arkona technologies and Manifold Technologies have launched manifold CLOUD, live production core infrastructure built on private cloud COTS hardware, made available as a service-based ecosystem.
The core architectural concept of manifold CLOUD is that of an on-demand configurable pool of shared resources allocated within a private cloud environment. arkona states that manifold CLOUD is designed to supply “the benefits of cloud, for Tier-1 live production”. Such productions – for example, the demanding, high-level global sports competitions and entertainment awards events that recur annually or bi-annually – need systems capable of live operation, at the same time maintaining scalability, resiliency, quick deployment and unified control.
manifold CLOUD is a 100% software system that runs on COTS FPGA (field programmable array) programmable accelerator cards (PAC). It can utilise COTS FPGA accelerators from various vendors that take advantage of the fast development cycles of chip and server manufacturers, while at the same time lowering the CAPEX investment required.
manifold CLOUD scales with the total aggregated bandwidth of all the accelerators in a cluster. As the current generation of COTS FPGA PACs are now able to achieve 1.6 TBps per RU, manifold CLOUD can, for example, handle up to 512 x 3G multiviewer sources in a single RU and continues to scale linearly as more compute is added.
Each service is dynamically allocated to one of the available hardware accelerators and operators. Using a single-sign-on web UI, operators request the functionality needed, which is then set up in manifold CLOUD and presented to the user. For resiliency, manifold CLOUD services are virtualised on top of the underlying compute hardware and are automatically restored in case of failure. Rigid security and authentication are based on current IT standards.
manifold CLOUD made its global introduction at NAB 2023, where arkona and Manifold demonstrated the system with the multiviewer service running on COTS FPGA. manifold CLOUD achieves up to 128 UHD services in a single RU and scales linearly across a private cloud infrastructure.
arkona specialises in software-defined hardware infrastructure, specifically, ‘glue’ products such as routers and multi-viewers. manifold CLOUD services can run on top of the arkona AT300 PAC which gives straightforward ingress/egress to and from legacy SDI systems, while at the same time performing processing services such as multi-viewing or up/down/cross conversion. Dedicated SDI gateways that only perform SDI/IP conversion become unnecessary.
The AT300 is an update of Arkona’s earlier PAC, built on the latest generation Intel FPGA and capable of using high bandwidth memory. This improvement means that putting processing performance limits on the FPGA is no longer required. Instead, users have a much larger cache, with the ability to process all data. It also makes the processor useful for high density 1080p and multiple 4K HDR conversions, up/down/cross, multiview applications, compression and so on.
Control is unified through a centralized web UI and RESTful API. It’s also possible to create manifold CLOUD clusters and create services specific to the demands of a particular production. Users can save and load cluster configurations to set up complete core infrastructure chains in a few seconds. arkonatech.com