April 22, 2010

Scalable and Intelligent Content Delivery for Fixed and Mobile Networks

The market has experienced exponential growth in online video traffic over the past few years, often doubling every six months. Subscriber wireline and wireless networks cannot be built fast enough to accommodate the insatiable demand for content from any and all sources. End users, news organizations, and social networks, among many others, generate immeasurable content daily. Users need to view the vast wealth of media rich content anywhere, anytime, and on any IP-enabled device, and their expectation is to have a TV-like viewing experience. Moreover, consumption patterns are unpredictable.

The market for IP video caching, in particular, is growing due to the growth of Internet content, as well as viewers' demand for personalization and flexibility. There is also an emerging trend to deliver content simultaneously to a large audience across three screens (PCs, TVs, and mobile devices). The technical implication of this volume growth and content diversity is that networks must efficiently handle multiple data formats, protocols, streaming bit rates, and device types. They must also adapt to the change in traffic patterns, especially across three screens, without reprovisioning. The potential business impact is that continuous network investments can easily outstrip revenues.

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1 Comment

Over the past several years, the nature of network traffic has changed dramatically in regard to two fundamental characteristics:

- It's no longer a "given" that most data on the network is what is normally described as "NRT-VBR" (Non-Real Time Variable Bit Rate). Instead, there's an ever-changing mix of traffic types and priorities for these traffic types.

- It's no longer a "given" that the consumer of this information will be attached to a local corporate network in a fixed location. With the proliferation of mobile devices, all content is subject to any-time, anywhere generation and delivery.

This paper does a great job of looking at the issues involved in meeting these challenges and at Juniper's methodology for ensuring flexible and scalable delivery.

I consider it to be a "must-read" from a technical and architectural perspective regardless of your exact choice of provider, and I look forward to hearing your reactions as well.

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