Episode 50: Fred Loucks Part 2 -Microservices & The End Of AV Control

Patrick Murray interviews Fred Loucks about…

  • How management will replace control in AV integration…
  • How hardware manufacturers can modernize their business by moving to a subscription model and why they should…
  • How to make the software delivery process as simple as installing hardware.

Key Takeaways

  • The next audio video streaming technology is not going to be what makes big changes in the integration industry.
  • AV software tends to run in disparate “locations” or many private networks.
  • Using modern, non-proprietary software requires many dependencies and can be difficult to manage when deploying to multiple systems. Containerization solves this issue.
  • Different packages may require different versions of the same underlying libraries. Without containers, both packages would be forced to use the same version, creating a conflict.
  • Containerization allows programmers to take advantage of multiple programming languages in the same system.
  • Containerization aims to be non-hardware platform specific.
  • Monolith vs microservices
    • Monolith applications have everything tightly coupled together in one large program.
    • Microservices break up functional parts of an application into their own service. Allowing different teams to work on different parts of the application.
  • A messaging mechanism is required for microservices to talk to each other. A pubsub, or publish/subscribe bus, is often used.
  • Microservices do not need to be aware of each other. They function fully independent of one another.
  • Microservices could be designed with a focus on the function to accomplish. For example, one microservice can create the connection to a real-world device and manage the messages flowing to and from it. Another service can be responsible for controlling the device, another for collecting telemetry or usage data, and yet another service for managing firmware updates.
  • Documenting the messages a microservice can send and recieve is critical for implementing microservices.
  • The messaging middleware is required to meet the AV industry where it is today – standardless.
  • Middleware normalizes data into something consumable by other services.
  • Containerized versions of proprietary software is an alternative to manufacturer-specific, hardware-only solutions.
  • Devices that work best with a microservices approach offer robust and observable API’s and are manageable in a declaritive manner.
  • Containers are the key to creating an App Store-like experience in the AV industry.
  • The technology to implement containers and microservices in AV is already available.
  • Advances in edge computing will have an impact on how AV systems are integrated and managed.
  • If the change does not come from within the AV industry, it will come from outside the industry – most likely IT. Talent recruitment is the biggest challenge for AV in reinventing itself.
  • The way control system programming is developed today is not how modern software is developed. For example, back-end developers rarely develop front-end user interfaces.
  • Adopting a mindset of managing deployments instead of controlling rooms will help AV professionals adapt to the changing landscape.