Gateway Delivers Redundancy Options
It’s an exciting time for Tieline with the introduction of our new product ‘The Gateway’ multichannel IP codec. In this month’s Jake’s Take, I thought I would take the opportunity to review the fantastic features included in the NAB’s Product of the Year for 2020.
Hardware Redundancy Options
First, let’s take a look at the Gateway’s hardware redundancy features and how it can provide assurance and confidence to engineers while streaming broadcast audio. When looking at the unit itself, you will see a few redundancy features right away:
- Dual Power Supplies.
- Dual Gigabit LAN Ports.
- Dual Gigabit AoIP Ports, and
- Dual USB Ports.
Of course, the Dual Power supplies are redundant to maintain power to the codec if a specific PSU fails. The second AoIP port provides options for the Gateway to support other AES67 streaming options in the future. Other physical hardware redundancy features to note are the dual Gigabit LAN interfaces and the Dual USB interfaces.
With the Gateway, Dual Gigabit LAN ports also support IP streaming using redundant IP Telco connections. An upcoming release will support WiFi modem internet connectivity via a USB host port. With multiple network interfaces, users can set up not only active seamless redundancy, but also “cold” failover dialing methods based on packet loss thresholds configured by the engineer. This helps maintain connectivity to the studio during outages or other unplanned events. Therefore, on the hardware level you will find that the Gateway offers plenty of redundancy features for absolute peace of mind.
Software Redundancy Options
Next let’s review the software options for failover operations within the Gateway. In all of our codecs we offer features like SmartStream PLUS redundant streaming, which gives you hitless packet switching (click here for more information), and Fuse-IP for IP data link aggregation (click here for more information). These two software redundancy methods are not the only redundancy features in Gateway.
Out of the box it also includes a handful of software defined failover functions like:
- HTTP Decoding
- Pre-Recorded Audio Files backup.
- IP/Codec failover, and
- Input/Output Power loss loopback mode.
These functions are designed to provide peace of mind when you install a Gateway at your studio or at a tower site. Engaging multiple failover options helps maintain an on-air signal. For example, you might decide to use the IP failover option to dial a different network interface. A second example could be using the codec to dial a completely different codec at the same studio, or a different studio altogether. For those who don’t have multiple IP links at each site, or an alternative studio location to dial into, you can always employ the use of decoding HTTP streams, or load a bunch of audio files onto an SD/USB flash drive for audio playback upon loss of a connection. Our goal is to allow you to rest assured that the tower site will maintain an on-air signal with Tieline equipment.
Now let’s shift gears away from redundancy and failover events and circle back to connectivity. The Gateway is not only set up to stream point-to-point audio with Tieline Codecs, but it is also able to handle up to 16 SIP streams as defined by the EBU3326 N/ACIP Standard. This standard sets up how manufacturers, like Tieline, allow for interoperable connections with 3rd party manufacturers of audio codecs for broadcasting. The ability to have up to 16 SIP EBU3326 streams dial into the Gateway keeps the unit flexible enough to not only handle your own codec needs, but also allow for affiliates and other contributors to dial into your station without having to invest in more hardware.
As capacity increases, so does the requirement for more effective redundancy, failover, and interoperability with outside parties. Not only does a product like the Gateway assist with increasing your capacity while decreasing rack space equipment, but it will also provide you with assurances that your links will stay connected – and should a link failure occur, at least broadcast an alternative audio source to avoid ‘dead air.’
For those interested in sharing their story, or if you have an idea for a future “Jake’s Take”, please feel free to contact me directly at Jacob@tieline.com.
For information on the Tieline Gateway visit www.tieline.com/gateway
(Gateway Delivers Redundancy Options, first published 2nd December, 2020)