François Guilleautot on making the most of the cloud with microservices

François Guilleautot on making the most of the cloud with microservices

Ateme’s director of cloud solutions discusses how organisations can get the most out of cloud adoption without breaking the bank and improve the experiences of their customers in the process  

Amber Hickman |

Cloud adoption is progressing at an accelerating pace, according to François Guilleautot, director of cloud solutions at Ateme, who primarily attributes this increase to the pandemic.    

“Many organisations were forced to move to the cloud due to supply chain disruptions and hardware shortages,” he explains. “A lot of them were unprepared and faced problems due to opting for the easiest and fastest options without considering how their systems might need to operate differently in the cloud.”  

Many chose the lift-and-shift approach, says Guilleautot. “This essentially means putting an entire application into one container, and putting that container directly onto the cloud,” he says. “It is a quick solution that allows organisations to get to the end point faster; however, it comes with a lot of limitations.   

“For example, the application will not be optimised to run in the cloud and may cause more problems than it solves, meaning organisations end up with low-performance, low-density solutions that come with a large bill at the end of the month.”  

Guilleautot suggests that building a new architecture based on a microservices approach would provide better results. 

“This involves taking apart all of the logical functions inside an application,” he says. “For example, if a firm has a transcoding application, it should separate the back end, the ingest, the alarm system, the core processing and the channel management into different services that can run independently. This allows the business to optimise application usage and scale every individual process separately, which is key to making an application run efficiently in the cloud.”  

Ateme is following this approach as part of its own cloud adoption process. “By splitting our applications into smaller blocks and redesigning them for the cloud, we are able to create new workflows, applications and functionalities that were not possible before,” says Guilleautot.  

This process was applied to the firm’s Audience-Aware Streaming Solution, a combination of multiple cloud-native applications built around a microservices approach that is enabling customers to gain more control over their content delivery. 

“Our NEA content delivery network (CDN) application is sending network data to our monitoring and analytics solution called PILOT, which in turn uses that data to control encoding processes,” explains Guilleautot. “This gives us a lot of freedom to optimise the video delivery service by adjusting the allocation of resources according to the actual consumption of content. If one channel is having a surge of demand, we can allocate more resources to that individual encoding process to reduce the bandwidth for the same quality level, reducing stress on the CDN and cost of delivery”. 

The level of flexibility provided by a microservice approach can also improve the sustainability of an operation. “We can deploy and redeploy the solution as a microservice at a small scale, which reduces the overall carbon impact,” says Guilleautot.  

“With Audience-Aware Streaming, for example, we can also monitor the number of requests for different profiles, which are the different bitrates video content is encoded in to be delivered to the audience based on the device and traffic at the time.  

“If, for example, it turns out that everyone is watching content in full high definition, organisations can stop generating the lower and unused profiles. This saves resources and can improve video quality as more assets can be dedicated to the profiles being used, which makes the customer experience better too.”  

Ateme is continuing to embrace cloud adoption and aims to help organisations make the most of the process in the future.  

“Making our applications cloud-native is a large part of our development philosophy, and we are already making great progress on that journey,” says Guilleautot. “Some of our star products such as the TITAN transcoders and our NEA packaging and cloud digital video recorder solutions are already available as microservice applications and we’re currently working on others and really enjoying the process.”   

This article was originally published in the Summer 2023 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription

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