Note: This information has been updated. For the latest, check out this new page on enterprise video delivery or this data sheet on Qumu’s Pathfinder intelligent video delivery platform. Thanks!
If you’re reading this you most likely already know that video is developing an increasingly significant role in business communication and overall efficiency within the enterprise. If you’re still reading this I’m sure you’re aware that the ability to deliver high-quality webcasts and reliable virtual events to a global audience is a valuable tool for educating employees and sharing secure and critical information with both internal and external viewers. If you’ve made it to the third sentence here, I bet you’ve heard that the web is headed towards new delivery options as the quest for IP video unification continues, and it’s clear that flexibility with those delivery options is more important than ever.
So, we already know it’s important. The following three points will give you some crucial information to develop creative and strategic plans for how to use the various video delivery options you have available to you today to create the best video experience for your audience, both now and in the future.
1. Finding the right path for your live stream
Bandwidth concerns are widespread among corporate networks when dealing with video and there needs to be some policy and flexibility to maintain quality and consistency with live streaming.
Qumu’s Pathfinder system can offer some much needed intelligence in this area. Stream failover and routing to multiple CDNs, both public and private, are two of the technical services that Pathfinder is made for. Knowledge of what department users are in, access rights and characteristics of the network(s) they’re using are part of the business-side of Pathfinder’s logic. It can also adjust bandwidth allocations differently based on pre-set criteria defined for individuals or groups, and transparently blend unicast and multicast data to give the user a high-quality experience, regardless of whether your network is multicast capable at every switch and location.
We’ve seen pretty clearly that the ROI for enterprise streaming justifies the network upgrade to multicast, but right as multicast gains momentum in the enterprise, its relationship with its historically partnered-up packaging in Silverlight is getting increasingly sketchy.
Silverlight’s end of life is supposed to be October 12th, 2021. That may seem like a ways off, but the truth is that Silverlight does have an end of life. Just the fact that there’s a concrete date associated with the end of Silverlight means we will see a decrease in features, support and general conversation about Silverlight. You’ll instead end up hearing more about other trends in web technology such as HTML5, and UDP alternatives.
Moving away from Silverlight requires a strategy and plan. Because you can take a long view of Silverlight’s end-of-life date, you can develop a strategy that makes sense when aligned with your other long-term technology designs.
2. Intelligently Streaming Live and On Demand
Coupled with intelligent content distribution systems that replicate content at branch offices, enterprises are becoming globally equipped to deliver live and stored content to all employees for many purposes. Giving employees access to key executives via regular live briefings, providing just-in-time training, and cultivating a corporate culture are just a few of the reasons both large and small organizations are deploying streaming media.
Qumu’s VideoNet Edge optimizes delivery of both on demand and live video streaming by prepositioning on demand content at off-peak hours and maintaining a single live stream across the WAN. This minimizes network load and maximizes cost savings. VideoNet Edge provides live webcast redundancy and multitiered hierarchical distribution for encoder failover, and supports adaptive bitrate streaming. With VideoNet Edge, you can create a scalable, multi-tiered video delivery system to distribute video in multiple formats to desktop and mobile devices simultaneously over multiple routes and to internal and external CDNs.
Support adaptive streaming formats (Smooth Streaming and HLS) for video on-demand and live, and also support H.264 multicast for live webcasts. Minimize the impact of live webcasting on network traffic by ensuring that video is served from the nearest location and only one stream crosses the LAN/WAN on its way to viewers. Assign VideoNet Edges to manage user generated content uploads making your organization and network more effective and efficient for video delivery and capture.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) is best known for file sharing, it’s emergence into the public consciousness came back in the era of Napster’s MP3 swapping. You may also be familiar with licensed torrent movie downloads, courtesy of companies like BitTorrent. Whatever preconceptions you might have about P2P, the technology itself simply ensures that users don’t access data from a potentially distant central server, but instead share it directly with each other and directly from one machine to the next. Peer assisted video delivery, based on the same concept as P2P, can very easily be used for modern video streaming and offer significant alleviation at network choke points.
The way Qumu designs its deployments of peer assisted video delivery is by addressing primarily large scale branch video implementations like those in the retail and banking industries – with their many individual offices that sometimes are only a few miles from one another.
At Qumu, we see peer assisted video delivery not as a replacement for other effective distribution methods such as a VideoNet Edge system, multicast, or the use of a 3rd party CDN, but simply yet another option to ensure the broadest range of delivery options for customers. A lack of flexibility combined with an absence of technology is responsible for the majority of problems we see in enterprises adopting high-quality video. Having as many options available with a various array of technology to aid in content distribution is a big part of what will bring HD video to the large-scale workforce, both in the short term and also many years from now.
The fact of the matter is video has become a crucial part of the way enterprises communicate, and their audiences demand a top quality video experience. To give the people what they want, so to speak, enterprise video solutions must be able to provide the optimal delivery capabilities for every endpoint and network requirement across an organization.
By using Qumu’s extensive delivery options, your business can mix and match the best combination of delivery solutions for a customer’s needs. If your organization needs video on demand (VOD) and live webcasting to desktop, mobile and thin clients, or any combination thereof you need a mix of delivery capabilities best suited to deliver high performance video to those endpoints.
If you’d like to know more about how Qumu’s video distribution solutions bring highest quality video wherever and whenever it is needed on your network, drop us a line or join the conversation with us on Twitter.