The first time the term “cloud computing” is used in writing is more than twenty years ago, in a Compaq PowerPoint where it already indicated that the “Internet Cloud” would have a substantial impact on its customers with Compaq servers that, at that time, were in the process of implementation in companies.
Initially, the cloud was seen as a repository to take and leave content, to share files, but today thanks to Machine Learning and artificial intelligence, its use carries more weight and becomes a very important factor to take into consideration in the flow for working a television
But what is the Cloud?
The Cloud is a solution that offers resources and IT infrastructure (such as servers and storage) from a more or less distant site that is usually accessed via the Internet or a private network.
It is possible today of having a 100% IP television, although migrating that 100% to the cloud is still a utopia and there are still a few years until that reality is possible.
The main advantages of cloud computing are:
- Easier and faster integration with third parties.
- Services worldwide that allow, for example, the preservation of contents against disasters, Disaster Recovery systems with rehabilitation in short times.
- Simplicity and ease for the company, everything related to the infrastructure is done by the Cloud service provider.
- Faster implementation of services and minimization of risks in deployments, the initial investment in hw is reduced and is actually paid for the required use.
- Automatic updates are performed safely by the service provider.
- Efficient use of energy that significantly reduces waste.
Mainly trust, reliability, access, security, and availability are the factors that are perceived as a disadvantage.
- Availability depends entirely on internet access and speed.
- Cost of the internet network. A much wider bandwidth is required than with on-premise solutions where everything is intranet.
- Total dependence on the service provider, a marriage that does not admit a smooth and simple divorce.
- Reliability and quality of service. Everything is left to a third party who must be trusted almost blindly.
- Fear of monopoly and future costs of cloud computing providers.
- Security, the information and material of the company travels through different points, each with a vulnerability that must be taken and treated very seriously.
- If the company does not have a sufficiently powerful long-term scalability plan, each time more companies are included can lead to a degradation of the service provided.
It is a shared worldwide Cloud. The service is supplied by a third party that is the provider, and it is offered and managed through the Internet.
Google, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service, are public clouds.
Hardware, software, and infrastructure components are owned by the supplier that manages them and offers them as a service.
The client normally manages the services through a web client, if the solution is complex and specific to Broadcast, there may be an integrator that is in charge of the whole service, being totally transparent to the final client.
The cloud services that can be used today in Broadcast environments are for example; Shared storage, whether it is for production or archiving, media transcoding solutions, broadcast and Play Out systems, both linear and non-linear, iA solutions, etc.
In addition to Broadcast specific ones, business solutions common to other sectors such as web email, online Office applications, development environments, and testing.
Advantages of public clouds:
- Lower investment in Hw and Sw. Pay per use.
- No need for administration, support, and maintenance
- Scalability, access to resources on-demand to meet business needs.
- Trust, a good SLA (Service Level Agreement) that gives reliability thanks to the network of servers that minimizes any type of problem..
A private cloud is made up of computer resources exclusive to an organization. It can be physically located in the local CPD of the company (on-premise) or located in an external provider.
The hardware, services, and infrastructure are always on a private network, and the hardware and software are used exclusively. The private cloud can simplify resources and investments in infrastructure and are focused on companies that require total security as they are private environments. Financial companies, banks, etc. are the type of organizations that use this type of Cloud.
Advantages of private clouds:
- Total control and greater flexibility, the cloud environment is tailored to meet specific needs.
- Increased security, resources are not shared with third parties, so there is a higher level of control and security.
Hybrid clouds combine local infrastructure (or private clouds) with public clouds, benefiting from the best of each.
In a hybrid cloud, data and processes can move between private and public clouds for greater flexibility.
For example, the public cloud can be used for a video file that is older than 1 year and a private cloud for an online video file with direct content access for less than 1 year.
Another form of use in audiovisual environments is to have a percentage of what is considered “Core” on-premise and the rest of hardware and software that is not considered “minimum need” in a public cloud, this allows to grow and decrease depending on the need.
A continuity PlayOut, for example, can have channels in private cloud on-premise and other channels in a public cloud.
Advantages of hybrid clouds:
- Control, sometimes it is necessary to maintain a private infrastructure that is considered basic or Core functionality, such as the emission of a linear channel.
- Flexibility, take advantage of the malleability of the resources of a public cloud which can be increased and decreased as needed.
- Profitability, if it is required to be scalable, to be able to use the public cloud allows much more control over investment costs.
- Convenience, making private to public cloud migrations is simple and allows the workloads of the computer systems of an audiovisual company to be distributed as necessary.
Asier Anitua Valluerca
Gerente Desarrollo de Negocio
Telefónica Servicios Audiovisuales