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Overland Data, Inc., the market leader in enterprise and mid-range tape automation solutions, announced today that it has been selected by the BBC to provide storage and backup equipment as part of a major overhaul designed to increase the scope of its electronic information and archiving section. The new system went live in December.

The BBC’s Customer Information & Archives department manages and maintains the Corporation’s vast online library of digital photographic images. These archives are accessible to all employees via the BBC global intranet network and play an extremely important role in the preparation of daily news bulletins. Images in the system, for example, are regularly used by the television news teams and by the BBC Web site ( to illustrate the day’s stories.

Originally the system – affectionately known in BBC circles as ELVIS (ELectronic Visual Image Store) – was backed up using a five-slot Quantum DLT 4500 Jukebox with a capacity of around 100 Gigabytes (GB). Today, the system has a database of around 300,000 images and this is growing by around 1,000 new photographs every week from sources such as Press Association, Associated Press and AllSport. The database also includes the BBC’s own extensive stills archive containing material from the 1920s through to the present day.

The existing backup unit was approaching the end of its life cycle and this was hastened by a management decision in early 2001 to enable employees to use the system to access all BBC programme information from their desktop. This meant the addition of a further one million computer-based records and a back catalogue comprising 1.7 million pages of scripts, live broadcast transcripts and associated documentation for every BBC programme over the past five years. On top of this, the system now needs to handle the documentation for all new programmes and broadcasts going forward.

With the department’s network upgraded to meet the 2 Terabytes (TB) of disk storage needed to handle the extra workload it was important to replace the old backup unit with a system that had a proportionate increase in capacity and that could be expanded for future needs. The BBC selected a 26-slot SuperDLT Neo series™ LXN2000 from Overland.

A single module SDLT Neo tape library with a capacity of 2.86GB is directly attached to a Silicon Graphics 300 machine. The unit can be expanded up to 22.88GB and 16 drives if required in the future.

“The Overland unit was recommended to us by the reseller DPS whom we have known for many years,” said Dave Bevan, new media support specialist with the BBC. “We particularly liked the build quality and the expansion capability of the unit. Overland’s ability to deliver this many slots in a 5U unit is certainly very impressive.”

“As a supplier to the BBC News Resources Department, DPS is more than aware of the high demands set for quality, reliable, leading-edge technology,” said Gareth Cox, technical manager for DPS. “With its modular, scalable design and proven reliability in the field, DPS was more than happy to recommend the Overland Neo for the BBC’s backup requirements.”

Storage management software selected for the task comes from Flashnet, a specialist in backup software for video archive and retrieval projects.

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About DPS

DPS (Digital Performance Systems) provides consultancy, installation, maintenance and support for high performance RAID solutions, servers and tape backup systems. The company specialises in the supply of scalable, flexible, high performance computer systems supported by a wealth of storage expertise ranging from IBM to Sun and Silicon Graphics.

About Overland

Overland Data is a global supplier of innovative data storage and storage automation solutions for computer networks. The Company's reputation for delivering high availability products, as well as its award-winning SmartScaleÒ Storage architecture which set the standard for intelligent automated storage and scalability, has established Overland as a market leader in the enterprise and mid-range tape automation markets. Overland sells its products worldwide through leading OEMs, commercial distributors, storage integrators and value-added resellers.


Howard Rippiner
Overland Data (Europe) Ltd.
+44 (0) 1189 898022

Sian Ford/Alex Murphy
Strategic Alliance International
+44 (0) 1494 434434

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