Disaster Recovery Synchronization via the Crystal Metadata Cloud™

By Roger Franklin  |  February 28, 2018

Carelessness with critical files, a fire at the core, a powerful storm system – all very real scenarios that could either interrupt or completely take down a broadcast. A dependable, proven disaster recovery system is mandatory to ensure these (or many other) types of disasters don’t affect the signal.

Many broadcasters operate disaster recovery sites as part of their Continuity of Business plans. These sites essentially duplicate the programming and advertising so that in the event of a catastrophic failure, they can continue their business while the main site is recovered. Unfortunately, the majority of disaster recovery systems are not fail-safe when it comes to broadcasting. These sites are almost certainly not synchronized to the frame – there will be a slight difference due to propagation/processing delays –enough to cause a discontinuity when a switch is made. In other words, transmission delays and frame inaccuracy between the two originating points (main facility and backup/disaster recovery site) can lead to out of sync feeds and the disruption of the viewers’ experience.

Crystal has developed a unique way to completely synchronize these two feeds – frame accurately – resulting in seamless switching between the two signals. Crystal Metadata Cloud™ uses patent-pending technology to capture Temporal Fingerprints at each facility. These feeds are then synchronized absolutely to the frame, creating a true ‘Hot-Hot’ system. The ability to switch between signal sources at will means no more waiting for program breaks or black to do cutovers which simplifies maintenance and upgrades. It also allows operators to build systems using different architectures/vendors with Crystal keeping the final results in sync. This model increases resilience as it avoids failures caused by deploying a single system with an issue to both the main and backup chain.

Being able to synchronize independent broadcast origination sites for true ‘Hot-Hot’ disaster recovery is a game-changer when it comes to protecting your most important asset – your signal.

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