In football, you have the offense and the defense. You can’t have one without the other. Respect will be paid.
Luther ‘Shark’ Lavay, Any Given Sunday
A symbiotic relationship is a relationship between entities which is mutually beneficial for the participants of the relationship. The video delivery value chain can resemble a symbiotic system comprised of Online Video Content Providers, Content Delivery Networks, Network Operators and Consumers.
Content Providers need a reliable network infrastructure to deliver content to their customers, who in turn subscribe to and consume their services. A reliable network infrastructure is provided by leveraging the combined offerings of network operators and CDNs. Thus all four parties benefit from each other’s participation, a positive sum game. As in every symbiotic relationship, if one participant tries to exert additional pressure on other involved parties, they may improve their position in the short term, but the long term survival of the relationship may be jeopardized.
Online content providers/aggregators like Netflix and YouTube are creating an online viewing experience that enables consumption of massive amounts of video traffic from practically any network connected device. Content providers are striving to ensure a great consumer viewing experience, on-par with the traditional cable TV. A robust network infrastructure is an absolute must-have in order to transport high volumes of video traffic at high quality all the way to the subscribers.
CDNs for their part enabled content providers to bring their video content to the doorstep of the operator networks. However, the transmission path across the eyeball network is far from optimized. Operators are still looking for ways to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX for building out the right infrastructure of this new “video data network”. As subscriber QoE remains a top priority in a highly competitive environment, service providers are searching for innovative solutions to maintain an agile network infrastructure rather than just throwing routers at the bandwidth problem. At the same time, CDN providers are looking for ways to increase their profitability in light of the growth in online video traffic, as well as reducing their own infrastructure investment costs.
We believe that the only way to achieve all of these goals is by creating a symbiotic ecosystem. By adding intelligent video delivery nodes deep in the eyeball networks, carriers can now leverage and maximize their network infrastructure investments. Video delivery platforms would become a part of the network fabric, operated and managed by the service providers in the same way they manage their routing infrastructure today. Instead of scrambling to constantly “put out the video fire” with temporary fixes, operators would own a robust and agile network infrastructure capable of sustaining large volumes of high quality video traffic, while achieving substantial CAPEX and OPEX savings. Video delivery nodes would also interface back into the commercial CDN infrastructure, enabling the CDNs to extend their serving capacity at close proximity to subscribers’ locations. This integrated approach would also complete the feedback and reporting loop for all parties in the video delivery value chain.
Last but not least, the content providers finally have the means to optimize not only “the great Internet divide”, but also the eyeball network infrastructure by delivering a TV-like viewing experience to their subscriber base.
If you’re an operator, you may be asking yourself where you can get your hands on one of these video delivery nodes. Our recently launched QB-Series is the first in this new breed of products – an integrated platform that combines the network intelligence needed to identify the most popular videos that place the heaviest burden on the network with the best-of-breed storage and delivery capabilities.
Give us a call and we’ll be happy to take you for a test drive.