This is our third and final entry in our series on "Understanding the Second Wave of Video Optimization", which was inspired by the recent Heavy Reading Report on Mobile Video Optimization. Note that the full Heavy Reading report requires a subscription, but you can check out the executive summary and table of contents without a subscription. It’s worth a look.
In the first post in the series we talked about the different ingredients that have driven the market to the second wave of video optimization, which we agree is indeed happening. The second post focused on adding intelligence to optimization so that service providers have control over when and how optimization is applied.
For this final entry we will talk about changes in how video optimization solutions are delivered. We previously discussed adding intelligence to optimization as a way to minimize the impact optimization has on revenue and the costs/footprint required to deploy an optimization solution. Being selective in how and when optimization is applied is a big part of managing the costs of optimization. Another big part of this discussion is changing how optimization is delivered and deployed on the service provider's network.
"Operators don't want the capex and integration cost of putting more boxes into their networks than they must. Vendors have also been shifting their solutions from proprietary hardware implementations to standard blades and ATCA hardware to reduce costs". From Danny Dicks, Analyst-Heavy Reading
In reality, this is just another facet of adding intelligence to optimization, Instead of smarter policies, we are looking at smarter hardware platforms with a focus on offering lower capital and operating costs and a smaller deployment footprint. But what does this look like? This is where the 'second wave of optimization' gets interesting, by creating multiple deployment options to lower costs and reduce deployment footprint. Here are a few:
- Multi-purpose solutions: Rather than having a dedicated optimization solution, optimization is integrated with other solutions that share a common goal. Logical extensions include Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) solutions and Packet Core solutions. But it’s also easy to see big data solutions as well as policy solutions merge with optimization as service providers look for better analytics to inform the policies they put in play. The overall goal is to reduce the number of different servers/boxes/consoles that have to be managed within a network. This, of course, also evolves into basic virtualization of solutions onto general purpose hardware and then to full Network Function Virtualization (NFV).
- Higher performing hardware: Moore's law still applies to appliance form factors as they continue to get faster and more capable of handling CPU intense operations (like transcoding) with a smaller footprint or radically improved performance through Graphics Processing Units (GPU).
- Moving out of the service provider's network: Instead of the service provider having to manage the optimization hardware, move optimization to a public or private cloud. That would allow optimization capacity to potentially increase and decrease dynamically based on overall network traffic and congestion and pass on the responsibility (and cost) of managing the hardware infrastructure.
Will any one of these options be the ultimate winner? At Vantrix we don't see this as a zero-sum game and will be driving along all three trajectories. If you have paid attention to what Vantrix has been demonstrating and talking about at recent trade shows (like NAB 2013, GigaOM Structure 2013, IBC 2013 and the Intel Developer Forum 2013), you will have seen aspects of all three of these options as part of what we have been working on and will continue to work on. (Be sure to check us out at Mobile World Congress 2014 in February).
I hope you enjoyed our look at the 'Second Wave of Video Optimization' useful. Stay tuned to the Vantrix blog as we will continue to highlight how Vantrix is working at the leading edge of optimization. For more information on the solutions available from Vantrix, please check out the solutions section of our website.