"There's more CAT 6 and IP connectivity now in our terminal gear room than there is traditional video cable. We have to be able to serve up that content bigger, better and faster. Time to market in our industry is important. News only breaks once and for only a certain period of time. After that, it's old news," Robertson said. "Where we're really headed is the cloud."
At the same time, Turner Broadcasting has not increased its IT staff or budget since 2007, he said.
Robertson said he has 150 IT workers to manage about 3,500 devices - servers, switches and backend storage -- and more than 250 WAN circuits, but he only has 10 universal network engineers, who are the bread and butter of his network infrastructure.
Turner Broadcasting consolidated its architecture to five common data sharing platforms. There are no more than three firmware versions of a platform deployed at any one time, and there is only one WAN, one LAN, and one special network for high throughput.
Instead of providing business units with quality of service guarantees, Robertson said it's easier and more effective to simply overprovision bandwidth through the use of larger local Ethernet loops.
Robertson said over the next few weeks, he plans to sign a deal for a new Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) platform that will be 50% to 70% less expensive than the company's current switched infrastructure. The project is expected to translate into $1.5 million in savings.
"We've moved to a layer 3 [switching] infrastructure and removed layer 2. Layer three fails over nicely and it scales well," he said. "It's great to be agile, but if you can't deliver on it, it doesn't matter."
Lucas Mearian covers storage; disaster recovery and business continuity; financial services infrastructure; health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter @lucasmearian , send e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed .
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