At NAB Amplify Lawo debuted HOME, an innovative new management platform for IP based media infrastructures. HOME is natively built on a cloud-ready microservices architecture, enabling users to connect, manage and secure networked production setups from the ground up. Furthermore, it provides centralised access and control for all Lawo gear within a setup. HOME helps broadcast professionals address some of the most demanding requirements of modern IP infrastructures, including automated discovery and registration of devices, connection management, flow control, software and firmware management, scalability and security.
“In today’s IP project implementations, the physical build and cabling is only half of the way. The other half consists of configuration. HOME significantly increases efficiency in setting up IP system installs” says Axel Kern, Lawo’s Senior Product Manager Media Infrastructure Control.
“Broadcasters and service providers are faced with constantly changing production demands, and setups need to adapt, no matter if on-premise or off-premise, local or remote, or even cloud. This new management platform provides the architecture for our customers to scale with their agile business requirements.”
Lawo’s HOME platform is based on open standards such as ST2110, NMOS, IEEE802.1x and RADIUS and follows LUX, Lawo’s unified experience design principles, which provide a consistent workflow across all Lawo IP products.
Discovery and Registration: HOME solves IP complexity with automatic plug and play discovery of IP audio and video devices, which are registered with their name, location, status and type. This applies not only to Lawo products but to third-party solutions as well via NMOS. Discovered devices are managed in a central inventory list, ready for access and configuration.
Device Management: In today’s hectic live broadcast environments, operators rely on speedy, unified device configuration routines, especially when setting generic device parameters or configuring senders and receivers. The ability to save and recall configurations is key to speed up tasks. HOME provides a centralised ‘mission control’ for these processes, providing fast and unified access to device parameters for easy tweaking, irrespective of the end point being controlled.
Operability: With its simple, user-friendly UI, HOME allows users to organise and access processing services. With all required facilities accessible in one place, operators can set up and change stream configurations, and route them across an infrastructure without the need for a separate controller. For large infrastructures HOME works seamlessly with a broadcast controller in the same set-up and helps to speed up configuration and operation. HOME is based on LUX, a UI language common to all Lawo devices and many of their functionalities. Through HOME’s user interface, operators can access and edit device parameters quickly utilising integral mechanisms that help get the job done efficiently. With HOME, operators quickly get right to what they’re looking for, without distractions and complications, to focus 100 percent on the task at hand.
Security: The content created by a production crew and transported over a network is any operation’s most valuable asset and deserves strong protection. While a robust security system needs to cover all aspects of media infrastructure and content creation, the key lies in its simplicity. HOME provides a variety of security strategies, first of which is quarantining unknown devices when they come online. Only after being deliberately approved, via an intuitive IEEE802.1X-based routine, can they begin exchanging signals with the HOME network.
Secondly, HOME uses an authentication strategy based on a centralised user management system, with dedicated user roles and groups. The LDAP based service allows users to authenticate either locally – within HOME – or via their own corporate IT infrastructure, e.g. Microsoft Active Directory. Finally comes the arbitration of devices and individual streams based on pinpointed rights management. HOME’s architecture is prepared to manage services such as transport layer security, network segmentation and other IT security mechanisms such as RADIUS.
Scalable Architecture: Home is cloud-native by design, which means that its architecture is built to run detached from hardware constraints. This does not automatically mean that services must be outsourced to an external service provider whose meter is running 24/7; with HOME, the cloud starts on your campus, private and locally, on COTS hardware. The HOME platform is designed as functional blocks that provide microservices, which are self-contained and supply functionality to operators or other services.
HOME can be expanded with additional services at any time to increase its functionality — the platform scales on demand. Should there be a need for a larger RDS, because the installation grows, additional instances of the required resources can be added anytime. One of the core principles of HOME is its focus on the utilisation of open standards wherever possible, for broadest compatibility and future-proof integration. With HOME, flexibility and resource utilisation in IP media infrastructure maximises.