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October 17, 2022

What’s the Secret to Simple AV Management? It’s All About Having the Right Tools

Audiovisual (AV) system management can be a complex process. As a result, it’s become a significant challenge in the industry. Audio, video, lighting, controls and media often reside in different applications, requiring integrations. The more complicated the installation and AV controls are, the more challenging it is to manage. Maintaining such an environment is cumbersome without the right tools and support system. 

One of the best approaches to AV management is the use of modular platforms that leverage virtualization to simplify operations. One that has proven to be a solid solution for AV is Smart Monkey’s ISAAC.

This intelligent tool can solve many of the challenges of AV management. In this post, we’ll walk through those challenges and explore ISAAC as a valuable tool for reducing the burden of maintaining technology.

 

The Challenges of AV Management

As technology evolves, so does the possibility of what you can do with video, audio, lighting and more. This realm of opportunity inspires designers, architects, content producers and more to push the boundaries. Because of the options technology now allows, organizations are creating immersive experiences that connect to every sense, further deepening the human experience in a space. 

The diverse ways to integrate AV into these experiences are only growing. While these innovations are welcome, they also deliver challenges on the backend. For example, multiple exhibits at large-scale venues may have complex AV supporting them. As a result, issues can arise:

  • Disparate systems control different elements of a space, requiring operators to access different systems all day long.
  • More servers, computers and workstations may be necessary on-site, which affects space, energy usage and costs.
  • Integration of disparate systems can be a concern if systems aren’t designed to work together. 
  • Monitoring availability and uptime of all the different pieces can be tricky when you don’t have a single interface. This can lead to more reactive management than proactive. 

So, what’s the secret to resolving these challenges in AV management? As noted, a modular platform that enables virtualization. It can help you accomplish your objectives and drive optimization of resources

Let’s dive into this further to understand better the benefits of modular platforms and how AV virtualization can help organizations to integrate their systems, people and processes more effectively. 

What Is a Virtualization Platform?

In the AV world, a virtualization platform is a hosting solution that consolidates technologies into one AV workflow. Dedicated servers provide an entry point into virtualization technology. 

The most appealing platforms have both flexibility and reliability at their core. Deploying such a solution removes barriers to inspiration for the next big design and its operation. All these things are vital to a successful and scalable immersive experience. Such technology makes creating these installations more viable and sustainable long term. 

 

How Does a Virtualization Platform Work?

Any technology you adopt to streamline workflows must also be easy to use. If it doesn’t uncomplicate management, it will not make a difference. That’s a key point of a modular platform. Additionally, it supports your ability to scale. 

Modular platforms can run multiple applications and operating systems simultaneously. With this functionality, you can consolidate hardware and provide redundancy. In short, that equates to less physical infrastructure and simplification of workflows. As a result, you can achieve efficiency around power usage, space and management tasks. 

When in place, operators need to tap into one unified interface to control the entire AV system. With just this capability, you can easily see how it can quickly improve the management and optimization of your systems. From many user interfaces to one enhances the user experience significantly. 

So, what kind of options are available for these systems?

Configuration Options for Virtualization Platforms

There are many configurations available for these platforms, with options to host multiple virtual machines and services. You can also customize it completely. 

The systems typically include other components, such as dedicated media storage, optimization for media installations and enablement of high bandwidth data streams. With a variety of platforms to choose from, you can better manage standalone exhibits to property-wide AV installations. 

What Features Should a Modular Virtualization Platform Include?

Going a level deeper, here are some attractive features to look for when exploring AV virtualization 

  • Consolidation of hardware: Eliminate the need for multiple computers servers.
  • Fault tolerance: Enable continuous availability throughout the cluster, providing zero data loss and downtime. 
  • Data recovery: Recover any data at will and start backups during operation. 
  • Platform management: Track performance of virtual machines, hosts and services in one spot. 
  • Single user interface: Access the application from any device. It’s a central hub for setup, configuration, access and documentation. The entire workflow exists here and is one more way a modular platform delivers simplification. 

The Benefits of Using a Modular Virtualization Platform 

What can you expect from using this technology? These benefits support your AV projects. 

  • Broad scalability: A system can work for any project, from a standalone AV experience to massive immersive ones that incorporate the most sophisticated elements. 
  • High performance: The solution is enterprise-grade, delivering excellent performance for diverse sets of workloads.
  • Improved availability: Downtime can impact the experience of those in the space or render the venue closed. A modular virtualization platform ensures greater uptime. If something should occur, it automatically recovers from a hardware failure.
  • IT-friendly: With this solution, you can reduce the strain on your internal resources and make their life much easier. 

Virtualization is more environmentally sustainable due to its ability to reduce physical infrastructure. The virtualization of machines is a crucial step for any organization seeking to curb its carbon footprint. 

 

Virtualization Is Simplification 

It’s clear that virtualization via a modular platform is the future of AV management. Consolidation and simplification will be critical as the industry evolves to create the most memorable experiences. 

All the benefits and features are available with the ISAAC platform from our Technology Partner Smart Monkeys. ISAAC is an award-winning technology trusted by the industry to reduce the complexity of AV management.

Learn more about the features, capabilities and options of the ISAAC solution. 

Ryan Poe

Ryan Poe, Electrosonic’s Director of Technology Solutions, works and writes on the frontiers of advanced technology. He is a trusted adviser on leveraging technology in new ways and works within our Innovation Garage framework to evaluate new technologies and develop resources that support a portfolio of advanced services.