The University of Salford is widely recognized in both academic and professional circles as a leading educational establishment in both acoustics and media production. University of Salford’s aim is to work with the industry to prepare its students for work in professional, real-world environments. To do this, the university built two TV studios, three radio studios, video editing suites, classrooms, audio production and post-production areas and a media-tech lab.
In this environment, students can be part of a media city-within-a-city that would also house the production offices of BBC Children’s, BBC Learning and BBC Sport, plus studios for BBC Radios 5 Live and 6Music, together with the northern laboratories of BBC Research and Development.
The underlying on-site infrastructure to enable collaborative working at the facilities was installed and maintained by specialist media/IT systems integrator ERA. This included servers, switches, storage, and archiving. When the technical infrastructure was coming to the end of its operational life, system integrator ERA was asked to specify a whole new technology by replacing the storage devices, edit management software and, most crucially, the existing MAM by an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based solution.
“This included replacing all the storage and introducing up-to-date edit management system that would work with the wide range of edit operating systems used at the university”, says Sean Baker, Commercial Director ERA. “As part of that, there was the opportunity to install a very much simplified MAM that would go back to the core components required.”
Alongside the new 1.6PB Pixit Media PixStor storage system, ERA recommended the introduction of a MAM capability that would allow students and lecturers to access files and projects from wherever they happen to be.
“The original MAM was bespoke and tried to be too big and do too many things. Because of that, it was never fully adopted by the university and turned into an administration system.” ~ Sean Baker, Commercial Director ERA
The key thing University of Salford wanted was a working MAM system, allowing both on-prem production as well as remote access for students to remotely upload data, submit assessments and send projects to lecturers for marking and review.