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University of Salford and the VidiCore API Hybrid Cloud solution

Customer Case - University of Salford on VidiCore API

The University of Salford is widely recognized in both academic and professional circles as a leading educational establishment in both acoustics and media production.  University of Salford’s aim is to work with the industry to prepare its students for work in professional, real-world environments. To do this, the university built two TV studios, three radio studios, video editing suites, classrooms, audio production and post-production areas and a media-tech lab.  


In this environment, students can be part of a media city-within-a-city that would also house the production offices of BBC Children’s, BBC Learning and BBC Sport, plus studios for BBC Radios 5 Live and 6Music, together with the northern laboratories of BBC Research and Development. 


The underlying on-site infrastructure to enable collaborative working at the facilities was installed and maintained by specialist media/IT systems integrator ERA. This included servers, switches, storage, and archiving.  When the technical infrastructure was coming to the end of its operational life, system integrator ERA was asked to specify a whole new technology by replacing the storage devices, edit management software and, most crucially, the existing MAM by an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based solution. 


“This included replacing all the storage and introducing up-to-date edit management system that would work with the wide range of edit operating systems used at the university”, says Sean Baker, Commercial Director ERA. “As part of that, there was the opportunity to install a very much simplified MAM that would go back to the core components required.” 


Alongside the new 1.6PB Pixit Media PixStor storage system, ERA recommended the introduction of a MAM capability that would allow students and lecturers to access files and projects from wherever they happen to be. 


“The original MAM was bespoke and tried to be too big and do too many things. Because of that, it was never fully adopted by the university and turned into an administration system.” ~ Sean Baker, Commercial Director ERA 


The key thing University of Salford wanted was a working MAM system, allowing both on-prem production as well as remote access for students to remotely upload data, submit assessments and send projects to lecturers for marking and review. 


The Vidispine Story

The University of Salford had previously been using Vidispine in several successful projects, something that naturally led to the decision to build the next Media Supply Chain using VidiCore API media services, VidiNetVDT and VSA. 


The goals of the new hybrid cloud-native workflow were to:

  • enable local and remote access 

  • provide an interface for uploading and review projects 

UoS diagram


The Vidispine Customer Success team got involved early in the process to technically manage the VidiCore API side of the implementation. VSA (VidiCore Server Agent), a critical service to enable remote access in the workflow, was installed and integrated locally to connect and present the 1.6PB Pixit Media PixStor storage system as a resource to the cloud-based VidiCore API service. 


“We tuned the VSA service to allow VidiCore to monitor the files and read/write from/to the Tiger Storage. Moreover, the VSA makes it flexible to access the transcoder and monitoring the transcoder and storage status. At the end of the day we combined the direct performance and accessibility of the on-premise solution with the flexibility and elegance of the cloud solution. This is what a Hybrid Cloud should be.” 

~ Alaa Alwaan, developer, Vidispine CS (Customer Success) team 


The Vidivue is the provided UI (User Interface) service that meets the user and presents the project status, including assets as well as upload functionality (remotely and locally). The rule based Vidispine MAM enables complete control over the media supply chain for all University of Salfords storage locations, on item level, with automatically triggered file movements. On-premises operations are hosted by ERA and are enabled through a combination of the COEUS subscription cloud service and the VidiCore API (application programming interface)-based MAM system. 

The Vidispine solution

By using VidiCore API MAM, users at the University of Salford are now able to log in from locations outside the Orange Tower to remotely upload data, submit assessments and send projects to lecturers for marking and review. Tiger Spaces fully integrates with VidiCore on-premises supporting Avid Bin Locking. The system then ensures items cannot be edited once the student have submitted them. Tiger Space additionally enables students to work on data from any available workstation and then pass it between other students in the system.

Screenshot_UoS

“The ability to upload and download remotely was a big priority for both studios and staff. It means they no longer have to travel to the university to submit or mark papers, allowing them to work from home. On top of that, we have compatibility with all the workstations we use, including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro and Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve, as well as other workflows, including render farming and studio track. Ultimately we have an industry-standard installation that gives our students a learning experience as close to what they will encounter in the real-world as possible.”
James Russell, Creative MediaTeam Leader with responsibility for technical services and digital IT at the University of Salford.

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Rasmus Bergander (1)
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