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Red Bee Media

Red Bee Media

Every day, people on all continents watch television programs, live sports, and on-demand content prepared, managed and broadcast by Red Bee Media. This managed service powerhouse relies on pixstor software-defined storage and NetApp E-Series storage arrays to efficiently and securely manage millions of assets and complex workflows across its entire broadcast chain – speeding time to market for its clients and ensuring audiences the richest viewing experience on any screen.

The world’s leading media brands count on Red Bee Media to deliver the highest quality broadcast services, adapt rapidly to meet changing needs, and launch new channels fast. Serving the diverse and bespoke requirements of a growing client base alongside huge content growth and security commitments requires a fast, agile, and reliable infrastructure.

With ambitions to push channels to air in minutes rather than days and to provide a commercially competitive model to the market, Red Bee turned to pixitmedia to help transform every workstream—harnessing the power, flexibility and scalability of pixstor high-performance software-defined storage with NetApp E-Series storage arrays and our unrivalled workflow knowledge.

Today Red Bee’s entire media services chain—from playout, post-production, media management and QA compliance, Video on Demand, and live streaming—is supported by pixstor.  It efficiently and securely manages the flow of millions of media assets, including high-quality, uncompressed video streams, and orchestrates demanding workflows to cater to their clients’ needs on a global scale.

“In media environments like our own, it’s critical to have a storage system that delivers total reliability, guaranteed speed, and real flexibility. pixstor with NetApp was the natural choice for us. It’s been designed from the ground up for the most demanding media workloads; it’s proven to deliver whatever you throw at it, and it scales to keep our business agile.”

Delivering Data When and Where It Is Needed

With this proven high-performance storage solution deployed across four locations in the UK and Sweden, Red Bee can easily deliver 2.7 million hours of content each year and manage petabytes of data and billions of files, all under a single global namespace for complete visibility and control. It provides enterprise-grade reliability and guaranteed sustained performance (up to 53GBps throughput) to ensure data is available to users wherever and whenever they need it—handling Red Bee’s complex workloads with confidence even at 99% capacity.

With its new unified storage environment, Red Bee can escape the constraints of proprietary vendor lock-in and eliminates the complexity and expense of vast estates of disparate storage  silos across its sites. With the pixstor user-friendly interface, Red Bee can automatically orchestrate workflows as part of the storage system. Tools and analytics accessible via the pixstor interface put Red Bee in full control of deployment and costs. This future-proof, scalable storage infrastructure enables Red Bee to meet growing demands, on-board clients easily and launch new channels in hours.

Uncompromised Security & Agility

As a managed services provider, security is of paramount importance to Red Bee. It must comply with both industry and regulatory standards as well as clients’ contractual requirements, ensuring the valuable media assets it manages are securely protected to the highest level.

Working in close collaboration with Red Bee, pixitmedia’s development team enhanced pixstor’s architecture to offer secure multi-tenancy capabilities within the pixstor storage fabric.  Eliminating the complexity and costs of dedicated physically-siloed stacks, Red Bee can now rapidly deploy secure containers for each client – all within its unified pixstor storage environment. Containers run side by side, with no compromise to performance or the bottom line.

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NetApp hardware for rock-solid reliability

The pixstor environment runs on 17 NetApp E-Series E-5760 storage arrays deployed across all sites. These compact units deliver high IOPS with low latency and high bandwidth to support Red Bee’s data-intensive mixed workloads – offering enterprise-grade reliability delivered by a trusted leading hardware provider for complete peace of mind.

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Mellanox for uncompressed 4K streams

Mellanox 100GbE networking delivers the bandwidth to support multiple streams of uncompressed 4K and UHD content managed within Red Bee’s pixstor storage environment. Open and highly scalable, pixstor with Mellanox is future proofed to support new formats and applications, such as 4K/8K and virtual reality playback.

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Excelero for blazingly fast archive to on-air

Excelero NVMesh software-defined block storage provides a huge amount of bandwidth to the storage environment and lets Red Bee rapidly read and write archived content to their tape library directly from the pixstor – avoiding the extra processing and expense of a cache. It delivers the highest sustained write throughput and lowest sustained write latency – when and where Red Bee needs it. Data moves in and out of archive faster and with “less hops” so that content can easily be pushed on-air at the last minute.

Keeping the media flowing

Designing and delivering a digital transformation of this scale and complexity has inevitably thrown some unforeseen curve balls at Red Bee’s project team. This is where the pixitmedia’s consultative approach, workflow expertise, and 24/7 solution support services have proved invaluable.

Whenever we hit a problem, pixit had specialists on-hand to dive in and figure out how to get it resolved. With so many other storage companies, you just get a product force-fitted into requirements and have to find your own solution to deliver what’s really needed. With pixit, they’ve worked with us from the start to define and scope our requirements. Whenever we’ve hit a technical issue or compromise, they have the know-how to get us through the maze and back on track.

With pixitmedia’ team working as an extension of their own, Red Bee is able to free up its technical resources and focus on its operations and client reuqirements. Maximum system availability and minimal downtime are assured with pixitmedia’s 24/7 support and rapid issue resolution with a single point of contact across the multivendor solution.

Partnering for Success

For Red Bee, the relationship with their storage provider was as crucial as the technical solution itself. Chartering new territory, they wanted a partner to support them throughout their journey and add real value. pixitmedia stepped up from Day One and as a trusted partner continues to work with Red Bee to improve working practices and manage technical updates to strengthen Red Bee’s compelling managed service offering.


With pixstor, we have a proven, highly resilient storage architecture upon which we can rely. Combine this with pixitmedia’s consultative approach, access to their workflow experts and 24/7 support services, we also have a responsive technology partner to help us reap the benefits and opportunities of a fully IP media environment. They always have our back and they’re a great team to work with.”