30/09/2022

SDNsquare to provide United with GRID network control

SDNsquare has announced that it will provide EMG company United with its patented GRID Software Defined Network control software to support the Dutch media production service provider with the IP transition of a number of OB trucks.

Having initiated its working relationship with SDNsquare two years ago – when GRID software solution for IP network orchestration was firstly installed at United’s Operation Centre (RoC) in Hilversum – United wanted to extend this relationship into the purchase and IP extension of several OB vans. Although the events of 2020 placed an inevitable impediment on progress, as both companies look forward in 2021 with cautious optimism and as business projects for both parties begin to reinitiate, United is now in a position to finalise the contract for purchase. SDNsquare’s GRID software solution will become the network controller for its entire IP-based fleet, as well as remaining compatible with the existing RoC.

SDNsquare’s GRID represents a unique software-defined network controller designed specifically for the management of IP networks. It ensures smooth packet flow and thus reliable, high-level QoS – regardless of the workflow, network components, network architecture or scale of the operation. These elements are particularly key for United, which requires the network to operate in a predictable, reliable and cost-efficient manner.

The IP-based nature of GRID is also key for United. The construction of United’s fleet will be modular in nature, centring around several ToR switches and calculating the capacity required for different applications. The use of GRID will ensure that the hardware United deploys can be located wherever needed, in accordance with the ‘United Anywhere’ concept, in which United are able to offer fully decentralised, remote production and video editing anywhere in the world, no matter where the event recording takes place. Finally, thanks to the use of GRID, United will remain vendor agnostic and therefore free to pick and choose the most suitable components for the installation, as well as providing a future-proof, scalable network management system that can accommodate any future upgrades.

Paul van den Heuvel, CTO of United, said: “We have already had success with the deployment of GRID in our RoC back in 2019. It provided a level of reliability and flexibility in our network operations, and as such it will be key to the success of our OB rollout, even when we’re producing from remote locations.”

SDNsquare CEO Henry Alexander added: “We believe hugely in the benefits that IP can bring to the field of production and broadcast. But managing IP networks is a complicated undertaking; packet behaviour is often complex, especially in convergent and scaled-up setups. We developed GRID in order to allow our customers to gain all of the benefits of IP without fear of being impacted negatively by its complexities. We are pleased that United have found it so effective, and are proud to be able to support their expansion in the field of remote production.”