Content anywhere, at any price?

It is no secret that the worldwide demand to consume video – from whatever source, in whatever format and on whatever device, be it smartphone, tablet, pc or television – is increasingly filling the demand for bandwidth, processing and power consumption.

The burden to satisfy this demand weighs heavily most of all on mobile and cable operators across every corner of the globe. Creating quality content is one thing but managing, processing and distributing it to the right device with the appropriate expected user experience is the most crucial part. Receiving content on any device with poor video quality creates a bad experience at the cost of losing the customer’s confidence in the operator’s ability to deliver the content. The number of connected devices that receive content and, consequently, the corresponding number of supported profiles, increases over time, and is not only intended for a TV but for any device that has access to a network. This creates the question of how to manage more efficiently – not only the network – but more importantly the compute resources in these networks, to keep customer confidence and loyalty, and accordingly increase content delivery revenue streams.

So what to do? The response has been resounding. Offload this type of content delivery into a cloud environment. This goes a long way to control CAPEX costs, power consumption and the all important ability to easily scale up or scale down compute resources as demand fluctuates. Many traditional equipment providers have made it clear that their customer applications are moving to cloud-based service platforms on any platform. They want to be more flexible with a more cost-efficient service delivery that gives them a ‘chance’ to grow new revenues.

That shift is opening up opportunities for platform providers such as Kontron to provide very high density COTS platforms that can deliver carrier-grade reliability and availability, and increased power efficiencies in the data center but also in the telecom carrier network. We call it SYMKLOUD and it is more than just hardware. It is also about how to manage the resources more efficiently based on the workload it receives. The framework to manage multiple compute, networking and storage resources in a multi-cluster environment is based on the proven and well adopted orchestration layer from OpenStack. In our case it manages both GPU and CPU workloads. In addition, we can analyze network utilization by using Hadoop as a Big Data implementation on the CPU if the CPU is not being utilized during the transcoding process. This can happen all on the same platform rather than having dedicated resources for each workload.

It is time to make content delivery more efficient for the cable and network operator with high quality content on the device. This will improve the Average Revenue per User (ARPU) to make cable and network operators more profitable by providing content to any device. We have seen that this will change the industry in the mobile space as we witnessed at the recent Mobile World Congress event, where we demonstrated these aforementioned cloud orchestration scenarios to highly attentive mobile operators.

But, be assured, we won’t leave the cable operators behind. The same technology is moving into the ‘Broadcast’ fray with the NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters) where we are stepping it up a notch by demonstrating streaming HEVC (UltraHD) video and support for 4K TV. And, for the most part, the delivery players have the intent to deploy in the cloud – the new weapon to gain a competitive edge in delivering content anywhere and certainly not at any price…

Will you be at NAB? Come and see yourself how this innovation can help you be more efficient at the  Intel Partner Pavilion, Stand 11D, located in the Connected Media World Section in the North Hall, April 7 – 10, 2014.

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