Crossing the valley of (development) death

Re-engineering a news production system so that it becomes cloud native takes time and effort, but that is exactly what Sony has done with Media Backbone Hive – and there are lessons that can be learnt from that process, writes Stuart Almond.

Re-engineering news production

It’s a phrase more commonly used in medical research, but it feels very appropriate now.

By successfully re-engineering its news production system Media Backbone Hive for the cloud, Sony recently crossed the valley of (development) death. It did what pharmaceutical companies find so difficult: move between research and successful commercialisation.

For Sony, it would have been relatively easy to do a ‘lift and shift’, taking Hive into cloud using virtual machines. This is what many of our competitors have done.

But with a legacy environment running on virtual machines you don’t get the real benefits of cloud such as scalability, the ability to add plug-ins or the flexibility of deploying different nodes in different locations.

Cloud Native

That is why Sony made the decision to be one of the first to go purely cloud native. We wanted to give our customers those benefits.

To do that, we had to take one step backwards in order to go two steps forwards. That pause allowed us to re-engineer Hive from the ground-up. And it was time well spent as it means we have now moved from the middle of the news production systems pack to the front of it. Unlike others, the road is now opening up in front of us.

Two-fold benefits

The benefits to our customers are two-fold.

Clearly, Hive users get a news production system that has all the true advantages of the cloud. But they also get to work with a company that gone through the pain of moving tools and systems to the cloud.

Many news organisations are doing just that, and not just for their news production system. For them, on-site infrastructure is costly and inflexible. But, equally, delivering on a cloud strategy is complex and disruptive. This is where Sony comes in.

We can help them every step of the way, with Hive and more, because we’ve been through that pain and we know the pitfalls to avoid. We have learnt lessons.

Download our complete guide to Media Backbone Hive