Major League Baseball looks for a home run with EMC

While buffering video can be a pain at the best of times, it can be especially frustrating while streaming live sports – is that a home run or not? To help prevent such occurrences, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet arm of Major league Baseball, has turned to EMC Corp. for live video streaming and e-commerce support.

With EMC Isilon’s built-in metadata acceleration, MLBAM reports it has increased performance of its video streaming by 50 per cent, and EMC VMAX 10K with FAST VP has helped increase performance of Oracle-based website applications by 67 per cent. It also reports improved availability, simplified management and better efficiency, including increasing storage utilization rates by 65 per cent through intelligent storage tiering and provisioning with VMAX.

MLBAM said upgrades were necessary due to the increasing popularity of its online and video streaming offerings. Its archive includes 18,000 live video events, adding up to 60 live streams of baseball games every day. With viewer demand rising, its legacy infrastructure could no longer handle the load.

In the end, MLBAM opted for EMC Isilon scale-out storage for its live streaming and video-on-demand of all MLB games and EMC VMAX 10K enterprise storage to run its mission-critical applications, including Oracle databases for e-commerce and statistics analysis. MLBAM uses FAST VP to automatically optimize performance in a tiered environment and Symmetrix Virtual Provisioning to provide applications with more capacity than is physically allocated from a shared pool.  MLBAM also leverages VMware vSphere for its virtualized environment.

“Live streaming is like turning on a fire hose. With Isilon, metadata acceleration is built in rather than sequestered separately from the storage like our previous infrastructure,” said Joe Inzerillo, senior vice-president, content technology/CTO for MLBAM, in a statement. “Isilon can easily keep up with the intensity and ferocity of our loads.”

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