APRIL 11, 2022

Balancing Cloud and Remote Access Solutions to Maximize Collaboration

A remote post-production editor work

Post Doesn't Stop

The past two years have introduced significant change to media companies worldwide, and in a time of great uncertainty, organizations have quickly pivoted to leverage emerging technologies to enable distributed workforces to provide much-needed business continuity. The many lessons learned across various segments within the media and entertainment industry have ushered in new ways of working that support a greater work-life balance, positive environmental implications, and an accelerated industry shift to subscription and “as-a-service" operational models, moving away from traditional CapEx approaches.

Throughout the pandemic, media companies have taken two main approaches to facilitate work continuity: Adopt tools for remote access to on-premises resources, or turn to cloud SaaS editorial offerings. And regardless of the approach, overwhelming feedback has been that not only is remote editorial possible through leveraging existing technologies, but the experience, in many cases, didn’t just rival working with on-premises systems—rather, it was an improvement. This reality has opened up a world of possibilities that is now informing the go-forward strategies of how media companies are approaching a hybrid world where they can realize operational and economic benefits.

One of the cloud SaaS editorial solutions that companies are leveraging is Avid | Edit On Demand—a turnkey SaaS offering (announced in the fall of 2019) that auto-provisions the resources needed to deploy a full editorial environment in the cloud. The solution enables post-production teams to stand up a full editorial environment quickly and automatically in a matter of hours—without the need for any in-house cloud expertise. In short, the solution uses Media Composer running on GPU-enabled VMs and Avid NEXIS cloud storage to provide users with a familiar experience, without compromising performance and usability. Users can manage their Avid NEXIS cloud storage using the same web-based tools they use on-premises, and there’s zero ramp-up time for existing users, as there’s nothing new to learn. Additionally, there are third-party tools that enable accelerated media uploading and downloading and secure remote access from a thin client.

Users who choose to access on-prem resources leverage Teradici, RGS, and other remote tools to provide access for employees now working from home. These tools give users the ability to edit from home securely—without having to physically bring home the workstation and a drive with copied media. What this solution does not enable, however, is an integrated workflow that leverages the additional Avid technologies and features that are available exclusively in Media Composer, Media Composer | Distributed Processing, and Avid NEXIS. Luckily, that is why Avid has since introduced Avid NEXIS | EDGE.

Avid NEXIS | EDGE enables editors to work from anywhere with the same media access, workflow, and user experience as if they were editing at the facility on Media Composer. It simplifies collaboration for up to 100 on-prem and remote contributors with its cutting-edge zero-relink workflow which allows users to quickly switch from working on proxy to high-res media—or vice-versa—with a simple selection from anywhere. Avid NEXIS | EDGE also has a web client enabling production team members to find, organize, storyboard, edit, and review content at the facility, at home, or on location, extending the limits of what’s possible for work-from-anywhere production.

Cloud Editing Delivered On Demand

The cloud introduces the ability to spin-up the resources you need, when you need them, while paying only for what you use, and spinning-down as appropriate. When you combine the scalability, elasticity, and security of the cloud, it provides access from anywhere and brings historically challenging geographical roadblocks down to zero. Avid | Edit On Demand allows up to 30 editors to access content on up to 200 TBs of Avid NEXIS cloud storage securely via Teradici running on a thin client. Editors can work from home or from anywhere using the familiar Media Composer software they know with 20-25 Mbps of download, which is common among home internet services.

Avid | Edit On Demand is ideal for the unfortunate situation in which an organization in unable to take-on additional jobs and opportunities because they’ve reached the working capacity of their current system. In these situations, organizations don’t have the time to order additional physical equipment and integrate it into their existing workflows—they need resources quickly, and Avid | Edit On Demand delivers the resources via the cloud in a matter of hours. Having this capability makes a company poised to take opportunities to grow its business, broaden its access to talent, and do it all in a far more environmentally-friendly way. Plus, none of the process requires cloud expertise to stand-up, and all of it can be done without compromising an organization’s performance or reliability.

Several Avid | Edit On Demand customers have already delivered successful projects edited in the cloud, including France TV, whose managing director of post-production for La Fabrique, Sébastian Grandsire, said, “Avid has been there for us with a solution that worked, allowed us to save costs, and leap into something that we had planned would take maybe a year and a half or two years—and we did it in five weeks." Avid | Edit On Demand extends your existing on-premises investments and allows users to increase the bandwidth of their business without the historical CapEx approach of the past, and instead adopting an as-a-service OpEx model that better suits a growing facility.

Maximize Your Existing Infrastructure with Avid NEXIS | EDGE

Avid NEXIS | EDGE is a quantum leap forward for remote workflows. It eliminates the need for relinking and conform, making access to high resolution and proxy media seamless from any Media Composer l Enterprise editor. Avid is leveraging its own distributed processing, Avid NEXIS shared storage, and a new proxy format to enable a more powerful workflow that editors have been craving for years—removing limitations inherent to on-prem post production.

Extending the power of Avid NEXIS, Avid NEXIS | EDGE is included with Media Composer | Enterprise subscriptions—a customizable version of the video editing standard—at no additional cost. Together, they deliver a powerful solution for teams to access, browse, search, organize, create, edit, review, and deliver content using Media Composer | Enterprise, Avid NEXIS | EDGE in a web browser, or Adobe Premiere Pro—on-premises or remotely.

With its secure proxy workflow, remote Media Composer | Enterprise users get the same editing experience as if they were working at the facility. Plus, proxy creation, rendering, and other processor-intensive media tasks can be offloaded to unused computers with Media Composer | Distributed Processing, so editors can keep working. And because you can tailor the toolset to any production role in your organization, teams can work faster without the technology getting in the way, accelerating the entire post pipeline.

If you’re out and about, on the go and need to edit, you can leverage the new Avid NEXIS Remote Mode to connect to your on-prem resources from anywhere securely using VPN, now with support for WiFi. Mix and match content stored in an on-premises Avid NEXIS and a conventional local hard drive seamlessly. If you are heading to an area with no internet connection, you can leverage the new copy workflow and download the proxy media, bin, and project to a local drive prior to heading out so you can continue working without internet access.

If users don’t need the power of Media Composer but still need to search for, find, edit, view, and add metadata to media on the go, they can use a web browser to access the content in a project and get their work done with Avid NEXIS | EDGE. They can create bins, trigger proxy creation, complete cuts-only edits, and modify metadata, and it’ll be seen by everyone in the project instantly.

Grow Your Business and Enable a Distributed Workforce

With Avid NEXIS | EDGE, remote collaboration workflows are now possible as a direct result of functionality only possible within an Avid environment—leveraging the power of bin creation and bin locking, the new proxy media format, and distributed processing to quickly create the proxy media. Relinking and conforming proxy and high-res media, and the associated headaches are a thing of the past. Avid NEXIS | EDGE extends the on-prem Avid workflow many know and rely upon to a distributed workforce, expanding the talent pool globally by enabling editing and collaboration from anywhere. Maximize your on-prem investment and resources in a way that only Avid can enable with Avid NEXIS | EDGE.

With Avid | Edit On Demand, you can extend your company’s ability to burst capacity any time, in a matter of hours, allowing you to take on new work without having to acquire equipment, integrate it into your environment, and manage it long term. Leverage the on-demand elasticity, scalability, and security of the cloud to enable teams to edit and collaborate using Media Composer from anywhere, and deliver more projects driving more revenue faster than ever.

Avid is delivering the tools to extend workflows in ways not previously possible. Both Avid NEXIS | EDGE and Avid | Edit On Demand are powerful tools in your arsenal that break down geographic barriers, broaden the available talent pool companies can leverage, improve the work-life balance of your employees, uphold the mission to adopt greener approaches, facilitate greater collaboration for a distributed workforce, and position your company to take on a greater workload in an OpEx world. Embracing the new normal, media companies have a new world of possibilities that can help them continue to develop their future tech strategies of incorporating multiple remote and hybrid options for post-production workflows that only Avid can deliver.


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