Customer Success Story
Dutch Broadcaster Uses EVPN-VXLAN to Build Flexible Multitenant Data Center
VPRO content editors, producers, and staff use network collaboration to create highly provocative documentaries distributed to viewers around the world. The company also produces a wide variety of other content types for the Web, radio, print, and other media.
A superior experience to content editors, producers, and staff creating documentaries
Public broadcasters were supported by a shared infrastructure
Unparalleled network reliability
To next-generation data center fabric while preserving deep engineering and operations knowledge
VPRO’s progressive creative teams explore what’s happening on the edges of society and contribute to the public discussion on current affairs, finance, climate change, and more. As people’s appetite for VPRO’s distinct point of view has grown across Europe and internationally, it needed a more powerful IT infrastructure to support its editorial and production teams as they create content for websites, mobile apps, television, radio, live events, and print.
“As video and audio files get bigger and bigger, we needed more bandwidth to support the need,” says Valentijn Flik, lead architect at VPRO.
Editing, storing, and transferring high-definition video places big demands on the network as VPRO’s shows take shape. And content producers have more ways to tell the story.
“In the old days, video teams might shoot a single sunset to go with a documentary,” says Mattijs de Ruijter, manager of ICT and general affairs at VPRO. “Now they’ll make seven recordings to choose from during editing.”
The VPRO team also needed to support the technology needs of NTR, a Dutch educational public broadcaster. In addition, VPRO has long shared its architecturally stunning Villa VPRO with BNNVARA, a youth-oriented public broadcaster. Now, all three media organizations share the modern, inviting workspace in Hilversum, the Netherlands.
VPRO has used Juniper networking and security products for more than two decades, dating back to the days of NetScreen firewalls. “It was an easy decision to stay with Juniper,” Flik says. “Juniper switching is reliable and performs well.”
VPRO’s data center is hidden far below the building’s undulating grass roof, but it is no less cutting edge. The new data center network is designed for scale, manageability, and sustainability. The data center fabric is constructed using a spine-and-leaf architecture, with the Juniper Networks QFX5110 Switch acting as the spine device. The 10/40/100GbE QFX5110 switch is optimized for high performance and density in demanding data center environments. The QFX5110 is also used as a leaf device, while the EX3400 Ethernet Switch is used as an access layer.
With VPRO, BNNVARA, and NTR sharing the same infrastructure, the data center network needed to support multitenancy while remaining flexible. An Ethernet VPN/Virtual Extensible LAN (EVPN/VXLAN) architecture supports efficient Layer 2/Layer 3 network connectivity with scale, simplicity, and flexibility.
And the VPRO team is not locked in: “We can logically partition the network, but still help each other if there’s an emergency,” Flik says.
“By migrating to the latest Juniper data center switching, we were able to maintain our knowledge investment in Juniper,” de Ruijter says.
Editors from VPRO, BNNVARA, and NTR can collaborate easily with production teams on videos and podcasts as well as work with their international media partners. “Now it’s much easier for video producers to show low-res versions of content to the editorial department,” de Ruijter says.
The powerful data center network can easily scale to support the mission of the three public broadcasters as well as the work of sales and marketing, finance, human resources, and legal.
The media companies are embracing cloud applications for communications, collaboration, file sharing, and storage. “Our new network is cloud-ready,” de Ruijter says.
Based on personal experience, de Ruijter and Flik have high expectations for the new data center infrastructure. “Our previous Juniper Networks EX8200 switches ran very reliably,” Flik says. “In nine years, the only failure was a single line card.”
Having a network that’s engineered for reliability delivers a better user experience and also frees up the IT team. “Juniper’s reliability has allowed us to focus on other strategic projects for many years,” de Ruijter says.
The VPRO team is looking forward to another decade of productive partnership. “We have had a very good relationship with Juniper engineers and account managers over the past 15 years,” Flik says. “When we deal with Juniper, the technical level is very high, which is nice for a technician like me.”
“From a business point of view, Juniper delivers what they promise,” de Ruijter says.
Published February 2020