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NEWS MANAGE & MONITOR ANALYSIS Cloud-based playout generates a lot of columns inches these days. But it’s still a topic that divides the market. Some vendors claim to have cloud-ready offerings while others (whisper it) are simply offering a re-packaged hybrid. And that brings you to the thorny issue of what exactly defines ‘the cloud’. The wider it’s definition, of course, the more irrelevant it becomes as a term. Irrespective, the move to cloud-based channel playout is supposed to offer cost savings, increase agility and speed up time-to-market. That’s if you believe what you read in the brochure. As of October 2016, however, there is still a strong argument that this is not yet the case. In an article written ahead of IBC, Richard Cranefield, the strategic product manager for playout at Ericsson, argued that the benefits of cloud are not yet achievable for regular channels. SHARED STORAGE Editshare used IBC to show new versions of its Flow Media Asset Management system and its EFS XStream Shared Storage platform. Version of Flow has automated batch import of sidecar metadata and server-to-server file transfers, a new fast-turnaround editing application called Flow Story and it now integrates with Amazon S3, Aspera, Interra Baton and Vidcheck. Flow Story offers proxy editing and roundtrip workflow support with professional editing features and functions from Lightworks. The updated EFS XStream enables users to mix-and-match high performance SSD, performance-optimised HDD and cheaper HDD nodes in any combination. EditShare was also successful at the IBC 2016 Innovation Awards, winning in the Content Management category for its collaboration with MoovIT Production Services on Endemol Shine Germany’s reality TV show Wild Island. MoovIT used the EditShare XStream shared storage and Flow media asset management systems including AirFlow, the private cloud-based module, as the framework for its workflow as it managed footage across numerous remote locations in extreme conditions. He wrote: “I’m not yet convinced that, for a channel that is constantly on air, ‘cloud’ brings any major cost benefit over its lifetime. However, this technological evolution is certainly a catalyst for some other benefits to be realised, although none of them can be gained through technical transformation alone.” He goes on to say that if the virtualisation of technology only focuses on the tools then by moving to the cloud all you are doing is changing the material your tools are made of. As such, there is no fundamental change to the business: the people are the same and the processes that surround them are the same. As such, there is no significant reduction in the cost of day- to-day operations. This is an interesting insight and one that the manufacturers and developers might not tell you. The jury is still very much out on this one. 32 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 118 OCTOBER 2016 ASSET MANAGEMENT Kodak has chosen Ortana’s Cubix asset management and orchestration platform as the basis for its new Kodak Media Asset Management Solutions service. Showcased at IBC, the service is for film handling, processing and digitisation and offers a package of options including scanning, distribution and long term digital archiving. The Cubix platform, which is said to be capable of handling all workflows from inception right through to billing, includes an asset management layer that supports a wide range of needs including the ability to configure content hierarchies and editorial schemas. Ortana has also introduced Click2, a transactional pay-as-you-go file management platform that includes modules for quality control, encoding and archive.