The global appetite for online video is voracious, and that demand is giving emerging services like cloud digital video recording (DVR) the chance to make huge gains. But that’s only if providers can find the secure, reliable connectivity and storage they need, and that’s not easy.
The storage needs of cloud DVR are truly massive. Low latency is also mandatory for the optimal viewing experience. Plus, secure delivery to specific, authenticated devices is paramount.
All this makes superior interconnection absolutely essential. And it’s out there.
The amount of video people watch online these days – from their couch, from a park bench, from wherever – is astounding. Cisco says that by 2020, the equivalent of 1 million minutes of video will be streamed or downloaded globally every second. And people expect to be able to watch whatever they want, wherever they want. That’s where a service like cloud DVR comes in. Cloud DVR does everything a traditional DVR does, which is enable users to record, store and watch selected shows, sports events, and other video content whenever they choose. But cloud DVR also allows people to watch that content pretty much anywhere.
That’s greatly appealing, since so much video is being watched on mobile devices. Cisco says mobile video traffic accounts for 60% of all mobile traffic today, and that by 2021 more than three-quarters of mobile data traffic will be video.
There’s clear opportunity here for cloud DVR providers looking to take advantage of increasingly mobile viewing habits. But the storage obstacle is significant, and it exists in part because recordings can’t legally be shared. That means a single unique copy of every recording must be a saved for each individual user, and that adds up. For instance, a telecom operator with a million-plus subscribers offering cloud DVR services can need 330 petabytes of data worth of storage. (Note: Just one petabyte of data is equal to several times the amount of information in the U.S. Library of Congress.)
Beyond the storage hurdle, the requirement to deliver high-performance, low-latency connectivity looms large. Viewers simply won’t stand for glitchy video. It has to look good, no matter where they are, and no matter how many networks the content has to cross to get to them.
Customers must also be assured that their recorded content is actually delivered only to them, their target devices and authorized users.
We recently worked closely with one of our customers – a major U.S.-based, on-demand and streaming over the top (OTT) video operator – to successfully tackle these challenges.
Our customer needed to interconnect and peer with multiple network service providers (NSPs), to deliver resilient, reliable, high-quality video and cloud DVR services to hundreds of thousands of East Coast subscribers.
They deployed with Equinix at our Ashburn location, one of the most highly networked facilities in the U.S. The Ashburn facility hosts 200+ NSPs, nine of the top 10 global content delivery networks, and it is one of three global roaming exchange (GRX) peering locations in the world. The results were excellent:
- The customer reduced costs through IP peering.
- New access to multiple NSPs and cloud providers, using direct connections via the Equinix Performance Hub solution, created needed redundancy. It also delivered instant, high-performance connectivity to millions of mobile subscribers and customer devices (e.g. phones, laptops, tablets).
- Equinix Data Hub, which enables customers to manage huge amounts of data at distributed locations, gave the company the ability store and quickly analyze big data sets. That allowed it to more easily make viewing recommendations and other quality-of-service improvements for its dispersed customers.
An EMCEE advantage
The network and cloud service providers this cloud-based DVR company connected to are all part of the broader Entertainment and Media Cloud Ecosystem (EMCEE) inside Equinix.
EMCEE also includes a host of content delivery networks, and it reaches into 41 markets on five continents as part of Equinix’s global colocation and interconnection platform, Platform Equinix™
EMCEE enables cloud DVR providers and businesses in the media and entertainment industry to use an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) strategy and directly and securely connect with customers, clouds, partners and employees. That means better interconnection, faster innovation and the ability to scale to meet the quickly accelerating demand for video content.
Download the white paper, “IOA Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Entertainment Media Cloud Ecosystem,” to explore a new interconnection-first approach that helps media and entertainment companies improve media content creation, management and distribution workflows — all at reduced costs.
And if you’re in Las Vegas for the NAB show next week, check out the panel discussion “Lessons from the Front Lines” on April 25. Equinix Chief Customer Officer Brian Lillie will be one of the panel’s technologists.