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Every cloud has a purple lining by David Atkins C loud computing has been around a long time. I seem to remember right back in the 1980s the phrase distributed processing describing one, if not the first, evolutionary step towards the concept of the Cloud. I am not sure when it acquired the nomenclature Cloud but most people in IT have been aware of it probably for a decade or more. It seems that only recently has the idea caught on in a big way in media and broadcast. According to a reputable article Cloud computing is defined as virtualisation plus storage, software and infrastructure as services. The Virtualisation bit means that the user doesn’t actually know the physical location of any of the data or where it is processed. The user observes a virtual representation of a file structure at best. The system deals with moving the data around, processing and making it available to the user as necessary. For some, storage as a service is a good business model, not just because it makes economic sense but because it gives them the flexibility to expand and contract the amount of storage required by the business and therefore enhances their 54 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE responsiveness to the market. For storing full resolution content by the PetaByte it does not necessarily provide the best model. A combination of self-owned storage and cloud storage can present the best model for content where only browse or low- resolution copies are held in the cloud. ‘‘ There’s no reason not to build your own cloud or hop on to someone else’s” Software as a service is gaining ground with several providers gaining market share. However none have yet truly addressed the issues associated with streaming video reliably to the desktop over a public network. Security of content is a significant problem and truly agnostic web streaming engines have not yet made it to market but are probably on their way. Infrastructure advances continue apace making it relatively commonplace to have bandwidth in the region of 4 to 10 Mbs more than enough to make cloud computing a viable option. It is all these things that make Suitcase TV a good place to go for people considering cloud-based media solutions. We began with the concept of virtualised storage systems eight years ago when we first designed MediaStor both a storage device and a virtualised file system. MediaStor has the ability to be both inside a private and secure broadcast LAN and part of the Cloud using MediaStor edge- servers. Automated processing and workflow tools enable remote users to manage the high-res content by working with streaming browse from the MediaStor browse server without ever caching a copy of the content locally thereby addressing a major security issue with your high value assets. Web-enabled editing and other functionality is available at the desktop using the Aqua suite of products or, alternatively, integrated with professional editing suites, such as Avid, using AquaDuct. These days there’s no reason not to build your own cloud or hop on to someone else’s with Suitcase TV.