Microsoft Corp. today launched Microsoft Mediaroom with virtualization, making Mediaroom the first Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) platform to offer virtualization support. Mediaroom with virtualization can deliver up to a sixfold reduction in the number of physical servers required to support a full-featured IPTV service, significantly reducing hardware and management costs and speeding time to market for Mediaroom customers by up to three weeks.
Mediaroom with virtualization is designed to provide a cost-effective yet full-featured IPTV platform for smaller operators, for operators launching new services as they scale their subscriber base, and for operators who want to extend an existing service into new markets to serve lower-density communities.
With virtualization support, it is possible to deploy and operate a full Mediaroom-powered TV service for up to 30,000 subscriber homes per market using fewer than 10 physical servers. Even for deployments of greater than 30,000 subscriber homes, a mix of virtualized and dedicated servers can still provide efficiency benefits.
“Reservation Telephone Cooperative prides itself on delivering a full range of advanced voice, data and TV services to our highly distributed community of just under 10,000 customers in North Dakota,” said Royce Aslakson, CEO of RTC. “By adding virtualization support, Microsoft Mediaroom is making the promise of converged entertainment services approachable without the cost and compromise inherent in more piecemeal solutions. The opportunity to sprint ahead of traditional TV services is now within our reach.”
Mediaroom with virtualization offers the full functionality of Microsoft’s award-winning IPTV platform including video on demand, DVR Anywhere for viewing and managing recorded shows in any room, and Mediaroom Anytime for viewing of previously aired programs or restarting currently airing shows without any preplanning or prior digital video recording. Other capabilities include high-definition video for live and on-demand content, multiview, instant channel zapping, and TV applications that support rich interactivity and seamless blending of Web content and services with broadcast TV. A full lineup of Mediaroom features is available at http://www.microsoft.com/Mediaroom/Features.aspx
“Mediaroom with virtualization provides the industry’s lowest platform footprint for deploying a full IPTV service,” said Andreas Mueller-Schubert, general manager for the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft. “Given the pressures of today’s economic environment, the reduction in capital expenditure and ongoing efficiencies make Mediaroom with virtualization an attractive proposition for operators of all sizes as they launch and grow their IPTV businesses.”
“As IPTV becomes more mainstream, the industry must find a way to lower deployment costs. Mediaroom with virtualization does just that by reducing the overall number of servers that need to be deployed,” said Vince Vittore, principal analyst at Yankee Group Research Inc. “This development comes at a time when consumers are demanding the ability to access their content regardless of location or device. Mediaroom with virtualization gives service providers of all shapes and sizes a chance to fulfill this demand.”
To power virtualization in Mediaroom, Microsoft is using Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft’s hypervisor-based server virtualization technology. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V enables multiple virtual servers to be hosted on the same physical server. Virtual servers share the physical server’s resources, such as memory, disk access and CPU cycles. Sharing these resources efficiently can result in a dramatic reduction in the number of physical servers that are needed to deliver services.