UKTV is transforming its media supply chain, moving to a cloud-first model in order to provide new levels of agility and flexibility to support the needs of a rapidly growing and changing business. The “Freeway” project will allow UKTV to centralise the management of their content workflows in the Amazon Web Services public cloud, and work with a range of partners to make that content available to audiences on many different platforms, both linear and VoD. They want to be incredibly easy to do business with, as well as running as efficient and cost effective an operation as they can.

UKTV needed an experienced partner to help deliver against this vision. They engaged Mediasmiths at an early stage to help them design the core solution and develop minimal viable products for a number of key workflows. UKTV’s requirement was for a partner that could work quickly and flexibly, understood both media and AWS cloud technology, and could be a “critical friend”. 

Mediasmiths has been a great partner for UKTV. They bring expertise and ideas and are not afraid to challenge or suggest alternative solutions. We have incredibly ambitious plans and Mediasmiths has worked at pace and adapted deftly to the inevitable deviations that come with such a pioneering supply chain transformation.
— Sinead Greenaway, CTOO

The Freeway platform was built on a number of key AWS serverless and container technologies, together with a media asset management backbone provided by Vidispine.

Success for the baseline product was dependent on a combination of different elements, with Mediasmiths’ expertise in AWS and cloud architecture standing out as a key factor. Much of UKTV’s focus is on exploring new ways of building a media supply chain at the same time as ensuring that they deliver usable software for minimum viable products. With Mediasmiths acting as a sounding board for design decisions and cloud architecture, Mediasmiths and UKTV worked together as agile partners to deliver the initial phases of Freeway.

The cloud offers many advantages if you are prepared to challenge preconception and, crucially, look for new ways to improve. UKTV has this mindset and openness and this made it possible for us to build a collection of loosely coupled microservices for them with a whole new level of agility and scalability
— Peter Henebäck, Mediasmiths

AWS technologies used include Lambda, Step Functions, SQS, SNS and ECS with the application being developed using Node.js with Mocha and Istanbul as test frameworks. The build and deployment pipeline made use of Jenkins and Terraform for cloud infrastructure provisioning across multiple environments.

Read more about how Lambda and ECS were used together to create a scalable infrastructure and DMZ for virus-checking incoming video files in this presentation from the AWS Stockholm Meetup.

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Mediasmiths is an AWS Consulting Partner.