While public cloud offerings sometimes provide customers with separate clouds for computing and storage, and even different clouds for different types of storage, this approach does not amount to a truly comprehensive work flow.

By Alex Grossman *

Because broadcasters and content producers post production incorporated into their work increasingly higher resolutions (such as 4K); manage a type of increasingly distributed collaborative production, and transmit content to an increasingly broad range of media, workflows have become more complex than ever. Although the content creation process requires an increasing number of steps, time limits remain the same, and even have become tighter. To meet these deadlines and remain competitive, companies must improve efficiency and reduce costs. And this process begins to ensure that the content is always ready and available for production.

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With so many new opportunities for profitability and reuse the current workflows have become a two-way process ─en opposed to a work flow lineal─, a circular flow has at its center broadcasting the content. Companies must find ways to cope with this new reality.

To make the process even more complex, many companies now have several independent production centers -because have grown or new acquisitions - which are not easy to connect. In the absence of an easy way to share content, sent from one place to another and have different copies, which sacrifice the version control and process efficiency. The alternative is to reduce your team and include local talent that can interact with shared storage, and this is not an ideal method in a competitive market.

The cloud offers a much better solution. Cloud solutions enable distributed equipment and facilities easy and secure remote access to content and other digital assets. Thanks to the cloud, producers and content owners may hold assets in a common repository to help workgroups to work collaboratively, and disseminate content to multiple channels. When implemented correctly, the cloud can provide programmers and companies post production flows more flexible and simplified work that can reduce the time, resources and effort needed to meet their deadlines.

Contemplating cloud for streaming media
The cloud was not designed to support the media workflows. Although several vendors have designed workflow solutions in the cloud, most of them deals only with the two fundamental components of the cloud storage and computing power.

When most people think of cloud storage is thinking: Google Drive, iCloud, or backup in the cloud, and personal use shared storage. Get backups of fixed data and sharing photos are ideal uses of the "public cloud", which offers a comfortable and cheap storage, but lacks the service-level agreement (SLA for short) and the guaranteed access applications that require workflow means. The computational component is usually associated with software as a service (SaaS acronym in English), but this category also more focused on other media such as additional transcoding processes.

While offers public cloud sometimes provide customers with separate clouds for computing and storage, and even different clouds for different types of storage, such as buffering and long term, this approach does not amount to a workflow truly comprehensive.

More often than desired, companies that want to benefit from the cloud are forced to interrupt their current workflows. Assigning end stringing valuable storage resources and computing, coordinate the movement of content from cloud to cloud, and establish the necessary controls for quality assurance along these transfers resources. And then there are the sensitive security issues that must be taken into account.

Control over security usually ends once the content has been moved to a cloud infrastructure managed by an independent third party. Most public clouds store data of several companies in the same hardware systems, and even on the same disks, which raises concerns about who can access the contents. In addition, the reliability and consistency of access to content depends on how good the management that third parties make the cloud.

Private cloud solutions can provide security and reliable access. However, at present most of these offers are designed to provide global access to media storage repositories simple. Whether they are located locally or in remote data centers do not provide integration with the full range of applications that make up most media workflows. Fortunately, a new way of designing workflows in the cloud offers broadcasters and post-production companies a more viable solution offer the best of the cloud, along with the benefits of applications and workflows means trusted and recognized.

Adapt private cloud means
Instead of just moving the computing and storage resources to the cloud, cloud solutions-oriented media are taking complete existing work flows, including their applications, and are moving to the cloud. The cloud solutions are built with a rich integrated ecosystem of technology partners ensure that if the media workflows are effective at a local level, also be in the cloud.

This cloud model not only allows companies to maintain their way of working and the applications they use, but also works regardless of location, without external gateways, translations, or other quality control procedures. In summary, assets and contents remain natives and employees are familiar with the processes of shared workflows, and have at their disposal the best tools and applications that are currently used, as well as tools and applications contemplated towards the future.

Example of installation
A typical model of a media workflow in a private cloud is a primary production facility and one or more secondary production facilities, all with storage collaboration workflows. All these facilities are connected to each other via the Internet (through accelerated transfer WAN or similar mechanism) and also to a data stream hosted in a data center, which provides much more than just storage or computational resources.

Through this model, users can collect content locally in any facility and send that content to the data center in the cloud, where it is available for all other installations. Once the content is in the clouds, you will not have to be moved again. The data center supports the production automation in the cloud, allowing remote users the ability to transcode, edit and disseminate content. All functions required by the product are there in the cloud and the data center provides access to greater connectivity at a much more affordable than would be achieved with a separate installation cost.

Because this cloud is private, each company can have control over access to content, while contracts with a third party hosting and maintenance. In addition, companies can pay to avoid the costs involved implementing a system of large-scale primary storage, secondary storage buffer and file in all locations. If they choose a solution that is integrated with leading technologies and production applications, users can continue to work with the tools they know and how they find most comfortable.

Design a workflow based on the cloud
A cloud solution that is integrated with leading production applications enables companies to seamlessly migrate their existing workflows to the cloud. Popular software packages enable users of different facilities view, edit and put the finishing touches to the content via the Internet and do not make proxy copies. For example, a rendering engine can send content as it will be acquired, allowing for a smooth user experience and engines transcoding and transfer may ensure that the content is transferred to the speed required for workflows production real time.

On the basis of this whole system of production automation is an engine that manages the complete inventory of the property and contents. A true automation system workflows goes far beyond the functions of a system asset management means (MAM, for its acronym in English), automating the workflow from end to end, which keeps the content and assets in sync, no matter where they are stored. Therefore, as soon as the content is processed in the cloud, it becomes visible and available to users of all connected facilities, which become a unique collaborative production environment.

Your Order
The creation and distribution of content has evolved into a complex process due to numerous reasons, ranging from technical advances to new trends in media consumption. What has not changed is the need to provide high quality content within the agreed deadlines while keeping costs as low as possible. Workflows based media cloud offered to broadcasters and post-production companies a way to achieve all these goals. Thanks to advanced solutions that enable workflows truly integrated media companies can leverage the best tools and the best professionals to meet the needs of its customers in terms of creation and dissemination of content as well as its own operational and financial needs .

* Alex Grossman, vice president of media and entertainment Quantum

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


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