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Continuing In Business

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A robust disaster recovery and business continuity plan is essential in any business. Thankfully, major events such as terrorist threats, earthquakes, floods or fire are fairly rare occurrences, writes Chris Steele, Managing Director, Marquis Broadcast.

What is far more likely to affect the smooth running of any operation is simple equipment failure or human error.

However, whatever the reason behind any downtime, the importance of being able to get up and running again as quickly as possible cannot be underestimated.

Time is money and in the broadcast world some projects simply can't wait. A few days or a week will be too late for the post house which needs to deliver projects day-by-day. A TV soap cannot be postponed because the project files cannot be restored and post-produced in-time and starting the post from scratch is usually not a viable option.

An effective business continuity plan must include not only a backup plan, but also a restoration one. Many organisations archive work onto tape. However, in the event of a disaster it will be critical to get key projects back online. The number and size of files required by these projects may be quite small compared to the backup, however restoring them often requires the restoration of the entire back-up, which given the large size of media repositories in common use today, would take a significant amount of time. One broadcaster told us: "In a disaster recovery scenario it may take up to two weeks to restore our entire back-up."

This means, many organisations have a significant vulnerability when it comes to maintaining business continuity. The solution lies in the ability to identify and retrieve critical files in an appropriate time scale. The ability to restore a single edit bin without waiting for the whole project to be restored means staff can be back working on key projects within a short period of time.

Marquis' Workspace Parking was developed specifically to address these important issues. Workspace Parking is a 'set & forget' disaster recovery solution is designed to get editors back up and running in minutes rather than hours or days.

The solution is built on Marquis's tried and trusted Parking technology that has been archiving Avid projects for demanding media production facilities around the world since 2011. It provides business continuity assurance by ensuring a complete backup of every project is created through an understanding of the relationship between projects and media. It identifies all media on a workspace and any projects associated with that media, in addition to content outside that workspace referenced by those projects. Because the analysis system runs regularly, every time new and associated media comes online this is included in the backup. Incremental analysis of the changes to the workspace and each project means automated nightly back-ups can be completed in a fraction of the time of a full backup. Email status updates are provided as required.

Individual projects or bins of older versions of projects can be easily identified and restored to any storage or workstation immediately, providing a complete and rapid business continuity solution.

For the first time, Workspace Parking enables Avid users to back-up entire workspaces, while allowing individual projects or bins to be restored, providing a complete, automated disaster recovery system.


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