Broadcast Beat Magazine 2017 IBC Show - Page 78

es at work. TV sets and tradi- tional broadcasts are not going away but at the same time, broadcasters and content own- ers must create more content, faster to cope with the habits of today’s connected media con- sumers. While people might be watch- ing less traditional TV, they’re watching more video. They’re consuming more video when and where they want – on their own terms and on devices of all types. In this new world of non- broadcast channels, the need to spin production workflows up or down on demand is criti- cal. And it must be done in a way that’s fast and cost effec- tive. This is what’s driving the move away from infrastructures of purpose-built hardware. And while the initial transition to completely IP-based sys- tems will require the outlay of some capital expenditure, the long-term cost benefits are tre- mendous. Along with the new realities of content produc- tion, the need for new business models is also apparent. While we shift from hardware-driv- en workflows, we’ll also shift from a capex-based operation to an opex-based, pay-per-use model. Plus, it’s impossible to imagine traditional point-to-point sys- tems meeting the needs of new media distribution channels and evolving business models. But all this does require a differ- ent level of planning, a rethink- ing of product development (or perhaps more accurately IT ser- vice development) rollout and lifecycle. It’s a matter of how and when, not if. A DIFFERENT KIND OF PRODUCTION ECOSYSTEM The key to virtualization is dis- sociating compute and storage equipment from their func- tionalities. COTS hardware and standard computing equipment will be deployed to add new functionalities with standard data center principles at their heart. This means equipment can be assigned to specific and instantaneous requirements of any production. A good example is the use of additional transcode resourc- es. Transcode engines will be launched on an as-needed basis rather than on the upfront allo- cation of specific video sources. Something that wasn’t possible years ago, this kind of extreme flexibility is only the beginning of where we can go. This prin- cipal is now being extended to video switchers, servers and even overall production sys- tems, breaking down the busi- ness barriers to flexibility, and allowing the routing of video and other signals to every pos- sible destination. 78 • Broadcast Beat Magazine • A second fundamental enabler for virtualization is the use of common data center equip- ment. In any system, dedicated hardware tied to specific func- tionalities limits possibilities. In contrast to SDI-based commu- nication and hardware-assisted compute nodes, an all-IP envi- ronment allows the flexibility needed to assign services to whichever computing resources are available. The flexibility of virtualization doesn’t end with specific tasks – the entire production w ork- flow can be applied in on-prem- ise data centers or in infrastruc- ture as a service like the cloud. In any way, virtualization will create infrastructure that’s not only less expensive but faster to deploy. It also enables scalable work- flows that deploy only resources that are needed while enabling much easier resource sharing. Through functional separa- tion, network virtualization and automation, users can control traffic from a centralized con- sole for new production free- dom and agility. A software-