Discovery Communications moves playout, master control to the cloud with Evertz IP gear

Evertz has inked a partnership with Discovery Communications for the migration of its linear playout and core master control functions to the public cloud. This partnership utilises a suite of completely software- and IP-based products from Evertz that have been specifically designed for use in virtualised environments. The solution enables Discovery to host and operate all core services required for a linear playout channel in the public cloud. This ‘first-of-its-kind’ deployment will provide a framework for other media companies in the future.

“Discovery’s business is more dynamic than ever. In order to distribute content on every screen and launch new and innovative products, the ability to scale our technical operation is critical.  A little over a year ago we decided to reimagine what infrastructure could look like by moving to a software and public cloud environment. We had to identify partners that would embrace this new approach to media infrastructure” says John Honeycutt, Chief Technology Officer at Discovery. “The Evertz solution aligns with our vision of the future, and will enable us to increase operational efficiency, agility and scalability.”

“By adopting new virtualisation and IP technologies, media companies have several degrees of technological and operational freedom that have never before been available. The movement towards a cloud-based architecture gives Discovery increased agility and adaptability while allowing them to manage both capital and operating costs,” says Dan Turow, Vice President of File Based Solutions at Evertz. “This pioneering system will utilize the public cloud at massive scale and support the ability to rapidly deploy new channels.”

As part of this partnership, Discovery will deploy Evertz’ Mediator-X Media Asset Management (MAM) and automation solution in addition to its OvertureRT-LIVE-VM virtualized channel playout engine. Mediator-X’s advanced workflow engine optimizes the preparation and distribution of content for both linear and non-linear playout applications. Mediator-X helps manage the complexity of multi-channel playout operations but also incorporates advanced infrastructure management features that control the dynamic spin up/down of virtualized services. OvertureRT-LIVE-VM operates in a virtualized cloud environment providing a comprehensive linear playout engine with traditional master control functionality, advanced branding capabilities and support for live events.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides the cloud infrastructure on which Mediator-X and OvertureRT-LIVE-VM operate. AWS offers a scalable and geo-diverse pool of EC2 compute instances as well as S3/Glacier cloud storage. By utilizing Mediator-X along with Evertz’ MAGNUM SDVN and VistaLINK PRO software, Discovery operations staff will have control capabilities for both on-premise and cloud-based services.  System control and routing is achieved using MAGNUM SDVN.  VistaLINK PRO provides network management and monitoring for the system.

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