The importance of storage


Jonathan Smith TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
i

In recent years, viewing habits have shifted dramatically; online video is becoming the preferred option for the younger generation. But its not just millennials who are cutting the cord with broadcasters and traditional platforms increasing numbers of people from all age groups are abandoning cable and instead enjoying TV online. In response to this growing trend, platforms such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer are rushing to invest in fresh digital content, in a bid to satisfy their ever-increasing audiences.

Good content is, of course, key to keep audiences watching. However, simply creating engaging content is not enough. To create an exceptional user experience, users must be able to access content quickly. Video buffering remains the top frustration with online video viewing, with almost half of viewers abandoning a video if it stops playing to re-buffer more than twice (source: The State of Online Video).

Content providers work with a huge and continuously growing amount of data, which presents a significant challenge in terms of storage practices. Crucially, they need to be able to manage huge spikes in demand that occur at key times of the year. Sports broadcasters, for instance, need to make sure that they can deal with the pressure that is put on their network during peak traffic times, when massive sports events like the Superbowl or World Cup take place.

Broadcasters are all keenly aware that today, success hinges on their ability to deliver online video reliably and consistently. They need to invest in their infrastructure to ensure that they can predict and manage surges in demand for their services. Whether they are live streaming sports events, conferences or corporate media presentations, failure is simply not an option. Gomez revealed that, unsurprisingly, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. Even tiny delays can reduce site traffic over time.

Without the correct storage system in place, broadcasters may suffer a range of problems when delivering content, from buffering, slow load times and increased costs. Here we examine how choosing the right system can help providers to create an exceptional digital experience for users everywhere.

High availability across the globe

Storage is where content delivery networks (CDNs) go to retrieve files that arent cached in Point of Presence (PoPs) around the globe. If the storage system is in a centralised location outside of the network, users may experience a significant amount of latency. To ensure high availability, streaming providers should use a system that automatically replicates content every time it is retrieved to meet a user request. This will give users access to the fastest version of the site, provide protection from spikes in demand and reduce the risk of content being unavailable all crucial to ensure an exceptional digital experience, regardless of where the user is accessing content.

Speedy content retrieval

The growing appetite for good quality content is not only year-round, but also global. This puts providers under pressure to ensure that users everywhere get a great experience and, most importantly, a fast experience. They dont just want things to happen quickly, they want them to happen immediately. This means no annoying buffering video content must start playing instantaneously with no perceptible delay. Digital content must be broadcast with flawless, broadcast quality.

Security

Streaming providers need to store their content within a distributed infrastructure that can absorb attacks across a large defense surface. This is essential to protect content from newly-emerging distributed cyber threats. Protecting data from attacks is vital to prevent loss of content and the reputational damage that may result.

Reduce costs

The operational costs associated with managing a content library can be significant. Providers should look for a time-responsive system that is able to migrate content automatically, based on audience demand. As well as reducing costs associated with a change in infrastructure, self-managing storage solutions reduces business reliance on storage experts. The work is done automatically, without the need to consult external experts. This is a great help for providers, as a common challenge in the industry is a shortage of skilled technology talent (source: Gartner).

As investment in digital content continues to soar in response to the ever-growing rise in online video viewership, broadcasters are under increasing pressure to deliver a customer experience that rivals that of traditional platforms. Jonathon Smith, Managing Director EMEA of Limelight Networks, confirms this: video content is driving global internet traffic growth. And while its not the most expensive piece of the business model, video delivery is becoming one of the most important factors in determining success and failure.

To overcome the issues highlighted in this article, providers should look for storage that simplifies workflow with automatic replication, high availability, global scale and multi-CDN support. Solutions like Origin Storage can improve quality and increase delivery speed by up to 200%. Not all storage is created equally, and the importance of selecting the correct storage solution must not be overlooked if broadcasters are to deliver an exceptional digital experience. Many will need to re-think their current infrastructure and address the shortcomings of storage solutions currently in place.


Tags: iss127 | limelight networks | cdn | pops | Jonathan Smith
Contributing Author Jonathan Smith

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

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • Broadpeak at IBC 2013

    Broadpeak at IBC 2013

  • Broadpeak at NAB 2012

    Broadpeak at NAB 2012


Articles
Connect A Broadcast-Quality Miniature Camera To Your Computer!
Spencer Doran Upgrade any home working or live streaming setup with a broadcast-quality professional webcam
Tags: webcam | marshall | CV503 | USB | ZOOM | Streaming | Spencer Doran
Contributing Author Spencer Doran Click to read
Virtualising your Playout
Alison Pavitt

The buzz around virtualised playout is exponentially growing with increased deployments. But questions remain about the economic, logistical and technical benefits to the end user.

Conversation has shifted and amplified, with the debate around the private/public cloud escalating and new cloud-native solutions entering the market. So, what do you need to consider today if you are thinking about virtualising?

Tags: iss142 | playout | pebble beach | cloud | Alison Pavitt
Contributing Author Alison Pavitt Click to read or download PDF
How to engage students with live projects
Martin Andrews For many employers, how and what we teach at university is sometimes considered to be very mysterious. The responsibility for creating the structure and content within the curriculum is the responsibility of academics. In my experience, the best method for making sure that students and staff are kept up to date with current working practices is to regularly engage with ‘Live’ projects and ‘Real’ clients.
Tags: iss142 | ccitv | university portsmouth | charles haskell | vlogs | Martin Andrews
Contributing Author Martin Andrews Click to read or download PDF
An Argument for the Z Cam
Jake Ratcliffe Z Cam first dipped their toes into the cinema camera market back at NAB 2018 with the release of the E2 and since then they have proven themselves as one of the go-to camera manufacturers for affordable and unique camera solutions. Their family of cinema cameras has since evolved into a set of 6.
Tags: iss142 | cvp | cvpgroup | micro four thirds | e2c | zcam | full frame 6k | tilta | smallrig | 8sinn | zacuto | rvlvr | Jake Ratcliffe
Contributing Author Jake Ratcliffe Click to read or download PDF
Why Routing Control
Mark Davies Routing control sits at the very heart of all advanced control systems. A well-configured system that manages signal routes throughout a facility and groups multi-level actions into a single control surface allows for much richer and focused production. Using one-touch panels, operators could route video, audio and data signals between the various elements of a network, perhaps to route a camera signal to a vision mixer, as well as through other processors, before it arrives at its destination. Users could adopt routing control to trigger an external event, a complete reconfiguration of a multi-router setup, route several sources simultaneously, or make set routes or multiple routes via a single button press.
Tags: iss142 | es broadcast | tsl products | remote production | tallyman | Mark Davies
Contributing Author Mark Davies Click to read or download PDF