Assets in the air


Paul Wilkins TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

People everywhere are talking about "the cloud", as if it is somehow something (1) new and (2) intrinsically exciting. It really is neither of those things. In the IT world, software as a service (SaaS) has been around since the 1960's when organisations bought the use of mainframe software on a time-sharing basis.

The important part of SaaS is the word "service". The cloud is only valuable to us if it provides something we actually need to do, and provides that service in a way which is operationally convenient and cost effective.

That is not to say that the cloud does not have huge attractions. What you are doing, essentially, is bringing in subject experts to do things that otherwise we would have to worry about. Building, extending and maintaining large IT installations requires not just a hefty capital budget, it needs specialist skills. Scarcely a week goes by without some high profile organisation suffering a security issue: there is a lot of sense in passing that problem on to the experts.

In our industry, the core business is in making and delivering great content. Producers and editors want to spend their time shooting and polishing programmes, not worrying about how to keep the footage securely stored, for the duration of the project and beyond.

But there are well-known objections to using the cloud in the media industry. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that, while most IP applications have large numbers of relatively small files, we have relatively small numbers of extremely large files. The charging structures of the major cloud providers are set up to reflect their core business and may not be flexible enough for our needs.

The ideal solution, then, is to build applications on media-aware cloud storage. At TMD we have been working with our UK partner, ERA, to provide an off-the-shelf, cloud-based archive solution called Coeus.

Before we go any further, we should explain the name. Coeus - pronounced kee-yos - was one of the Titans of Greek mythology. To be precise, Coeus was the god of intellect, representing the inquisitive mind.

What Coeus does is present an intuitive, cloud-based service for short and long term storage, management and protection of media. To do this, we essentially run TMD's Mediaflex-UMS platform running the Paragon media service application for archive management, in a cloud which has been set up and managed by ERA specifically for media applications.

The ERA data centre is in the UK, and its infrastructure and connectivity is designed around media storage. It provides the flexibility and agility that media enterprises need. Most important, the cost structure is designed for media users.

Running TMD software in the cloud ensures that the familiar and expected functionality is available. Central to this is something that we now take for granted in an archive application: partial restoration of files.

Imagine you are an editor charged with making a suite of trailers for a new drama series. You really do not want to copy multiple high-resolution, hour-long programmes into your edit computer when all you need is a few seconds from each.

That is a doubly important consideration when the master content is not on a server network in your facility but in the cloud. Even ignoring download charges, the time taken to transfer tens or possibly hundreds of gigabytes of data would be a complete block on productivity.

So the desired cloud archive storage application must include a proxy viewer so the user can browse at frame-accurate low resolution, to choose clips, then recover and download only those clips at full resolution. That is one of the key feature of Coeus.

The system has a simple, web-based interface, designed to be used by real people not IT experts. The fact that it is web-based means it can be used anywhere, provided the operator has the right credentials. So if you are shooting on location, your camera operator or DIT can upload the selected takes each day, making them instantly available to the editor, producer and anyone else who wants to work on them or check progress.

What we set out to do with Coeus is to create a cloud storage and archive solution which is readily accessible and instantly available. Set-up is simple, archive maintenance is intuitive for real-world users, and costs are clear and manageable. Because the underlying cloud data centre is designed for media files, security structures are appropriate to keep the content from prying eyes.

Already we are seeing the industry welcoming this fresh approach to cloud provision, combining the best available software with a media-aware data centre. Because Coeus is self-provisioning in an intuitive way, users are finding that it delivers on the promise of software as a service, providing the key requirements of secure transfers, simple viewing, partial restore for fast and efficient recovery, and practical storage for working materials and long-term archiving.


Tags: iss121 | tmd | cloud | mam | era | coeus | Paul Wilkins
Contributing Author Paul Wilkins

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  • Tiffen Steadicam at BVE 2013

    Tiffen Steadicam at BVE 2013

  • Telestream at BVE 2013

    Telestream at BVE 2013

  • Lemo at BVE 2013

    Lemo at BVE 2013

  • DJI Innovations at BVE 2013

    DJI Innovations at BVE 2013

  • Cambo at BVE 2013

    Cambo at BVE 2013

  • VideoSys at BVE North 2012

    VideoSys at BVE North 2012

  • Featured Clip: Geoff Boyle comments on NAB 2012

    Featured Clip: Geoff Boyle comments on NAB 2012

  • Vinten Radamec at NAB 2012

    Vinten Radamec at NAB 2012

  • JVC at NAB 2012

    JVC at NAB 2012

  • Bexel at NAB 2012

    Bexel at NAB 2012

  • IMT Broadcast at NAB 2012

    IMT Broadcast at NAB 2012

  • Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

    Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

  • LiveU at NAB 2012

    LiveU at NAB 2012

  • Atomos Samurai at NAB 2012

    Atomos Samurai at NAB 2012

  • Anton Bauer at NAB 2012

    Anton Bauer at NAB 2012

  • JVC at BVE 2012

    JVC at BVE 2012

  • Thear Technology Limited at BVE 2012

    Thear Technology Limited at BVE 2012

  • Garland Partners at BVE 2012

    Garland Partners at BVE 2012

  • Vision Research at BVE 2012

    Vision Research at BVE 2012

  • Editec at BVE 2012

    Editec at BVE 2012

  • Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

    Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

  • JVC Professional at ProVideo2011

    JVC Professional at ProVideo2011

  • Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

    Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

  • Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

    Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

  • JVC at BVE North 2011

    JVC at BVE North 2011

  • Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011

    Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011

  • Holdan and Panasonic at BVE North 2011

    Holdan and Panasonic at BVE North 2011

  • FOR-A at IBC2011

    FOR-A at IBC2011

  • S and T at IBC2011

    S and T at IBC2011

  • Brickhouse Video at IBC2011

    Brickhouse Video at IBC2011

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    Argosy at IBC2011

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    Sony at IBC2011

  • Marshall Electronics at IBC2011

    Marshall Electronics at IBC2011

  • Bradley at IBC2011

    Bradley at IBC2011

  • Preco at IBC2011

    Preco at IBC2011

  • Grass Valley at IBC2011

    Grass Valley at IBC2011


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Articles
Why MADI is Still Relevant
Stephen Brownsill While the original idea for MADI was to cater to a very narrow recording studio application, the standard remains a viable go-to multichannel audio technology. Beginning as a standard in 1991, MADI was first introduced to the world as digital production was beginning to come of age. MADI was put together in 1988 by Solid State Logic, AMS-Neve, Sony (DASH) and Mitsubishi (ProDigi) as a way to transport up to 56 channels of digital audio between large-format audio consoles of the day and digital multi-channel tape machines via 75-Ohm coaxial cables. Both tape-based machines have long since disappeared from the equipment landscape.
Tags: iss139 | madi | tsl products | aes10 | aes | dolby atmos | st-2110 | sam-q | Stephen Brownsill
Contributing Author Stephen Brownsill Click to read or download PDF
The University of the Third Age
Bernard Newnham Here's a cliché - "We all get to be old one day - if we're lucky". There comes a point when things like "....mastered in Dolby Vision Domestic and SDR Rec 709....." become just a touch unimportant (and actually I never really understood that stuff in the first place). I retired for the third time last year - BBC producer, and before that cameraman, then freelance producer, trainer, do-your-own camera, sound, editor, blah blah, then 11 years university teaching. I did my bit - never a BAFTA, but certainly the first into a good few things - but it all has to come to an end sometime.
Tags: iss139 | u3a | panasonic | davinci resolve | Bernard Newnham
Contributing Author Bernard Newnham Click to read or download PDF
REVIEW Canon UJ111x8_3B UHD Lens
Andy McKenzie Shooting in ultra high definition and high dynamic range has become the preferred option for all television productions with a potentially long commercial life. The hir-ing charge and indeed the outright purchase cost of cameras of this standard are not significantly greater than those of high definition standard dynamic range models. With half the world's news reporters now able to capture UHD video on their mobile phones, why give the production crews anything less?
Tags: iss139 | canon review | uj111x8 review | lens | zoom | digisuper | uj90x9b | hdtv | ccu | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
The Future of Broadcast Connectivity
Jamie Adkin The use of KVM equipment has been essential to meet the evolving needs of the broadcast industry for many years. Over that time, many in the industry have recognised the importance of using IP-enabled KVM to break down technological barriers and enable real-time access to visuals wherever and whenever they’re needed. These components are vital parts in live production environments in particular.
Tags: iss139 | adder | kvm | ip kvm | Jamie Adkin
Contributing Author Jamie Adkin Click to read or download PDF
Covering Ironman Australia
KitPlus KitPlus recently chatted with Stephen Kane, production manager of IRONMAN Oceania in Australia and New Zealand. IRONMAN is one of the leading mass sports brands in the world, consisting of over 260 events across 44 countries including long (IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3) and short (Sprint and Olympic) distance triathlons, mountain bike stage racing, road cycling and running, both marathon and trail. One of those events is IRONMAN Australia, which takes place yearly on the Australian east coast.
Tags: iss139 | ironman | dejero | streaming | cellsat | 5g | engo | mobile transmitter | facebook live | wi-fi | cellular | satellite | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF