Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) Consolidates Technology Infrastructure with Red Hat

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April 9, 2014

RTÉ required a high-availability environment that was cost effective and reliable. Red Hat and Sabeo Technologies Ltd., a leading Irish systems integrator and Red Hat partner since 2005, proposed an environment based on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®.

Customer: Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)

"Red Hat has provided exactly what we were looking for — technology that is easy to use, reliable and secure with a viable price point." - Michael Connolly, senior project manager, Raidió Teilifís Éireann

Geography: EMEA
Country: Ireland


Business Challenge:

RTÉ sought open source technology to support its radio advertising applications, which are integral to the smooth running of the company.

Software:

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability Add-On, IBM DB2 database management system, RadioMan Digital Content Management and Radio Broadcasting system

Hardware:

HP Proliant Servers with back-end HP Storage Area Network

Benefits:

RTÉ chose this solution due to the strong reputation, quality, and capabilities of Red Hat’s offerings and Sabeo’s rich experience in designing, implementing, and supporting similar environments. In addition to this, RTÉ also determined that Red Hat Enterprise Linux met its criteria as the “most economically advantageous tender.”

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Background:

RTÉ is Ireland’s public service broadcaster. It is the distinctive leader in Irish media, providing comprehensive and cost-effective, free television and radio services to the Irish public in Irish and English. RTÉ services are of the highest quality and are impartial in accordance with statutory obligations.

Business Challenge:

Initial challenges and the open source solution

RTÉ is Ireland’s Public Service Broadcaster, providing Irish audences with free television and radio services. RTÉ derives its income primarily from a combination of television license fees and television and radio advertising revenue. The radio advertising process is a complex one, involving the booking of airtime, the streaming of advertisements through to broadcast, and the administration and collection of revenue. RTÉ has used the Jutel RadioMan application for key parts of this process since 1999.

The RadioMan system is a suite of applications that provides radio staff with the necessary tools to record, edit, and broadcast material from RTÉ’s nine radio stations around the clock. The back end of the system is an IBM DB2 database that holds a repository of audio items, audio metadata, program scheduling, and playlist information.

When RTÉ decided to upgrade the RadioMan application, it needed to consider all aspects of the upgrade, including the evaluation of the platform it was running on. During this process, RTÉ came up against the challenge that its current platform was no longer the most effective system to accommodate the new version of the application and did not deliver the level of stability needed.

RTÉ required a high-availability environment that was cost effective and reliable. RTÉ considered a range of proprietary and open source technologies, specifically seeking technologies capable of delivering an economical, 99.999% high availability environment. It also sought a back-up system to ensure that its operations continued to run smoothly in the face of any complications.

RTÉ’s move toward modernizing its infrastructure came at a time of gaining momentum in Ireland for open source technology as the progressive solution for I.T. challenges in public sector organizations.

Solution:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux proves most cost-effective and stable

The popularity of open source is slowly but surely increasing in Ireland with government bodies and departments realizing the benefits and moving to adopt the technology. Ireland’s biggest public broadcaster is one of the region’s forerunners in its decision to embrace open source and its benefits, which include versatility, adaptability, and scalability, impressive cost-efficiency, and robustness and security.

RTÉ hosted a competitive public tendering process in October 2011 to find a systems integration partner it could work with to deliver a highly resilient environment in the most economical way possible. After an extensive review process, Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® proved to be the most stable and cost-effective operating system option.

Red Hat and Sabeo Technologies Ltd., a leading Irish systems integrator and Red Hat partner since 2005, proposed a campus stretched cluster with DB2 database and a full disaster recovery (DR) contingency environment based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability Add-On (technology previously known as Red Hat Cluster Suite), both hosted on x86 technologies.

RTÉ chose this solution due to the strong reputation, quality, and capabilities of Red Hat’s offerings and Sabeo’s rich experience in designing, implementing, and supporting similar environments. In addition to this, RTÉ also determined that Red Hat Enterprise Linux met its criteria as the “most economically advantageous tender.”

As the main broadcaster in Ireland, RTÉ has a positive reputation to uphold in the eyes of its advertising partners and listeners. As such, the organization needed to be sure that there was a secure backup in place to guarantee service availability at all times.

RTÉ decided to deploy the Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability Add-On in a stretched campus configuration with full data mirroring across two datacenters. This would ensure that the RadioMan application had the highest level of resilience possible and would continue to work if something went wrong with the systems. The stretch cluster gives RTÉ the extra security it needs to be ready for disaster recovery. Rigorous testing and recovery procedures were performed to exacting standards to ensure the best possible quality of service would be maintained.

The implementation was completed in less than four months, with acceptance testing taking another two months to complete and document. Sabeo provided technical design, deployment, and testing services throughout the project life cycle.

“Red Hat has provided exactly what we were looking for — technology that is easy to use, reliable, and secure, with a viable price point. Sabeo provides 24x7 support, and Red Hat is also always on stand-by to help in case of any complications which may arise, though so far there have been no complications to speak of. Overall, we have been most satisfied with the outcome of this project,” said Michael Connolly, senior project manager, Raidió Teilifís Éireann.
 

Benefits:

More reliability, fewer minor issues

Since the implementation, RTÉ engineers have needed to spend much less time resolving minor technical issues. They now work in a more reliable and stable environment that requires very little maintenance.

“Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the ‘ready-to-air’ platform that we were looking for. Red Hat has provided a solid solution for our business needs which we have found to be reliable and cost-effective. The relationship with our advertisers is integral to the health of our business and Red Hat’s technology — along with the support we have received from Sabeo — has delivered a service in which we feel very confident,” said Connolly.

From radio to other media channels

The use of Red Hat has so far been limited to the radio division of RTÉ, but is set to be integrated into other parts of the business, including the placement of podcasts on the website. RTÉ is currently in the planning stages of integrating Red Hat’s solutions into its next project, new technology infrastructures for Digital radio stations and for RTÉ Radió na Gaeltachta with the help of Sabeo.

“In our work with Red Hat and Sabeo, we are proud to be leading the way for other Irish companies to start recognizing open source solutions and to begin reaping the benefits just as we have,” said Connolly.

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