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Pebble Beach’s Orca Virtualised Playout Demonstrates Business Continuity via Public Cloud at IBC

At IBC 2018, Pebble Beach Systems will showcase its Orca virtualised playout solution in a full cloud-based business continuity application. One channel will run locally on the Pebble Beach stand, and the backup channel will run in the AWS public cloud.

Disaster Recovery has been a driver in virtualised playout, especially for disaster recovery. However, the solutions often were a subset operation compared to the main facility, offering limited functionality and running evergreen generic material. A business continuity system like the one Pebble Beach demonstrated at IBC ensures there is absolutely no difference between the main and the virtualized DR systems. System operators have access to the exact same interface, features and devices, using what is effectively a software playout layer. Most importantly, such a solution means 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, are 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. It runs under the control of Marina automation software and, deployed in a virtual machine (VM). Channels can be quickly launched and integrated into a running Marina automation, 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.

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,” said Stuart Wood, technical product specialist at Pebble.

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 NDI technology delivers a confidence preview of each system to the Lighthouse UI without the delays incurred by having to manage uncompressed

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