Speaker 0 00:00:00 This is the workflow show stories about media production, technology discussions on development, deployment, and maintenance of secure media asset management solutions. And of course that calming soothing workflow therapy for which you all listen. I'm Jason Whetstone, senior workflow engineer and developer at Chesapeake systems. And I'm Ben Kilburg senior solutions architect at Chesa today on the workflow show, we will welcome back Michael commis from five things and bebop technologies. And we had the honor of talking with him around this time. Last year, when we discussed the myths and realities of remote editing in the cloud, we asked him to come back and talk with us about what's changed in the last year. And here's a hint it's it's a lot, but first we have a few reminders, send your feedback, topic and guest suggestions or stories about media production technology to workflow [email protected]
or if you're all a Twitter at Chesa pro or at workflow show, and please hit that subscribe button. So, you know, when new episodes are available and get some more of that workflow therapy, you're here for today. And, you know, we need some therapy in 2020, because it's, it's been quite a year. Right. Um, all right. So I'd like to welcome Michael commons, director of business development for bebop technologies and founder of the five things, tech web series. Michael, thank you for joining us today.
Speaker 1 00:01:22 Oh, thanks for having me back guys. Good to see you again. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:01:24 So as I said earlier, we had you on the show a year ago and has it been that long? It's been a year. I can't, I can't believe it, but it has been a year. It was November, 2019. When we had you on to talk about, you know, the state of the industry as of November, 2019, post 2020, and all the strange things that have happened this year and, you know, back then, it was quite a different discussion because it was about like, okay, so everybody wants this remote editing capability, but what's possible today. And like, what is realistic? And, you know, there's kind of the pie in the sky. Everybody can just sit on their couch or sit on the beach and edit. And, and then there's like, you know, very various and sundry levels of, of, you know, entry points in between that and just, you know, having a completely on-prem system. So what is your observation about what has changed in the industry?
Speaker 1 00:02:19 Well, a year ago there, wasn't a, uh, I think the phrases light a fire under your ass, right? That, that didn't, that didn't exist. And then, uh, obviously with the events of 2020 and the pandemic, a potential fire under your butt became an atomic bomb under your butt. And so there, there was a much more of an impetus to, to move to utilizing the cloud, uh, prior towards, uh, prior to 2020, a lot of forward-thinking folks said, well, this is the way we're going to go. But for one reason or another, maybe they just bought new gear, you know, on prem gear a couple months prior, or maybe they just invested in another lease on their building. Right. So there were reasons to, well, that's good. And maybe in the future, but I have budgets that I'm comfortable with. I know how things are going to play out. I know what status quo is. There's no reason to rock the boat. So it became a, Hey, that's great. That's cool. And I can see all the promise, but there's nothing actively pushing me there, aside from some outliers, right?
Speaker 0 00:03:17 Like you said about the whole, well, we just purchased a new bevy of equipment or storage, or maybe we expanded our internet pipe, you know, so there's all kinds of potential.
Speaker 1 00:03:29 It becomes almost a sunk cost fallacy, right. We just invested in half a petabyte. Uh, well, if they work remote, they can't use that. Or if they are working remote, how can we make it work? Right. So people would then invest in, uh, solutions that may not be as robust as the cloud because that storage is already on the books and we got to pay for it. So w when we got to the, when the pandemic hits there suddenly was that atomic bomb and folks realize that the, the warm nest, or shall we say the harsh, cold fluorescent reality of the edit Bay and, uh, that that was no longer a viable. And so the cloud became a okay, that that's in the future, but we kind of need that now. Right? So I think from a technology perspective, not a lot has changed in the past year. What's happened is people are becoming more aware and business stakeholders at these corporations are realizing that we can't just wait this out. So we're now seeing people who waited six and seven months now saying we're getting to the end of our fiscal year. We kind of have to make a call as to what we're doing for the next one year, two years, five years. And now we're seeing an even larger influx of folks moving to the cloud even more so than back in April.
Speaker 0 00:04:43 Yeah. So what I hear you saying there is that it's starting to sink in, whether people have seen that atomic bomb under their butt or not. It's kind of sunk in that like, Hey, things may not be going back to the way they were before. Anytime soon, if at all that that's. And I think the, if at all there is, is it's worth shining a little bit of a light on, because this is just changing the way we do things. This, this whole situation this year in 2020 is just changing the way we do things. And I think some people are saying like, is there a reason to want to go back to the way things were before it wasn't so great.
Speaker 1 00:05:17 You bring up a great question because there's quality of life. Of course, the antithesis to that is, well, now you're intruding on my whole life and now I have to work at home. So, you know, there's, there's a balance there. Uh, but you're, but you're completely right. I think the bullpen methodology, which a lot of companies had, which is, Hey, we're going to set up cubicles and you're just going to edit with headphones all day. I think that is going to go away real quick. I had a great conversation with one of our clients, uh, seven or eight months ago, they were going to have hundreds of creatives and they were about to move into a multi, multi multi-million dollar facility. And this client laid out the blueprints for this new facility and said, I have to go to every desk and exit out because we can't expect people to come in and be crammed in like this. And that was kind of the, the moment of, yeah, we've we spent years designing this facility and we're building it as we speak. And we, we don't have enough space to have this social distancing, so we're going to work remote. And that's what we're seeing happen to a lot of folks now.
Speaker 2 00:06:19 So do you see, uh, what, what do you see happening in those situations with the facilities? Are they just sort of stopping? Are they getting it to a point where people can come in if they need to? Is it, what are you seeing in that regard?
Speaker 1 00:06:30 Uh, well, uh, it's been, I like to call it bubblegum and bumper stickers. Right? It's been everything they can to keep that workflow together. And, you know, they, it's funny because when you, when you talk to folks who may end up on bebop, there's kind of a couple different stages. First. It was, we tried Dropbox that didn't work. Okay. Then we try to VPN. So we, so folks could remote into their systems at home, uh, remote into the systems back at the office and that didn't work. Okay. Then we'll try and remote Apple, remote desktop, or team viewer. Okay. That didn't work. So you have all these stages, uh, until people realize that these low no cost band-aids, don't always work and they're not, they're not reliable for a production pipeline. We're seeing a lot of folks who have tried that and are now moving into a more, uh, shall we say all encompassing solution, as opposed to just these.
Speaker 2 00:07:19 Yeah. And I mean, you know, one of my observations has been, there's also a lot of opportunity for, Hey, you know, here's a tool that's really cheap. It looks really good. And it demos really well. And it might be a little too good to be true because it probably has a little too good to be exactly this magic bullet solution for everyone. Right. Let's dig a little bit into the why some of these things that people have been trying are working really well for them. Right. So VPN or Dropbox, so Dropbox that's easy, right? I mean, it's push pull sort of a, sort of a workflow, Hey, I've got to upload this project with all of its assets or proxies or whatever, right up to the cloud and you have to download it to your machine. And there's the time it takes. And I mean, full disclosure right now I have cellular internet.
Speaker 2 00:08:10 So I don't have a lot of speed, you know, pushing around large files can be challenging. Right? Yep. So that's the bottleneck, right? So that's what we're initially seeing. If we're trying to move large files around, which is that if you've got 200 terabytes worth of files and you're trying to send them over a hundred megabit line, if you're lucky enough to have a hundred megabit, it's going to take a long time. And so that's the inherent fallacy there. If we're talking about VPNs, you're still dealing with that bottleneck at home, which is your internet connection, plus the bottleneck of the internet connection at the office. And then the initial challenge of whatever the protocol is that you might be trying to connect to either your shared in the office. Right? So if we're talking SMB or NFS or whatever, the, you know, file sharing protocols that we use typically, um, within an on premises, shared storage situation, those are meant to be, they're really chatty right there.
Speaker 2 00:09:13 There's, they're built to be able to reliably send packets across a wire. And so they do things in terms of TCP IP, transmission protocols for the internet that verify those files. And so, because of that, if they hit a road bump somewhere along the way, in the many steps that they take to get the packet from point a to point B, it dramatically slows things down to make sure that it's still sending you those other packets and that you're going to receive them. So that's, this is an example where we say it could work, you know, it could work depending on the circumstances, you know, using M we're talking specifically about, say connecting to your, your business's VPN and working on their network, because that VPN is just like a long ethernet cable right. Into their network. So you connect to your VPN, you know, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to be able to get the same kind of, uh, bandwidth service, yada yada, yada, that you get when you're actually physically, you know, on premise, you know, we have a lot of, um, work groups that are working with, you know, fiber channel-based sand still.
Speaker 2 00:10:22 And, uh, unless there is a pathway to, uh, like Ben said, sort of share that out over a file sharing protocol. Um, you know, that may be possible too, but again, with, with this, with this constant communication that these protocols do, it's not really set up for communication over the internet as a matter of use. So
Speaker 1 00:10:41 I think of it a lot, like whack-a-mole, and here's why, because as you mentioned, TCP IP, not the best for media, uh, it has error correcting. So the solution or the mallet for the mole is, Oh, we'll go to a UDP paste protocol because then you don't have as much error checking. You can choke bore through the pipe, but then you have the other ball of there's no error correction. So all of the other things that you're running in the background and your machine, and you're working wirelessly, that's another mole that you have to kind of wack because that's now another hindrance to what I call a pleasurable editing experience. And, and I think that's the key because you have some editors, uh, like news editors, uh, or like, uh, I did some work with TMZ years ago and they were the fastest editors I've ever seen in my life.
Speaker 1 00:11:26 But there are also folks who were, I don't wanna say casual editors, but who don't have a massive backlog and can be mouse editors instead of keyboard editors. And so the pleasurable editing experience differs from user to user. So a VPN when you're 10 miles away, when the company has a fiber on their line, and, you know, you have a wired connection at home that may work with jump desktop that may work. But when we get into the, uh, I don't want to say mission critical, but the higher pressure edit sessions where quality is needed, and you can't guess that's when we start to see a, these kind of piecemeal fixes these band-aids, uh, this mallet for this ball, uh, isn't big enough. And we have to move to something that solves all of the issues as opposed to just one or two of them. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:12:13 Yeah. Well, let's, I want to talk about collaboration and how that's changed. Obviously we're, we're doing right now, Michael Ben and our producer, Kate and myself are all on a zoom call and that's, that's how we are producing the show. So that's certainly fine for what we're doing. We're all recording separately and we'll, we'll put it all together, but, um, you know, it, it, I want to get into that, but, but first let's talk, we talked about VPN and why that can be challenging. Let's talk about some other methods that people have tried and, you know, again, they, they may work. They may not work for everyone. What are some other things like, let's talk about this sort of jump cloud, remote desktop kind of thing. Um, what have we seen there, you know, that's kind of the space that bebop is in, right.
Speaker 1 00:12:54 Kind of, sort of, sort of, it's kinda sorta, but there, there are obviously just like when you buy some knockoff tech online, right. There's gonna be some, uh, corners cut. Uh, some exceptions made to get that price point down. Uh, and when you're looking at screen-sharing applications, team, viewer don't want to crap on them because I've paid and user service for years, but it's for it, right? It's not going to give you eight or even 10 bit color. It's not going to give you color accuracy. It's not going to have sync audio. And video frame rate is not going to be where as editors or VFX editors or graphics folks need that 24 to 30, 60 frames a second.
Speaker 0 00:13:33 Yeah. I guess the phrase I would use there would be desktop support. That's really, you know, team viewers in that desktop support. That's what it's for.
Speaker 1 00:13:41 Then the next step obviously is the, uh, kind of gamer methodology, which is a parsec and jump desktop. And these solutions that are meant for low latency, because gamers need low latency and for decent screen approximation, but it's kind of an all or nothing, meaning it's converting everything to <inaudible> or whatever flavor of two, six, four, they want to use maybe two 65 in the future. And then you just have to deal with what that is. And then you get into more of the, I don't want to say enterprise, but enterprise tech, which is things like Nutanix frame, Tara DG, PC over IP, PC, over IP ultra these solutions that are much more integrated at the hardware level to use GPU's. And CPU's to give you that ultra low latency connection, but also retain color fidelity, sync, audio, and video,
Speaker 0 00:14:33 And bebop is on that latter end of what you were just speaking about there.
Speaker 1 00:14:37 Yeah. Tara, uh, has been a fantastic partner for a long time. They're a PC over IP protocol, uh, has been, uh, one of the industry standards and bebop went through a, in our five years, we've gone through vetting of just about every tech solution there. And we found at this point in time that the best balance of tech and cost and flexibility is PC over IP. And because the price for that, uh, is very attractive. Uh, it's just a great solution that, that gives you 95% of what editors need.
Speaker 2 00:15:07 So we've talked about it a little bit in the past, but let's kind of rehash a little bit about what Tara did. She brings to the table in terms of their protocols and what the solution can do and what all of the critical pieces are in building that specific Lego castle.
Speaker 1 00:15:25 I like saying that because I'd like to think of the cloud as an erector set. So I kind of liked the Lego pieces, but Terry Nietzsche does, uh, broadly is it runs as either a hardware or software device on your machine. In the case of a data center, it has to be software because you're not walking in there and plugging hardware in, but it operates at the less level. And it's actively scraping your video, buffer your audio buffer and what PC over IP does, which is fantastic. Is it breaks up your screen or multiple screens into chunks. And that chunk of the screen may have a different Kodak that may be more efficient because maybe it's, it's your bin monitor, right? Which just has a few colors and texts. It doesn't move, but your program monitor on your timeline that has pickles that change often.
Speaker 1 00:16:08 So let's use a different codec for that. So that allows the data rate to get a hell of a lot smaller, usually 20 to 50 megabits, which, you know, fits down the home either net pipe or home internet pipe easily. And then when that gets to your system, that's then in an encrypted way, when it gets to your system, it is then I don't say un-encrypted, but then displayed as a cohesive image. And so that allows users to not see as much banding in the gradients. It allows you to, when you hit space bar for it to play, when you click, you know, an after effects to a sort of key frame, it's clicking right when you click it. So that coupled with our low latency has really been the solution for this.
Speaker 2 00:16:46 So it's really a matter of, of using, like you said, of using the best possible ways of getting that data across the pipe, by breaking up actually what you're seeing. And two sections of how often, how fast is this updating, which is pretty awesome,
Speaker 1 00:17:02 Right? Yeah. One of the things, uh, I think a lot of people overlook is when they look at PC over IP or any other, any of the other connection methods is okay, I can see the video that'll work well, no, because there are things like audio visual sync there's does my tablet work right? Can I get surround audio? How do I patch to a confidence monitor? So all of the things that editors, all of these tools that you're accustomed to using, it's not thought about. And then you sit down in front of it and realize, Oh, I have to use a keyboard and mouse. I can't view a video output. So there's all these, I don't want to call them sprinkles on the Sunday, but there's all these little things that have to be that need to be done that aren't considered. And that becomes a block
Speaker 2 00:17:43 Or really quick. I look at that as what you're describing as sort of the devil being in the details, some of these
Speaker 0 00:17:50 Lower cost solutions that are really attractive because they're very cool looking, lots of features, lots of bells and whistles, and some of the actual core like editing features that people are really looking for work really well. If you're doing certain things or if you're working a certain way. And once you introduce some, you know, some of these details into that mix, I don't wanna say it falls apart, but there's caveats. You know, it's just a matter of like, well, you have to do it this way. If you want to use this tool or you have to do it that way. And you know, that's a change in the workflow. So I think that's just important to call out is that people say you get what you pay for also realize you don't get what you don't pay for.
Speaker 1 00:18:31 Do you mean like video quality on YouTube, man? If, if I, the amount of times I hear about, well, I, I can't get good quality out of YouTube. Well, you're the product buddy. You're the product because you're going to get it for free. You're the product, but you bring up a really good point. And that's one of the things I, I talk to people a lot is, uh, you know, there's this myth of everything goes to the cloud and, you know, working for bebop. Sure. But that's not something we say, reason being is there are some considerations that have to be taken into account, namely things like, uh, high-end color grading, right? That's still by and large done on prem because trying to get a four, four, four signal from your original camera masters from the cloud, you need a really fat internet pipe. You need a, you still need a high-end calibrated monitor audio in the cloud, right?
Speaker 1 00:19:21 You want to work with audition fine, but pro tools, that's not running in the cloud. Yeah. So there are some things which are not quite ready. The good thing is, is that normally you have a team of offline editorial motion graphics, VFX folks, so are an army. And then normally on medium, small budget projects, you'll have a colorist and maybe an assist or maybe a one or two audio folks. So most by large, they already have their own rigs. So it can, there is a really good workflow where you do all the creative, sorry, don't want to say Keller is an audio folks. Aren't creative, but all the editorial creative decisions can be made in the cloud with proxies or with high Rez. And then you can simply ship the Hi-Rez and the project file to each of these different departments. And they can continue on prem because they already have the gear.
Speaker 0 00:20:10 Right, right. So that's, that's where we may get into, well, now we've got to actually deliver all of the high high-risk versions of these files that could be exchanging drives, or it could be, you know, we, we just need a, a pretty big internet pipe to upload this stuff. You need a pretty big pipe to download it, you know, off to the races.
Speaker 1 00:20:27 I wish that was the only limiter, but the another big limiter that people don't even think about. And then when they think about it scares the bejesus out of them, or is the cloud because the cloud has hidden costs. Right? And I think I may even have lamented on this, on our last call egress, right. Egress is, is, you know, there are five things. I, I hate Heights spiders to some extent and egress charges because it's a nickel and dime. And, and the fact that they're going to ding you for how much you store in the cloud, but then also say, Oh, you want it back. Oh, we're going to ding you. And that's not cheap. It's 75 to a hundred bucks a terabyte. And, uh, that's why I'm hopeful that cloud providers or CSPs cloud service providers like AWS and Azure and Google, and IBM start looking at the methodologies of like wasabi and Backblaze, which is, Hey, egress is free.
Speaker 1 00:21:23 Now, if you read the fine print, it's not free because if you download too much, wasabi comes to you and says, you're not really a good candidate for us to stop using us. So they will charge you once you get to a certain level. I think that scares a lot of people and the CSPs have not embraced media and entertainment. They see dollar signs. They realize that media takes up a lot more space on a hard drive than a database file, but they haven't adjusted their pricing to facilitate that. And that's just a crime as far as I'm concerned.
Speaker 2 00:21:53 Yep. Yeah. I don't disagree with you. Uh, the one thing that I'll say for the larger CSPs is that they do have archive tiers. That can be cheaper. And so if you've got an Oh crap copy that you want to just essentially have somewhere, if Armageddon comes and have everything in deep, deep storage that hopefully you'll never have to touch, that's a definitely a good use case for that. But like you said, if you want to keep everything online and get access to it, like you need it because we do need it. Folks like wasabi and Backblaze are definitely good options.
Speaker 1 00:22:26 We've what we've found is that when folks, uh, especially smaller production companies working on docs or reality, they don't have a cloud strategy. So when they look at bebop or cloud solutions, that's great. But to, but to your point, Ben, uh, when we started talking about archive in the cloud, Whoa, that's like, that's 10 steps above where they are now. They're just dipping their toe in the, in the cloud ecosystem. And now you're talking about cementing themselves in the cloud ecosystem. And so that almost becomes more scary because not only are we introducing them to editing and post-production in the cloud, but then we're also saying let's determine a long-term storage strategy
Speaker 2 00:23:04 Explodes. Yeah. Right. Which everybody should, because data preservation is paramount because that's your livelihood. And if you lose it, you're done. Right. But like you said, Michael, it's scary as heck thinking that somebody else has your stuff and they're going to charge you to use your stuff that doesn't make any sense to anybody. I often find that that one of the really great ways to, to help people understand the reality of the situation is to, is to make some sort of an analogy that's really pertinent to, to everyday life. So think about your basement. If you have one, what if there was a card slot or something on the door that was every time you go down there to get something you've got, you know, you've,
Speaker 0 00:23:46 You've got to throw 25 cents in the till every time you go down there. So that's going to completely change your thinking about when you go down there. Not only that, not only is it every time you go down there, but it's like, how much stuff are you bringing out? Right. And there's something that's, that's monitoring that and dinging you every time for a certain amount. Well, what happens if that amount changes? You know, that's something that a lot of people don't think about, I don't think is, you know, okay. So all your stuff is down there, you know, it's there, it's safe. That's great. But you have to pay to go down there to access it. And what happens if somebody decides like, we're not really charging enough for this let's let's, let's Jack it up, like maybe a quarter of a cent. So it's just something to keep in mind. It's not a reason not to do something. It's just, you know, don't be surprised.
Speaker 3 00:24:31 Yeah. It's yeah. It's funny. The, uh, the way you explained that made me think of somebody, um, you know, like doctor who's showing up on your back doorstep, right? And like literally you walk out and the tartest is, is next year backdoor. Right. And that's kind of the way the cloud fields, right? That like all of the sudden you have end dimensional space available to you and all of your files can go in there forever, but you're right. If you have to knock on the door every time and hand someone a dollar, it changes the way you think about the Tardis.
Speaker 1 00:25:03 Exactly. The thing I would, I would add. And you're completely right. But I, what I don't want to do is scare people off. Exactly. Yeah. We don't want to scare people. Are there egress charges? Yes. Usually it's 75 to a hundred bucks a terabyte. If you are working off a workstation in the cloud, and you're just streaming that desktop, you're not even going to scrape the surface of that. What's going to add some additional charges is you do a two terabyte output right. Of your project. Because for some reason you want to do on compressed and you download that, that's going to be heavy bandwidth. If you want to download, re-download all of the content you uploaded, that's going to be a heavy lift because you know, you're up uploading hundreds of gigs or terabytes to work with. So what we normally find is people will upload the high Rez edit and they, and because the upload had to come from somewhere high, that high Rez is already on-prem somewhere.
Speaker 1 00:25:54 And then that gets shuttled elsewhere. Or you've created proxies, upload the proxies while the high Rez stays on prem. And then that goes for any online or audio work. Uh, and again, uh, it's something that people don't do. If you've worked with cameras on television shows and feature films, there's always a camera test. Right. Let's see how this works. People don't do a post-test you're so right. People assume, Oh, I, uh, it just worked last time. It'll work this time. No. And when it came to the pandemic, people were saying, look, we have a show that starts next week. We need to use it now. Okay. That's great. We'll get it for you. But you're coming into this only having half the knowledge you need. There are things you have to take into consideration. And we found that the major stumbling blocks that folks run into in the first couple of weeks of using cloud-based editing are the augmenting your current best practices to cloud best practices.
Speaker 1 00:26:49 And let me give you an example. So, great example is if someone works on a local machine, they're putting everything on their C drive, right? They shouldn't, all of us know don't put stuff on your local drive, but people do that because, Hey, it's my machine. And I can do what I want when you get to the cloud. Your, I don't say hard drives, but your LS drives are much smaller. And when your OMS drive in the cloud fills up, that machine is unusable. There's no room for the swap file. You can't do anything. So there are little things like that that you have to train people and editors, creatives in post-production are creatures of habits and, you know, change like, you know, unfrozen, caveman lawyer, right? Oh, you're your bells and whistles scare me. You know, I don't understand these. And so there has to be this level of education to say, we respect your talent. We respect what you can do from a creative standpoint, but there's some underlying fundamental technology that you kind of have to adjust and learn. So you can make the most of a cloud situation
Speaker 2 00:27:47 Actually, uh, we're organizationally kind of discovering this need for standardization of habits across, you know, the work group, just in our own development at chess, you know, standardizing across how we use different tools, because it is a collaborative environment. Now it's not just how this engineer works on this project. And this engineer works on that project. We are working a lot more collaboratively now. So I think that that standardization of how we get the work done is I think it's important in any kind of environment where it's not just you doing the work it's like we all have to contribute. And so I think that's a good thing ultimately is that sort of standardization of work practices that doesn't necessarily mean that we can't be creative in our own way, but very, very key to success. Yep. Agreed. Why don't we turn around a little bit, we were talking a little bit about Terra DG and some of the ins and outs there.
Speaker 2 00:28:33 I think it would be good to talk a little bit about, there are multiple ways to use it, right? If say you do have a giant sand volume and edit workstations that you'd like to get access to, and you are an it shop that might be cloud averse and wants to control it. It, you need the security. It's definitely possible to configure using that same technology to stream from your edit workstations, which are mounting your shared storage in your facility out to your end users at home, very much in the same way that we would from the cloud. Right. Kind of making your own private cloud as it were. So some of the pieces that you need to consider in that are security measures, right? Obviously we're talking about how Tara Dietschy is encrypted, right? All of the bits going across our what AEs two 56. So nobody's going to see that video or, or your keystrokes or any of that, but making sure that your, either your machine that's running the software, using a software client at home,
Speaker 3 00:29:42 Or if you're using a zero client, which is essentially a dumb little terminal, which has, and so it's, it's basically, uh, a tiny box that has HTMI or DVI out with USB ports on it. And, uh, audio headphone Jack out that you can hook monitors and everything up to which essentially takes the incoming stream in data and displays it as if you were connected to your machine in the office. There are some other considerations on the backend, um, like connection broker or gateways in order to make sure that you can talk to those machines in the office. And I know bebop has done some of that work to make their own, but there are certainly other vendors out there like Leo stream that have decent software packages that we can employ to make these connections to. But Michael, I'm sure you give this talk all the time. Can you give us a quick rundown of some of those security aspects that we need to think about in terms of the connectivity between point a and point B?
Speaker 1 00:30:52 Let me see how I can encapsulate that. Uh, yes. Obviously at every step of the way there, it has to be secure. And that unfortunately is also your workstation, right? Just because the streams are encrypted coming down to your machine doesn't mean your $3 cable modem that you have at home is going to protect you from someone's stooping on, on what you're doing. Right. That's, that's something that has to be taken consideration, but yes, what bebop has done is employed the security on every step. We like to think of it as plumbing, right? So the connection broker is plumbing. The way we route video round is all plumbing and it's imperative to set up security at those different stages. The other thing is that while a lot of other cloud providers will or services similar to bebop will say, Hey, lower prices. We're going to have this one server act as security for everyone.
Speaker 1 00:31:38 And what bebop has said is, Oh, no, no, we're going to have a complete self-contained. Uh, I don't wanna say bucket because that would be AWS, but a self-contained cloud infrastructure just for you. So that way, if something happens on your end, whether it's someone infiltrating via your connection or elsewhere, that's not going to affect anyone else. And when you start getting into studios, when you start getting into InfoSec reviews, corporate GSO, all of that, and those privacy concerns are, are very paramount. So it does cost more, you know, not going, gonna lie to you, but there needs to be that security at every step. Uh, one of the things that we do is pen testing. Yep. I'm sorry. Penetration testing very often to ensure that we haven't overlooked something. Or as one of our, uh, associates said the other day, someone didn't forget to put a semi-colon in some code and suddenly you can get in.
Speaker 1 00:32:28 Right? So we implement that at every step of the way that also includes things like SSL. Yep. For those unfamiliar SSL is single sign-on. It allows for corporations to privileges to certain users. And that email address, which is associated to that user is the key. So once you enter in your username and password, that unlocks all of your privileges, not just to that one site, but to everything else that's connected. It's kind of like when you are online and you send it for grub hub, right. And it says, do you want to use your Facebook account or use your Gmail account? It's the same basic concept of reducing the amount of clutter and passwords and usernames and having it just tied to one authentication protocol
Speaker 3 00:33:09 And single sign on is really about it's really about you are who you say you are. Okay. So, but we are not checking that somebody else is checking that somebody else with all of that plumbing, as you say, Michael, is, is checking that and making sure you are who you say you are. And as long as they say you are, who you say you are, we're good. Right.
Speaker 1 00:33:27 For a lot of corporations like Disney, for example, a lot of times when you have contracts with corporate clients, there are bullet points. You have to hit features. You have to have kind of like when you go and buy a car, Hey, you know what? It's got to have a sunroof. Okay. That's your bullet point? The same thing is true with a lot of large enterprise corporate environments. And having SSL is often, that's one of the requirements. It's either, it's either do it or you're not there. Yeah. So it's, it's very important to ensure that you're adhering to those kinds of things.
Speaker 3 00:33:55 For sure. Let's also do a little work to define some of the plumbing. Not that people really want to think about plumbing, but still it's important to understand topographic let's call them, let's call them. Right. Sure. What are the cool bricks we're playing with here? Right. So a connection broker is a piece of software that essentially says, okay, if you have these many desktops or virtual desktops, these are the folks who can access this desktop and makes that connection. It's like the old days of telephone routing, right. Where you might call the director and they might say, uh, who do you, who, who are you calling please? And then they might hook you up with uncle Jerry and patch you in, you know, the connection broke is essentially doing that. And then the other part too, is the gateway, right? So that's the portion that would be connecting your workstation and essentially working kind of like a firewall, right for zero client.
Speaker 3 00:34:53 Um, if you're using a zero client at home, there's an again, the zero client is the dumb little terminal that we want to connect to the KVM output that would be on the machine or as part of the software and the virtual desktop interface in the cloud. In order to make that connection, it's got to have it's networking. Correct. And because the zero client is dumb and doesn't have any routing capabilities, it doesn't know to say, I'm going to talk to this person. We can put an IP in there, but it's not going to be able to make those connections or to knock on the firewall appropriate and Lee and say, Hey, can I talk to you? We need to have very intelligent piece of software in there to make those connections. And that would be the, otherwise it's doing a whole lot of fancy configuration in the firewall to make those point to point connections or having a firewall at home as well, so that we can have a secure, private tunnel between these two locations. You know, if we're talking about the maximum amount of security that I get that, all right, Michael.
Speaker 1 00:35:59 Yes. Okay, good. And what bebop has done is, you know, we identified that issue a long time ago, and although people don't want to lay out money, prisoners clients, even though they're less than 300 bucks starting, uh, they give you the best performance and ultimate insecurity, as you mentioned, because there isn't a no S on here for you to hack. So what we've done is with bebop is you can either use a desktop client on your macro PC, which, you know, gets you onto that virtual machine. Or we have a very large sports client. I'll leave it at that. And they buy these by the pallet full and ship them out to creatives. And then on the bebop website, they can actually start a machine from that website with your, your username and password. So when you fire this up, this looks at the gateway, which says, Oh, you've already fired up a machine. Here's the machines that are available to you. Right. And so that allows you to use one or many systems. And the flexibility also gives is you don't have to have a static IP, right. You don't have to worry about those point to point because, uh, it's all dynamic, but, uh, authenticating against your credentials. So they meet in the middle and alighted to everything.
Speaker 3 00:37:05 Yeah. That's a, that's a great point in terms of having to have a static IP versus what most of us get at home, which is an IP address that changes because our internet service provider changes things on the fly. And so it might be the same for six months, but then one night it's different. And then suddenly you're trying to authenticate again to your bank account. It's like, what kind of music do you like, buddy?
Speaker 0 00:37:29 Yeah. Well, that's exactly. And that's it, that's important to notice. I think a lot of people understand the difference between a static and dynamic IP, but they don't necessarily understand why it's important. It's kind of like saying again, back to that analogy, it's kind of like saying you and your mailing address is it is what it is until we decide. It's not that it's different. And then how do we know, how do we know how to get that Amazon shipment to you? Well, we have to go look at the directory and Liberty, bla bla bla. And you know, if that piping, if that, if all of that goes away, how do we know there's routing within that static IP infrastructure, sort of that that says you can connect to these devices over these ports and things like that. If any of that changes because your ISP has decided that your IP address needs to change for whatever reason, then some of that could go away. So this gateway, uh, infrastructure is, is great because it takes care of all that for you and you don't need this static IP and, and a lot of people, I think maybe aren't aware of the fact that your machine at the office may have a static IP, your machine at home, probably doesn't maybe it does, but, but your routers
Speaker 1 00:38:28 Certainly does it. And that brings up something else. If you have a, a workstation or even laptop at home and you fired up, it's always the same model. It's always the same serial number. Everything is exactly the same. And that's what exactly, and that's what plugins, like, that's what, uh, anything that has a serial number or anything that has a big goal. You hit the nail on the head. When you get into the cloud. Every, every day, when you fire up that machine, you jump into it. It's going to be the same model by and large, but the Mac address may be different. The, the Mo the serial number may be different and plugins say, Whoa, you're trying to circumvent my licensing system here. That's not going to fly so there, so I know we've put in floating license servers so we can distribute those licenses. We've also actively work with a lot of clients who have their own license servers on prem. Okay. You tunnel through your firewall will tunnel through ours will be in the middle. Okay. You're good to go. But it does make things a little bit complicated when someone says, Hey, I have one license of this plugin, because that means every morning they would have to reenter into a license code. So it does get kind of tricky. And again, as you pointed out earlier, the devil's in the details and that's certainly one of them.
Speaker 0 00:39:37 Yes. Wow. Yeah. I hadn't even considered that. I hadn't considered, you know, the details I hadn't considered earlier. When, when Michael said about using a tablet, you know, I was like a tablet. You mean like your iPad? Oh, no. He's talking about like a graphics tablet, you know, like that, does that work well, who knows? Like, is it, do we plug it in and figure it out, find out, or do we, you know, do we know those are the details we're talking about here?
Speaker 1 00:39:59 One of the things our, our CTO likes to say, and I'm going, gonna put them on the spot, because I think it's very valid POC or proof of concepts by and large aren't really needed. And the reasoning is the tech works right? Hundreds. If not, thousands of people are using the tech. If you step outside of bebop, there's tens of thousands of people using Tara DG and all these and all these are solutions. So why do we need to prove it? It works, but there is this ingrained. I don't want to say a version, but the same folks respectfully who said video, won't take off it's, we're going to cut on Steenbecks and moviolas, the folks who said, you know, there's no reason to go to HD SDS, fine. Uh, there's no reason that we'll off the tape, the digital, uh, that sets evil. You have to be able to accept that things are going to change.
Speaker 1 00:40:47 Uh, if you're in technology, if you're in post, that's the name of the game, right? The industry changes twice a year, right? Well, it used to NAB and IBC. So they're, they're just some things that they have to be. If it's working for all these other folks, it should probably work for me. That being said, we do PLCs all day long because they have to be vetted, uh, for corporate and InfoSec. And there's some things which you just can't say work. It has to be tested. But what, what I've seen over the past two or three months is when we used to have clients come on to bebop, it would be a month, month and a half before they felt ready to kind of pull the trigger because their editors had to kick it around. And, and there had to be an ROI vetting. And now I'm seeing an influx of people who I get emails from on Thursday. And they say, can we be up by Monday, next week? And it can be done, but, but we are finally seeing that this, okay, technology must've been proven because hundreds of people are on this. We're going to take your word that the base level works. And now let's just see the bells and whistles.
Speaker 0 00:41:48 Right? Right. So what I like about the POC mentality is that it changes the expectations of everyone involved. We're going to set this up and make sure it's going to work for what we want it to do. But that way everyone is kind of like on board with the fact that we are testing this technology for our use case for this use case that's in front of us, because nobody has the same use case. Right. Nobody needs, nobody's going to use this technology exactly the same way. So framing it as a POC, gets everyone on the page of we're trying this out. It may not work. And that's fine. If it doesn't work, right. Well, we'll go somewhere else or do something else. Or, or at least we know now what the limitations are, and we can address them without this expectation that it should be working already. Correct. Right. Right. It's kind of like living with someone before you get married. There's our analogy. Thank you, Ben. You know, that's often
Speaker 1 00:42:43 A religious discussion as is Mac versus PC.
Speaker 0 00:42:50 I think that's a great place to say. Thank you, Michael commis of a bebop and five things for joining us today. We really appreciate having you back after a year, uh, to talk about what has changed in this crazy 2020 that we're all living through, uh, right now. Right. So thanks.