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BYOBroadcast Chooses the Managed Storage Alternative

  • July 01 2001, 1:00am EDT
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REVIEWER: Jeff Valentine, executive vice president of BYOBroadcast.

BACKGROUND: BYOBroadcast is a leading application service provider of Internet audio posting and listening tools for Web communities and destinations. Founded in September of 1999, BYOBroadcast enables users to easily "bring their own" audio to an unlimited audience via the Internet. BYOBroadcast offers features such as audio e-mail marketing, audio posting and listening tools, and audio archival solutions as a service or licensed product to e-businesses in every market.

PLATFORMS: EMC's Symmetrix Enterprise Storage system hardware and software and runs on Sun Solaris servers.

PROBLEM SOLVED: BYOBroadcast allows companies to easily personalize Web sites and
e-mails with anyone's voice. BYOBroadcast's technology lets real estate agents, for example, easily add audio descriptions to online home listings and narration to virtual tours and Web sites. Visitors can listen to the audio without plug-ins or software downloads. To make these data-heavy applications possible, BYOBroadcast must store terabytes of streaming media data. Instead of investing time and resources on building a staff that could handle this function internally, BYOBroadcast chose NaviSite's Managed Storage Solution because it provides a variety of services such as monitoring and managing the company's site network connectivity, data storage systems, firewalls, database and Web servers around the clock. NaviSite also provides BYOBroadcast with the storage experts needed to monitor and manage the complex storage information infrastructure.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The outsourced storage solution provides BYOBroadcast with multiple services including proactive monitoring and management, and change and capacity management which allow the company to make system changes without affecting the site's uptime. Multiple-terabyte storage enables the company to meet its customers' needs regardless of how much streaming media data their applications require. The storage solution also includes a range of managed storage features such as nondisruptive backup. A business continuance volume feature lets BYOBroadcast take a snapshot of its data at any point in time and make changes, such as introducing a new version of its software. If the changes don't work or unexpectedly impact other areas of the system, the company can revert immediately back to the snapshot and recover the original data. In the future, BYOBroadcast will be able to scale its storage solution as the company grows, adding as much storage as it needs.

STRENGTHS: By outsourcing to NaviSite, BYOBroadcast has significantly reduced its capital investment and information technology resources. NaviSite provides the company with attractive lease terms for leading technology and services from premier systems and software suppliers such as EMC. This structure allows BYOBroadcast to cost-effectively create a high-demand storage environment that meets its needs today and in the future. NaviSite also intercepts any problems without even involving BYOBroadcast, leaving the company with more time to focus on its core business competencies.

WEAKNESSES: The structure of the storage solution forced BYOBroadcast to add a file server to broker the connections between all of its Web servers and the storage server. The company did not anticipate having to add this layer, which meant spending money on an additional server.

SELECTION CRITERIA: After looking at PSINet, Loudcloud and other companies, BYOBroadcast chose NaviSite, Inc. for its combination of Web hosting and managed storage services. NaviSite offered a more comprehensive solution than the competitors as well as a single point of management for BYOBroadcast's critical Web applications. Centralized management is crucial because it allows BYOBroadcast to reassure end users that it is managing and protecting their essential data while enabling continuous availability.

DELIVERABLES: BYOBroadcast receives snapshots of its data at different time intervals that the company uses for reporting and data mining without impacting the performance of its Web site.

VENDOR SUPPORT: As a software company, BYOBroadcast doesn't want to deal with managing hardware. With NaviSite, the company did not have to do anything to implement the storage solution. NaviSite designed, configured, installed and maintained the solution for BYOBroadcast in a completely hands-off fashion.

DOCUMENTATION: Because NaviSite manages the entire storage solution, there is no need for documentation.

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