Bitmovin Releases Managed On-Premise Encoding with Kubernetes and Docker

Written by:
March 6th, 2017

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Bitmovin Managed On-Premise encoding is a containerized video encoding on Kubernetes and Docker that runs fully virtualized on your infrastructure

The world of IT is becoming “containerized”, as technologies like Docker and Kubernetes become ubiquitous. The roll of IT is evolving from being a developer of solutions, to something more like a “broker”, sourcing and implementing the right services at the right time.

In their recent article: “Top 10 Technology Trends Impacting Infrastructure & Operations“, Gartner cites containers as one of 3 important strategic tech trends moving towards 2020. While the IT of global media businesses is clearly moving forward rapidly and driving innovation, multimedia applications, in particular encoding solutions, are not there yet. The media teams that deploy and maintain purpose built hardware encoding boxes are still separated from the global IT in most companies. This creates a logical disconnect between the teams and makes management, hiring, innovation and capacity planning harder for the global IT.

However, this will not be the case in 5 years from now. Already we have seen major media companies such as Viacom, NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Company and Comcast with the VIPER project, moving major parts of their video workflows into containers deployed on Kubernetes. This gives infrastructure operators the control to dynamically manage application loads based on their individual load during the day, week and year. Unified infrastructures enable a range of adjustments and optimizations such as switching between video encoding loads, database operations, business applications and many others. This allows the hardware infrastructure to be better utilized, and reduces maintenance costs due to the unified hardware layer consisting of cost-efficient commodity servers.

Bitmovin Managed On-Premise Encoding

Bitmovin supports this trend by providing managed on-premise encoding based on Docker and Kubernetes – the same software stack that we use for our cloud encoding service. While on premise encoding is nothing new, Bitmovin’s approach is different to traditional approaches that require dedicated hardware boxes that cannot be upgraded, maintained, scaled and managed easily. With Bitmovin’s managed on-premise encoding the customer datacenter, that could consist of heterogenous of the shelf hardware, will be treated like a region in a cloud. This approach allows Bitmovin customers to encode on their own hardware, in their local data centers (on-premise) with the same flexibility, speed and reliability as in the cloud. We connect your local datacenter to our cloud while the management of the on-premise encoding works through our API. The solution is deployed, monitored, upgraded and supported as SaaS and updates of the system will be seamlessly delivered to our customers with zero downtime. The solution combines the benefits of SaaS with the benefits of an on-premise solution.

This approach allows us to enable a smooth hybrid cloud workflow where our customers can encode their daily workloads on their own hardware (private cloud) and shift processing into the public cloud (AWS, Google) in peak periods. Bitmovin’s on premise encoders are identical to our cloud encoders and follow the same distributed encoding approach, which allows you to reach similar speeds (100x Realtime) on your own heterogenous hardware as in the cloud. It’s also possible to define how fast you want to encode your videos, for example, certain videos with deadlines can be encoded with higher priority (the encoding will allocate more CPU cores) and others with lower priority can be encoded more slowly (the encoding will allocate fewer CPU cores). Capacity planning will also be simplified as the same hardware that will be used for a specific task such as video encoding can be used for other workloads during periods where less videos are encoded.

Bitmovin Encoding in your Virtual Private Cloud

Bitmovin managed on-premise encoding can also be used with Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) setups where customers can use their own AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, etc. accounts. This provides Bitmovin managed on-premise customers the benefit that their media files never leave their VPC, while having all the features and scalability of a cloud-based SaaS encoding service. This is especially useful for sensitive content and high secure workflows.

On-Premise encoding

“Managed on premise encoding with Kubernetes was the next logical step for us as our encoders are already platform agnostic and certain encoding workloads will always stay on premise. Customers can now connect their local servers and even complete datacenters with our system and utilize off the shelf hardware for tasks where typically purpose built hardware encoders have been used.” said Stefan Lederer, Chief Executive Officer at Bitmovin. “Giving our customers the flexibility to encode on premise or in the cloud while providing the same features, speed, reliability and zero downtime upgrades with one encoding stack that runs anywhere with the benefits of a managed SaaS was a clear goal of our development efforts.” said Christopher Mueller, Chief Technical Officer at Bitmovin.

Bitmovin Managed On-Premise Encoding Features

Bitmovin managed on premise encoding features a number of important capabilities, making it truly enterprise-grade:

  • SaaS-Managed: Managed on premise encoding offers the benefits of a SaaS solution while utilizing your own infrastructure. Customers can focus on their core business as the solution is deployed, monitored, supported and upgraded as SaaS.
  • Hybrid Cloud: Encode your daily workloads on premise on your own infrastructure and offload processing to the cloud in peak periods seamlessly through one API that can schedule your encodings on your own infrastructure or in the cloud. This allows you to offload processing or can be used for failovers.
  • High Speed: Managed on premise encoding can deliver the same speeds (100x Realtime) and scalability (scale encodings over multiple servers) as the Bitmovin cloud encoding due to the fact that the same software stack consisting of Bitmovin’s scalable encoding software, Docker and Kubernetes is used in the cloud and on-premise. File transfer times are eliminated as the files never leave the local network – large files from your postproduction do not need to be moved to the cloud – live streams will be processed in house with basically no delay.
  • Flexibility: Managed on premise encoding has the same feature set as the Bitmovin cloud encoding (MPEG-DASH, HLS, DRM, H264/HEVC/VP9, 4K/60FPS Livestreaming, HEVC Livestreaming, Captions, Subtitles, etc.) and offers the same flexibility that customers are used to from the cloud encoding, where updates and upgrades (new codecs like VP9, packaging formats like fMP4 for HLS, etc.) will be deployed continuously.
  • Security: Keep your business critical content behind the safety of your firewall with the beauty to orchestrate, manage and monitor your whole infrastructure in the cloud. One unified and secure API with access control can be used to manage your on premise and cloud encoding workflows.
  • Runs Anywhere: Managed on premise encoding can be used on any infrastructure with heterogeneous off the shelf hardware (AMD, Intel, ARM, etc.) and different types of servers (8 core Intel servers could be combined with 32 core AMD servers, etc.), while still delivering high speed encoding – thanks to Bitmovin’s distributed encoding approach. The same hardware could be used in parallel or during periods where less videos are encoded for other, none encoding related workflows, which simplifies capacity planning. No need to invest massively in purpose built hardware that cannot be used for other workloads and negatively impacts cost efficiency.
  • Scalability: Dynamically add and remove nodes to your encoding system, to increase speed or fulfill growing business needs. You could add cost-efficient commodity servers that can be used for any task of your IT and also for video encoding.

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