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Abstract The Media and Entertainment industry

is in the midst of rapid evolution as movie studios

and broadcast television productions move away
from traditional analog formats to digital. Rapid
advancements in display resolution and file formats
such as 4k, Ultra High Definition, and High Frame
Rate filming are placing additional stress on I.T.
systems and increasing the demand for storage and
network bandwidth. While many media
organizations are already leveraging Internet
technologies in their day -to- day operations, this
paper will present concepts to improve the media
creation process, creative collaboration, efficiency,
and security via traditional network technologies, as
well as newer advancements in cloud computing
and software defined networking.
n December 2013, Paramount Studios announced
that Anchorman 2 would be the last movie
Paramount would release for traditional 35mm film
distribution. This was promptly followed by the release
of Wolf of Wall Street in digital format only. Other
major studios such as 20
Century Fox and Disney
have made similar announcements concerning all
digital distribution models for future releases.

While this was a historic moment for the Media
Industry, digital distribution is only one avenue fueling
the increasing need for network bandwidth and storage.
As the creative process moves from 2K to 4K, and
eventually 8K, the media industry will outpace the
abilities of traditional storage mediums to deliver
content in a timely manner and become economically
untenable in traditional CAPEX models. A 2013
Coughlin Associates report surveyed SMPTE and HPA
members on current and future storage needs for digital
productions, highlight this explosive growth in

Several petabytes of storage may be required for a
complete stereoscopic digital movie project at 4K
resolution, and there is some production work as
high as 8K.

Within 10 years we could see close to an Exabytes
of content created in a single major movie project
Storage in remote clouds is playing an increasing
role in enabling collaborative workflows.
Between 2013 and 2018 we expect about a 5.8 X
increase in the required digital storage capacity
used in the entertainment industry
Active archiving will drive increased use of HDD
storage for archiving applications supplementing
tape for long term archives

Film Length 2K 4K 8K
1 minute 14GB 28GB 71GB
5 minutes 71GB 143GB 358GB
60 minutes 859GB 1.7TB 4.3TB
Required storage as resolution increases -12 bit color 24fps RGB 4:4:4

Creative collaboration is a key component across
theatrical and television productions often, involving
multiple geographical locations, artists and vendors.
Regional and International tax credits continue to
geographically disperse filming locations making
working with these large data sets in a timely manner
extremely difficult. This often results in manual
intervention and movement of physical assets e.g. disk
and tape.
Internet Service Providers (ISP) and Network Carriers
have been leveraging regional network peer points to
exchange traffic since the early 1990s. This allowed
for the rapid scaling of the Internet and providers to
facilitate the movement of web content across
networks owned by another carrier or ISP. As these
regional peer points grew in size, they began to give
the Internet a physical location due to the aggregation
of fiber optic cabling, service providers, and network
traffic. Today, Equinix is North Americas largest
network peering provider, with key locations in
Ashburn, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas
and New York. Equinix also maintains a substantial
global footprint, with peer locations across Europe and

Media Network Exchange Concept
Jason Banks

Cloud service providers are following a deployment
pattern similar to the early network exchange points.
With the major Internet Exchange Points (IXP)
becoming the crossroads of cloud services, network
providers, content producers, and content consumers.
A July 2014 Gigaom article highlighted these trends in
location aware cloud services, in order to address client
concerns over user latency, data protection, and

These same network and cloud intersection points are
becoming increasingly important to the entertainment
industry as productions chase tax breaks in various
locations and seek to leverage cloud services to reduce
cost. Overlaying the current map of production film
credits, we discover that many key shooting locations
are within 1,000 kilometers of a major IXP, as well as
the larger public cloud providers, such as AWS,
Google, MS Azure, and Rackspace.

Tax breaks in relationship to major Equinix IXPs

Media and entertainment can apply the same principals
used in traditional network peering relationships to
establish an ecosystem that facilitates the creative
process and reduces data movements. Many of these
regional locations already have substantial
infrastructure in place to facilitate the uploading of
data to vital co-location and network exchange points.

Additionally Software Defined Network (SDN) and
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is reshaping
how metro Ethernet and WAN services are delivered.
With many providers developing methods to deliver
metered, on-demand, elastic network services similar
to the current cloud model.
Teaming these
advancements in a content-peered ecosystem made up
of content producers and vendors will offer flexible
network options bound by less restrictive network
services contracts at a reduced cost, opposed to
traditional year or multi-year network services
contracts in shoot locations that are only used for a few
weeks a year.

Location Studios Exchange
U.S. West
6 Majors + L.A.
Silicon Valley
New York
U.S. East
Silver Cup, Steiner,
Kaufman, Broadway Stages
New York
U.S. South Pinewood, Raleigh Studios,
Canada Toronto and Montreal New York
Major North America Studios in relation to closest Equinix IXP

Advantages of Network and Entertainment Exchange

Optimal locations to take advantage of cloud
Optimal locations for remote work over PCoIP
Large ecosystem of services including network
providers, CDN, cloud vendors, and social
Ability to bypass carriers and peer directly to the
global Internet, opposed to purchasing point to
point circuits
Leverage IXP footprint for bulk data transfer
between regional locations using the Internet
Leverage cloud vendor networks to move content
via locations and regions
Potential to use secure federate storage to ease data
movements between co-located partners and
As SDN evolves, underlying transport will become
more data aware and networks more content aware
Carrier neutral data centers and Internet Exchange
Points (flexibility for studios and their vendors to
garner services suited to business requirements)

Growing data sets will require compute and storage to
be co-located and accessible via low latency network
connectivity over the WAN. Every 1,000km of
distance will add approximately 5ms of additional
network latency. Transferring data to and from cloud
services will add additional network overhead as traffic
passes through additional network devices to reach
cloud storage.

Teradici developed the PC-over-IP (PCoIP) protocol in
2008; the protocol provides lossless compression of
video and sound over the WAN and has become one of
the primary tools for remote desktops and artist
workstations. Network latency has a direct impact on
PCoIPs ability to deliver seamless playback of audio,
video and pixel level artistry. Research by video card
manufactures have shown the ideal level of WAN
latency is between 0 30ms.
Remote workstations for
visual artists will become the norm, as companies seek
to maintain the control and security of theatrical IP and
reduce the movement of large data sets. Industrial
Light and Magic, for example, is already successfully
applying these solutions between Los Angles, Silicon
Valley, and Vancouver Canada.
The ability to work
remotely provides several advantages.

Reduce the need to move large data sets across the
Improves security by locking data to the content
owners data center and storage pools
Cost savings through using zero / thin clients
opposed to purchasing high-powered desktops for
each artist

User Experience
0-30 0 - 1500 Perception free
40-60 1500 - 2500 Minimal latency
60-100 2500 - 5000 Sluggish mouse;
poor audio
> 100 > 5000 Visual slowness;
audio dropout
Latency effects on PCoIP traffic

Remote artist workstations are only one potential
use case. As cloud adoption accelerates, cloud
bursting for rendering, applications for dailies
review, VFX collaboration, and archiving will all
require similar WAN performance. By building a
WAN latency map around tax breaks locations
and cloud provider data centers, the same
intersection points correspond with the previously
identified regional Internet Exchange Points.

Courtesy of Equinix AWS latency in relation to Equinix IXP

Combining best in breed vendors, cloud services,
federated storage, and software defined networking,
new I.T. architectures can deliver traditional services
more efficiently and in new ways.

Cloud provider backbones can be utilized to transport
data between different cloud regions as well as
business locations. Current products such as Front
Porchs Digital Diva and Lynx Cloud can
automatically cache and replicate data across facilities.

Co-location and federated private cloud storage,
fronted by digital access management systems like 5

Kind, can be used to secure and share limited datasets
with content service providers, providing audit trails
and allowing content owners to maintain control over
critical IP.

By leveraging best in class datacenter providers and
regional Internet Exchange Points to deliver optimal
performance and tie the ecosystem together, we can
produce architectures that combine public and private

cloud services, facilitate remote work, and improve

Example architecture combing public and private clouds
Production content is growing at extreme rates across
the media industry. While this poses potential issues
for the Media Industry in terms of cost, efficiencies,
and security, many technologies already exist to
mitigate or minimize the ramifications. Applying these
advancements in new and creative ways will be a
critical component for industry success. The content
ecosystem based around a media exchange presented in
this paper is one possible solution. It seeks to address
current and future challenges not only through
technology but also by understanding the economics
and production complexities shaping the business
1. Verrier, R. (2014, January 18). Paramount stops releasing major movies
on film. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from

2. Professional Media and Entertainment Drives Storage Growth (Forbes)

3. The next big front for cloud competition: Location, location, location.
(n.d.). Retrieved October 1, 2014, from

4. The Metro Ethernet Forum Tackles the NaaS Challenge

5. Teradici IML case study

6. EVGA PCoIP User Guide