In a dynamic and fast-changing environment where there is the continued drive for improved efficiencies and desire to do more with less, performance and reliability remain key considerations for all broadcasters. And with the increased need for virtualisation across the broadcast workflow, this focus on optimising operations will only get stronger. From playout to contribution and production.
In addition, as broadcasters and OTT providers react to the trends driving the market — such as adopting IP across the entire workflow — the value of standards-based, agnostic solutions will become clear. This move towards full IP is also being driven and enabled by the convergence of IT technology and broadcast, something clearly seen in the fact that IT infrastructures are built on standards-based technology that has long been benefitting the industry.
When it comes to something like seamlessly transporting real-time video and media files over diverse, general purpose IP and legacy networks, broadcast industries have a lot to learn. The move towards using more IP is, however, gaining momentum. But what exactly are the benefits of using software and hardware agnostic platforms? Simply put, they enable broadcasters to simplify operations, better manage services and ensure the highest levels of performance across the workflow.
Using agnostic platforms allow organisations to still buy best-of-breed hardware and software but leverage the benefits of a multi-vendor environment and not be dependent on one technology, vendor or proprietary solution.
A further benefit is that service orchestration — the ability to create, delete and update services at an abstraction layer using highly sophisticated automation and a simplified user interface — has not only become the industry norm but can be accomplished efficiently and effectively. There are, however, challenges when it comes to service orchestration. These typically include concerns around security, scalability and the use of orchestration in a cloud-based environment. With the right service provider and, indeed, the right technology, the limitations and challenges can be overcome.
The opportunities that this successful service orchestration delivers — paving the way for network orchestration and file orchestration, combining scalability with multi-tenant and multi-container deployment on an as-needed-basis — are especially relevant given the fact that many organisations are looking to move their infrastructure from private cloud to public cloud.
Ultimately, broadcast organisations want their service orchestration platforms to be the natural progression of their network management software. They’re looking for a solution that will be easy to deploy and maintain, speed up time to market for global services, and will enable them to react quickly to changes in the market.