Attendees Learn How to Benefit From the Cloud

Cloud-based technologies are truly taking shape as useful, reliable alternatives to “on-premises” hardware-dependent implementation. The cloud is now viewed with less speculation and more interest than ever before.

The 2015 NAB Show brought cloud solutions for media and entertainment from the infancy stage into maturing adolescence as evidenced by manufacturers and providers who demonstrated cloud applications ranging from simple cloud storage to software-asa- service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). By the year’s end, many were already using or seriously considering cloud-based services as part of routine workflows.

Organizations initially began utilizing cloud services for “overflow” or “bursting” support. Now many use cloud-technologies for their everyday media management solutions and activities. Those trends continue as second sourcing and innovation also expand.

Attendees to the 2016 NAB Show can expect even broader-use perspectives as the industry moves more toward the cloud. This year’s NAB Show offers opportunities for current users and interested organizations to see just how the industry is approaching cloud-based services in new and extended dimensions.

Cloud technologies are addressed in not less than 49 sessions throughout the week and within several conferences including the Cloud Innovation Conference, which has 12 dedicated sessions taking place today and tomorrow.

With cloud services rapidly maturing, modest confusion still remains as to what “cloud services” really mean and how organizations can benefit from the cloud. Unofficially, cloud computing is fundamentally the use of “someone else’s computer” for providing services that you might have previously run “on-prem” in your own data center.

The official cloud definition comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST states that “cloud computing … is a model for enabling convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

The keywords “rapidly” and “with minimal management effort” is why this enabling technology grows in popularity, whether provisioned as a private cloud, a public cloud or a hybrid approach of both private-and-public cloud.

The Cloud Innovation Conference opens this morning with “Cloud Leadership,” hosted by Erik Weaver, manager of Project Cloud for the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC-University of Southern California). Weaver introduces the two session days whose topics will focus on cloud-based practices that are reliable, secure and economically viable.

The opening is followed by a keynote presented by Eric Brewer, vice president of infrastructure for Google. Brewer leads Google’s compute infrastructure design, which focuses on all aspects of Internet-based systems including cloud computing, scalability, containers and storage.

The session “Leadership for Key Players in the Industry” will be led by Media Systems Consulting’s founder Al Kovalick. Panelists will include representatives from each phase of the content chain who will provide overviews of current cloud technologies in use in the media and entertainment industry.

A key session in Post|Production World is “The Impact of the Cloud on Media Production,” which provides insight into how the cloud is changing the world of post and production for media and entertainment.

With the continual expansion of content needing to be delivered to myriad devices, cloud services are coming to the aid of content producers and distributors by providing less complexity, faster deployment, comprehensive and secure storage and operational excellence, which then provide governance to the end-to-end production value chain.

Cloudification leverages service-oriented architectures (SOA), that are scalable and provisional for on-demand needs that enable a fully IT-based converged infrastructure.

The Cloud Innovation Conference continues this afternoon with sessions involving how cloud-based workflows are evolving and how Hollywood sees the cloud supporting its workflows in an ever-changing world, and Variety’s David Cohen sits down for a conversation with Avid President and CEO Louis Hernandez.

Without a doubt, the cloud trend is expanding — offering new opportunities to produce and deliver content without the typically exorbitant start-up costs and time-lags associated with turning up services that may or may not prove to be profitable.

The cloud further promotes efficiencies by allowing content developers to focus on the product instead of the method. Cloud services let users extend technology dimensions without causing undo financial impacts as applications change.

Wednesday’s Cloud Innovation Conference includes the morning session “VFX & Rendering in the Cloud” and concludes with an exploration of the transition from local to cloud infrastructure.

Broadcast Engineering Conference sessions on Wednesday look at other trends including cloud security, live transcoding and “Streaming-as-a-Service” and “Hybrid Solutions for Cloud-DVR” converging legacy systems and OTT platforms. Presentations on infrastructure and delivery using the cloud continue into Thursday with sessions on using the cloud to help in the “Challenges of the IP-transition” and a look at “Which Live Video Streaming Infrastructure Fits You Best,” comparing cloud to on-prem solutions.

As new technologies are embraced, trying to figure out how to adapt to the power and flexibility available in the cloud now makes better sense. Sessions in NAB Show’s conferences let you see how industry pioneers and experts are utilizing these capabilities as the future evolves into the cloud.