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Lawo HOME: Within another galaxy

Posted on Jul 14, 2021 by FEED Staff

Lawo HOME platform makes it easy to manage cloud deployments from anywhere in the universe

According to Wikipedia, galaxies are “gravitationally bound systems of stars, stellar remanats, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter”.

Not a bad analogy for the diverse and dispersed elements that braodcast, media and corporate installation pros are grappling with. But what’s lacking is that gravitational force to bind them into a coherent orbit.

Accessing resources far, far away and implementing distributed workflows makes sense in those hectic production scenarios where time and availability are of the essence, but putting ‘everything in the cloud’ still seems a bit ambitious. First, because it comes at an unpredictable cost. Live productions and editing, for instance, rely on pushing terabytes of data back and forth, all while somebody’s meter is running.

In the stratosphere

The benefits of IP – flexibility, scalability and signal-agnostic design – are well established today and have more than proven their worth during the pandemic.

But while IP might make the impossible suddenly possible, implementing it still takes time. Most of what the cloud will be able to deliver in the medium term is as yet unclear. Most operators and their line managers are not exactly willing to trade one finite set of bearable complexities for a bunch of unpleasant impoderables.

Decentralised resources are already turned into pools that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, with a second data centre standing by for redundancy purposes. And software defined hardware essentially performs any task you throw at it.

The very essence of a cloud-based approach is that you can access virtual audio and video processing services provided by pools of computing resource. This includes the ability to spin up or spin down, processing functionality to precisely meet the needs of your current production.

Wouldn’t it be great to reach a state of light-speed configuration and access to the required resources, regardless of where they were?

There is no place like…

With HOME, Lawo is launching a platdorm designed to make managing cloud-based deployments smooth and effective, whether hosted locally, remotely or even at third-party data centres.

HOME’s management platform is designed as a collection of microservices, making the system scalable and easy to develop as cloud operations evolve over time. One important design principle is using open standards and established protocols wherever possible, ensuring future-proof integration and compatibility with all facilities’ systems.

A simple, user-friendly UI lets users organise HOME’s different processing services, control access to them, and configure software-defined network infrastructure for video and audio applications. You can administer your media network, manage security and, crucially, access a sophisticated orchestration service, either through a stream-patching web UI, or by connecting to a third-party control system through a north-bound API.

Think of it as a hub for housing all the tasks and controls you need to run your cloud-based operation in a near-plug and-play fashion.

 

HOME's management platform is designed as a collection of microservices, making the system scalable and easy to develop

Best of all worlds

So, what features do operators of globe-spanning productions actually need? The ones we talked to asked for:

• easy access to services
• automated device discovery and registration
• quarantining and managed admission of unknown resources
• easy network control (SDN) and orchestration
• agility and scalability
• watertight network security, protecting operations from hackers and content pirates.

As productions grow bigger and deployment requirements in live scenarios supernova, getting a handle on these concerns is key. This is where HOME shines.

Voyage of discovery

Whether you work with on-site and/ or remote data hubs, distributed data centres, or a mix of private and public cloud-based resources, HOME always finds a route to the resources you need for the job at hand.

HOME automatically discovers and registers any Lawo solution you connect to the network, while third-party devices are welcomed at the gate and can easily be invited in. In the case of Lawo’s mc² console, all sources and destinations show up immediately when connected.

This quarantine state is only one of HOME’s security features and can be switched on or off at the press of a software button. In addition, admittance can be restricted only to those areas of the system a particular device needs to access.

Forget long-winded assignments of IP addresses and domains, and time-consuming configuration sessions: HOME provides automatic discovery and mindful registration as standard.

Lawo archives

This article first featured in the Summer 2021 issue of FEED magazine.

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