Microsoft Azure: Evolving Your Editorial Pipeline Means Shifting to the Cloud

You used to be able to air-gap your edit bay, but the scale and volume of content today means you need geometrically more capacity, so shifting to the cloud is the logical next step to evolve your editorial pipeline, according to Joel Sloss, senior lead, media and entertainment-security for Microsoft Azure.

“One of the things that the cloud is actually going to deliver for you is a much, much greater depth of security,” he said July 25 during a session called “Get it to the Cloud (Evolving Your Edit Pipeline)” at the Content Protection Summit East event, part of the Media & Entertainment (M&E) Day at the Microsoft Conference Center.

“If you’re operating in a very isolated environment and you do have some physical security that does provide you some benefit, so it can be a little bit scary to be thinking about … putting my edit bay on an Internet connection [where] I’m letting people log in remotely to it to access this content,” he said, conceding that can be “extremely worrisome.”

But he said: “In a cloud environment, you have the tools and you have the fundamental architecture to be able to secure that kind of an environment at the same time that you’re enabling collaboration and you’re enabling that high scale.” After all, the cloud “fundamentally [has been] architected for security,” he noted.

The cloud’s “robust” security capabilities also include role-based authorization, multi-factor authentication and watermarks across all assets in the pipeline, according to Sloss.

Also, “one of the things that’s coming down the pike is a set of tools for protecting yourself, protecting your content when you are going to be collaborating with others on the Internet,” he said at the start of the session. The Trusted Partner Network (TPN) “provides you a framework and some assessment criteria for being able to protect content and engineer systems to help protect the content as you develop it,” he pointed out.

“If there’s really one takeaway, I think, from this 15 minutes, [it’s] that yes, you can” shift your editing pipeline to the cloud, he said, adding: “There are systems. There are tools that are in place to allow you to address the scale that is happening to everybody as you’re generating more content.”

We can see that there are “hundreds and hundreds of shows coming out from streaming services” now – and they’re all in 4K resolution and “we’re shifting to high frame rates and eventually 8K” resolution also, he said. Virtual browser-based workstations with 4K, high frame rates and High Dynamic Range are among the new capabilities made possible in the cloud, along with artificial intelligence (AI) for analytics and metadata, according to Sloss.

The cloud is, meanwhile, making it possible to collaborate from anywhere around the world, with anyone, he also pointed out.

The 2019 M&E Day, which also included Smart Content Summit East conference tracks, was produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), in association with the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and the Smart Content Council, and was presented by Microsoft, with sponsorship by Akamai, BTI Studios, ISE, LiveTiles, MarkLogic, RSG Media, ThinkAnalytics, Amazon Web Services, the Entertainment ID Registry (EIDR), the Trusted Partner Network (TPN) and Richey May Technology Solutions.

Click here to download audio of the Azure presentation. Click here to download the slide deck.