There’s nothing quite like going to a music festival. Surrounded by the excitement of fellow concert-goers and music that fills ears and brightens spirits, a music festival is an experience. As the second largest music festival in the world, the Montreux Jazz Festival wanted to bring the 2018 festival to even more people, enlisting the help of leading research institute and engineering university École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to render an immersive 3D experience so that people not in attendance could watch as if they were physically there.
It was no surprise to the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) that its Montreux Jazz Festival project would require a shift in its workflow and supporting infrastructure in the field, on-premises and in the cloud. The project’s content size, density, and bandwidth requirements would be massive. EPFL teams had to efficiently and effectively manage the intersection of content, technology, and user experience to make it all work. One of the biggest challenges in recreating this real-time 3D experience was live-streaming 360-degree camera content to a VR headset for projection, as it required massive real-time storage facilities to replicate the festival experience instantly with impeccable quality. With trillions of content bits per show, the project team needed storage and equipment with a fast-writing capability for video capture and high accuracy and reliability, as any error could affect image quality, meaning a festival moment could be lost forever.
Stefaan Vervaet and Alain Dufaux discuss EPFL’s unique use case and explain how EPFL managed the intersection of content, technology, and user experience. The lessons they learned apply to a variety of industries facing the challenges of big and fast data—particularly about how to capture, preserve, access, and transform an ever-growing volume of data.
Stefaan Vervaet is a San Jose-based storage expert and senior director of product marketing and strategic alliances for Western Digital’s Data Center Systems business unit, where he’s responsible for leading marketing and business development efforts to deliver advanced object storage-based systems and emerging storage solutions for today’s at-scale enterprise and cloud workloads, including big data analytics, virtualization, application acceleration, and long-term backup/active archives. He has 15 years of experience as a business-focused technologist in the data storage and backup industry, with an extensive startup background that includes product management and go-to-market positions in the backup space and technical sales and support. An innovator with a proven track record, Stefaan successfully helped build startup companies like DataCenter Technologies, a dedupe technology (acquired by Veritas), and Amplidata, a leading object storage vendor (acquired by HGST, a Western Digital Company), where he established and built the US office running technical sales, support, and operations worldwide. He holds a master’s degree in applied informatics from the University of Ghent, Belgium.
Alain Dufaux is head of operations and development for the Metamedia Center at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), which is responsible for digitization and preservation of the Montreux Jazz Festival archive. Previously, he worked at a company developing ultra-low-power processors and real-time algorithms for hearing aid devices and worked in a research lab at EPFL managing projects and coaching students in the development of image and video processing algorithms applied to vision systems. He holds a PhD from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where his thesis was dedicated to automatic sound recognition.
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