Network Connectivity

Untold Studios: Business as usual for this entirely cloud-based creative studio during COVID-19

Introduction

Untold Studios is a full creative studio based in London performing everything from origination to production and post and works with an internationally based creative community of writers, graphic designers, directors, and animators. They are also the world’s first completely cloud-based creative studio – with part of their original vision being to give teams the flexibility to work from wherever they want securely and productively.

Products

FastLane, Sohonet Media Network

Overview

Harnessing the cloud and Sohonet technology to work securely and productively from home

“The way we work has changed very little since the crisis.”

Sam Reid, Head of Technology, Untold Studios
  • Streamlined access to the cloud
  • Up to 80% cost saving on egress charges

Challenge

When the global pandemic broke in early 2020, most productions were sent into virtual shutdown with post producers scampering to set up remote workarounds. The security of assets was arguably the main brake on widespread adoption of cloud production and post operations prior to lockdown, but for Untold Studios their secure cloud-based workflows meant it was business as usual for Untold.

Solution

The studio’s design from inception meant that highly resource-intensive cloud computing workflows (virtual workstations, VFX rendering, transcoding, processing) are streamed securely from AWS over Sohonet FastLane, a private uncontended network which suffers no packet contention or loss. In terms of the impact of COVID-19, Sam Reid, Head of Technology at Untold explains, “We were already working remotely in our Studio due to the fact that all our artists could connect to virtual machines from any desktop,”. “There’s been no change to workflows and our productivity has not dropped at all,” He adds, “The only difference now is that artists are using their own internet connectivity for the first mile to the Studio. We created a VPN connection from artist homes to the Studio and from there the media travels as before over FastLane to AWS”.

In terms of security, they already had MPAA guidelines in place, relying on Sohonet to provide triple ‘A’ security on connections to their office, so when their artists connect over VPN from their machines at home to get onto the network there are airtight protocols in place including multifactor identification.

Result

Untold Studios is no longer constrained by the physical location of their data, so they don’t have to have artists in the office working on content – they can be anywhere in the world. For Untold that was as true before COVID-19 as it is now – but many are following in their footsteps as facilities begin to recognise that remote working can be as productive if not more productive than working in an office with all the distractions that can entail.