Local playout system fully synchronised with identical system running in the AWS public cloud delivers DR functionality without compromise

Weybridge, UK, September 10, 2018 – At IBC 2018 on stand 8.B68, Pebble Beach Systems, a leading automation, content management and integrated channel specialist, will be demonstrating its Orca virtualised playout solution in a full cloud-based Business Continuity application, with one channel running locally on the Pebble stand, and the backup channel running in the AWS public cloud.

Disaster Recovery has been a catalyst in the growing adoption of virtualised playout. However, this often means a cut down operation compared to the main facility, offering limited functionality and running evergreen generic material that buys time to get the proper schedule back on air. A business continuity system like the one Pebble will be demonstrating at IBC ensures there is absolutely no difference between the main and the virtualized DR systems: operators have access to the exact same interface, features and devices, using what is effectively a software playout layer. And most importantly, this means that viewers will not experience any difference in their programming should the need to switch between sites arise.

Changes to the main system playlists, including control actions, will be synced to an AWS-based Orca system, thereby removing the need for operators to manage the backup system separately. Automatic media and metadata synchronisation ensures that that playout can quickly switch between main and backup sites, and that media is always retrievable and ready to play in the event of a disaster.

Orca is a software-only all IP virtual implementation of the Pebble Beach Systems’ Dolphin integrated channel platform, running under the control of its flagship Marina automation software, deployed in a virtual machine (VM). Channels can be launched and integrated into a running Marina automation system very quickly, making it ideal for temporary and event-based services. While this solution is being demonstrated at IBC using AWS, the disaster recovery system can be deployed to anywhere compute power exists, including private data centres.

“Pebble will be demonstrating a full Business Continuity use case where the channel output and functionality remain the same, even in a disaster scenario. The Orca system running on a VM at IBC will be fully synchronised with an identical Orca system running in the AWS cloud. And centralised monitoring for both systems, via our Lighthouse web-based dashboard, displays low latency video previews and immediate alerts of errors, delivering peace of mind for continued operations if the worst should happen,” explains Stuart Wood, Technical Product Specialist at Pebble.

To mitigate against unreliable network connections, the system will utilise the SRT video transport protocol which enables the delivery of high-quality and secure, video across the public Internet. “With advances in IP technology such as SRT, customers now have the flexibility to select where they run their Disaster Recovery operation from, and the ability to switch between IP video streams much faster, compared to the traditional DR systems based on satellite distribution,” added Wood.

Both the main and backup systems, while totally separate, are monitored from a single centralised web-based dashboard using Pebble’s Lighthouse remote management and monitoring tools. This shows both playlists side by side, and lists any errors to provide actionable information on each system. Low latency monitoring using NDIÒ technology delivers a confidence preview of each system to the Lighthouse UI without the delays incurred by having to manage uncompressed video. 

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