BBC commits to the cloud

The BBC is moving to the cloud as a key part of its new technology strategy.

The BBC is moving to the cloud as a key part of its new technology strategy.

The broadcaster says the plan will improve value for money, provide increased scalability and flexibility, and support ubiquitous user access by adopting a "cloud-like" approach to the consumption of IT services, according to its technology strategy published on Monday.

The corporation is looking to deploy several aspects of cloud migration, including software-as-a-service for improved third-party collaboration in broadcast and production; platform-as-a-service to develop test environments; and infrastructure-as-a-service for future use of burst capacity for when the service becomes overloaded.

"The strategy will help align and inform a number of other strategies, such as virtualisation, storage etc, such that the creation of a private BBC 'B-Cloud' of capabilities will be possible, while also supporting the future and longer-term adoption of public cloud offerings as the external market matures," says the BBC plan.

As part of the strategy, the BBC will also move to a "storage-as-a-service" model, with storage centrally consolidated as much as possible across its enterprise and broadcast channels. The organisation will even consider a "database as a service" option to support the cloud strategy.

Storage will be delivered through a combination of dedicated and private cloud infrastructure, eliminating backup tapes through the use of virtual tape libraries.

The corporation will also adopt virtualisation wherever possible, with virtualisation by default for enterprise servers and "where appropriate" for desktops and applications.

"The BBC is at a tipping point where integration is the focus for both our content production and our enterprise systems. Integration will enable the BBC to deliver efficiencies and better ways of working, but it's not trivial to deliver. For the BBC to achieve its goals the role of architectural frameworks, interoperability standards (such as minimal metadata standards) and shared services are vital," said Spencer Piggott, head of technology at the BBC.

Click here to view a Powerpoint presentation on the BBC's new technology strategy.

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