Mariinsky Theatre Spurs Digital Transformation with IBM Cloud

Historic Russian musical theater entertains new global audiences with livestreamed performances to any mobile device using the IBM hybrid cloud

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ARMONK, N.Y. and ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - 29 Apr 2015: Russia’s Mariinsky Theatre has selected IBM (NYSE:IBM) to build a hybrid cloud solution that enables it to provide global theater enthusiasts with access to live streaming video performances on the web, tablets or other mobile devices.

Debuting classic ballet standards such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, the preeminent Mariinsky Theatre has been entertaining audiences of all ages from across 150 countries with some of the world’s best opera, ballet and symphony performances since it opened in 1860. More than 250,000 unique viewers around the world have visited, which features an archive of on-demand videos.

“To support a growing global community of loyal Theatre audiences, we needed a scalable, hybrid cloud solution that could meet the standards for quality that we and our viewers expect,” said Eugene Barbashin, head of the computer technology department, Mariinsky Theatre. “We tried various competitive offerings from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, but viewers still had buffering issues while streaming performances. We chose IBM Cloud to more fully meet our needs in terms of reliable performance and ease-of-use.”

Before working with IBM, the Theatre had been broadcasting performances online using its own on-premises technology. Operas and ballets were filmed, edited and streamed from the Theatre’s server to hundreds of viewers. To help grow its online audience, the Mariinsky Theatre sought a new and more reliable solution to deliver consistent viewing experiences while gaining the flexibility to accommodate peaks in demand – which could mean scaling to support thousands of simultaneous viewers.

With IBM Cloud, the Mariinsky Theatre can accommodate expanded workloads. Based on the powerful and secure SoftLayer infrastructure from IBM, the Theatre has more flexibility to stream video replays and has been able to limit performance lags like excessive buffering by 30 percent. It can also more easily manage shifts in viewers – especially around popular performances such as orchestra concerts with Maestro Valery Gergiev, piano recitals by famous global artists, and the “Young Choreographers Gala” during the Mariinsky Ballet Festival.

For clients like the Mariinsky Theatre, digital transformation requires a hybrid cloud solution, which combines public and private cloud elements with the flexibility to choose and change environments, data and services as needed. Clients are able to create applications and services, while maintaining operational visibility, control and security.

IBM total cloud revenue – covering hybrid, public and private engagements – was $7.7 billion over the previous 12 months at the end of March 2015; it grew more than 60 percent in first quarter 2015.

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