BBC - Video Pipeline Refactoring

by Jamie Lentin on Feb 06, 2012
Pragmatic fixes to improve performance of a Perl-based legacy system

The BBC Vision department have a Perl-based pipeline system used for transcoding video, amongst other tasks. The service is due to be decommissioned, however memory-consuming inefficiencies in the system meant it could not be collapsed to a single server, to offer a skeleton service. We refactored the pipeline and it's Oracle SQL queries, partitioning their work into smaller chunks. We also removed entire sections of the pipeline, as upon analysis they weren't necessary at this stage in the products life.

The service's memory consumption was solved with minimal effort, allowing the decommissioning to proceed without significant extra cost.