Central archiving platform for MeeMoo
- The government created the need for an archive to digitise and preserve heritage-related visual material.
- To store a rich archive of valuable image and sound material that is kept on different carriers
- A growing, multi-tenant platform
- + 150
- Affiliated organisations
- Central storage
- + 15 PetaByte
- Volume assets
MeeMoo is committed to the preservation of audiovisual material in Flanders. The Flemish Institute for Archiving not only digitises analogue material, but also stores original digital material on its servers. This is done in a sustainable way so that future generations can look back on the past.
On behalf of the Flemish Government, meemoo shares their image and sound archive through various platforms. Today the focus is mainly on education, but the goal is to give teachers, scientists and the general public access to the Flemish archive. Opening up this material is always done in consultation with the content partners and with respect for the copyrights.
The government felt the need for an archive to digitise and preserve heritage-related visual material. In 2012, they decided to assign the management role of the archive to meemoo and give the executive role to the end customers themselves, namely the museums, cities and municipalities and other institutions. With the help of an intensive technical investment, meemoo and Zeticon set to work on the Mediahaven solution to archive the content of the meemoo partners. The strong partnership between meemoo and Zeticon created additional opportunities for Zeticon to further enrich the MediaHaven platform with functionality, with unprecedented scale, robustness and performance. The digital archive evolved from a tender with a maximum of a few terabytes to a centrally managed platform, with more than 150 connected organisations and a volume of over 14 petabytes of archive material.
The Flemish Institute for Archiving
Meemoo has a rich archive of valuable audio and video material, which is stored on various media. The institute is committed to the preservation and maintenance of the audiovisual material in Flanders; the analogue material is digitised and this digital material is stored on Zeticon's MediaHaven platform. Everything is done in a sustainable way so that future generations can continue to look back on past events. The digital heritage is made accessible to the public and, by order of the Flemish Government, they share their image and sound archive via various platforms, for education, culture, media and the general public.
In other words, Meemoo is the umbrella organisation within the Flemish landscape that aims to preserve the audiovisual material already available in Flanders.
Zeticon as chosen partner
During the selection process, two points were very important, namely a cost-efficient solution and a partnership that thinks with the future in mind. Cost-effectiveness was the decisive factor at the time, as meemoo did not yet have any idea of the final volumes of archive material that would be delivered. We did know, however, that this would involve several petabytes and that there were also very strict budgets under which meemoo had to operate.
The second point was partnership, because from day one, meemoo was aware of an imminent, strong evolution in functional requirements that arose from progressive insight. Of course, they wanted to keep the necessary say in this. As a Flemish dynamic company, Zeticon stood out. On the one hand, on a budgetary level, since Zeticon offered a solution based on tapes; the cheapest way to store data to date. No investment in expensive HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management) infrastructure was required, as Zeticon could build this functionality into its own software platform.
Everything came about from a collaborative perspective where Zeticon wanted to grow its solution strongly on the one hand, and the agile no-nonsense approach of the development team on the other. There was no cumbersome and tight project management; everything was very agile on both sides. Continuously building on the evolving insight of both parties, the platform was created further. The core requirement of meemoo was to archive the content of the first connected partners, such as VRT, as steadily as possible. The challenge of archiving more than 40 TB of video per day was no easy one, both for the hardware side and the MediaHaven software side. The meemoo project therefore gave Zeticon the chance to expand the MediaHaven platform technologically into the highly scalable, high-performance, robust and cost-efficient platform it is today. Not to mention a solid partnership between both parties that is hard to destroy.
Building on an underlying platform
Besides a central Mediahaven platform for meemoo, various organisations have also built up their own MediaHaven platform. Both can be seamlessly connected and even integrated. Why would you want to do this as an end customer? Firstly, in order to access and join the meemoo platform, the audiovisual material must fall under the category of "heritage". Secondly, our clients are sometimes shown other application possibilities of our MediaHaven solution. Here it becomes clear that the predefined metadata structure and the configuration of the central MediaHaven platform from meemoo does not always offer the best solution. In addition to the meemoo platform, a MediaHaven environment of your own also offers the possibility of opening up the visual material in your own way via websites, portals or even other applications.
Together to the suitable solution
To find the best fit for its customers, Zeticon works very closely with them and meemoo. Once a heritage customer has a concrete vision, Zeticon and meemoo work together to determine the best way to store, manage, preserve and provide access to the various types of audiovisual material. This takes into account individual needs, the need for long-term preservation, the storage, management and accessibility of heritage material, as well as the available budget and the expected volume of audiovisual material. In this way, the end customer himself determines how he wants to deal with his archive. Coastal heritage, for example, has an archive on meemoo, as well as its own image bank, which is made available in the form of a customer-friendly website.
City of Kortrijk
The City of Kortrijk started its own MediaHaven environment, storing a rich variety of digital assets, such as newspapers, (audio-) visual heritage material, etc. This allowed the City of Kortrijk to decide for itself how it wanted to make this information available to the wider public. For instance, they made their own division for storing, managing and unlocking their digital material. This way, citizens can quickly and efficiently find more information about their beloved city. Because of the large volume of heritage material and the solution to optimise it cost-efficiently, the exercise was started to integrate MediaHaven with meemoo for Kortrijk. In this way the large volume of original heritage material can be stored at meemoo, but previews and other lower resolution files remain stored on the local MediaHaven platform. This way you can be sure that as a citizen you cannot lose any access to the material. For the city of Kortrijk this means a serious cost saving in the field of digital storage.
Currently, some 150 organisations are already connected to the platform. Every connected city, municipality or heritage service has its own access to the platform. From here, everyone who is connected can work to upload audiovisual heritage in phases and at their own pace. In addition, the audiovisual archive is made available to schools via a sub-website across the connected cities, municipalities or heritage services; as a teacher you can quickly dive into the archive to use visual material for lessons or tests.
We at Zeticon can now proudly look back on an ever-growing platform. We are also very proud that the platform offers storage and archiving of more than 15 PetaByte of (audio-)visual material, which can be retrieved quickly and efficiently. MeeMoo continues to challenge Zeticon on a daily basis, with the size and growth in volume and number of files, to make the solution even bigger, faster and more cost efficient. This of course benefits all customers on our platform.
All these elements combined, in combination with the hybridisation of storage (cloud, commoditisation of object storage, etc.), a bright future awaits us filled with many challenges, which we will face together with our long-time partner!