NAB 2019

NAB 2019: Telestream To Unveil OptiQ Channel-as-a-Service System and Vantage Cloud Port

The former speeds channel creation; the latter is a hybrid cloud solution

Telestream (Booth SL3308) has laid out plans for one of its most significant NAB Show product-release cycles in recent memory, announcing plans to unveil OptiQ cloud-based channel-creation system and Vantage Cloud Port hybrid cloud solution based on its popular Vantage media-processing platform.

Previewed at IBC 2018 under the code name “Orchid,” the ambitious OptiQ is a SaaS one-click channel-creation solution that allows organizations to leverage public and private cloud, as well as on-premises virtualized infrastructures. The new product marks one of the first major product developments to come out of Telestream’s acquisition of IneoQuest in March 2017.

NAB 2019 will also mark the first public showing of Telestream’s Vantage Cloud Port, a new approach to media-processing workflows that can leverage infrastructure in the cloud, on-premises, or both. Available in April, Vantage Cloud Port is built on Telestream’s Vantage media-processing platform and can seamlessly create hybrid cloud-based deployments with predictable SaaS pricing.

OptiQ: Telestream Targets Virtualized Channel Creation, Including Live Sports
According to Telestream, OptiQ transforms the new channel-creation task from a process taking weeks or even months into one taking just minutes to complete. Once created, these new video channels feature integrated monitoring throughout and the ability to switch between multiple sources (live or file-based). OptiQ offers enhanced operations dashboards and end-to-end analytics integration.

“This really brings together a whole suite of technologies and capabilities across the entire Telestream portfolio,” Stuart Newton, VP, strategy, Corporate Development Group, Telestream. “Think of it as a one-click channel creation framework that allows people to instantly create new channels based on configurations they set up in whatever cloud environment they want to use. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge move towards event-based activity in the video space. Our customers want more flexibility to be able to create video content and get it out there in shorter periods of time. People also want to leverage the cloud. All this is coming together here with OptiQ.”

The subscription-based “pay-as-you-go” business model offers the flexibility to accommodate unforeseen fluctuations in demand while aligning such costs to revenues. As a result, users do not need to pre-spend to ensure that they meet such demand.

OptiQ targets a number of applications, including live sports coverage, that require short-term pop-up channels — often on short notice. The platform facilitates new revenue streams for content providers looking to accelerate new channels’ time to market and for broadcasters and service providers by enabling short-term channels/events or additional content — highlight reels, player bios, event histories — alongside premium content. Telestream believes that, currently, service providers and content aggregators are turning business away because they aren’t able to create channels quickly for short-term applications, such as coverage of lower-tier and niche sports events.

According Telestream’s customer research, organizations are looking for “dynamic innovation,” in which they can rapidly start up new projects, quickly scale up if necessary, and shut down if not. Also, when they find themselves at capacity with on-premises facilities because of multiple major events, content providers often have to leave valuable additional content on the shelf due to lack of streaming infrastructure.

OptiQ: How It Works and How It Adds Agility
OptiQ uses containers and multiple orchestration systems that are prioritized based on industry dynamics and customer feedback. The containers are modular Linux-based “elements” (encoders, packagers, origin servers, monitoring probes), which can be instantiated in a cloud environment by an orchestration system, then stitched together and configured automatically to make a real-time-monitored live-streaming channel.

A new Telestream Channel Orchestrator will enable channel design, manage the orchestration process, connect and configure the elements, and handle redundancy and self-healing capabilities.

OptiQ provides a migration path to hybrid cloud/on-premises capabilities for content providers that do not have the skill set to embrace the cloud. Some content providers want to be able to choose which cloud provider to use: they do not want to be tied to a single provider or want to migrate away from or de-risk their current provider but simply do not have the choice. The intention is that OptiQ will support most major cloud providers, in addition to on-premises data centers at a later stage.

OptiQ enables integration of the latest encoding/packaging capabilities vs. legacy on-premises architectures. Video-streaming technology is constantly evolving, and leveraging the cloud for streaming enables content providers to access the latest capabilities available.

OptiQ also enables a hybrid migration strategy for the most cost-effective use of resources: 4K HDR needs plenty of CPU/GPU/ASIC resources, and OptiQ will allow content providers to offload SD/HD capabilities to the cloud while leveraging valuable accelerated hardware on premises for CPU-intensive video streaming.

Maintenance offload and additional capacity during peak loads are also offered by OptiQ, along with trials of new channels and allowing people to build confidence in cloud migration.

“In moving to a dynamic software architecture where capabilities can be instantiated on demand, Telestream can enable significant new possibilities for self-healing/self-optimizing/self-scaling (‘self-X’) capabilities,” explains Newton. “A critical piece of this is a real-time feedback loop, where Telestream iQ solutions form a key differentiator. By combining dynamic orchestration with real-time diagnostics, we start paving the way for true self-X capabilities around video streaming.”

Vantage Cloud Port: Combining Power of Vantage with Simplicity of SaaS
Vantage Cloud Port is Telestream’s answer to customers’ request that the popular Vantage media-processing platform integrate with the cloud while also serving existing on-premises workflows. Every workflow is unique, and organizations require a media-processing solution that can intelligently adapt and scale on demand. The cloud is not always the best choice for processing media, and neither is on-premises. Frequently, a hybrid approach is required since efficiencies and cost savings can come only from processing media where it resides, minimizing ingress and egress.

“We have had a lot of conversations with our customers who are increasingly looking at the various parts of the media supply chain and trying to figure out how to make them cloud resident, scale these things on demand, and provision resources to meet the changing capacity requirements over time,” says Ken Haren, marketing director, Telestream.

Allowing seamless cloud execution of Vantage processing actions, Vantage Cloud Port uses containerized micro-services with engines identical to on-premises services. These modular, orchestrated building blocks can optimize both brownfield and greenfield deployments. Any existing or new Vantage installation can seamlessly transfer specific processes to/from the cloud provider of choice.

Existing Vantage users gain access to cloud-capable actions even if those actions are unlicensed in their on-premises Vantage system. Most significant, Vantage logic is configured to decide whether processing is to be done on-premises or in the cloud depending on media location and/or domain utilization.

“There is a huge install base on-prem and we are not walking away from that. In many cases that is the right deployment model for our customers, but there is also a huge push to better leverage the cloud,” says Haren. “This is our answer to the question of “how do I take the existing huge-volume capacity and very sophisticated workflow capability I have in Vantage and seamlessly adopt cloud where it’s beneficial for my organization?” In a nutshell, Vantage Cloud Port is a flexible hybrid media-processing workflow. It’s built on top of Vantage so all the functionally that you know and love in Vantage you now can seamlessly execute those workflows in the cloud or a multi-cloud environment.”

Vantage Cloud Port builds on Vantage, allowing customers to modify workflows at any time, without any workflow onboarding. Any existing user of Vantage can easily use Vantage Cloud Port to augment on-premises processing.

With 100%-opex predictable SaaS pricing, Vantage Cloud Port, running on Telestream Cloud, represents a simple, deterministic approach for billing based on output-content minute. A single-vendor, multi-cloud SaaS model means one bill to pay for execution, compute, and management. Compute resources are deployed in whichever cloud provider hosts the media. When a Vantage workflow is built, any actions set to “cloud mode” indicate a per-minute processing price, providing customers with a transparent à la carte pricing model.

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