Proprietary vs. off the shelf hardware for OTT video delivery


Nivedita Nouval TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Nivedita Nouval
Issue 90 - June 2014

What are the main equipment at stake in an OTT video delivery system?

An OTT video delivery system consists of an array of video servers that are able to store and stream content according to different formats defined by standards (e.g., HLS, HSS, HDS, and MPEG-DASH).

Traditionally, there is an origin server, located in the head-end, which references all of the VOD content and ingests the live TV channels. It features a massive amount of storage and has limited streaming capabilities.

Several edge servers are located closer to the end-users. They have a smaller storage capability but a much greater streaming performance.

A management system allocates the streaming requests to the right server, and allows operators to monitor the complete system.

Finally, an analytics server is generally used to gather information about the usage patterns of the system.

What are the benefits of using off-the-shelf hardware for these equipment?


There are numerous advantages to relying on off-the-shelf hardware for OTT video delivery. Because hardware vendors like IBM-Lenovo, HP or Dell are devoting continuous efforts to improve the performances of their appliances and to reducing their energy consumption, a technology provider who relies on these platforms can take advantage of these improvements at no cost and therefore focus their resources on the development of their own software.

Flexibility is another key benefit. Using off-the-shelf hardware, the purpose of hardware can be changed easily. For example, an encoder can be transformed into a streaming server or a streaming server into an analytics server, with the possibility of mixing the software vendors.

In addition, upgrades are easy. Generally, all thats required is a simple software reinstall as opposed to a costly hardware swap. This aspect of software empowers the service provider sourcing department by reducing the adherence to a specific CDN technology vendor.

Separating hardware and software also brings business flexibility, offering the possibility to dissociate the provisioning of the hardware and the delivery of the CDN software leading to faster system deployments.

Maintenance is made easier, as big providers are likely to have spare parts and dedicated local representatives for support.

In addition, a pure software approach allows specific workflow optimizations to extend the lifetime of the components, greatly reducing their wearing.

Eventually, the possibility of virtualizing a part or the totality of the system is only possible when a pure software approach has been adopted.

What does virtualization bring in the OTT video delivery field?

Deploying a CDN solution in a private cloud (i.e., a datacenter where an operator can provision blade centers, storage, processing power, and connectivity) has many benefits for operators.

The biggest benefit is costs savings in terms of hardware, of course, since resource sharing with other functions is possible. These functions can be related to content delivery (e.g., load balancing between different servers handling different formats, or between packagers and streamers) but can also extend to completely unrelated processes such as payroll or invoicing. In terms of energy and staff, it is much more efficient to manage a single IT infrastructure.

Another advantage is seamless growth management. Adding more storage or additional processing power can be achieved in just a few clicks. In comparison, sourcing dedicated hardware can take weeks.

System robustness is another benefit. Disaster recovery is a feature that comes naturally with the notion of cloud, with built-in capabilities for duplicating content. In case a virtual server fails, the sessions can be handled by another one.

Utilizing a private cloud-based CDN solution, operators can adopt a hybrid approach to OTT video delivery to where some components, like the management system and the analytics, as well as the On-Net streaming servers are kept in-house to maximize security and control while the streaming servers for off-net delivery are deployed outside the organization in the public cloud, closer to end-users for optimal performance.

In addition, virtualization platforms provide advanced monitoring tools that enable operators to natively supervise all the modules of the system.

Given the wide range of benefits offered by an off-the-shelf hardware and software approach compared with a proprietary hardware method, it is the superior solution for global OTT video delivery.


Tags: iss090 | Broadpeak | OTT | Nivedita Nouval
Contributing Author Nivedita Nouval

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Broadpeak shows nanoCDN multicast ABR at IBC 2018

    Broadpeak shows nanoCDN multicast ABR at IBC 2018

  • Broadpeak Technology nano CDN technology multicast ABR

    Broadpeak Technology nano CDN technology multicast ABR

  • Broadpeak at IBC 2016

    Broadpeak at IBC 2016

  • Broadpeak at IBC 2013

    Broadpeak at IBC 2013

  • Broadpeak at IBC 2012

    Broadpeak at IBC 2012

  • Broadpeak at NAB 2012

    Broadpeak at NAB 2012

  • Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Kino Flo at NAB 2016

    Kino Flo at NAB 2016

  • Comigo at IBC 2015

    Comigo at IBC 2015

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Volicon at IBC 2015

    Volicon at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at IBC 2014

    Visual Unity at IBC 2014

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Perception at NAB 2014

    Perception at NAB 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • ATEME at NAB 2014

    ATEME at NAB 2014

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

    Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

    Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013


Related Shows
  • Show 26 - 20th November 2013

    Show 26 - 20th November 2013


Articles
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Accelerated Workflows with eGPU
Mike Griggs From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.
Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs Click to read or download PDF
An Obituary to Timecode
Bruce Devlin - new A stoic and persistent character that stubbornly refused to change with the times, Timecode has finally passed on, but no-one has noticed. A long-lasting industry veteran, Timecode was brought into this world at an uncertain date in the late 1960s due to the needs of analogue tape workflows and the demand for synchronisation between audio and video devices. A joint activity between SMPTE and the EBU led to the work on Time and Control codes starting its journey to standardisation in the early 1970s.
Tags: iss134 | timecode | smpte | ebu | edit | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
The Wireless Way to 4k
JP Delport DTC’s AEON group of products have been specifically designed for the 4K market. We encode with the more efficient HEVC algorithm, which means we are taking a 12G signal and compressing it to a bitrate that can be managed over an RF link. So what makes this a leading idea in the 4K revolution?
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | JP Delport
Contributing Author JP Delport Click to read or download PDF