Looking for efficient media workflow collaboration and sharing?

By Arthur Leach

Storage Technical Sales Consultant

Media Converged Platform

I’m seeing it time and time again  – customers who know that smart, targeted deployment of digital technology at all levels of the business is key to their survival, innovation and growth.   All of this new flexibility and collaboration however means that the IT organisations job just got more complex (again!).  Businesses are looking to adopt technologies that will augment existing infrastructure and workloads while supporting the requirements of Digital Transformation.

Many advertising agencies are under the umbrella of a parent company but have diverse applications and technologies making content exchange across the group difficult and inefficient. Each agency purchases its own production infrastructure resulting in the inability to take advantage of economies of scale. The answer would be to consolidate as much of the technology back to the parent company’s data centres as possible.

However, each agency tends to have a preference for which creative tools they wish to use. One may prefer Da Vinci Resolve as an editing tool, while others are avid fans of Adobe Premier Pro, or Avid Media composer, or Autodesk Smoke – the list goes on! The trick is to produce an architecture that supports and enables collaboration between applications as well as being modular and flexible so that resources can be called upon in a simple logical way.

I’d recommend a tiered solution that can be customised to the needs of each agency, archive up to creative application delivery over VDI, and is flexible enough not to lock an agency in to a fixed workflow that does not suit their business.

Fig1. Elements integrated into the Media Converged Platform.

The Object store in this stack provides archive gateway to public cloud and enables content to be shared securely between major hubs, even across continents. The process is automatic and is done in the background. This makes data easily available to organisations working multi-nationally and simultaneously, making the content safe. The object store is also multi-tenanted which allows administrators to set who has rights to access the data within the tenancy.

Compute and WIP storage can be allocated to a facility based on their requirements at a particular time. For example in the middle of a large project more storage maybe required for a short period but can be put back in to the pool once the requirement is no longer. On the compute side, extra virtual or bare metal devices can be allocated as required. For example, if a facility requires more rendering power, more compute power can be added from the central pool. The facility does not need to purchase hardware or maintain it, thereby cutting costs to the business.

Great benefits can be obtained by adopting VDI technology for editing, VFX and animation as all content then resides in the data centre hub.  Freelancers and full time employees can access the material they need from the office home or away on-site without copies having to be made to a local machine, which adds an extra security level for the data. This is achieved using NVidia K2 and above graphics cards in conjunction with MXFserver and only requires 7Mb/sec network connection.

With the Media Converged Platform we have a great centralised system which helps to reduce infrastructure spend with the ability to increase and decrease resources as required. It helps avoid duplication, management and maintenance costs and it’s flexible which allows individual agencies to centralise all or part of their production infrastructure. You can fully centralise using VDI and have some form of “thin client” on site, or keep editing in house and just call on central resources as required, or even just use the archiving. The Media Converged Platform can be configured to switch ever solution fit your business model best.

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