March 5, 2024

Glitch-free Broadcasting with cloudSwXtch: Ensuring Lossless Ground-to-Cloud Multicast in Hybrid Networks

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On-premises networks have long been the gold standard for Media and Entertainment (M&E) broadcasters. They're the backbone of so much work, highly customizable, and allow for high-performance, high-bandwidth flows with zero dropped packets. Though on-prem systems are well-proven workhorses, there are still reasons the industry has moved to the cloud, including that it’s more elastic, easier to spin up and spin down new workflows, and create new products quickly.

For broadcasters, however, creating a seamless hybrid workflow that combines the reliability of ground networks with the flexibility of cloud networks depends on successfully achieving Lossless Ground-to-Cloud Multicast. It's crucial for maintaining a seamless broadcast and bridging the skillset gap between on-prem and cloud teams. There’s just one problem: Ground-to-Cloud Multicast is not natively supported in the cloud.

Our solution, cloudSwXtch, is designed to simplify working with hybrid networks and multicast streams. It aims to reduce bandwidth consumption while still achieving zero packet loss. In this blog, we'll dive deeper into Lossless Ground-to-Cloud Multicast solutions and explore how cloudSwXtch is seamlessly bridging on-prem and cloud environments, transforming the way broadcasters operate.

The Benefits of Multicast Transport in Hybrid Broadcasting Networks (and the Cloud Danger Zone)

On-premises networks often use multicast transport over UDP, since multicast is known for its low latency, low overhead, and efficient one-to-many communication. It's essential for complying with standards like SMPTE 2110 and good for managing and watching over the network, reducing cloud distribution and egress costs.

However, since multicast isn’t natively supported, a bridging solution is needed for broadcasters to connect ground networks to the cloud. The link connecting the two systems, however, can be unpredictable, unwieldy and lossy, leading to potential packet drops and degraded performance. Suddenly, you’re in unsafe territory and you need to protect yourself.

Solving the Challenges of Ground-to-Cloud Broadcasting with Hybrid Broadcasting Network Solutions

To maintain the same level of safety, network quality and control in the cloud as they have on-premises, broadcasters require a solution that can seamlessly integrate multicast traffic, ensure no packet loss, and accommodate higher bandwidth flows like JPEG-XS and 2110 Uncompressed.

Current solutions for migrating multicast traffic across the danger zone of the ground to cloud fall short. They either involve having to provision a ton of unicast signals instead of just using the multicast they already have, the cost of which is enough to make any CFO’s head spin, or they break down under the weight of network complexity due to point-to-point protocols.

Why cloudSwXtch Stands Out for Ground-to-Cloud Multicast

Transporting multicast traffic between ground and cloud, or vice versa, means that broadcasters need solutions that are reliable and lossless. This is where cloudSwXtch shines. Let's look at three reasons why:

1. Multicast Ingest (Ground-to-Cloud):

Bridge Solution: cloudSwXtch creates a seamless bridge between on-prem and cloud environments. With our cloudSwXtch Bridge, you can dynamically manage your Ground-to-Cloud and Cloud-to-Ground traffic, integrating smoothly with orchestration systems like Evertz’ Magnum OS or EVS’ Cerebrum.

Smart Bandwidth Usage: We all know bandwidth costs money. With cloudSwXtch, you're not just blasting all your data into the cloud 24/7. By using IGMP leaves/joins, you can selectively upload only those multicast streams currently being processed, cutting down on unnecessary bandwidth usage and saving some serious money.

2. Lossless Performance:

Zero Dropped Packets: Unlike other solutions that might claim no packet loss but struggle with latency, cloudSwXtch delivers on both fronts. We keep latency low and ensure that not a single packet is lost.

Network Approach: Our secret sauce is our network approach. Instead of just bouncing back to the original source for retransmission, as point-to-point approaches do, cloudSwXtch has a scalable loss-protection scheme that minimizes the distance required for resends.

3. Bandwidth Performance:

Handling High-Bandwidth Protocols: As broadcasters move to higher-quality flows like JPEG XS or 2110 Uncompressed, cloudSwXtch keeps up without breaking a sweat. We can handle these heavy-duty streams and still deliver exceptional performance.

Saturating the NIC: Our ability to employ multicast and fully utilize the Network Interface Cards (NIC) is what sets us apart. This means we can push your network to its full potential, ensuring smooth and reliable streams.

A Safer Road Ahead

If the link between on-prem and cloud is like venturing into a danger zone, consider cloudSwXtch your bodyguard, ensuring lossless Ground-to-Cloud multicast streaming.  Our mighty solution helps bridge the gap between the reliability of on-premises networks and the flexibility of the cloud, and can handle the complexities of multicast traffic in hybrid networks. It’s got your back.

If you're interested in learning more about how swXtch.io and cloudSwXtch can support your broadcasting needs, come find us at NAB, or get in touch with our sales team for more information.

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