Flextech Television - Engage Ad Banner

Flextech, the content division of Telewest, is the provider of the largest number of basic thematic channels in the UK. Its core business is to provide entertainment, information and interactive content and services to the multi-channel television and on-line markets.

They rely on a computing infrastructure not only to produce channels and programme content but also to transfer this content to air. In common with almost all of the broadcast industry, much of the day to day operation is computer controlled and highly automated.

Project Requirements
The Engage Ad Banner system serves all ad banners for Flextech/Telewest and NTL across Cable TV and the Internet. The requirement included being able to scale to a very great degree whilst maintaining low levels of traffic within the Flextech and Telewest sites. Security needed to be extremely robust and yet not impact performance. The design needed to be highly resilient and capable of withstanding multiple device failures. The design had to re-use existing equipment.

The Solution
Layer3 carried out detailed analysis and showed that a remotely hosted system with HTTP caching at the TV companies networks would provide the best solution. We designed a network architecture that provided for security, resilience and scalable performance. Finally we produced a detailed IP design for the whole configuration. This was documented as a set of build steps. Flextech configured the devices according to this specification. Difficulties in releasing Flextech staff to do the remote site build were addressed by Layer3 stepping in with a five man team to carry out the build over three days.

Benefits
• Large financial saving in using existing equipment without design compromise - £200,000 hardware saving
• Large savings on cost of network links - 14 X £25,0000.
• Large financial saving built in the design, as scalable bandwidth could be bought from the hosting centre
• No change to existing infrastructure
• State of the art technical design, secure, scalable, high performance and robust
• Flexible Layer3 team able to step in as skill shortages determined. - Very fast deployment, less than 3 days
• Fixed cost for design and integration - £38,000.