How WGBH Built an Active Archive with Hybrid Cloud and Object Storage

At the end of every program produced by a PBS station, there’s a little sting – a video/audio combination that tells you which station produced it. KQED, WNET and KCET are among the most familiar to viewers, but one station’s sting is fairly ubiquitous across the PBS schedule: WGBH in Boston.

WGBH produced four out of 10 programs PBS offers to its affiliates. That means the station has a very busy set of production teams working on shows like Masterpiece, the American Experience, Antiques Road Show, Nova and many more. They’ve been at this for a long time, too – meaning their archive spans 50 years. It includes hard drives, tapes and even reels of film from years gone by.


At the NAB show April 2018 – 4 p.m. on April 11 – WGBH will present a session called “How (and Why) We Built a Hybrid Cloud Active Archive.” The why is pretty clear – to get production teams content faster, to make the archives more readily searchable, to create a disaster-resilient storage strategy for preserving a half-century of priceless content, and to scale to accommodate more content shot in increasingly data-intensive formats.

The how involves Cloudian object storage in a hybrid cloud configuration. By combining on-premises object storage with Amazon S3 for disaster recovery, the WGBH team combined fast search and ready access with automatic data replication to the cloud.

For more information on this fascinating look into how object storage can dramatically improve archives and production for even the busiest media production organizations, check out this link to WBGH’s session, or read this case study that explains in depth how and why WGBH made the leap to object storage.

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