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Breaking monoliths into microservices to modernize your broadcast infrastructure

Interview with Benoit Quirynen, SVP Strategy, EVS

Benoit Quirynen, SVP Strategy, EVS
The industry has no choice but to rethink the way it develops and deploys new solutions, especially as we continue our move towards distributed production models. In our previous post, we explored the benefits of virtualization and how content producers are using the technology to better meet their needs for more flexibility and agility. A microservices architecture is another new business enabler that goes a step further by providing long-term usability and scalability. We’ve caught up with EVS’ SVP Strategy, Benoit Quirynen to find out more. 


How does a microservices infrastructure compare to a traditional broadcast infrastructure? 

Choosing a microservices architecture is about moving from a monolithic to a modularized environment to better adapt to the reality of today.  In the traditional, monolithic approach, it can become very complicated to extend the capabilities of a product or an application once it’s deployed. In a microservices architecture, applications are structured into smaller, independent software modules, each with its own function. This creates a dynamic, scalable environment in which you can easily deploy additional services to suit any - current & future - production requirement.


How can it improve the broadcaster experience?

The main benefit is related to the componentized nature of a microservices-based infrastructure. Every microservice can be orchestrated into a workflow or a solution in the live production chain to meet new needs. As a result, broadcasters and content creators benefit from a state-of -the-art and future-ready infrastructure, with perpetual access to all the latest features, functionalities and third-party integrations available. Microservices also guarantee secure operations in a reliable, redundant manner. If one implementation of a service faces an issue, other microservices will still function independently. EVS has pushed the microservices approach to the most advanced level. We’ve selected an event-driven micro-service architecture, where events are shared between micro-services, creating a very flexible environment for future enhancements of the system.


What about from a development point of view?

This approach accelerates the development cycle on mid-term and improves the continuous delivery process. In a well-organized environment, developers can easily implement updates and modifications without disrupting the entire system. Additionally, microservices can conveniently be reused in different use cases or workflows, so not only are they simpler to deploy, they are also becoming more robust and richer in functionalities.


In our previous post, we talked about the benefits of virtualization – how do both relate?

Virtualization makes it possible to run multiple applications as virtual machines from a single host server. EVS microservices are deployed within SW containers that can be distributed on different sites (venues, broadcast data center, private or public cloud). This brings another layer of granularity, scalability and redundancy to your virtualized infrastructure environment. Containerization also reduces the footprint in terms of resources and performance impact.


Are there any drawbacks?

The more microservices you have, the more complex it becomes so you need to have the right tools and processes in place to streamline the delivery of applications and guarantee the consistency. It’s also important your development teams are aligned from the beginning to ensure coherence in the long run. One concrete example is the terminology you use. Avoid chaos by making it consistent from the start.


What is EVS doing in terms of microservices?

We’ve created a live production ecosystem built on our microservices platform, called VIA which serves as the basis for of all our new product and solution offering. It supports a very large spectrum of microservices, to give content producers everything they need to roll out workflows tailored to their specific needs. As mentioned, we use the containerization method for virtualization, where each container shares the same operating system for faster development cycles. And although they also work with on-premises IT infrastructure, our microservices are designed as cloud native for a future-safe architecture.

Find out more about EVS’ VIA platform of microservices here: https://evs.com/en/via