Channel 5 seeks cloud-based model to host reality TV show Big Brother website


Channel 5 seeks cloud-based model to host reality TV show Big Brother website

Kathleen Hall

Kathleen Hall

Kathleen Hall is correspondent for Computer Weekly. She writes about technology issues in small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as specialising in the retail and services sectors.

Previously Kathleen worked as business reporter for Vitesse Media, covering SMEs and enterprise IT. 

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Following its eviction from Channel 4 to Channel 5, the website of reality TV show Big Brother is to be hosted remotely as part of the broadcaster's cloud strategy.

Channel 5 has used hosting company Claranet to move its Big Brother website to the cloud to cope with surges in traffic. The addition of Big Brother online has doubled Channel 5's total web traffic since the programme was aired at the beginning of September.

Paul Thornton-Jones, head of digital media at Channel 5, said the broadcaster wants to scale down its own infrastructure and move to a cloud-based model. "There's no point paying for infrastructure that sits idle, we want a solution that scales," Thornton-Jones said.

The company would have had to buy or lease a huge amount of hardware, which it only wanted for short periods of time during the show, said Thornton-Jones. "That kind of purchase is just not practical, so this has saved us significant amounts," he said.

Claranet's managed application hosting was complemented by using Amazon Web Services' Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform. "The hybrid cloud service is designed to handle 45,000 page impressions per second, so it can deal with the sudden surges of interest that is part and parcel of Big Brother," said Martin Saunders, director at Claranet.

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