Jeff Koehler

By: Jeff Koehler on July 18th, 2017

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Cloud-Native Media Processing: A New Way of Thinking

The days of fixed broadcast infrastructure based on hardware are declining, driven primarily to the increased time-to-market speeds and business agility in the video content delivery business. If you’re in the video content delivery business, then you’re fully aware that widespread changes are happening. Broadcast and OTT services must be delivered faster, more efficiently and cheaper, and hardware simply doesn’t provide the level of agility, flexibility and scalability that is needed to remain relevant today. Software and cloud-native based workflows have emerged as king in today’s rapidly changing video delivery environment. With a cloud-native application or software-as-a-service (SaaS), operators can launch a service quickly and change the workflow once it goes live, with minimal investment, generating immediate value and revenue through capabilities such as time-shift TV, VOD and cloud DVR. Here, we’ll look at some of the changes that take place when you transition to a cloud-native media processing workflow.

Cloud-native technology provides serious advantages over other workflows, such as better orchestration of resources, agility, elasticity and openness. Yet, it’s important to note that being successful in the cloud-native environment will require a mindset-shift. When you transition from hardware to the cloud, the concept of a siloed workflow approach, to where functionalities like transcoding, packaging, encryption and the origin server are separate, no longer exists. Rather, cloud-native technology enables operators to approach their workflow from a holistic, service-oriented point of view that lends itself well to serving end users with new or enhanced services.

When the silos go away, a couple of key things change workflow-wise. From a troubleshooting point of view, there no longer needs to be a test point after each and every function. When a channel goes down, the cloud technology provider’s service team can troubleshoot the issue from a single interface. Management is approached differently too, especially with a SaaS solution hosted in the public cloud. A SaaS is maintained and monitored by a video infrastructure provider, which means that operators can focus their attention on more important tasks at hand that drive content monetization.

Today, video content and service providers are using the cloud to handle a wide range of media processing tasks, from ingest to playout, graphics, transcoding, encryption and delivery. What’s even more exciting is that new workflow applications for the cloud are emerging. Right now we’re seeing the push to move to an all-IP over the internet distribution model and channel origination in the cloud. These applications will bring further simplicity to OTT and broadcast workflows.

If you already own a private cloud (on or off premise) for voice and data apps, adding a video service is the way to go from an ROI point of view. Many video content and service providers don’t have a private cloud, and that’s OK. The public cloud offers the agility, reasonable cost and great scalability that is necessary to succeed amidst all of the changes happening in the video service environment.

Want to learn more about how you can transition to cloud media processing? Visit our cloud website: VOS360

– Jeff Koehler, Vice President of Solutions Engineering at Harmonic