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ConteXtream's Virtualization Solutions Enable Content and Service Providers to Optimize Performance, Cost of Content Delivery

ConteXtream, offering network operators grid networking solutions that radically modernize their networks by virtualizing and globalizing service delivery, today introduced its virtualization solution for content delivery networks (CDNs). ConteXtream’s Service Delivery Grid (SDG) revolutionizes the construction of carrier-grade, scalable CDN solutions by offering a distributed application fabric to which CDN components can connect as though they were connected to a large virtual switch.   

Demand for IP-based video services, including on-demand video, linear TV and over-the-top access to third-party video distributors is stressing existing infrastructure and unveiling bottlenecks all along the delivery path. To mitigate the problem, operators are deploying CDN solutions to serve content from points closer to the consumer. Until now, the solutions were mostly constrained to a closed, limited-scale CDN system from a single vendor because the market lacked simple, commercial interconnectivity options between commodity CDN components like storage, caching, streaming servers, fragmentors and encoders.

The SDG automatically discovers different CDN elements, the content stored in them and their health condition, thereby enabling operators to treat geographically disperse servers as a single, large scale, distributed cloud. Each cloud is addressed logically as a single application rather than a collection of servers, thus abstracting the CDN application from the complexity of a dynamically changing network.

“With the Service Delivery Grid, operators can pick and choose best-in-breed storage, streaming, encoders and other components and scale them independently to build the most cost-effective CDN solution for their particular needs,” said Joel Brand, vice president of marketing, ConteXtream. “Our Service Delivery Grid enables operators to construct the next-generation CDN solution, which puts all pieces of the network into the cloud and solves the content distribution problem by logically connecting applications rather than physically connecting servers.”

Virtualizing the Content Delivery Network into a Smart Cloud

Until now, no open, generalized solution has existed for tracking sessions through the set of services that connect users with applications and applications with content. Applications could not be agnostic to the network environments in which they operated. The SDG transforms resources in the content delivery path into dynamic “smart clouds” that simplify and optimize CDN solutions. It virtualizes the resources to shield the CDN applications from details of server availability, physical location, content movement/replication and load distribution.

Virtualization brings an array of significant benefits to content delivery networks. The cloud can handle the terabits per second required by the services and multimedia applications involved in content delivery. Virtualizing geographically-distributed resources maximizes server utilization and reliability. The cloud handles the movement of content, virtual machines and users in order to maintain context and allow on-demand resource allocation. Providers can leverage off-the-shelf hardware to achieve the best cost-performance ratio. Perhaps most importantly, the cloud provides a holistic way to simplify network design with a single, consistent and complete solution for application connectivity.

“Last year, we saw a dramatic jump in demand for over-the-top services like IPTV and on-demand video that require a greater level of network intelligence for operators to deliver with a satisfactory experience to viewers,” said Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst, Infonetics Research. “ConteXtream’s Service Delivery Grid is designed to provide the scalability and awareness necessary to deliver this new type of video content in the context of a complex array of network elements—and importantly for service providers, it collects intelligence that can help differentiate their service offerings.”

Published Wednesday, April 20, 2011 6:08 PM by David Marshall
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