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Globecast cloud blog 2024 with Chris Pulis


By Chris Pulis, CTO, Globecast Americas

The cloud is clearly a central topic of conversation across the industry with its use constantly evolving and expanding. Here we speak with Chris Pulis, our US CTO, to assess what the reality of cloud use is, the advantages it brings and what the future holds.

From a wide industry perspective, where are we at with the cloud?

The cloud is being adopted at an increasing pace. I think everybody realizes we've reached the point that to remain relevant and to survive in the media business in the coming years, moving to the cloud is a necessity. I think the bigger companies have simply been able to educate and explore, and do all the things necessary to become comfortable, before some smaller players have been able to. But that's also changing and changing fast.

Cloud technologies have reached an inflection point in terms of maturity now, driving a high level of confidence across operations, resilience, and even backward compatibility. Advancements continue in high-visibility areas like latency and latency management, which are always issues customers are concerned about. At Globecast we're well ahead of the industry's adoption curve and we've been servicing significant media brands via our cloud deployments for several years now. These include major networks like Hallmark Media in the US, Euronews in Europe and we service beIN Sports in Asia.

We've achieved a significant level of success satisfying our customers with our designs, operations, security and ongoing support. We have established best practices based on years of experience in the cloud solution space and even our cloud providers seek our advice based on our high standards and experience.

How much does knowledge about/desire to move to cloud use vary across the world in your experience?

In terms of the broadcast market's desire to move to the cloud, we see this as a fairly steep upward trend now. Even those customers that say they aren't ready yet, it's still a priority for them to understand the possibilities and many come to Globecast for our guidance on how to prepare. We are the ones the market is leaning on to enable this transformational change.

There are still some who may not be clear on the significant security advantages, sustainability and green technologies cloud takes advantage of and how moving to the cloud enables a much lower cost to scale and grow services once their services are in operation. But we're happy to be a resource for understanding that value, consulting with customers and potential customers so they understand the full range of options.

The cycle of change in the business is continuing to accelerate in response to the high demand and changes driven by consumers. We are here to help all our customers to respond proactively to enable those new technologies and touchpoints for their customers.

We've long since moved from the cloud as a shared resource data centre to cloud playout and now beyond. How would you define the current state of play in terms of cloud service possibilities?

This has quickly shifted from the cloud being the location that replaced your on-prem data center, or central machine room in general terms, to being a fully integrated service engine; an elastic technology envelope that essentially has infinite capacity. Cloud has replaced the architecture paradigms of the last 20 years where you would deploy monolithic infrastructures and hub and spoke architectures that took a lot of effort to maintain and scale. Now we are essentially operating in a network environment where physical boundaries don't exist and we can be much more focused on creating innovative solutions often simply by deploying code. It's like being confined to building only in two dimensions and now we actually have four dimensions, the fourth being the small amount of time it takes to enable changes or additions to services like dynamic scaling by simply applying code.

Clearly the cloud is a core component - perhaps THE core component - of Globecast's onwards service proposition. Would you agree with that and how would you define its use going forwards?

Yes. Cloud is a core component for Globecast. It's taking the place of antennas as the cornerstone of our service operations. In terms of use definition today and on the horizon, we see the continued aggressive expansion with our primary providers as part of our multi-cloud strategy since cloud is also the interface with content consumers.

We are equally comfortable operating in a customer's cloud of choice, which is important. Multi-region deployments are also significant for us since we have many large customers who want to continue to increase the resilience and reach of their services. With so much of the delivery and consumption being streaming, content owners recognize they have to be everywhere in terms of consumer access and they want to ensure they are always available to their growing customer base.

At IBC 2023, Globecast highlighted its cloud consultancy and managed services - are these becoming a reality or still some way down the line?

Our cloud consultancy and managed services are here and making an impact on the market and our customers. This had been well underway when we highlighted it at IBC and I'm happy to report we have a lot of engagement in this area and, in a few cases, with truly transformational new customers that would amaze you if I named them all.

Globecast is the premiere integration and managed service provider in broadcasting and the reason for our successes is our early and lasting experience in TV headends, streaming, OTT platform management, REMI, cloud playout and more.

What we are talking about is the outsourcing of technical operations by customers, supported by third-party SAAS technologies hosted by Globecast,
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