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Testing with Adobe Anywhere

March 7, 2014 by Steve Modica

Small Tree has been working closely with Adobe to make sure our shared editing storage and networking products work reliably and smoothly with Adobe’s suite of content creation software.

Since NAB 2013, we’ve worked closely with Adobe to improve interoperability and performance, and test new features to give our customers a better experience.

Most recently, I had the chance to test out Adobe Anywhere in our shop in Minnesota.

Adobe Anywhere is designed to let users edit content that might be stored in a high bandwidth codec, over a much slower connection link.  Imagine having HD or 4K footage back at the ranch, while you’re in the field accessing the media via your LTE phone and a VPN connection.

The way it works is that there’s an Adobe Anywhere server sitting on your network that you connect to with Adobe Premiere and this server compresses and shrinks the data “on the fly” so it can be fed to your machine much like a YouTube video.  Except you are scrubbing, editing, cutting, dubbing and all of the other things you might need to do during an edit session.

This real-time compression/transcoding happens because the Adobe Anywhere system is taking advantage of the amazing power of GPUs.  Except rather than displaying the video to a screen, the video is being pushed into a network stream that’s fed to your client.

I tested my system out with some Pro Res promotional videos we’ve used at trade shows in the past, and did my editing over Wi-Fi.

What I found was that the system worked very well.  I could see that the Adobe Anywhere system was reading the video from Small Tree’s shared storage at full rate, then pushing it to my system at a greatly reduced rate.  I had no trouble playing, editing and managing the video over my Wi-Fi connection (although Adobe recommends 1Gb Ethernet as the minimum connectivity for clients today).

This type of architecture is very new and there are caveats.  For example, if you are very far from the server system or running over a very slow link (like a vpn connection), latency can make certain actions take a very long time (like loading an entire project, or using Adobe’s Titler app which requires interactivity).  Adobe cautions that latencies of 200msecs or more will lead to a very poor customer experience.

Additionally, just because the feed to the clients is much lower bandwidth (to accommodate slower links), the original video data still needs to be read in real-time at full speed. So there are no shortcuts there.  You still need high quality, low latency storage to allow people to edit video from it. You just have a new tool to push that data via real-time proxies over longer and slower links.

All in all, I found the technology to be very smooth and it worked well with Small Tree’s shared network storage.  I’m excited to see the reach of Small Tree shared storage extended out to a much larger group of potential users.

For a demonstration of Adobe Anywhere over Small Tree shared storage, visit us at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this April (Booth SL11105).


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