Video: Network Automation Using Python and Google Sheets

“I’m lazy and I’m a master procrastinator.” If you sympathise, learn how to automate network configuration with some code and spreadsheets.

In this video, the EBU’s Ievgen Kostiukevych presents a simple way to automate basic operations on Arista switches working in a SMPTE ST 2110 environment. This is done with a Python script which retrieves parameters stored in Google Sheets and uses Arista’s eAPI to implement changes to the switch.

The Python script was created as a proof of concept for the EBU’s test lab where frequent changes of VLAN configuration on the switches were required. Google Sheets has been selected as a collaborative tool which allows multiple people to modify settings and keep track of changes at the same time. This approach makes repetitive tasks like adding or changing descriptions of the ports easier as well.

Functionality currently supported:

  • Creating VLANs and modyfying their descriptions based on the date in a Google Sheets
  • Changing access VLANs and interface descriptions for the ports based on the date in a Google Sheets
  • Reading interfaces status and the mac address table from the switch and writing the data to the spreadsheet

The script can be downloaded from GitHub.

Speaker

Ievgen Kostiukevych
Senior IP Media Technology Architect and Trainer
EBU

Video: ST 2110 – From Theory to Reality

Delivering an all-IP truck is no mean feat. tpc explains what they learnt, what went well and how they succeeded in delivering a truck which takes no longer to fire up than a traditional SDI truck.

A common questions among people considering a move to IP is ‘do I need to?’ and ‘how can I get ready?’. Here at The Broadcast Knowledge we always say ‘find a small project, get it working, learn what goes wrong and then plan the one you really wanted to do.’ The Swiss broadcasting service provider ‘Technology and Production Centre’, known as ‘tpc’, has done just that.

tpc is currently working on the Metechno project – a large all-IP news, sports and technology center for Swiss radio and television. In order to acquire necessary experience with the SMPTE ST 2110 standard, tpc designed the UHD1 OB van ahead of time which has been used in TV production for 6 months now. In this video, Andreas Lattmann shares the vision of the Metechno Project and, critically, his experiences related to the design and use of the truck.

The UHD1 is a 24-camera OB van with all IP core based on Arista switches with non-blocking architecture. It is the equivalent of an 184-square UHD SDI system however, it can be expanded by adding additional line cards to network switches. The truck is format agnostic, supporting both HD and UHD formats in HDR and SDR. IP gateways are incorporated for SDI equipment.

The SMPTE ST 2110 specification separates video and audio into discrete essence streams which boosts efficiency and flexibility, but we hear in this talk that more attention to latency (lip sync) is required compared to SDI systems. Andreas talks about the flexibility this truck provides with up-/down-conversion, color-correction for any video plus how IP has enabled full flexibility in what can be routed to the multiviewer screens.

Anderas spends some time discussing redundancy and how IP enables full redundancy – an improvement over many SDI infrastructures and how SMPTE’s ST 2022-7 standard makes this possible.

The main GUI is based on a Lawo VSM control system which aims to deliver a familiar experience for operators who used to work in the SDI domain. Network training has been provided for all operators because troubleshooting has changed significantly with the introduction of essences over IP. This is not least because NMOS IS-04 and 05 standards were not mature enough during design of the truck, so all IP connections had to be managed manually. With more than 50 thousand IP addresses in this system, AMWA’s NMOS IS-04 which manages discovery and registration and IS-05 which manages the setup and take-down of connections would have helped significantly in the lean management of the truck.

Lattmann emphasizes importance of using open standards like SMPTE ST 2110 instead of proprietary solutions. That allows you to choose the best components and not rely on a single manufacturer.

The learning’s the Andreas presents us involve difficulties with PTP, IP training, the benefits of flexibility. From a video point of view, Andreas presents his experiences with HDR->SDR workflows, focussing in HDR and UHD.

Watch now!

Speaker

Andreas Lattmann Andreas Lattmann
CTO, Head of Planning & Projects
tpc Switzerland AG

Video: Scalable IP Architectures for Live Production and Playout

For many building a good network for a 2110 or other media-over-IP standards is new and a bit scary. But if there’s one person who knows how to do it, it’s Arista’s Gerard Phillips who’s here to go through the basics and build up the network needed for a large and scalable network.

Scalability is the heart of this, because life does change – your company grows, technology pushes you from SD to HD to UHD etc. So you need to build scalability in from the beginning. Getting this right comes down to choosing the right hardware and having the right architecture.

Gerard looks at switch architecture and bandwidth both in the switch and of the network cables. He then looks towards ‘hub and spoke’ Vs monolithic switch design. What are the pros and cons to each and which is right for you?

SDN – Software Defined Networking – is also a key ingredient in such a network. This is where the routing decisions of the switch infrastructure is taken out of the switches because they have automatic and blinkered algorithms and takes it to a server which has a complete overview of the whole system. For a broadcaster who deals with critical signal chains – this is usually the best approach to give determinism and safety to the network.

PTP – Precision Time Protocol – provides the foundation of the 2110 standard and is therefore very important to studio installations being used to replace black and burst. What are the best ways to distribute this and how can you deal with redundancy?

These topics and more are all covered at this IP Showcase presentation from IBC 2018.

Watch now!

Speaker

Gerard Phillips Gerard Phillips
Systems Engineer,
Arista Networks

Webinar: Welcome to All IP Media—Understanding Networked Video, File, Management and More


Date: June 13th 2018
First Showing: 8 AM PT/11 AM ET/16:00 BST
Second Showing: 9 PM PT/Midnight ET (14th)/05:00 BST (14th)

Now that uncompressed media has arrived for COTS networking infrastructure in the media and entertainment industry we can complete the picture for all IP transport, covering all aspects of the content delivery chain. Marrying hardware and software-based systems to high-performance network infrastructure is critical to making all IP end–to-end video workflows a reality.

Join industry experts from Harmonic and Arista Networks for an in-depth discussion of practical lessons for supporting networked video and file workflows along with management, monitoring and control.

Topics Include:

  • The impact of uncompressed media over IP on existing IP workflows
  • The technologies enabling the transport of uncompressed flows
  • Network topologies and routing for small and large production systems
  • Use cases, including uncompressed end-to-end studio production and playout, and encoding for broadcast and OTT
  • The reality of HD over 10Gig


Andy Warman
Director, Playout Solutions, Harmonic
Board Member and Marketing Working Group Chair, AIMS

Andy Warman is the Director of playout solutions at Harmonic. He provides business development and strategic direction for Harmonic’s line of playout enabled solutions for cloud and appliances including Spectrum media server, the Polaris automation suite, MediaGrid shared storage solutions and VOS cloud-native media processing. Warman also serves on the board of directors of the Alliance for the IP Media Solutions (AIMS).

Robert Welch
Technical Solutions Lead
Arista Networks

Robert Welch is a Technical Solutions Lead at Arista Networks, working with customers and partners on innovative solutions to business challenges.