In Broadcast - November 2021 - 62

62
www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 11 - Issue 11 | November 2021
InMedia
Kubernetes brings
broadcast to the next level
With
Leif Cipriani,
CTO, 2wcom.
Virtualization is just
the beginning
using
Virtualizing software, especially
containers,
makes
it much
easier to run the software on standard
server hardware instead of dedicated
broadcast devices. It
is a very good
exercise to build platform independent
software. It definitely was an exercise
for us at 2wcom when we migrated our
embedded software that was designed
for a 4-channel audio over IP codec
hardware (IP-4c).
But after that was achieved it
helped us to realize a project where
approximately 400 height
units
of
equipment could be reduced to just
6 rack spaces of servers - including
redundancy!
As we are diving deeper into the
virtual rabbit hole named Kubernetes,
it becomes clearer that virtualization
was just the beginning.
Why do broadcasters
need Kubernetes?
Kubernetes
is
an
2wcom's MoIN orchestration overview that hides Kubernetes complexity
can take
over
the
service
for
the
machine that is failing. Even though
this process might not be seamless,
it is self-healing because k8s tries to
maintain the same number of services
and containerized apps that you have
defined.
Together with a sophisticated
redundancy scheme the broadcaster
can achieve seamless switching and
zero downtime even while replacing
entire machines in the cluster.
Scalability
for
one
because
Let's say your CPU load requirements
of
your
you
want
apps
increases,
to transcode
open-source
platform to manage containers,
services, and workloads across
multiple physical machines. It is the
state-of-the-art platform to manage
containers and is used by Netflix,
Google, Spotify and many more.
But why do we need this in our
broadcast world? - Because it helps
a lot to fulfil some of our daily
requirements: reliability, scalability,
updates, and monitoring.
Kubernetes short form is k8s: leave
the 'k' and the 's' and replace the eight
letters in between with an '8'
Reliability
Kubernetes is self-healing! This is
a major advantage over traditional
systems where just backups and
redundancy are defined. Using k8s it
is possible to evade entire machines
in disaster scenarios. If for example
one of your servers is crashing or has
a disk pressure condition, the other
servers (also known as worker nodes)
an additional audio/video stream
for monitoring purposes. Without
Kubernetes, the operator will likely
have to install a new server and move
some of the app instances from each
running computer to this new server.
This frees up resources on all machines
enabling the additional monitoring
stream. Managing that process can be
a high workload and requires extensive
planning.
With Kubernetes this is as simple as
installing a new server and letting it
join the cluster with just one simple
command:
kubeadm join [api-server-endpoint]
After that the operator just needs
to push the new configuration and
its resource requirements into the
cluster (in Kubernetes called limits and
requests).
Updates
Everybody working in IT knows
that updates can be time consuming
and the reason for a lot of troubles.
Kubernetes really helps to deploy
software updates because it lets you
define strategies to do that. One
strategy could be to update 25% of
your containerized apps at the same
time and roll that update through
the cluster. This gives the user time
to react and roll-back the update in
problematic situations. Additionally,
the update can therefore
maintain
seamless redundancy with no manual
switching required. The maximum
" surge " that defines how many of your
app instances are updated at the same
time can be defined by an admin who
is deploying the update.
Another
update
strategy
could
be to push a new version into your
cluster and let the individuals who are
controlling and using your software
decide when to apply the new version.
In our case this was a very nice
feature. An administrator can push the
new software version into the cluster
whenever it is approved. The operator
who configures only his audio streams
can simply reboot an instance at any
time when it is suitable. The reboot
will automatically apply the updated
version while keeping the same config.
Monitoring
Operating a huge cluster instead
of hundreds of individual hardware
boxes can be fearsome. It all relies
on a couple of machines instead
of
hundreds.
But
Kubernetes
can
seriously increase the speed of a root
cause analysis and fixing of a bug
instead of making it more complex as
one might think.
A
great advantage
is that
standardized mechanisms can be used
to obtain logs from different parts of
the software. These logs can even be
used by an indexing search engine
(for example Elasticsearch), which
lets you search and correlate the log
files many times faster. Therefore,
one can find common failures across
multiple
instances
easier.
Let's
say
you need to find a reason why SNMP
connections break down. In that case
you could search through all log files
of all software parts for an entry of
" snmp " . The result will quickly show
you the number of found entries and
you can explore the relationship and
chronological sequence of the errors.
Setting up such systems is time
consuming, but with a Kubernetes
installation the vendor can also
provide
the
monitoring
stack,
like
we do it at 2wcom. We are providing
Elesticsearch, Kibana and Grafana as
a very sophisticated monitoring stack
that integrates well with our software.
Conclusion
Although the shift towards
virtualization can be scary because
it is such a different environment
than
physical
devices,
it
provides
some valuable improvements and
streamlined processes to operate a
high-quality broadcast system.
The streamlined processes provided
by Kubernetes reduce the maintenance
overhead of a broadcast system, which
leads to lower operational expenses
or frees up resources to do what
really matters: Delivering high quality
broadcast content.
Screenshot of a MoIN Grafana dashboard that monitors audio errors and internal buffer values
https://www.2wcom.com
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In Broadcast - November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - November 2021

Contents
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Intro
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover1
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover2
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Contents
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 4
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 5
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 6
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 7
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 8
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 9
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 10
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 11
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 12
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 13
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 14
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 15
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 16
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 17
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 18
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 19
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 20
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 21
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 22
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 23
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 24
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 25
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 26
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 27
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 28
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 29
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 30
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 31
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 32
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 33
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 34
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 35
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 36
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 37
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 38
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 39
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 40
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 41
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 42
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 43
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 44
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 45
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 46
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 48
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 49
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 50
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 51
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 55
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 56
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 60
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 61
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 62
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 63
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 64
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In Broadcast - November 2021 - 70
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 71
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 72
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 73
In Broadcast - November 2021 - 74
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover3
In Broadcast - November 2021 - Cover4
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