Hybrid Cloud: The Perfect Elixir for Global Content Operations
Hybrid Cloud is a cloud computing environment which uses a mix of on-premise, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms. A Hybrid Cloud model supports the management of distributed storage and distributed workflows, allowing Media & Entertainment (M&E) enterprises to leverage their existing investments in infrastructure. It also ensures complete peace of mind by providing content owners the flexibility of keeping their high resolution assets on-premise. Moreover, the model enables internal and external stakeholders to access content anytime, anywhere; facilitating easy collaboration with multiple vendors and distributors. The need for a Hybrid Cloud model is paramount to manage media files that run into multiple terabytes, as moving these on to the cloud is an extremely expensive proposition that also raises security concerns.
A Hybrid Cloud model is well suited to manage content workflows across multiple distributed locations while allowing users to leverage the benefits of Cloud SaaS offerings. These benefits include lowest Total Cost of Operations (TCOP), faster time-to-market and increased monetization.
A Hybrid Cloud model helps virtualize business processes around content by:
- Allowing business processes to seamlessly function across departments, businesses and geographies
- Breaking content free from location dependencies
- Laying the foundation for a single, overarching cloud-based MAM which is user friendly
- Opening up access to other applications on cloud
It easily be tailored to include broadcast workflows like Transcoding, Subtitling/Closed Captioning, Cataloging, Transcription, VFX and Online frame-accurate conform. Users can perform operations like cataloging and subtitling on a low resolution proxy, while operations like editing can be performed on the high resolution content.
Hybrid Cloud Architecture: The CLEARTM Way
PFT’s flagship product, CLEAR Media ERP has the unique distinction of supporting Hybrid Cloud architecture since 2009. Currently its Cloud application instance manages content from 180+ media ecosystem locations across the globe. This proven deployment can easily be scaled up to meet the needs of any enterprise with global operations. CLEAR’s Hybrid Cloud model is well suited to manage content workflows across multiple distributed locations while allowing users to leverage the benefits of Cloud SaaS offerings. These benefits include lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), faster time-to-market and increased monetization. CLEAR enables internal and external stakeholders to access content anytime, anywhere; facilitating easy collaboration with multiple vendors and distributors. Deployed on the cloud, CLEAR’s workflow engine manages distributed workflows for the remote execution of tasks at service recipient sites as well as central operations site. These tasks include transcoding (using Vantage Pro), Auto QC (using Baton/Cerify), file transfer (using Aspera/Signiant), file management and API integrations to ingest and deliver content. Moreover, data is protected with Encryption, Watermarking and Content Disaster Recovery. The Hybrid Cloud deployment thus offers M&E enterprises with global operations a unique way to utilize their existing infrastructure while reaping benefits of the Cloud.
Listed below are a few instances of how this technology can be game changing:
Often during the shoot of a film/television show, content is captured at a remote location. In this, typically the raw camera files from the shoot are put on a storage device and sent for review, a process which can take upto a week. There is no mechanism to review this content collaboratively in a short timespan.
As a Hybrid Cloud-enabled solution, CLEAR allows users to upload raw camera files on to the cloud even from a remote location. These are transcoded into a low resolution proxy and made available for streaming to any desired destination. The content then becomes available for simultaneous review by stakeholders in different geographical locations, thus saving valuable time.
Creating a film or television show involves the close collaboration of multiple teams, each of whom has to give inputs during the content lifecycle. For instance, in a broadcast environment, various teams like Programming, Editorial, Promo Production, Legal and Quality Check need to collaborate in order to make content ready for telecast. For on-premise deployments, members from these teams need to be physically present wherever the content is stored in order to review it and provide their inputs.
A Hybrid Cloud model mitigates this need for physical presence and allows multiple teams to simultaneously work on a low resolution copy of the content, thereby driving creative enablement and increasing efficiencies.
In order to generate on air promos (OAP) for a movie or television series, Editorial teams need to collaborate with the Programming and Marketing teams. Traditionally, a promo brief is provided either verbally or over email. There is no single mechanism to track this brief and incorporate subsequent inputs/feedback provided. Often, multiple teams end up working on different versions of the same content, resulting in chaos.
CLEAR’s Hybrid Cloud model enables different members of the Programming team to work on the low resolution proxy of the same edit master and provide comments for specific EDLs (Edit Decision Lists) that can be shared with the Editorial team. Feedback can be easily tracked and compared for all subsequent edit masters. Also, the NLE (non-linear edit) project files can be shared among editors to help save time on the edit table.
Before being telecast in multiple territories and regions, films and television shows need to be localized in different languages. Aditionally, they need to be packaged for different OTT platforms, each of which often has its own set of technical specifications.
These scenarios require the creation of a low resolution version of the content. Typically, this is attached with metadata and a few additional files before being uploaded on to an FTP location, which may not be completely secure.
CLEAR’s Hybrid cloud architecture allows users to select a set of files, watermark them and send these to dubbing/subtitling vendors. The dubbed/subtitled files can later be reviewed and validated on a frame accurate cloud player. Similarly, a set of files can be simultaneously published to one or more OTT platforms in accordance with their specific packaging requirements.
Also, restrictions on viewing time and downloadability can be set for all content, eliminating the chance of piracy or misuse. Morevoer, all these actions can be performed conveniently from any remote location through any device.
A Hybrid Cloud model ensures that the customer’s high resolution assets remain on-premise, thus eliminating security concerns and providing complete peace of mind. In addition, CLEAR Media ERP offers the following provisions to ensure stringent security:
- AES-256 TLS network encryption
- Strong password enforcement & identity management
- Challenge/response algorithms
- Two-factor authentication
- Access through trusted devices only
- DRM (Digital Rights Management)
- Forensic & visible video watermarking
The nature of the M&E industry demands content and workflows to be highly available without any downtime. CLEAR’s Hybrid Cloud model leverages data centers that are spread across multiple geographical locations. Its architecture ensures effective disaster recovery and helps extend redundancy to all existing streaming locations by:
- Leveraging built-in cloud redundancy
- Leveraging existing customer disaster recovery plans and infrastructure
A Hybrid Cloud model scores far above a ‘Cloud Only’ model as it offers myriad business benefits. It opens up new monetization opportunities by enabling users to swiftly transcode and publish content to multiple linear and new media platforms. It drives creative enablement by allowing remote editing of content and faciltating quick global search for content across different MAMs. Additionally, it helps reduce costs by providing infrastructure which is instantaneously available for peak demands of transcoding/QC/storage, and enhances efficiencies by facilitating instant collaboration between multiple internal and external stakeholders.
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