngenea enables Multicom to continually protect its data using the Cloud. It automates life-cycle management to ensure the most cost-effective use of Cloud storage tiers, and it automates capacity management to ensure that their storage never gets full.

“When we started looking for other solutions, pixitmedia was a very good option for Multicom because we could take advantage of the Cloud and avoid LTOs, which would burden the operations of the company. We turn around content quickly and store as digital assets that we can use over and over for various platforms. Additionally, the Cloud has been very helpful in sending data to our partners.”

Intelligent Data Life Cycle Management

Handling the challenges of requiring a faster and leaner way of storing their data, pixitmedia’s team of data workflow specialists were able to work closely with Multicom to strip away the complexity of their existing storage so that it could be integrated with pixstor HCI.

“Working with the pixitmedia support team, we were able to see how things would be connected together. We were able to set up the profiles to not only automatically pull the content from our legacy storage, but to also push it automatically to the Cloud. ngenea acts as the orchestration layer for all of our data and as time progresses and we migrate all of our files to Cloud, we plan to retire the TrueNAS and work entirely through the pixstor. pixstor HCI gives us the option to maximise the life of our on-premise storage that we have, or even expand upon it or not at all, we’re not pigeonholed into one particular area.”

The pixstor HCI solution for Multicom is a software-defined platform that includes a full ngenea license. Thanks to the open manner in which ngenea writes data, Multicom is not tied to a single cloud vendor. This gives them the ability to choose AWS, GCP, Azure, and many other public and private cloud storage targets.

Courtesy of Multicom Entertainment Group

ngenea enables Multicom’s existing on-premise storage system to be treated as a tier within the namespace, enabling them to organically migrate files from old-to-new, rather than planning a disruptive and time-consuming data migration project. Using the pixstor policy engine with ngenea’s Cloud compatibility, the data life-cycle of content between on-premise and Cloud storage is fully automated.

In Multicom’s instance, their on-premise storage is kept under 80% capacity at all times. ngenea is constantly protecting data to Cloud, and as files age, they are life-cycled through their storage tiers in AWS to maximise the cost-effectiveness of the Cloud. Because files are always accessible through pixstor, they can be recalled from any tier directly to the filesystem.

“What I like about it, is that it’s ‘set and forget’ - I don’t need to worry about the backing up because it is happening. The only thing I need to be aware of is what the policies are.”

Beyond Expectations

In building a modern flexible data platform that requires minimal user interaction to intelligently manage and protect their data, Multicom has been able to continue to deliver its extensive catalogue of content and original productions to its global network of broadcast and digital media platform partners.

“With pixitmedia, we have access to a team with huge amounts of post-production and media industry experience; they’re able to take this experience and apply it to solving challenges. Up until the last few years, post-production has been very LTO-centric in storage and security. In some ways, companies don’t immediately recognize that it requires a dedicated internal resource. I would really encourage people to consider integrating the Cloud into their services, as processes can be more automated without compromising on security.“

By integrating their existing NAS system with pixstor HCI, Multicom has been able to maximise the total cost of ownership for their on-premise assets, whilst providing seamless workflows to move data on-premise, in-Cloud and to remote production teams, with a storage environment that offers a single view of their data wherever it may reside.

“Multicom are a lean team with a lot of data so they needed a solution that would automatically manage their data across multiple tiers of disk and even Cloud, based on the age of files. Having access to the pixitmedia lab facility enabled them to review the proposed data management flow and give peace of mind knowing that it was in line with their expectations. In the end, the pixstor HCI solution enabled them to save time on data management and forgo growing on-premise infrastructure footprint with a media asset management system (MAM).”

Having teams that work remotely across the United States, Multicom required a solution that allowed files to be distributed across multiple creative hubs quickly and securely for high-end playback processes, such as colouring and trailer editing. With pixstor and ngenea, Multicom now has a dynamic data management solution that enables global collaboration more efficiently than with traditional ‘sync or copy’ methods.

“In being a lean company, Multicom also benefit from the around-the-clock support of pixitmedia’s storage workflow experts and engineer teams. Using pixitmedia’s in-the-field operational and posthouse experience, pixitmedia has been on hand to support in handling policy changes, pipeline requests, and any changes they may have in their data workflow. We’re really proud to be working with Multicom and to be able to futureproof their data management strategy so they can continue being world leaders in content distribution.”