In Broadcast - January 2018 - 51

51 | Vol: 8 - Issue 1 | January 2018


Media Monitoring And
Orchestration For All-IP
Skyline examines the main challenges and solutions on the
way to an ALL-IP uncompressed video infrastructure...


edia over IP enables companies
to leverage new technologies
and redefine operational practices.
COTS hardware that supports multiformat media can be implemented and
both the network and the applications
can be virtualised.
The next logical step is to deploy
those media solutions in the Cloud.
However, the faster technology
evolves, the more flexibly media
companies will have to act and
adapt their operational procedures -
orchestrating resources and services
dynamically are key to making the
transition successful.
SMPTE 2022-6 has been out there
for a while and the SMPTE 2110 set
of standards have been published
recently. Data plane interoperability
has already been adopted well in
the media industry. However, when
it comes to the orchestration part,
a lot of work remains to be done.
The industry has yet to adjust to
NMOS IS-04, to discover and register
compliant streams, and the other
NMOS standards (IS-05 and IS-06) for
connection management and network
control to reserve and secure services
are not yet finished.
Linear media flows in network
technologies and topologies do not
always behave as they should. Frame
drops, packet delay variation, bursts,
latency and jitter have to be measured
carefully, and new tools are required
to identify signals and their behaviour
within multicast streams.
Content and network security is
another topic that has to be addressed
in an ALL-IP world. Fine-grained
mechanisms as well as IT cyber
security guidelines are crucial to
achieve a high level of protection for
high-value media content.
A Solution
media over IP MCR operation and
live productions is the solution.
Media flows and services need
to be orchestrated end to end in

Global reach: Skyline Communications' Dataminer

maximum agility, it must be aware
of all resources, their capabilities,
availability and constraints. To
orchestrate a modern media over IP
environment, capacity needs to be
managed in both blocking and nonblocking network topologies to avoid
any oversubscription of the available
network bandwidth. Security and
access control mechanisms need
to be implemented together with
management of resource pools.
In a typical MCR operation, most
feeds and resources can be booked
ahead of time and neither are time
critical nor have to be frame accurate.
Such a scheduled operation leaves
enough time for an orchestrator
Capacity and resource availability are
guaranteed at any given point in time.
An orchestrator manages all resources
directly, and additional third-party
SDN controllers are not involved.
However, for live productions
today, the requirements are different.
Most uncompressed video-over-IP
implementations are based on a nonblocking infrastructure. This relies on
the fact that typical vendor-specific
broadcast controllers for ALL-IP do
not handle capacity and the underlying
This leads to a massive bandwidth
underutilisation and overprovisioning
of the overall network infrastructure
for most of the daily situations in live
production. At the same time, the
need for fast switching with constant
execution times is contradictory to a
blocking network environment. It is

nevertheless possible to bring these
needs together.
While a real-time controller sends
commands to physical or logical
devices with no guarantee that the
actions can and will happen, an
orchestrator is deterministic in that
it guarantees capacity and resource
availability. An orchestrator also
books and guarantees capacity ahead
of time and manages the full stack
of applications and all underlying
network elements and physical layers.
uncompressed video over IP, both
SDN controllers and orchestrators
need to be combined in a meaningful
way, especially in a blocking network
Overarching Orchestrator
The overarching NMS orchestrator
acts as a master and forwards only
those sources and destinations that
are required for a specific scenario
to one or more underlying real-time
SDN controllers. It calculates a worstcase scenario by taking all possible
connections into account with their
bandwidth requirements. After that,
this SDN controller can execute
switch commands for uncompressed
multicast flows as quickly as possible
and deliver a constant execution
time in that predefined non-blocking
environment, without having to check
capacity or other constraints. In case
additional sources or destinations
are required for a scenario, the SDN
controller can ask the orchestrator
for the additional resource and
bandwidth, or the signal switch can be

executed directly on the orchestrator.
This actually creates a non-blocking
island in an overall blocking network
infrastructure and ensures that
multiple SDN controllers can be
combined into a single ecosystem.
For a successful operation in ALL-IP,
it is also essential to identify the video
and audio signals in a media network
for monitoring purposes. A multi-layer
approach is required to visualise those
streams from source to destination.
Flow management (NetFlow SFlow)
to detect streams in combination with
edge device information and routing
tables from the switch fabric must be
united in a single solution and user
interface that can provide an easy
overview of flows and that allows
operators to investigate the root cause
of potential stream issues.
On top of this, both content and
network security need to be kept in
mind as well. An umbrella orchestrator
with built-in workflow automation
is the foundation for fine-grained
mechanisms towards the media over
IP network, both on operator and
on device level. New devices can be
automatically detected and configured
with a baseline setup before they are
added to the production network.
The use of ACL lists, secure VLANs for
device provisioning and other SDN
network access control protection
turning off SFPs when they are not
in use, significantly help to adapt to
standard IT cyber security guidelines.
Last but not least, for true 360°
visibility and management of a media
facility, the operations and business
layer must be taken into account as
well. An uncompressed video network
does not stand on its own any longer.
To allow end-to-end orchestration,
it needs to be integrated with ingest
and playout, media asset management
systems, job management, and
ticketing and billing platforms.
More than ever, a single consolidated
fully independent and agile NMS/
OSS platform is a strategic key to
successfully make the transition
to media over IP in the broadcast
industry. It is an effective response to
all key challenges any broadcast and
media operation is facing.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - January 2018