Fleeting into the Cloud

Sathish Gaddipati, VP - Enterprise Data Services and Analytics, The Weather Company
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Sathish Gaddipati, VP - Enterprise Data Services and Analytics, The Weather Company

Cloud Computing: A Compelling Proposition

Primary benefits of cloud computing for Media and Entertainment companies are: fast to market and ability to scale to unexpected peak loads. Also, cloud computing makes it easier to distribute the content to consumers across the globe. Media and Entertainment companies need not worry about building and running optimal computing infrastructure, which can be taken care of by cloud providers, and it will help them to concentrate on creation of content and building content distribution services.

We are serving about 10 billion weather data API requests per day with an average request response time of less than 15 milliseconds. We have built the entire data services and analytics platform on 100 percent cloud infrastructure. This platform serves global traffic and weather data to more than a half-billion devices from four Amazon cloud distributed across the globe. This platform serves not only The Weather Company’s digital properties, but it also serves all TWC requests via Apple iOS 8, Google, and Samsung devices.

Essential Approach to Infrastructure and Computing

Time to market, economic scalability, service reliability, and total cost of ownership are very important for CIOs. Cloud will help CIOs to attain some of these goals. It is very important that you should build services in such a way that these services could be deployed on any cloud provider infrastructure. By design, the services you develop should be cloud neutral services, and expect hardware or infrastructure failures.

Auto scaling, auto descaling, and distributed traffic management should be basic components of your service infrastructure. One needs to select appropriate computing and storage components for optimal service performance and to reduce operation costs. Leverage caching technologies and edge computing as much as possible. Edge computing will reduce the load at the origin by packaging individual content elements and computing user-specific requests at the edge. You need to build robust replication infrastructure so that all of your data centers have consistent data (in some cases, eventual consistency might be the goal).

It is very important to establish, measure, and control per unit cost of IT services for a given service level agreement. This will help business to decide which IT service is important for them and also it will help them to reestablish service level agreements. All services should be designed and instrumented such a way that each service should meter and report the real-time service level metrics and computing resource consumption for reporting and auto scaling and descaling of infrastructure.

Digitalized Fan Profiles for Slender Target

It is very important for Media and Entertainment industry to learn fans’ interests, profile, behavior, location, time spent on particular digital assets, etc., so that we can personalize the interactions, serve fan-specific content, and target advertisements. It is very important to capture all fan interactions across digital properties, uniquely identify fans, and associate fan profiles and activity data with external sources of data to get deeper understanding of fans.

First of all, build instrumentation into your digital properties and apps to capture and report fan activity and profile. Leverage big data platform to associate, segment, and analyze this data to get better understanding of fans.

Augment this data with external data to get deeper understanding of fans and leverage this information to serve fan-specific content and target relevant advertisements.

Crucial Necessities for Cloud Environments

As the advent of crowd sourcing and social media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict data ingestion volumes and frequencies. The sector is embracing cloud computing since it provides the flexibility of auto-scaling and descaling of infrastructure as and when required.

Media and Entertainment companies need to invest more on creating distributed data and content services which can work on a variety of cloud environments. This will enable the Media and Entertainment companies pick and choose cloud providers based on economies and service level agreements.

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