SOUL

Seamless Orchestration and Unification Layer

IP ORCHESTRATION AND CONTROL
Orchestration and control play an essential role in the IP-based audio and video infrastructures used for live broadcast
production, where the demand for predictable system behavior is essential. When migrating infrastructures to IP, system reliability can only be achieved by a comprehensive orchestration service, which seamlessly handles information from all system components within the network.

Why is this so important? Maximizing the efficiency and flexibility of an IP infrastructure is achieved when all data -
video, audio, and metadata - use the same transportation network. Nodes from different vendors share the resources of
the underlying infrastructure, while control requires unification and simplification. To achieve this, a central management layer is necessary to orchestrate all networked components in daily operation. This makes IP-based audio and video infrastructures reliable and deterministic – in keeping with legacy broadcast environments.

LAWO GIVES SOUL TO YOUR NETWORK
Lawo’s Seamless Orchestration and Unification Layer (SOUL) is an overarching orchestration service for IP-based production environments. SOUL is aware of, and handles, information from all system components. It manages the generation and routing of audio and video streams in any multi-vendor IP setup, and is compatible across individual interfaces and technical solutions. SOUL provides a single point of control for any network size and any network topology.

SOUL provides the central service for stream routing and resource management across single-switch, spine-leaf, or mesh
network infrastructures. It presents a unifi ed northbound matrix representation of the network towards an overall control system such as VSM (Virtual Studio Manager), and orchestrates and controls IP-based environments on various levels. Through standardized or vendor-specifi c APIs, SOUL accesses switches and network components, including encoding and decoding devices, cameras, multiviewers, processors, switchers, consoles, etc, to directly control the generation, registration, and routing of streams. It follows industry specifi cations like NMOS to utilize devices. In addition, proprietary interfaces are used to achieve a more sophisticated control over edge devices.

SOUL AND HEART – THE NATIVE SYMBIOSIS WITH VSM

  • The combination of VSM and SOUL provides an unmatched feature set, and promises maximum flexibility for controlling a network.
  • VSM adds the highest level of monitoring capabilities, and operational and workflow customization on top of the network infrastructure.
  • VSM’s widely accepted and renowned customizable user interface seamlessly integrates with any SOUL-controlled network infrastructure, and makes it “feel the same” as a legacy broadcast
  • environment. It is not necessary to change established workflows, but it is good to know that they can be changed at any time.
  • Do not miss any of VSM’s second to none features on top of your IP production network infrastructure – along with the broadest third-party vendor control capabilities in the market.

A NETWORK WITHOUT SOUL IS JUST A NETWORK
IGMP is widely accepted in the broadcast market, and natively addressed by SOUL. Nevertheless, you are free to choose workflows using IGMP only, no IGMP at all or even a combination of the two. Using IGMP to establish multicast group memberships on IPv4 networks may result in a lack of feedback communication with the control system, increasing
the risk of higher latencies. If the specific API supports inherent routing within the switch, networks not using IGMP offer certain benefits, such as faster and more reliable connections.

SOUL – FEATURES
WIDESPREAD API BASIS
SOUL works with a huge number of proprietary APIs, as well as open standards, giving the orchestration solution optimal access to all relevant device and stream parameters. As the manufacturer behind VSM, implementing third-party protocols and accessing APIs is common business for Lawo and we offer outstanding vendor-independent control. SOUL enables direct access to audio and video stream routing with no need of other intermediate thirdparty routing layer solutions. Essentially, SOUL simplifies the  system architecture decisively.

HITLESS MERGE
A network with SOUL guarantees Hitless Merge (SMPTE 2022-7). This requires that a signal is packaged in two different streams and travels two separated networks, with SOUL acknowledgingboth branches and stream addresses. Operationally, it appears  that a single crosspoint is presented, but with two alarms, two sources and two multicast addresses. Flows are also managed in networks from different manufacturers and techniques.

ROUTING STATE RECOVERY
In case of a system failure or reboot, SOUL can recall the network’s routing status. After a reboot, inconsistencies in
stream flows are indicated and can be corrected.

SOPHISTICATED REDUNDANCY
Like a clustered VSM system, SOUL supports active-active redundancy, meaning that two systems run in parallel with the
secondary system actively monitoring all system status live. The secondary system is always ready to seamlessly assume control.

Key Features

  • Ember+ northbound abstraction of the network.
  • Switch-API support southbound, with access to multicast routing.
  • Full Layer 3 compatibility.
  • Agnostic to various switching mechanisms. Supported switching modes: Patching, Destination (make-before-break, break-before-make…) and Source Timed Switching (hardware dependent, e.g. Lawo V__Matrix).
  • Compatible with NMOS 1.0 (and higher), SMPTE 2022-6, 2022-7, 2110, AES67, RAVENNA.
  • Intuitive configuration GUI for fast configuration, template support, browser-based setup.
  • Perfect integration with Lawo V__ units.

Key Benefits

  • Vendor neutrality for network nodes and IT switches.
  • Designed for multi-vendor employment.
  • Unified northbound matrix representation of the network using Ember+.
  • Broadest third-party control capabilities in combination with VSM.
  • Highest operational UI flexibility using VSM hardware and software panels.
  • No workflow changes for the operator.

Training dates

SOUL - Launched at NAB 2017

SOUL provides a single point of control for any network size and any network topology and offers the central service for stream routing and resource management across single-switch, spine-leaf, or mesh network infrastructures. Have a look at our video, live from NAB 2017 ....