Having witnessed coronavirus lockdowns accelerate cloud adoption, the European Broadcast Union (EBU) has launched a project to create a ‘cookbook’ of architectural solutions. This is based partly on what was ‘technically impossible’ during the first European wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Kostiukevych: ‘if lockdown happens again, how can we prepare a cast of solutions that work?’

Leading the initiative are Ievgen Kostiukevych, senior IP media technology architect and trainer at the EBU, and senior project manager Frans de Jong.

Kostiukevych explained: “The JT-NM Roadmap identifies the logical evolution of IP media solutions as enabling cloud workflows. We will be looking at the use of public, private and hybrid clouds for real-time live and near live, and for post processed workflows.

“When lockdown happened, broadcasters had to instantly invent a solution for business continuity, and even the sceptics had to embrace cloud,” he added. “We want to take a step back and say if lockdown happens again, how can we prepare a cast of solutions that work?”

The EBU is not looking to redo what was done; it got massive feedback about applications that could not be deployed.

“It was the quick and dirty solutions that worked,” revealed Kostiukevych. “With the threat of a second wave, can we embrace it in a more proper, strategic and organised way? We are starting with dialogues and tech round tables, and once we have gathered all the pandemic experiences, we will engage with the vendor community and say, ‘here is what’s missing, let’s address that’.”

The EBU has identified big-name partners for the project, and there is an identified talking point about low latency to handle.

“This is about the best way to get stuff in the cloud, through the cloud and out of the cloud. Is it going to be a synchronous world or an asynchronous one?” said Kostiukevych.

“I am a big believer in public cloud, but you have to cut through the marketing messages and sales promises,” he added. “We know major disasters happen – maybe an earthquake could destroy a data centre where your broadcast app was hosted, and you do not have any self-healing architecture that falls back into your standby appliance. Without architectural care, marketing promises can become very costly.”