• Sky Harlequin 1

BSkyB Tapeless Live System Migration


Client: British Sky Broadcasting

Project Description: Planning the migration of software and servers from their location of up to 10 years to a new purpose-built flagship building Harlequin 1

Primary Role: Technical Project Manager

Additional Roles / Skills Required: Technical Analyst, Systems Integrator and Test Manager to identify the underlying technical details and issues and to be able to ensure the migration was a success


We planned a major migration of live playout and business application servers, storage and network equipment and software with minimal ‘swing-kit’ while keeping it all running to their new flagship building, “H1”. This was a major sub-project of the larger BSkyB Tapeless project.

The task was described as:

“changing the tyres on a moving car”

I managed Risks, Issues, Assumptions and Dependencies which turned out to be of greater importance than we initially realised. Tracking the Risks and Mitigations (and their impact/cost) of each of the potential methods allowed us to support the decision making process. Tracking Issues and Dependencies allowed us to discuss and communicate the migration with all of the teams on the wider-project, to understand their requirements and timescales which also fed into the decision making process.

Given the age of some of the equipment to be migrated (10+ years old), it became apparent that while it has continued to run for all this time, if we were to turn it off to move it then it may not turn back on again. The building we were migrating to also could not guarantee a reliable power supply at its current stage of construction. There was limited/no budget assigned for replacement kit and backup power generators so we also had to pitch the risks to the business and manage stakeholders to recognise the significant risks and impacts of the project and secure funding for these aspects of the project.

The migration was successful and BSkyB have now been operating out of H1 without issue for many years since.