Serverless Architecture… what’s the point?

What is Serverless Architecture?

Serverless architecture, cloud services, cloud-native, big data, are all terms that have been thrown around over the last few years. With claims of faster speeds, better security and overall improvement in your business processes!

In simple terms, we will break down what being “serverless” means to us and, more importantly, what it means for you when you’re using serverless platforms.

Before “serverless”, there was just “server storage”, which meant that businesses and enterprises kept their files, images, videos, systems on physical servers. There were sorted in server rooms on-site at the business premise or in designated buildings near your business locations.

With serverless architecture, your assets are stored in cloud servers managed and owned by a cloud service provider such as AWS (Amazon Web Services). This allows you and your team to access your files from anywhere in the world, quickly and securely.

How does Overcast use Serverless Architecture?

The Overcast platform is built cloud-native and serverless. It consists of a number of microservices – a major differentiator in the video asset management market. Overcast is a proud member of the AWS partner network. Overcast also deploys a suite of AWS Elemental services, including MediaConvert, MediaPackage and MediaLive.

We use AWS services to:
– Transcode your content into any format you require.
– Storing your content with fast upload and download tools.
– Build our platform to be as

What are the benefits of being Serverless ?

Business Benefits

Quick deployment

Doing business in today’s constantly changing environment means that enterprises need to move fast and be agile to take advantage of opportunities as they appear. Adopting a serverless architecture streamlines the setup process and allows you to deploy new projects quickly.

Easy scalability

Serverless platforms enable businesses to quickly scale up services as demand grows as they are not limited by server capacity. At Overcast, you can store an unlimited amount of content but only pay for what you’re currently planning on using. It also means that increasing your capacity by 1TB, 5TB, 100TB is as simple as one request to our technical team!

Better user experience

User experience (UX) greatly benefits from serverless architecture. By the nature of serverless platforms, there is no distance between the different “serverless” servers. This reduces the latency between them interacting with each other. This translates to a much faster and reactive experience for the final user.

Cost Benefits

Efficiency

It’s also possible to drastically reduce infrastructure and operational costs because you don’t have to maintain and service physical servers. One of the key benefits of serverless architecture is that you don’t have to pay for idle resources, which you would if you owned the servers yourself.

Accurate resourcing

Serverless models like Overcast also allow you to monitor usage in real-time. This will enable you to tailor your use with your business requirements. This greater level of transparency will enable you to monitor your spending and improve the accuracy of budgets and resource allocation.

Environmental Benefits

If you have environmental goals on the cards, you’re in luck! The data centres are built at scale to be energy efficient to achieve optimal utilisation and temperature. This leads to fewer carbon emissions than traditional data centres.

Another drawback to traditional data centres is the constant waste of resources while the servers are idle. Serverless computing becomes a solution to this matter by running on-demand.

Bottom Line – how Serverless helps you?

  • Cost savings
  • Increased agility and instant scalability
  • Faster recall of assets
  • More reactive UI for all users

Overcast:

Overcast HQ provides a white-label, fully intuitive User Interface (UI) to allow operational staff to exploit the power of the solution and the underlying serverless cloud infrastructure.

We deliver media pipeline management solutions configured to optimise existing video tech stacks, optimise complex video workflows, and allow all stakeholders (not just editors and engineers) to manage video content. 

Our platform allows customers to collaborate, search, review & approve, transcode and therefore spend up to 90% less time managing content. We are one of the very few solution providers built post-2015 to be able to take advantage of the latest suite of cloud-native, serverless technologies.

We’d be delighted to talk you through all of this, so please feel free to reach out to our CEO Philippe Brodeur on info@overcasthq.com or click here to contact us to find out how Video Content-As-A-Service will save you time and money while increasing revenue opportunities.

Image of cloud based programming to represent the move to Serverless Architecture.
Cloud Infrastructure image to represent Serverless Architecture

Overcast Featured in DPP Media Supply Festival 2021

Overcast was featured in the DPP Media Supply Festival Demo Zone over the 7th and 8th of September.
We presented our demo alongside the best media providers from around the world and you can find our Media Pipeline Management demo video below:

 

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Get in touch with us

If you are looking for a bespoke video workflow solution and want to learn more, please get in touch with Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur — he’s always happy to talk! You can reach him on info@overcasthq.com or through the contact form on our website.

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Overcast Supports AWS for Media & Entertainment Initiative

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a new AWS for Media & Entertainment initiative to simplify cloud workflows. Overcast’s Future of Work Video Platform is built on AWS and we are delighted to be a partner in this initiative!

AWS for Media & Entertainment

So, what is AWS for M&E? AWS for Media & Entertainment is an initiative featuring new and existing services and solutions from AWS and AWS Partners, built specifically for content creators, rights holders, producers, broadcasters, and distributors. AWS adds the newly announced Amazon Nimble Studio — a service that enables customers to set up creative studios in hours instead of weeks — to a portfolio of more purpose-built media and entertainment industry services than any other cloud, including  AWS Elemental MediaPackage, AWS Elemental MediaConnect, AWS Elemental MediaLive, AWS Elemental MediaConvert, and Amazon Interactive Video Service (IVS). AWS for Media & Entertainment also simplifies the process of building, deploying, and reinventing mission-critical industry workloads by aligning AWS and AWS Partner capabilities against five solution areas: Content Production; Media Supply Chain & Archive; Broadcast; Direct-to-Consumer & Streaming; and Data Science & Analytics. Overcast is an AWS partner in the Media Supply Chain & Archive solution.

“The big benefit of our new Overcast system based on AWS is efficiency and consistency.  This feels like the start of a long relationship rather than just having bought a piece of software.” 

— Neil Adcock, CPL UK.

Overcast MAX

In previous blog posts, we’ve introduced you to Overcast MAX — a cloud-based platform for media asset management (MAM) without the traditional costs associated with combining MAM, PAM (product asset management) and DAM (digital asset management).  The flexible microservices approach and API connection to AWS services (like Amazon Rekognition, AWS Elemental MediaConvert and AWS Elemental MediaLive) lets you configure solutions to build workflows that truly match your needs.  For example, if you produce live sport events you need to share content before and after the match with multiple different stakeholders, including analysts, players, referees, marketers, sponsors and more. Here’s how you benefit:

  • a collaboration portal with granular access control;
  • a UI that is intuitive and enhanced with on-screen messaging so even the least technical stakeholders can manage their needs; and
  • automated tasks like time-based transcription and image recognition allow users to reduce search time by up to 98%.

Overcast MAX is first and foremost a collaboration platform that builds access to powerful video processing tools into effective and efficient workflows.  With a mission to make it as easy to manage video files as it is to manage word documents, MAX enables teams throughout your organization to work within the video supply chain.  The core storage and collaboration features of MAX are enhanced by 9 proprietary modules that include everything from automated subtitle generation (powered by Amazon Transcribe) to maximizing a scalable streaming service (using Amazon CloudFront).

Overcast MAX can be deployed out-of-the box for smaller teams, or configured with a choice of 9 modules for larger volume workflows. Clients benefit from:

  • Fast response times and fast deployment — whether you BYO Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) storage bucket, are syncing an on-premises repository, or choose to store your content within Overcast’s virtual private cloud, you can be up and running with production workflows within a matter of minutes.
  • Cost budgeting — using a proprietary Simulator, Overcast can emulate your work environment over a short period of time to better forecast usage costs and how to optimize your processes.
  • Time efficiencies — clients report savings up to 90% of time spent on mundane tasks like transcoding due to our automation.  

We have many satisfied clients in various countries, including CPL UK — a global marketing and communications firm based in London.

“It’s at least 10 times faster to find things. We have 27 users on four different continents from three different companies — and one very happy Alex.” 

— Alexandra Bailey, CPL UK.

“CPL UK is an example of the increasing number of enterprise customers outside of the media and entertainment vertical that are successfully using digital media workflows on AWS to increase brand awareness. Overcast’s browser-based platform makes it easy for enterprise customers to launch in minutes without the complexity of managing hardware infrastructure.”

Eric Iverson, Chief Technologist for M&E, AWS.

To find out more or set up a demo, please email info@overcasthq.com or click here.

Cloud Storage: How To Stop Paying Ridiculous Margins

Overcast MAX #2: Max Storage

Why use video?

The popularity of video consumption continues to explode and not just for marketing or brand building purposes. Video can also be used in-house for employee training and dissemination of information — this is even more valid in the current era of enforced remote working. 

The possibilities that video offers your business are endless: connecting with your audience through live streaming, creating interactive videos to engage your followers, explainer videos/tutorials, product demonstrations, communicating with stakeholders, promotional videos, broadcasting live events, vlogging and much more.

Size matters

Video files are large — but how big is big? 

  • 1 bit (b) = only capable of storing a single binary digit: either a 1 or 0.
  • 1 byte (B) = 8 bits … about what you need to store a single character of text. 
  • 1 kilobyte (KB) = 1,024 bytes … it takes around 10 KB to store a single page of plain text.
  • 1 megabyte (MB) = 1,024 KB … the equivalent of a 400-page book.
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1,024 MB … streaming Netflix Ultra HD video uses about 7 GB per hour.
  • 1 terabyte (TB) = 1,024 GB … equivalent to 500 hours worth of movies.
  • 1 petabyte (PB) = 1,024 TB … one year of CCTV video for an average police department amounts to 1.5 PB.
  • 1 exabyte (EB) = 1,024 PB … 5 EB is equivalent to all the words ever spoken by humankind.

How To Geek

So, the more videos you create, the more storage you’ll need (although you don’t need to worry about exabytes unless you are Amazon, Google or Facebook).

Max Storage

In light of these unwieldy sizes of video files, the traditional method of handling them on premise is no longer viable. So, if you want to make your teams’ video management and collaboration much more efficient, you can either manage your workflows in the cloud or use a hybrid solution that conforms to your workflows.

Benefits of Max Storage

Cost Optimisation

As we mentioned in an earlier blog post outlining Overcast MAX, Max Storage is like a BYOB (bring your own bottle) party. BYO Storage means you keep your unique account with AWS and our software will help you to manage your content! 

Our hybrid solutions will sync with your on-premise servers: you can automatically upload your content to your account and be guaranteed secure cloud workflows.

Intelligent tiering also allows you optimise your costs based on your user actual activities, so you’ll save oodles of spondulicks!

Metadata Enrichment

Artificial intelligence is the new sliced bread…although you can’t put chocolate spread on it! 

But you can benefit from AI functions such as Transcribe and Image Recognition to add metadata — this will ensure you can search your content quickly and accurately using time-based parameters.

Future-proofed content

Technology is changing so fast these days that it’s hard to keep up and even harder to future-proof your content. But Max Storage is on the case. We will store your originals and create proxies that can be viewed on any device. 

No problem with codecs either: your content will be available over any network.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about storage, live streaming or any of the Overcast MAX solutions, please do get in touch. Philippe would be happy to chat through your video collaboration and management needs — you can reach him on info@overcasthq.com or you can click here to contact us.

What Have We Learned About Remote Working With Video — Part 2

Remote working: the challenges for video production

It’s been a long year of working from home and that doesn’t look likely to change any time soon. Since the unexpected and abrupt transition to remote working was thrust upon us, we have all had to adapt our work practices. 

In the first part of this blog post, we looked at how video production and remote working can be easy bedfellows by using a cloud-based platform to facilitate efficient collaboration, simplify tasks through automation and speed up reviews and approvals.  Now, let’s take a whistle-stop tour through other key considerations.

Make metadata work for you — not the other way around

Automating processes and getting content to market is all fine provided that you can find the content in the first place.

Using AI it is now possible to automate audio-to-text and do basic image recognition. That creates really rich metadata sets that ultimately become searchable…to the frame. 

Gone are the days when you had to scroll or scrub through long videos to find what you were looking for — it’s all automated now.

Speed to market is essential

Getting videos to market — and that means on multiple platforms in multiple formats — needs to be fast. 

Broadcasters, agencies, publishers and brands don’t have time to manually distribute content anymore: they need to automate it and people throughout the organisation need to be able to manage the content.

A cloud-native Video Content-as-a-Service platform such as Overcast makes this collective responsibility effortless.

Security is of paramount importance

When all of a company’s employees are working from the same building, it’s a straightforward task for the IT department to ensure the security of data and content. But the new remote working landscape presents challenges. 

Overcast is partnered with AWS and Signiant — thus it provides a secure environment in which your digital assets are protected.

So, with remote working looking like the new normal in this vastly abnormal era, you can make your video production process smooth, easy, efficient, cost effective and scalable.

What are the long-term benefits?

Streamlined workflows such as the ones described in this two-part blog post were already available before the pandemic but the new normal has accelerated the widespread move to cloud-based collaboration. 

The long-term advantage for enterprises is that they will be; more agile, have greater scalability and be future-proofed.

While many people are craving the social interaction and creative collaboration that is sparked in a shared workspace; the technological and economic benefits to companies of remote workflows means it’s likely that the future will involve some form of hybrid.

AWS To Showcase AI and ML With Overcast At IBC 2019

IBC 2019 is only a few weeks away and we are delighted to be attending as part of the Amazon Partner Network. Yes, that’s right, we’ll be on AWS booth 5.C80 from 13–17 September in Amsterdam. Click here to read an AWS blog post about the technological advances in video creation and distribution they will be showcasing.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing video workflows. Two of the key innovations that we’ll be highlighting with AWS are: 

  • — Searching video clips for objects, colours, settings, events, words, sounds and facial recognition;
  • — Automating transcription and translation to generate captions, subtitles, and audio in multiple languages for live and on-demand streams.

Why not find out from our CEO Philippe Brodeur at IBC how to make video collaboration effortless? Click here to schedule a meeting.

IBC 2019, Here We Come — Hand In Hand With AWS!

Overcast and AWS

We can’t wait for the IBC 2019 Show (13–17 Sept) this year, particularly because we’ve been chosen by AWS (Amazon Web Services) to exhibit in their booth. It’s the second time this year they’ve picked us: we were also on their booth at NAB 2019 in Las Vegas in April.

Our video platform will benefit your business in so many ways:

Benefits of using Overcast HQ's video collaboration platform

We’d be delighted to show you a demo of our software at IBC: Booth 5.C80. Call by anytime!

Overcast and AVID

We established another exciting partnership this year. Our Collaboration, Review and Approval application has been directly incorporated into Avid’s Media Central | Cloud UX platform. At IBC, you can see a demo of this software at the Avid booth: 7.B55

Free breakfast tickets

You can also see our demo — and enjoy a free breakfast —  during an exclusive Avid event at IBC 2019 on Saturday 14th September. We have 25 tickets to give away for this event, which is also a great networking opportunity. Places are limited so click here to guarantee your place.

See you at IBC 2019!

IBC 2019— the global media, entertainment and technology show — will take place from 13–17 September in Amsterdam. In 2018, it attracted more than 55,000 attendees from 150 countries around the world.

Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur would be delighted to meet you at IBC —  just click here to find out how to make video collaboration effortless and cost effective.

See you in Amsterdam!

Overcast Selected for AWS Booth At IBC 2019

Overcast and AWS

Overcast HQ is delighted to announce that we have been selected by AWS (Amazon Web Services) to exhibit in their booth at IBC 2019, which will take place from 13th to 17th September in Amsterdam. 

This is the second time this year the AWS team has selected us to exhibit alongside them. In April AWS chose Overcast HQ from technology companies worldwide as only one of 12 key tech enterprises to be on the AWS booth at NAB 2019 in Las Vegas. 

Overcast HQ CEO Philippe Brodeur and CTO Zsolt Lorincz at NAB 2019

Overcast and AVID

It’s been a very exciting year so far in another way. We also attended Avid Connect 2019 in Las Vegas, where we initiated collaborations with some high profile Hollywood clients. Our Collaboration, Review and Approval application is now directly incorporated into Avid’s Media Central | Cloud UX platform.

Overcast HQ CEO Philippe Brodeur and CTO Zsolt Lorincz at Avid Connect 2019

About the IBC Show

IBC is a global media, entertainment and technology show. In 2018 it attracted more than 55,000 attendees from 150 countries around the world. This year’s speakers include former CEO of Warner Bros Claire Hungate, Head of YouTube EMEA Cécile Frot-Coutaz, and Director General of Irish broadcaster RTÉ Dee Forbes.

About Overcast HQ Ltd.

Overcast provides powerful video management solutions that streamline how businesses review, approve and collaborate on video using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Built on Amazon Web Services and integrated with Microsoft Azure as well as Google Cloud, Overcast is available around the world and delivers enterprise security, redundancy and scale. Overcast is offered as both a SaaS video and digital asset management service or as an OEM solution that can be integrated through its RESTful API directly into a tech stack.

For further information or to arrange a meeting at IBC 2019, please email Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur: philippe@overcasthq.com

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Get Your Head Out Of The Cloud And Your Video Files Into It

Size matters. And when it comes to video file sizes — things are just getting bigger.

Over the last decade, we’ve graduated from standard definition to high definition, 2K, 4K and now 8K. Combine that with image enhancement technologies and we are talking about file sizes ballooning. 

The media and entertainment industries are driving the changes, hoping that the better quality will drive more viewership and lead to more revenue. But it’s not just the M&E industries that are chasing higher quality; businesses and brands are jumping on the bandwagon too. So just what are the implications for businesses?

Do video file sizes matter?

Size certainly does matter if you find you don’t have enough storage space for your large video files and it takes absolutely ages to transfer or share it with stakeholders or collaborators. This will slow down your production workflow and delay time to market. A recent Adobe survey revealed it takes brands on average 27 hours to create a single piece of long form content such as video and it takes companies on average 12 days to take a single piece of content to market. We think this is crazy!

How big is Big Video?

So let’s break down the problem: how big is Big Video? 1 hour of 4K (cinema resolution) video shot for a 30-second TV ad is equal to 300GB — that’s larger than the hard drive storage on an average computer! The next step up from that is 8K, which is 16 times bigger than HD (high definition) video. The graphic below by Signiant shows that one hour of 8K RedCode Raw 75 amounts to 7.29 TB (terabytes). That’s 121.5 GB per minute for raw 8K.

It’s not just the resolution either. There are also other factors which drive larger file sizes, in particular, image enhancement technologies such as Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), improved colour depth, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) — which, in simple terms, means the whites are brighter and the blacks are darker.

So what’s the solution?

Even if you’re not working with 4K or 8K files, if you are producing a lot of videos, you will need a workflow that can store your large files and allow your team to collaborate on them efficiently and effectively. The cloud is the obvious frontrunner by a mile. Overcast HQ is a cloud platform built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) using the most advanced technologies for automating video processes and making it possible to send and share large video files quickly. It’s simply changing the way media content is managed. You can request a demo by clicking here.

“Overcast’s Plan To Go Global” — The Irish Times

Chief executive and founder of Overcast Philippe Brodeur with co-founder Zsolt Lorincz: Vodafone Ireland recently commissioned the company to stream VoD content directly to 35,000 household TVs.

Link to the Irish Time Article

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