Broadcast Beat Magazine 2017 IBC Show - Page 79

centric approach can provide on-demand transcoding, acqui- sition and playout scalability, as well as hardware optimization. The ability to turn on and off, and spin up and down functions brings critical elasticity and capex savings. Configuration and deployment is simplified, creating productions that can quickly switch or grow without needing to layout more infra- structure or buying hardware. Once a virtualized infrastructure and its associated of resources is in place, the way these are managed becomes an addi- tional layer of benefit. Users will be able to pre-define the needs of a production, store, recall and launch the configu- rations of a production on an on-demand basis. With a COTS- based infrastructure, engineer- ing need not be involved to start and secure a production. Virtualization allows application launching and hardware activa- tion as needed and facilitates the move to public cloud infra- structure for even greater IT industry critical mass benefits. ELASTIC PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES Software-defined production switchers and server-based functions – even entire pro- duction systems are enabling different applications that cre- ate more flexible processes. Workflows must not only be easily configured and deployed but also easily switched and executed on infrastructure with- out capex outlay. The result is truly elastic production, grow- ing or shrinking based only on present needs to achieve agile, flexible and cost-saving pro- duction. BRIDGING THE GAP Of course, a fully IT-based, vir- tualized production center pop- ping up on its own isn’t how we deploy production technol- ogy today, except maybe in the most greenfield opportunities. For most, there will be a con- version path, one that protects current investment while mov- ing to IP. The move to virtual- ization has already started with non-real-time functions. Gateway solutions and tech- nologies like convertors for point-to-point serial connec- tions – RS422 and USB over IP links – and video IP gateways will bridge the systems during this transition, as will discus- sions of how global synchro- nization across IP and SDI can be achieved – either through generator locking or active syn- chronization using PTP. THE VIRTUALIZED PRO- DUCTION CENTER OF TOMORROW But what will the fully opti- mized, virtualized production center look like? Well, it might not be on site. It could be down the street or in the cloud. In years to come the most impor- tant decision you make is where you put your data center. In fact, we’ll start to care less and less about where it’s running, whether off the shelf or on a rack. We’ll care more about what we can do than where we do it and how to plan for it. It’s about removing the hard- ware shackles for a more dynamic production environ- ment that benefits everyone – not the least of which: viewers. Taken together, the tenants and capabilities of virtualiza- tion provide what we call elas- tic production. This is made of solutions that leverage COTS hardware, maximize existing investments and deploy open standards supported by AIMS and SMPTE. With IP and virtu- alization at its core, elastic pro- duction allows studios, broad- casters and production houses to do more with better flexibil- ity and dynamic capabilities. Broadcast Beat Magazine • • 79